NECA’s San Diego Comic Con 2016 Exclusives

 

NECA Toys has always brought some amazing, exclusive figures to the annual San Diego Comic Con. Just last year for example, they introduced a MEGO style Pamela and young Jason Voorhees 2 pack from the finale of Friday the 13th featuring for the first time the iconic, jump scare reveal version of Jason in the likeness of actor Ari Lehman. This year’s Con just ended and 2016’s batch of exclusives is killer! They brought a walloping ten figures between four separate items!

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The iconic, lone survivor of the Hadley’s Hope colony from Aliens, young Rebecca “Newt” Jorden, a cloaked version of the Scar Predator from AVP: Alien Vs Predator and two, four figure sets from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game. One featuring the four iconic Turtles and one containing their arch nemesis, the Shredder, along with three types of Foot Soldiers.

We’ll start with Newt, one of the most memorable cast members of Aliens.

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She includes her doll head “Casey”, her Second Grand Citizenship Award, a flashlight and Corporal Hicks’ helmet.

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Newt is able to hold Casey in her hand.

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The award contains the exact image used in the film.

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The helmet fits snug onto Newt’s head despite it clearly being a size too large for her.

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Newt is a perfect companion piece for the Ripley that was released previously.

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Or as a final touch when recreating the classic Power Loader vs Alien Queen battle!

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Next is the cloaked version of the Scar Predator from AVP: Alien Vs. Predator. NECA has a history of releasing an exclusive Predator figure at almost every San Diego Comic Con and many have been cloaked variants as is this one.

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Included with Scar is a cloaked, extended spear, a cloaked plasma caster, a cloaked shuriken, a cloaked ceremonial dagger, a set of bloody wrist blades and a temple map hologram.

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The plasma caster plugs into the back the back and the spear can be attached via a clip.

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The blades plug into the right wrist unit.

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The hologram plugs into the open, left wrist computer.

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The dagger slides into the sheath on the right leg.

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Finally, we come to the two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Arcade Game box sets. One for the four Turtles and one with the Shredder and three Foot Soldiers.

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Fans have long requested NECA to return to the world of TMNT ever since the release of their 2008 Mirage Studios style Turtles. These were the designs that appeared in the original comic book release, long before the cartoon series became a massive hit. However, regardless of fan desire, the licensing rights after 2008 went to Nickelodeon whom have since controlled it very tightly. In fact, these two sets were only available at SDCC, no other retail in person or online would be legally allowed via the agreement that was made with NECA. Not even at other Comic Con events. After market sales are permitted as they are individual owners selling their property.

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The two, four character box sets come in pull down, window flap packages that are designed to look like the arcade cabinet that the original game was in. The artwork of the Turtles and the photos of the actor and actress playing the Shredder and April O’Neil are the same as the original cabinets.

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The top of the pull down flap is the original arcade, button layout with instructions.

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The back features the 4 player slots seen in the arcade game as well with the figures in the poses from the game.

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The Foot Clan box is the same as the Turtles box, but with fire, and the wording and logo of the Foot Clan appearing.

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Each set also includes screen shot artwork from backgrounds in the arcade game. It appears exactly as players saw it when they played. The Turtles set comes with a Manhattan street scene with a TV playing April O’Neil calling for help. The Foot set comes with an insert of the portal to Dimension X room from the Foot Clan’s subterranean, mobile base, the Technodrome, where the game’s final battle takes place.

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The Turtles set includes Leonardo…

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Michelangelo…

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Donatello…

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and Raphael.

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Each Turtle comes with his signature weapon(s) as well as alternate hands that are interchangeable between all four Turtles. Leonardo and Donatello each come with weapon holsters on their backs attached to their belts.

Leonardo’s pair of katanas…

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Michelangelo’s pair of nunchaku…

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One of the sticks of one of the nunchaku can be removed and placed into an awesome twirl effect to simulate the swing of the chain in the air.

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Donatello’s bo…

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The bo splits into two pieces to make placing it into Donatello’s hands easier.

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and Raphael’s pair of sais.

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The number of poses you can create with these four figures is almost limitless. And, of course, what Turtles set wouldn’t be complete without their favorite thing in the world?

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They also wouldn’t be much good without some enemies to fight…

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The Foot Clan box set includes the Shredder…

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A white Foot Soldier…

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A purple Foot Solider…

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And an orange Foot Solider.

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Shredder comes with the katana he wields in the game’s final battle.

