NECA’s Ultimate Police Station Assault Terminator

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Earlier this summer, I reviewed the first of two revisits NECA Toys would be making to the 1984 James Cameron classic The Terminator, which you can read here.

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Well, it’s companion piece is here and it’s just as great, the Ultimate Police Station Assault Terminator!

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The packaging is the now standard window flap box for Ultimate figures and this one is great!

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It comes with a background insert of the highway where the T-800 pursues Reese and Sarah in a gasoline, tanker truck.

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As before with Ultimate Tech Noir, Ultimate Police Station Assault gives the buyer all of the heads and accessories released with the previous two Police Station Assault Terminators NECA released in 2011.

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Three heads, three weapons, and an a pair of alternate, damaged hands. Everything is newly sculpted with new articulation added in the knees.

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2011 release left, Ultimate release right

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2011 release left, Ultimate release right

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2011 release left, Ultimate release right

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2011 release left, Ultimate release right

It also gives one new accessory with a police, revolver sidearms only seen briefly in the film.

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2011 release left, Ultimate release right

This figure is designed to recreate the iconic “I’ll be back” scene in the police station all the way to the moment in the tanker truck when the T-800 is engulfed in flames moments before revealing it’s true form.

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The jacket features detailed bullet holes in the front and back and great blood detail. It also seems to shine more than the previous two figures.

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Here you can see the Ultimate figure compared to the two previous Police Station Assault Terminators.

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2011 Police Assault left, Ultimate center, 2011 Battle Damaged Police Assault

As before with Ultimate Tech Noir and the sooty and bloody coat, some aspects of the previously released Battle Damaged version of Police Station Assault Terminator couldn’t be brought over. This is the bullet damage on the chest and a tire scuff mark on the left leg.

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NECA wanted these two Ultimate figures to be able to switch heads and hands quickly to let the collector have essentially two figures in one. The sooty and bloody coat of Tech Noir and the extra damage to Police Station Assault are too defining of the second damaged versions and wouldn’t fit in the Ultimate scheme.

The added articulation in the knees helps for recreating the limp the Terminator has as a result of being run over by the tanker truck.

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This figure is very easy to pose and it’s joints are all tight.

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This Terminator and the earlier Ultimate Tech Noir together allow fans to have two, all encompassing figures of the 1984 classic for around fifty dollars. Both are an amazing value for what you get and are being very well received by the fans!

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It is available now in stores and online for around $25.00.

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

Thanks very much for reading!

NECA’s MEGO style Chop-Top

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The 1980’s were a golden age of horror movies. From the endless sequels, to the countless low budget sex and gore filled direct to video flicks, many of the horror characters and images have lasted in the memories of moviegoers for over thirty years.

This guy’s ugly face is certainly one of them!

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From NECA Toys comes Chop-Top, the psychotic Vietnam veteran with a self mutilation problem from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2!

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Chop-Top comes in the standard MEGO style packaging that can be opened and resealed for collectors.

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He includes fabric clothing and a wide variety of accessories such as…

A wig…

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A pair of glasses…

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A coat hanger…

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A lighter…

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A hammer…

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and a extendable, straight razor!

Chop-Top is the older brother of Bubba, a.k.a Leatherface, and the “brains” so to speak of the evil, cannibalistic family, played by Bill Moseley. He’s the one who leads the kidnapping attempt on the film’s main character Stretch at the radio station where she works. This is where the audience is first introduced to Chop-Top, who immediately puts viewers on edge with his bizarre behavior and appearance.

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NECA nailed this bizarre appearance perfectly! When Chop-Top first appears in the film, he is wearing what his calls his “Sonny Bono” wig and a pair of purple, hippie glasses while burning the end of a coat hanger and scratching his head with it.

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After a close call from Leatherface, it’s revealed that Chop-Top actually has an exposed, metal plate in his skull!

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He has been scratching around this wound with the coat hanger after sterilizing it with the lighter and then actually eating whatever small pieces of flesh he picks away.

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Chop-Top then uses a hammer to dispatch Stretch’s engineer, LG, in a most brutal way!

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He also uses a straight razor later in the film against Stretch herself.

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This figure is great! Every weird and gross aspect of this character that audiences remember so vividly is captured in plastic form, like his teeth necklaces.

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The leather like material of the vest, buttons and the patches on the jeans are excellent stand outs on this figure as well.

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NECA also recently released a retro style figure of Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 as well and they go together so well!

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Featuring amazing art by Jason Edmiston, who you can follow here, both of these retro style figures are available now online and in stores for around $30.00 a piece.

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

Thanks very much for reading!

NECA’s Ultimate Ash

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Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn is without a doubt a cult classic. It relaunched the series with a new sense of humor combined with the horror that was introduced in the original The Evil Dead and would eventually lead to the modern interpretation of the character of Ash in 1992’s Army of Darkness and 2015’s television series Ash Vs. Evil Dead on the Starz Network.

