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Ghost Face

by yo go re

Stab stab stab!

It was just-- oh my god, a full decade ago that NECA made their first Ghost Face figure, based on Scream 4 (or "Scre4m" as the logo identified it - yes, audiences in 2011 couldn't wait to watch "Screh-forem"). The masked killer is finally back, though this time NECA has cut out the middle-man: the packaging doesn't even mention the Scream films obliquely, just giving us a nifty "Ghost Face" logo and saying "the icon of Halloween returns."

Though you want to know something weird? The trademark info obviously just names the company that owns the mask design, Fun World Div., but Fun World is apparently a subsidiary of someone called Easter Unlimited. Easter? Easter!?! Imagine the indignity of a Halloween guy being owned by an Easter company. Other than candy and levels of ostentatious theatricality that Lil Nas X would consider over-the-top, what do those two even have in common?

For the first time, Ghost Face's little dress thing is fully softgoods, the culmination of a long march; Todd's was completely sculpted, NECA's last one was sculpted above the waist and cloth beneath, but this one finally goes all the way. It's up to you whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I like the artifice required to sculpt cloth, but on a costume like this, that would mean no articulation. At least in Ghost Face's case, his outfit is solid black, so the realistic wrinkles (or lack thereof) aren't really too much of an issue. And like the movie costume, this one has no belt to keep it shut.

The body beneath the robe is only partially sculpted - if you're never meant to see the torso, why bother giving it any more detail than necessary? Basically, we're talking gloves, sleeves, boots, and pantlegs - the rest is just unfinished shapes. And I can say this with confidence, thanks to broken joints.

If we spend a lot of time talking about how foolish the claims are that NECA's toys break too easily then it's only fair we also point out when we get something that actually does fall apart like that. I first found Ghost Face at Target, and when I brought him home, the right elbow broke when I tried to move it. (Also a small wire intended to give the front of the hood a shape was poking out from the cloth.) That meant it was very easy for me to take the dress off and see the body beneath. So yeah, that's a broken NECA figure. Looking back through our archives, the last one I had was... Flasher Gremlin's sunglasses? And that one was definitely my fault? Spyro the Dragon, who had two right rear legs? Wait, I know! Power Arm Terminator! A figure from two years ago. That's how far back I had to go to find a legitimate broken toy. And before that, it was Machiko Noguchi's shoulder gun, and then I got bored with looking because it was now three years in the past. So anyway, the first Ghost Face went back to Target, and I got this replacement at FYE, judging by the pricetag on the bottom of the box.

GF moves at the head, shoulders, top and bottom of the elbows, the wrists, chest, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles, which is enough for the kind of stuff he does: sneaking around, menacing people, and then a sudden burst of activity when he kills somebody. To do that, the figure includes three different styles of bloody knives, as well as a big, intimidating scythe (as used in the Scream TV series. Did you remember there was a Scream TV series? No you didn't, you big fibber!). The knives include two versions of the iconic Buck knife (a long 120, and a shorter 119), and a butcher knife. Did Ghost Face ever use a butcher knife? Presumably, or NECA wouldn't have included one. For some reason, they've not seen fit to give him a cellphone, the second most iconic thing the character ever used, but they did include the voice-changer that concealed the killers' identity through four movies. He has alternate hands, but both right hands seem to be identical? The size of the grip-hole in them isn't different enough to warrant calling it different.

What really makes this an Ultimate release, though, is the heads. Ghost Face's black robe would mean nothing if not for that unmistakable mask. The last time we got a Ghostface, we had to choose between either the normal mask or (as we chose to review) the chase variant "zombie" mask, which was all dirty and cracked; this time we get both at once, so we don't have to choose! And yet we're only halfway there, because [we're living on a prayer? --ed.] No, because we also get two more heads: the white mask covered with dark red blood splatter, and a green mask that glows in the dark, which may give you flashbacks to many a late-90s/​early-00s Halloween costume. Swapping the head is a little touchy, because the cloth hood is so tight; you have to pull it back, then get the head off the neck peg.

When NECA made their Scream 4 figure, with its half-cloth robe, there were plans to make a running change that was all plastic. I never actually saw that one get released, which is why there's no review of it. This one goes the other direction, possibly because they'd already worked out a dress pattern for the 8" Mego-styled version that came out at about the same time. The choice not to include a cellphone is just the weirdest thing ever, especially since one of the hands serves no purpose, but all those heads really make a special set that gives you a ton of variety.

-- 05/22/21

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