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The Foot Soldiers come with an assortment of seven different weapons that make up part of the arsenal that the hundreds of Foot Soldiers use in the Arcade Game in their attempts to destroy the Turtles!

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Both inserts, along with the massive amount of accessories, give collectors the chance to recreate tons of different fight stances and moves from the game!

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This year’s SDCC exclusives from NECA are among some of my favorite that they’ve ever done. The TMNT boxes are an awesome example of the kind of detailing all the way down to the packaging that makes NECA stand out as a company. As well as being able to deliver a long requested Aliens figure, next year should prove hard to beat. All four of these exclusive items are available on secondary markets.

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You can follow NECA on Twitter here and myself here.

I’m Ash and thanks so much for reading!

NECA’s Aliens Creature Pack

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The NECA Toys Aliens series is their second best-selling line behind Predator. Some of NECA’s largest and most complex pieces are a part of the Aliens line, like the Xenomorph Queen and the P-5000 Power Loader.

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Last September, I had the pleasure of being given a tour of the NECA Toys studios and offices by director of production, Randy Falk. Among the many things that Randy gave me an early preview of, one of them was the Stasis Chamber seen in Aliens. At the time it was shown to me, it hadn’t been completely decided how and when it would be released. But, it was one of the things I was shown that I couldn’t wait to see the fans’ reactions to.

Well, flash forward to a few moths ago when NECA revealed this, the Aliens Creature Pack!

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This set contains two Stasis Chambers with removable Facehuggers and LED light-up feature, two loose Facehuggers and something long requested to be redone by NECA fans, two Chestbursters! All six creatures included with this set have bendable wires inside to allow for many poses.

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The infamous Chestbursters haven’t been produced as an accessory for Aliens or Predator figures since NECA’s first venture into the Predator license in 2008 with the Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem line. Fans have been asking for their return since the beginning of the Aliens line and NECA, as usual, listened.

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2008 AVP:R left, 2016 Creature Pack right

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The Facehuggers are the recent type released with the Alien Egg Carton. There is no difference between the Facehuggers in the Stasis Chambers and the loose ones, the tails are just bent in a way to make them fit into the Chambers.

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2008 AVP:R left, 2016 Creature Pack right

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The Stasis Chambers are exact replicas with easy-open tops.

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The LED lights operate by a switch on the bottom of the chamber, and the batteries can be easily replaced.

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But, by far the coolest feature of this set along with the LED lights is the fact that you can fill the Stasis Chambers with water to completely recreate the famous jump scare scene where Carter Burke gets too close to a Facehugger he assumed was dead…

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Or pose them the way they appear when it’s clear that someone has betrayed Ripley…

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Coming in a window box with a cool background insert of the Med Lab, this set retails for only $19.99 and is available online and in specialty shops now.

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I love things like this! I think they are wonderfully creative ways to enhance your displays without having to dish out big money to build a set piece. NECA has already said that a Creature Pack from Alien 3 is in the works and we were recently shown the Predator Accessory Pack coming this fall!

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For all the latest NECA Toys news, follow them on Twitter @NECA_TOYS and you can follow me @Ode2Ash.

Thanks so much for reading!

NECA’s Ultimate Tech Noir Terminator

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James Cameron’s 1984 film The Terminator is an amazing collection of all of the practical  film-making techniques used over the previous fifty years at the time. From matte painting backgrounds, stop motion animation, miniature models with pyrotechnics, life size animatronics, puppetry, to make up appliances, The Terminator has it all. It’s also a wonderful example of guerrilla film-making; some shots were done without permits or in just a matter of minutes on the fly with objects on hand in order to get the project done. Considering all of this and everything the Terminator franchise would become was the result of James Cameron having a high fever during the production of Piranha II: The Spawning in Italy, the film is also a testament to how a great story will always find a way to come to life.

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NECA Toys released a series of figures from The Terminator back in 2011 which quickly sold out and became highly coveted on secondary markets. Four figures in the likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger were made from the two outfits the T-800 wears in the film: A grey jacket and punk tee shirt version called Tech Noir Terminator from the club where the first major shootout in the film occurs.

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Tech Noir Terminator

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Battle Damaged Tech Noir Terminator

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The name of the club itself is a reference to the film’s major theme. Tech Noir; dark technology.

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The second version features the iconic sunglasses and leather jacket named Police Assault Terminator from the scene where the T-800 storms a police station in search of Sarah Connor and utters the legendary phrase, “I’ll be back.” A second, battle-damaged version of each of these looks was also released.