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So, when NECA revealed in 2011 that they would be making a series of figures based off of Evil Dead II, horror fans went crazy for them! There were four figures; Farewell To Arms Ash, Deadite Ash, Henrietta and Hero Ash. They were so popular it lead to a San Diego Comic Con exclusive version of Ash, Hero from the Sky Ash, to go on sale in 2011. The figures have garnered high prices on secondary markets ever since.

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So, when the Ultimate line rolled out a few years ago, fans wondered and hoped that Ash would make the roster. Well, he has and he’s finally here; Ultimate Ash!

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Ultimate Ash comes in the now standard window flap box that works so well with these figures.

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And this box in particular includes a reminder of one of the funnier moments in the film.

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The background insert is the inside of the infamous cabin.

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Ultimate Ash features a newly articulated body and is meant to be a two in one figure of Farewell To Arms Ash and Deadite Ash.

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It includes an alternate head, all the accessories that came with these two figures originally and, like other Ultimate figures, also includes a new accessory to appeal to older collectors; Ash’s original human, right hand. Now fans can have a fully human Ash for the first time!

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The other redone accessories include the infamous Necronomicon Ex Mortus, roughly translated “The Book of the Dead”…

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Professor Raymond Knowby’s tape recorder…

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Deadite Ash alternate head…

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The ax…

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The shotgun…

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Ash’s alternate right arm with possessed hand…

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The severed, possessed hand…

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Ash’s alternate right arm with bandaged stump…

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And Ash’s girlfriend Linda’s severed, possessed head!

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When you look at the accessories next to each other, you can see the improvements in the new ones. In particular, the removal of Linda’s pupils to make her eyes pure white.

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2011’s Farewell to Arms Ash and Deadite Ash accessories

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Ultimate Ash’s accessories

The head sculpts are superior, in particularly in paint application, and can be switched with ease. Allowing you to duplicate the awesome scenes of Ash fighting off his inner Deadite…

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Battling Linda’s head…

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Or in his post severed hand, ready for action moments!

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And with so many accessories, the buyer has tons of different poses and moments from the film they can choose to recreate!

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Fans are reacting very positively to this Ash figure and I completely agree. His facial sculpts, paint apps and improved articulation make him stand out immediately. The wet look to the blood paint on Ash’s forehead deserve particular note.

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Farewell to Arm’s Ash, Ultimate Ash and Deadite Ash

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Ultimate Ash left, Deadite Ash right

Fans have also been asking if Hero Ash is going to get the Ultimate treatment as he comes with the chainsaw hand and sawed off shotgun look made so famous in the film. So far, NECA has dropped hints that there may be a re-release of it soon!

This Ultimate Ash is the perfect collectible for Evil Dead fans! It has many of the iconic images from the film in accessory form, a great likeness of Bruce Campbell, and an awesome collectible box featuring the main skull image from the film’s poster.

It is available now in stores and online for around $25.00.

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

Thanks very much for reading!

NECA’s Shout! Factory Exclusive MEGO style Good Guy Chucky

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Along with Freddy Kreuger, Chucky from the Child’s Play series stands out to me personally as the one horror icons who scared kids the most in the 80’s who were in my age range. A story about something meant to bring happiness and comfort to a child being twisted into a legitimately scary and sad tale really touched a nerve with my generation.

NECA Toys has a history with the Child’s Play franchise and fans have been eagerly asking for them to return to it. They did this month with a very unique Chucky collectible that has been having horror fans raving!

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The limited edition Shout! Factory MEGO style Good Guy Chucky exclusive to their Blu Ray combo set! Made by NECA to be sold only with this set on Shout! Factory’s website, it also includes a brand new edition of the original Child’s Play film with new extras, an alternate Good Guy Blu Ray slipcase and two posters.

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Meant to recreate the Good Guy doll in it’s original, non-possessed form, it comes in a sturdy, cardboard box intended to be reopened multiple times and printed to match the box seen in the film.

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As an extra touch of 80’s nostalgia, the figure tray is settled in with a background insert image of a cardboard tray to match the type 80’s were packed with.

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The Chucky doll itself matches what the viewer sees of it for 75% of the film, the non-evil toy that Andy carries around.

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Chucky translates into a MEGO style figure very well due to the fact that the figure you get is the same thing you see in the film.

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Cloth outfit, real hair and a plastic body. NECA translated all the little objects on the overalls beautifully as well as two, big, red, plastic buttons.

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The color on the shirt is very bright and pops nicely on a shelf.

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They even reproduced the objects on the bottom of Chucky’s shoes.

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This figure is only five and a half inches tall, shorter than the MEGO figure average of eight inches. So, this Chucky will be shorter next to your other figures.

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But when in his Good Guy package, Chucky is elevated and the top of the box is around eye level with your other figures.

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Good Guy Chucky only comes with one accessory, the Good Guys hammer he uses in his first murder in the film.

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This set can only be purchased directly from Shout! Factory via this link. It is limited, so act quickly if this set interests you. I personally think this set is absolutely worth the $60.00 price tag given that the average NECA MEGO figure is $30 alone and that is only one piece of what you get.

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

Thanks very much for reading!

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.

James Cameron Terminator Concept 1James Cameron Terminator Concept 2

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.