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Freddy Krueger

A Nightmare on Elm Street
by yo go re

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

Nancy is having grisly nightmares. Something monstrous wants to kill her. Meanwhile, her high school friends, who are having the very same dream, are being slaughtered in their sleep by the hideous fiend of their shared nightmare. When the police ignore her explanation, she herself must confront the killer in his shadowy realm.

Years ago, we joked about how we are important, and we control the future. But then McFarlane Toys copied us, and after Monkey Boy mentioned remaking Kenner Predators in a review, you know what happened. Well, a year ago, I asked for a box set featuring a plain Freddy and a bunch of alternate heads. Okay, this isn't exactly what we suggested, but it's close enough that we're taking all the credit we feel honored to have played any part in it anyway.

First item on the wishlist? A plain Freddy. Check! This set is based on the first movie, which we must admit is slightly disappointing: for whatever reason, his sweater in the first film had solid red sleeves, instead of stripes. Sorry, purists, but the stripey sleeves don't just look better, they're also more iconic - Jason may not get his hockey mask until Part 3, but it's still the way we think of him, right? Same here. I wasn't going to sit this out and hope there's a second Ultimate Freddy box set in the future, though, so solid sleeves are what I get.

It's truly interesting to note, however, how much the sweater changed between the first movie and the sixth - it got progressively more ragged and worn out as things went along, as though the movies were coming out in real time and he was wearing the same thing every day. The lower edge on this one is sculpted to be higher on one side than the other - no, he's not wearing it wrong, it's just the toy's way of telling you to pose him leaning to the side, like some kind of weird creep.

And pose him like that you can! Above the waist, this figure's articulation is the same as we told you about before: balljoints in the head, wrists, torso and waist; and swivel/hinge joints in the elbows and shoulders. Thus, you can twist him all around in manners most unsettling! But what sets this figure apart from the pack is that he's actually got joints in his legs! Yes, there are still balljoints in the ankles, but there are also swivel/hinges in the knees and hips, and swivels at the top of the thigh! Seriously, how is it more economical to do that for this box set, than to do it for the multiple series of normal figures?

One drawback, though? The new leg articulation means he has rubber pants, to flex out of the way as he moves. Unfortunately, the plastic beneath those pants is pale pink (just like the rest of his unpainted torso), so if you look at him even a little bit from the side, it looks like there's a tear in his pants and you're seeing his "gentleman's luggage." And nobody wants that!

Second item on the wishlist? A bunch of alternate heads. Okay, technically "all the various heads they've designed," but hey, close enough. We start with the one he's wearing in the try, the plain Freddy head. You know it: burnt, scowling, chunks missing out of his right ear, all that. This is evil, unhappy Freddy, just the way you like him!

The second head is nearly identical to the first, but with an important difference: this one has a big, sinister smile! Delightful! The scars on both heads are identical, because NECA knows their stuff. The paint varies a bit - the angry head has a heavier black wash than the jocular head, but the red on Jokey is darker and glossier.

But we're not done yet! He gets a third head featuring no Freddy face at all, just a bare, screaming skull. This is taken from the scene in the movie where he's chasing/taunting Tina, and while she's flailing helplessly at him, she manages to inadvertantly slide his face off. The skull has a terrific glossy paint job, to make it look slick and wet.

From that same scene comes our first accessory, an alternate left hand. In order to freak Tina out, he declares "watch this," and casually lops off two of his own fingers, then makes googly eyes while green blood(?) spurts out of his hand. The alternate hand is missing its pinky and ring finger, and has a sculpted spray of green gunk. The remaining fingers are painted even darker than his face is. Which is weird, since his normal left hand is entirely unscarred. How'd that happen? Shouldn't the fire have burned him all over?

Next we have Nancy's telephone. Despite the fact that it had been disconnected from the wall (as evidenced by the cord wrapped around it), it just kept ringing. When Nancy answered it, she heard Freddy's voice saying "I'm your boyfriend now," and the receiver turned into Freddy's mouth, which then proceeded to stick its tongue out and lick her. Gross! This phone has a flexible cord, and the one wrapped around the base is a separate piece that plugs into the (surprisingly detailed) bottom.

"Nancy, help me, please. Save me from Freddy!" Sound familiar? That's what "Tina" cried before she revealed herself to just be Freddy wearing her face like a mask. This set includes a creepy-ass mask that fits on either of the (non-skull) faces perfectly. Truly perfectly. The interior of the mask is shaped to match all the bumps and divots on Freddy's face - the sculptor probably just pressed the piece against the face while working on it, and the details transferred - which means that it will stay on by itself. Very tightly, too!

Apparently Freddy's fedora changed just as much as his sweater, because the one included in this set is not the same one seen in later films. It's smaller, darker, has a different shape, and the brim is curled on one side. It does fit on all three heads though, so it's still fully enjoyable.

30th Anniversary Ultimate Freddy is sold in a nice fifth-panel window box that opens to allow you to admire the figure within, and the toy itself is in an easily removable tray - very collector-friendly! The front of the box is the *$^@ing creepy original movie poster, making it a nice backdrop for the figure on display. Huh. Movie poster backdrops. I wonder why nobody ever thought of that before?

There will be those who say that we're overestimating our role in the creation of this set. But we asked for two things - a plain body and multiple heads - and those are what NECA delivered. We even called it "the ultimate NoES action figure" [emphasis added], and that's basically the name they went with! And apparently they have plans for a whole series of "Ultimate" sets, just like they have a whole series of 8-bit figures, so you can look forward to more excellent goodness like this.

And yes, Freddy is excellent. He's sculpted just as well as the figures in the main line, but he has much better articulation, and a collection of new accessories. The price is slightly higher than the normal figures, but he's worth it, especially considering how long it's been since they put out an unadulterated Freddy.

-- 12/21/14

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