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NECA is constantly asked by fans for older, harder to find figures to be re-released. As we’ve seen before with the Ultimate line, they’ve listened. Here is the brand new Ultimate Tech Noir Terminator!

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Containing three heads, three weapons, an alternate right arm, an alternate left hand and two pairs of surgical scissors, this figure contains every accessory released with the two previous Tech Noir figures.

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You essentially get two figures in one, and the surgical scissors are a brand new accessory for this release.

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NECA has a long history of not re-releasing figures in the exact same way they were first released. For example, when the Cult Classic figures were re-released due to demand, they were packaged without their bases and in different packaging. Same thing here, Ultimate Tech Noir comes in the newer window box packaging with the new surgical scissors. So, even collectors like me who had both previous Tech Noir releases would get something new.

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Above all else, this, like all other previous Ultimate releases, is a completely new sculpt of the character and the accessories.

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Original weapons left, Ultimate right

The facial sculpts are a little more accurate in the Ultimate version as well as a slightly darker flesh tone.

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Original head left, Ultimate right

Some fans are confused by the second head included with this figure. It is an eyebrow burned away and singed hair version of Arnold’s face.

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Original head left, Ultimate right

In the film, Reese shoots the gas tank of a car behind the Tech Noir club as he is fleeing the T-800 with Sarah causing the car to explode.

The T-800 dives through the fire to reach them, causing the fire damage.

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This can be clearly seen minutes later as the T-800 drives the stolen police car through the parking garage in search of Reese and Sarah.

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The final head is the battle-damaged version after Reese fires a shotgun blast through the windshield of the T-800’s police car at the end of the first major chase sequence.

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Buckshot marks dot the face of both sculpts.

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Original head left, Ultimate right

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The new, cut open right arm is a tad bloodier than the original.

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Original arm left, Ultimate right

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The biggest difference in the sculpts is the added articulation in the knees.

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Original Tech Noir left, Ultimate center, original Battle Damaged right. Ultimate heads used on all three

The older Battle-Damaged Tech Noir also comes with a coat that is more covered in soot and blood than the coat that comes with the Ultimate version. Both coats feature a real chain attached to the left shoulder.

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The leather gloves of the new Ultimate figure have a shinier finish to them making them a tad more realistic than the older versions’ gloves.

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Original glove left, Ultimate right

I love this figure! The Terminator is my favorite entry in the series and this is a perfect capturing of Arnold in his most iconic role. For only $24.99, it is a terrific collectible and is available in stores now.

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As I mentioned before, all four of the figures from NECA’s original Terminator run are highly requested to be released again. And again, NECA listened. An Ultimate Police Assault Terminator is coming later this summer and I’m just as excited for him. Look for that review soon!

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Image owned by NECA Toys

For all the latest NECA news, follow their official Twitter account @NECA_TOYS run by their director of production, Randy Falk.

I’m Ash and you can follow me on Twitter @Ode2Ash

Thanks so much for reading!

The Great Cinema Shelf

As I’ve said a few times while writing this website, I love movies. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Television and Film, I’ve written a spec script that was produced into a feature length film in 2005. They are a huge part of my life. In my first two pieces for this site which you can read here and here, I explain how I always wanted movie accurate versions of movie characters in toy form as a kid and how when I discovered McFarlane Toys’ Movie Maniacs line which started my adult collecting in 2000.

I decided to create a massive collage of film characters in plastic form, all contained on one shelf. A huge, ensemble photo showing decades of movies grouped together. I decided early on that the object was to get as many unique facial sculpts on one shelf as possible, while covering as many films as I possibly could. Many figures I own from sequels did not make it onto the shelf simply due to space limitations and not repeating characters too often.

I’m very happy with how it turned out and I hope you are too.

1931-2014. 83 years of cinema. 81 films. 116 figures.

Enjoy!

