REVIEW: SOTA's Now Playing Mega Scale PUMPKINHEAD
Towering vengeance demon a wonder to behold...
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Back in 1988, FX wizard Stan Winston tried his hand at directing. The result was Pumpkinhead -- a worthy watch -- best known for its incredible creature design. Winston may never be a Spielberg, but there is no denying he's one of the best at dishing out beautiful beasties.
The demon Pumpkinhead took awhile to be conjured up in collectible form. McFarlane Toys tried their hand in 1999, releasing a 9" tall figure lacking in screen accuracy and size; and hands down, the most amazing representation was released from Sideshow in 2006; a massive movie maquette. Alas, it was extremely limited at only 150 pieces and priced at a soul-devouring $850.
The best bang for your buck, in both size and sculpt, is SOTA Toys' towering Now Playing Mega Scale Pumpkinhead. Also unleashed in 2006, this monster initially met with critical reviews and while I see some of the criticism as warranted, the majority of fan complaints are simply too harsh. Mega Scale Pumpkinhead is a fantastic figure, flawed by only a few shortcomings...
PACKAGING: Pumpkinhead's box can be seen as one of those shortcomings, rather simple in design and construction. The window is a honorable inclusion, allowing you to glimpse the figure inside. However, for a toy this large, the flimsy flap really isn't needed. One of the sides sports some Pumpkinhead history and the back displays a few other Now Playing offerings and the nice inclusion of those behind the toy's creation. This pack is BIG and delivers the equally large figure just fine, it's just not a prime candidate for those that prefer their collectibles mint in pack.
Considering the nature of this gigantic beast, I'm not at all surprised by SOTA's packing approach. They could have put him in a plain cardboard box, much like NECA's hulking Balrog, and I would have been pleased. This is an opener folks, plain and simple.
SCULPT: According to the box, Pumpkinhead was sculpted by Jean St. Jean Studios, and it certainly shows. The talent behind many cool action figures, from Battlestar to Warcraft, has nailed Winston's creature design to a tee. No sinewy, boney body part was overlooked.
A strong highlight is Pumpkinhead's amazing head sculpt. Where McFarlane's was closed mouth and a tad elongated, this Pumpkinhead's head sculpt is dead-on stunning -- wide-mouthed and sinister. The sculptors even went the extra mile to make good 'ol Pumpkinhead anatomically correct.
PAINT: Here's an area where many fans complained, and while Pumpkinhead's paint isn't award winning stuff, it really isn't all that bad either. The creature is colored in shades of gray and tan with a bluish-gray used to highlight his nasty veins. The layered paint applications on his head and body are rather nice, with some particularly creepy work done on his white soulless eyes.
About the weakest element is Pumpkinhead's veins, which pop out at you just a little too strongly. Looks great from a distance, but get up close and they really show. As mentioned above, a minor shortcoming to an overall great paint job.
ARTICULATION: Pumpkinhead won't be doing Kung Fu anytime soon, but the articulation joints he has will suffice for multiple menacing poses. Most points are of the cut-swivel variety, including his waist, wrists, head and where his tail plugs in his butt. His waist joint is just fine, allowing the figure to rotate around for many striking stances. His wrists, however, are pretty ugly if moved. Best to leave his hands alone as the seams are thrown way out of alignment if repositioned.
His head can pivot side to side, and that's about it. Really wish SOTA used a ball joint here as they did with his shoulders. For those wondering, it looks like his tail should bend, but mine was rather rigid. Luckily it is in a cool pose and looks great as is.
ACCESSORIES: What you get here is a big honkin' Pumpkinhead and two black pegged display stands to make sure he doesn't shelf dive. He stands just fine on his own and really doesn't need the bases, but one can never be too cautious. A word of warning, once you plug in those black bases, they are not coming off without some extreme force.
COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION: Here's the deal: When Pumpkinhead was first released, he retailed for around $70. That's a little rich for my blood. SOTA has since lowered his cost on their website to $39.99; a price tag that fairly reflects this fine collectible. However, the best deal I've come across is at BigBadToyStore.com where Pumpkinhead is priced at only $24.99. At that price, the Mega Scale Pumpkinhead is a bonafide steal.
As they say, don't believe the hype. The Now Playing Mega Scale Pumpkinhead is a fantastic figure of the iconic Stan Winston creature creation. Not only is he HUGE, but he features a really killer sculpt. This is a solid collectible and a must-have for true monster fans. And at a wallet-pleasing $24.99, you'd be a fool to pass him up.
CLICK HERE for over 40 photos of the powerful Pumpkinhead!
Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor
Review Sample Courtesy of SOTA TOYS
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