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Films Featured:

9 (2009)

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30 Days of Night (2007)

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Alien (1979)

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Aliens (1986)

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American Psycho (2000)

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Army of Darkness (1992)

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Batman (1989)

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Batman: The Movie (1966)

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Beetlejuice (1988)

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The Blair Witch Project (1999)

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Bride of Chucky (1998)

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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Candyman (1992)

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Clash of the Titans (2010)

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Commando (1985)

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Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)

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Critters (1986)

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The Crow (1994)

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Darkman (1990)

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The Dark Knight (2008)

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Darkness Falls (2003)

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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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Day of the Dead (1985)

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Die Hard (1988)

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Donnie Darko (2001)

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Dracula (1931)

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Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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Enter The Dragon (1973)

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Escape from L.A. (1996)

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Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987)

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The Exorcist (1973)

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First Blood (1982)

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The Fly (1986)

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Frankenstein (1931)

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Friday The 13th (1980)

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Friday The 13th Part II (1981)

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Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

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Ghostbusters (1984)

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Gojira (1954)

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Gremlins (1984)

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Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

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Grindhouse (2007)

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Halloween (1978)

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Hellraiser (1987)

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The Invisible Man (1933)

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Jaws (1975)

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Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

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Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

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King Kong (1933)

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The Lost Boys (1987)

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The Mummy (1932)

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

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Pacific Rim (2013)

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Phantasm (1979)

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Planet of the Apes (1968)

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Predator (1987)

 

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Prometheus (2012)

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Pumpkinhead (1988)

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Psycho (1960)

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Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

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Reservoir Dogs (1992)

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The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

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Robocop (1987)

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Rocky IV (1985)

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Saw III (2006)

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Scarface (1983)

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Scream (1996)

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Shaun of the Dead (2004)

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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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Species II (1998)

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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

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Superman (1978)

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The Terminator (1984)

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

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The Thing (1982)

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Trick r Treat (2007)

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Wishmaster (1997)

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The Wolfman (1941) & (2010)

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Toys featured from NECA Toys, McFarlane Toys, Diamond Select Toys, AmokTime Toys, SOTA Toys, JAKKS Pacific, Gentle Giant, X-Plus Toys, Hasbro and Tamashii Nation.

 

NECA’s Ultimate Kratos

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Sometime in late 2004, I was living with my wife, then girlfriend, with my parents in Montgomery County, PA for a few months after college graduation before we briefly moved to Florida. I bought a PlayStation 2 console and a warranty after graduation. Only a few months later, it stopped reading discs completely and I returned it to GameStop to exchange it. The store employees were overly apologetic and very kind in the way they handled it. They even threw in a bag of free game demo discs and a tee shirt. One of those demos was for an unknown game at the time called, “God of War.”

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It was the story of Kratos, a soldier of ancient Sparta who made a deal with the god of war, Ares, as he lay dying on a battlefield. In exchange for saving his life and giving him the power to destroy his enemies, Kratos would pledge his life to Ares. The god of War agreed and with a simple gesture, the battlefield burst into flames, engulfing all who stood against Kratos. And from the sky descended Ares himself, with a gift for Kratos, a permanent reminder of the deal he had made. The Blades of Chaos, a pair of mighty blades seared to Kratos’s arms by two chains. He became a tool of Ares, a puppet. Eventually, he was so blinded by rage when entering a village devoted to Athena, that he unknowingly killed his wife and daughter. As a curse and punishment for his crimes, the village oracle cursed Kratos by having the ashes of his wife and child permanently fastened to his skin. Permanently white, he became the Ghost of Sparta.

 

The demo was of the first level of the final game release. And it made my jaw drop. It was one of the few times in my life where I played a game demo and the moment it was over, I instantly wanted to buy the game. Well, flash forward twelve years and “God of War” has become an amazing franchise of six games and a seventh in development.

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A franchise that caught the eye of NECA Toys who produced a great line of Kratos figures from the second entry in the franchise, “God of War II,” about nine years ago for their “Player Select” line devoted to video games.

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Now, Kratos has been chosen to join NECA’s Ultimate line and he is a very welcome entry!

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The first NECA figure from “God of War III,” Ultimate Kratos comes in the now-standard Ultimate window box, however it is wider than the usual Ultimate box. This one is based off of a PlayStation game box on the front, back and inside. It even features the ancient Greek style font that is used in the game.

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The inside flap features a very cool interpretation of Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawing the Vitruvian Man done with Kratos.

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Here you can see the box of this new figure next to the box of the actual “God of War III” game and see how accurate it is. That’s one of the things I love about NECA, when they commit to making something as dead-on as possible, that effort extends all the way to the packaging.

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The back of the figure’s box recreates the images of Kratos from the back of the game’s box.

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The figure is bordered by a stone type of ancient design and a scroll with Kratos’s name and his alias.

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The background insert is a great painting of Mount Olympus in the distance with Hades burning at the bottom, showing the span of places Kratos visits in the game.

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This image was originally on the back of insert of the “God of War III” cover that came in the game box.

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Kratos comes with an alternate head, a piece of the Golden Fleece (packaged separately from the figure for safety), his signature weapons from the game, the Blades of Athena and the Nemean Cestus, a back holder for the Blades and two flesh pegs to replace the holes when the Blade holder is removed.

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The two head sculpts are amazing, excellent likenesses of Kratos in his classic stern and angry expressions.

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The detailing in the skin and muscles is immense and of a darker tone than previous Kratos figures as you can see in the red of the tattoo.

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The Blades of Athena are made of a more translucent plastic than the previously released versions.

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I only own one previous release of Kratos, the Ares Armor version, and his Blades required the bottom to be removed in order to place the Blade in his hand.

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These new Blades do not do that.

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NECA has done Kratos’s signature weapon great justice!

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The Nemean Cestus are what grab your eye pretty quickly when looking at this figure. Huge, iron mitts adorned with the face of a lion.

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Excellent texture details show a realistic metal base with scratches and scuffs.

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These Cestus are surprisingly heavy when you hold them. They actually can make standing Kratos difficult with them on due to their weight. I used a NECA stand for him when these were on.

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Kratos’s arms slide completely into the mitts up to his elbows. They stay in place by being snug; no clips or pegs are used.

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The Blade holder on Kratos’s back is a unique piece to this figure.

In the games, Kratos secures his Blades on his back when running or not wielding them through the magic of video game logic. Meaning, they just kind of float there. This Blade holder allows the owner to pose Kratos in screen accurate ways that were not possible with earlier versions.

I think this is a very clever and creative touch to Kratos that I wasn’t aware of when I received the figure but pleasantly surprised to find. When removed, two flesh colored plugs are used to seal the holes and maintain game accuracy.

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The Golden Fleece slides into Kratos’s right forearm to go along with the piece connected to the shoulder already. This is what allows Kratos to deflect attacks in the games after “God of War II.” It comes with a typical, bloody “God of War” splash across the Fleece.

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It even includes, molded to the shin armor, the Boots of Hermes, a device of speed used in the game.

The creases in the leather and muted, gold paint of his piece of robe.

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The chest crunch is a different type of chest articulation seen in most NECA figures and allows Kratos to hunch over in his ready position seen in the games and right on the cover of the first “God of War.”

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I love this figure and cannot recommend it enough. I’ve seen people on Facebook say that they have never played the games but bought the figure just because of how impressive it is. I believe it. If you’ve never played any game from the “God of War” series, I highly recommend it. They are hack-and-slash games of massive scale, epic music, fearsome monsters and brutal combat. NECA did the series a real justice with this one!

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Ultimate Kratos is available on store shelves and online almost everywhere now. You can order one here from BigBadToyStore. You can follow NECA Toys on Twitter @NECA_TOYS or on their official site.

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Thanks so much for reading, I’m Ash and you can follow me on Twitter @Ode2Ash.

Diamond Select’s Ghostbusters Series 1

 

Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night?

Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic?

Have you or any of your family ever seen a spook, specter or ghost?

If the answers is ‘yes’, then don’t wait another minute! Pick up your phone and call the professionals!

Ghostbusters!

Our courteous and efficient staff is on call twenty four hours a day to serve all your supernatural elimination needs!

We’re ready to believe you!

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I LOVED Ghostbusters as a kid. I still do, but Ghostbusters was, for me, one of those two or three things a kid discovers that he or she absolutely loses their mind over. I had dozens of the toys that were released by Kenner in the late eighties and early nineties. One of my earliest memories was of watching a VHS copy of the movie in my parents’ bedroom. My father came into the room holding one of the Proton Pack accessories from one of my Ghostbusters figures and asked how I could watch the movie without something to protect me from ghosts. So, for me, Ghostbusters will always bring out warm memories.

As I grew into an adult collector, I always hoped that movie-accurate versions would come out. Around seven years ago, they did. Produced by Mattel, these figures were gone from shelves very quickly. In fact, I can only recall seeing one item from this line in stores and it was a deluxe box, the type that sits around for awhile simply because of its high price. Now, some of them go for pretty high prices on secondary markets. Mattel even made life- size prop replicas of some of the Ghostbusters equipment that can fetch prices of over a thousand dollars.

So, when Diamond Select Toys announced new Ghostbusters figures, I was very excited to finally be able to have screen-accurate versions of the characters. Then they announced something even cooler, that deluxe versions of these figures would each come with a diorama piece that when assembled would create the rooftop scene at the film’s finale! The little kid inside me became ridiculous happy to learn this. Well, the first series has finally arrived. It should be noted that standard versions of these figures minus the rooftop diorama pieces were released a little over a month or so before these deluxe versions came out at about ten dollars cheaper. I think that is a very cool thing for Diamond to offer knowing that there are many collectors who may not care at all about collecting the rooftop scene. Instead of the diorama pieces, these basic versions come with a standard, black figure stand. Series 1 consists of Winston Zeddemore, Ray Stanz and Louis Tully. These figures come in the standard, large packaging that Diamond uses for its Select figures.

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The side and corner of the front window of each package features photographs of the actors from the film.

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The two Ghostbusters come with a wide assortment of interchangeable hands both gloved and ungloved, a walkie talkie, Proton Pack, Neutrino Wand and Proton Stream.

 

 

Louis comes with no accessories, just rooftop pieces.

Ray and Winston each come with a unique piece of Ghostbuster gear that can be used between each of them. Ray comes with his Ecto Googles which he used in the film.

 

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Winston comes with the famous Ghost Trap, which when stepped on will trap a ghost held in a Proton Stream.

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Ray and Winston each have a clip on their belts for the Ghost Trap to be attached to.

 

One nice thing for variation is that the Trap clip is not on the same place on each of these two Ghostbuster’s belts. The elbow pads are also a separate, non removable piece of soft rubber for accuracy, like the gloves.

 

The gloved hands actually consist of two separate pieces: a hard plastic hand and a soft plastic sleeve. This adds a nice little touch of realism that may have been missed by molding the entire glove in hard plastic.

 

The walkie talkie can slide into a holster near the right hip on each Ghostbuster.

 

A specific hand was included to hold the walkie talkie.

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The Proton Packs themselves actually sit in a frame that connects to the straps that go over the Ghostbusters’ shoulders. The Packs are non-removable. Like in the movie, the Proton Pack with these figures is separate from this frame, another touch of detail that I could see other companies just not doing out of convenience.

The Proton Pack is decorated with stickers to recreate the warning sings on it.

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Now, we come to the Neutrino Wand and the reason there was a delay in this review. I’ve had these figures for about a month now, but I had to wait to do the review for one very specific reason. This first series of Ghostbusters Select and the second that’s coming this spring do not have holes in the end of the Neutrino Wands for the Proton Stream to plug into.

 

It’s clear the Streams are meant to be plugged in by the small tab at the end. I took to Twitter when I discovered this, assuming I was doing something wrong. I discovered that it was, in fact, a manufacturing error and that Diamond Select Toys was aware of the issue. I also found out that by contacting the company’s customer service department, that clips that would allow the Streams to be attached to the Wand could be sent to me in the mail. I also found out that these clips will be included in Series 2 packaging. So, I contacted Diamond via email and less than a week later, two clips had arrived to me in the mail. It was very nice to have such a fast and polite customer service experience.

The clips attach to the end of the Wand and a tiny hole allows the Stream to plug in.

So, once I had the clips, I was finally able to pose the Ghostbusters firing their iconic weapons!

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The Wand is able to connect to the Proton Pack as seen in the film. A small, triangular wedge on the Pack kind of slides into two tabs on the Wand.

 

Aside from the facial sculpts, hand color, name tag, Trap clip on the belts and bonus accessory, the figures are the exact same. This doesn’t mean they are the same sculpt, they are different. Just that other than these noted differences, they have the same appearance. They feature a hose that runs from the left thigh to a small box on the back of the belt.

The Ghostbusters logo and name patches pop nicely.

These figures both feature great likenesses of actors Dan Akroyd as Ray and Ernie Hudson as Winston.

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Now, we come to the last figure, Louis Tully. Unlike the other two figures of this series, Louis has no accessories, and his glasses are not removable.

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Louis features the likeness of actor Rick Moranis as possessed by Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer when he flashes red eyes at a horse and buggy driver. I think this likeness is the weakest of the three in this series, but is by no means bad.

Regarding the rooftop diorama, both Ray and Louis come with the same far end rooftop piece, only reversed for each end of the roof.

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Winston comes with the altar-like piece on top of which Dana and Louis make good on their names of ‘Gatekeeper’ and ‘Keymaster’ and bring forth Gozer.

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Shortly before the International Toy Fair in New York City earlier this month, Diamond released this photo of what the diorama would look like fully assembled.

 

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Photo owned by Diamond Select Toys

As you can see, it’s massive. You need to keep in mind that these figures are each seven inches tall. It’ll contain multiple pillars, the entire door frame into Gozer’s dimension and even the Terror Dog statues when complete!

 

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This shot came from my friend Jon over at CobraShadowJoes. You can check out an entire gallery of the Ghostbusters section of the Diamond Select Toys 2016 Toy Fair booth thanks to The Toyark right here. Both of these sites are excellent sources for toy news not only around Toy Fair, but all year long. If you enjoy any of the products you’ve seen here, definitely check them out.

I’m happy with these figures, but they are not without their issues. Ray and Winston fall over at the drop of a feather and can be very difficult to pose in any position beyond just normal standing. The paint applications are sloppy in some places, the Neutrino Wand has trouble saying connected to the Proton Pack and the alternate hands can pop out fairly easily. But, all in all, I’m happy to have them. I finally have the screen-accurate Ghostbusters I’ve always wanted and am really looking forward to the ghosts later in the series and how the diorama will look.

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I’ll be bringing you a review of Series 2 containing Peter Venkman, Egon Spangler and Dana Barrett this late spring.

 

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Photo owned by Diamond Select Toys

You can buy Series 1 here or preorder Series 2 here from BigBadToyStore.

 

It’s perfect that these figures are coming out when they are. This summer will see the release of a reboot of the franchise under the same name. Directed by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, this new Ghostbusters will feature a female cast of Ghostbusters. Actresses Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon will play the four main characters. Anyone who is even slightly in tune with pop culture knows that this film has stirred up a great deal of controversy. It received more than the usual groans when remakes are announced because Ghostbusters is so beloved. But, many people complained an all female cast is too different and was the result of an recent increase in feminist ideas in the news and culture. You can read more about the controversy surrounding the film and read actress Kristen Wiig’s response to it here at the iDigitalTimes.

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From left to right: Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon. Photo owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

My only wish for this film was that it was officially a third entry in the series as opposed to a reboot. I have no problem with the casting at all and I plan on seeing it in theaters. I understand not liking remakes and I agree with what seems to be the general consensus that nine out of ten of them are terrible. I used to host a podcast called “Shitty Movie Night” about bad movies, so I’ve seen a bunch. I look at it this way after so many years of remakes. Remakes are like cars. You can own an old version of car, like a Camaro, and also own the brand new, updated version. You could enjoy driving both of those very different cars for very different reasons. The existence of one doesn’t negate the existence of the other. But, if you prefer one for whatever reasons, stick with it. If you have a problem with the female casting, I would just say reserve judgment until you see it. There have been plenty of awesome female protagonists from Sarah Connor to Furiosa. And if it still bothers you for whatever reason, I’d say you have some questions to ask yourself because the issue is with you.

Ghostbusters 2016 Cast

Photo from Entertainment Weekly and owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

At the time of this writing, the first trailer for the new Ghostbusters is set to premier online in just a few days. The above images are the only type of glimpses we’ve been given so far. I just gave my thoughts on the film before seeing it. In a few months when I review Series 2, I’ll give my thoughts on the trailer and then I should be able to review Series 3 after finally seeing the film. See how my thoughts and feelings pan out.

 

 

You can check out Diamond Select Toys on Twitter @CollectDST and on their official site.

Thanks so much for reading, I’m Ash and you can follow me on Twitter @Ode2Ash

NECA’s Deluxe Bat Gremlin

“My friend, you have potential. I want to help you be all that you can be. May I? As I’m sure you’re aware, sunlight poses a problem for our…um…ethnic group. We don’t tan, we don’t burn. Frankly, we just become a rather unappetizing photochemical leftover. Thus, this formula, especially designed for those of the nocturnal persuasion, to make bright light no problem whatever! That’ll be of crucial usefulness where you’ll be going”

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These words were spoken by the Brain Gremlin just before plunging a syringe full of genetic sunblock into the neck of the Bat Gremlin. Both of these terrifying creatures newly born in the genetics laboratory of the Clamp Building in New York City. The Gremlins have returned and have been eating, drinking and injecting all sorts of genetic materials, resulting in mutations of shocking variety. They are The New Batch.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch was released in 1990, six years after its original, Gremlins, both directed by Joe Dante. The first film drew criticisms from both parents and film critics for dark imagery and inappropriate situations. The main Gremlin, Stripe, attempts to kill the film’s protagonist Billy, played by Zach Galligan, with a gun, a chainsaw, saw blades and a crossbow, which he actually does fire into Billy’s arm. The character of Kate, played by Phoebe Cates, recalls the death of her father one Christmas in a disturbing manner where he slipped and broke his neck climbing down the chimney dressed as Santa Claus.

So, from very early on, it became clear that the Gremlins sequel would have a much more humorous tone. Around the time of the release of Gremlins 2, I clearly remember hearing critics on television saying that it was funny not scary and my mother being happy about that. And they were right, the film is ridiculously silly and funny while still never losing the dark edge from the first. The darkness was just toned back. In fact, in this film, Billy is once again shot at by a Gremlin, Mohawk, and Brain Gremlin shoots a dopey, babbling Gremlin with a beanie hat. But, I never recall a single mention of this, even though it is exactly what brought about criticism of the first film. The whole tone was just different. The puppets, both Gremlins and Mogwais, were amazing, leaps ahead of the puppets in the original film. The jokes were funnier, sillier and there were even cameos by Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. But, what people remember the most are the mutated Gremlins.

NECA Toys’ Gremlins line has not had an easy life. Previewed figures have never come to fruition for one reason or another, legal complications and negotiations with Warner Brothers Studios had issues, their largest Gremlins piece, The Spider Gremlin, took a longer than usual time to get released. It should be noted that these issues can and do happen to other lines, Gremlins just seemed to have it a tad rougher. But, all along the way, there have been rabid, Gremlins fans dedicated to the line. The Brain Gremlin figure from thirteen years ago can go for $125-$150 on secondary markets. Up until a recent discovery of lost cases of Mogwais Series 2, Combat Gizmo could fetch almost as much. Brown Gremlin and Phantom Gremlin go for upwards of $60.

So, when NECA announced this…

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Fans from all over the popular culture world freaked out with nostalgia, not just the usual toy circles. The Bat Gremlin was the second biggest Gremlin in the film next to the Spider Gremlin and was unique among all of the Gremlins for one very specific reason. He is immune to sunlight, making him invincible to one of the three ‘rules’ for Mogwais and Gremlins that claims sunlight is fatal. This thanks to the scene described at the beginning of this review where Brain injects Bat with genetic sunblock knowing that the chaos that could be unleashed by one of their kind not only being immune to sunlight, but capable of flight. This, along with leaving the Batman logo when flying through a wall, made him very memorable to fans.

 

The packaging is basic, but very cool. Featuring a large window display, this box also features church rooftop tile and steeple artwork as a reference to the Bat’s fate after attacking Murray Futterman, played by Dick Miller on the streets of Manhattan.

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The figure is all in once piece packaged between two large, plastic trays.

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Behind the figure on the rear tray sits the three pieces that make up the Bat’s flight stand.

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The backdrop inside the package is an image from the film of where the cement covered Bat meets its end.

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The figure is glorious!

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The sculpt is excellent, the paint application on the skin is amazing and the flight stand makes it pop on any shelf!

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His wings bend with much more ease than I expected. You can easily recreate the revealing shot of the Bat opening his wings.

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The pointy ears swivel back and forth and the mouth can open and close.

The wingspan is huge as well, it reaches just shy of eighteen inches.

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The long fingers visible on each side of the wing give the figure a great, creepy touch.

It looks amazing next to the Spider Gremlin by itself by being of equal impressive scale.

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But, it just completes the group shot so well that it is a must purchase for any NECA Gremlins fan. I can’t recommend it more! If NECA continues to produce Gremlins like this, I cannot see this line having any more trouble in the future. This fan is personally hoping we see a Greta, a previously shown but never released figure, and Veggie one day.

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The Bat Gremlin is available now on NECA’s eBay and Amazon stores now and is shipping to retailers as well. It’s price is around $45 dollars. You can expect to see it pop up in online stores and in specialty and comic shops very soon.

Buy Bat Gremlin on NECA’s eBay Store

Buy Bat Gremlin on NECA’s Amazon Store

For constant news updates by NECA’s director of production, Randy Falk, follow @NECA_TOYS on Twitter or at their official site.

Thanks so much for reading, I’m Ash and you can follow me on Twitter @Ode2Ash