REVIEW: NECA's Mego-Style Evil Dead II Ash + Friday the 13th: A New Beginning "Jason"
These Figures Aren't Your Dad's Dolls...
Long known for their hyper-detailed 7-inch action figures, NECA has slowly embraced other figure formats over the years. These include their detailed answer to bobbleheads, Head Knockers, as well as upscaled 12" characters from their 7-inch line. 2013 and this year sees NECA truly expand their figure offerings. Fans began receiving cute little licensed Scalers, quarter scale figures became the new super-sized norm, and NECA's calling card of 7-inch figures branched off into nostalgic new territory with Classic Video Game Appearances. Another new figure format, and the subject of this review, is the introduction of NECA's 8-inch Mego-style series.
Testing the waters with horror heavy hitters Jason and Freddy, NECA's Mego-style figures are just that: action figures that invoke a nostalgic '70s Mego doll vibe by featuring a similar size, and more importantly, the use of real cloth outfits. I'll be the first to tell you, that as a child raised in the '70s, I despised Mego. Sure licenses like Marvel, DC and Planet of the Apes were great, but the figure's baggy clothes and silly sculpts screamed "doll" to this Star Wars-Shogun Warriors-Micronauts-Battlestar Galactica-lovin' kid. That said, NECA's Mego-style figures don't repulse me in the slightest. In fact, they are pretty dang cool. A lot of that has to do with the realistic sculpts NECA puts on these figures. These are the fantastic portraits fans love on NECA's 7-inch figures, only slightly larger. For example, their Evil Dead II Ash is a deadringer for Bruce Campbell's Deadite-slaying character - battered and bloody with piercing eyes that say "come get some". Not to be outdone, Roy Burns- the Jason imposter - stars this super eerie sculpt where it really appears that he's wearing a facial prosthetic. CREEPY.
Equally awesome are the superbly sculpted accessories. Again, Ash's accessories standout, the chainsaw in particular looking really nice with paint apps that make it appear weathered and used. Ash even includes a sheath for his removable "boomstick". "Jason", however, takes the cake with the sheer number of extras he comes with. You get a bloody hunter's knife, meat cleaver and garden shears, in addition to an interchangable hand to grip some of the weapons better. Best of all is his removable hockey mask. I was most impressed by this feature as it fits perfectly. The plastic mask slides over his head extremely well... and stays there.
Speaking of a perfect fit, another major attraction to NECA's Mego-style series is the use of real cloth clothes... that fit. Gone are the disheveled looking Mego wardrobes of yesteryear. NECA's Mego-style figures have clothes that are well tailored and don't appear the least bit goofy. Buttons on Ash's torn-up shirt are the proper miniature size and the use of Velcro keeps "Jason's" coveralls firmly in place. Upping the realism is NECA's use of weathering on the clothing. Ash's outfit is shredded and dirty and "Jason's" attire equally grungy with an applied layer of painted on "mud". Lastly, boots on both figures are realistically sculpted for a less doll-like appearance. These figures aren't meant for dress-up, but for high profile shelf display.
NECA's 7-inch figures, while all wonderfully sculpted, are hit and miss when it comes to articulation. NECA's Mego-style figures, however, feature extreme movement. The buck body stars ball-joints at the head, shoulders and thighs, ball-hinged hands and feet, hinged elbows and knees and a cut waist for extra good measure. These new Mego-style figures aren't quite as complex as some NECA figures, such as their amazing Crysis 2 Nanosuit 2.0, but they more than get the job done. You can also rest easy knowing that they are consistant - each figure you get in this series will be the same when it comes to articulation.
I've made it clear in my many toy reviews that I'm an opener. Packaging, while often attractive, is to me just a container to get my figure safely from the store and into my collection. I rip it open and out pops the toy. NECA has taken it upon themselves to make the packaging for their Mego-style series an art form. By that I mean the packaging for these figures is so nice, you don't want to open it up and risk damaging the insanely cool card art by NECA's lead painter, Jon Wardell. I guess you could tear the toy open and just keep the card, but this is a rare case of the artwork and figure going perfectly together, hand in hand.
Thankfully NECA eliminated that dilemma by creating an attractive, collector-friendly clam shell pack for their Mego-style figures. There is some work involved, mainly carefully cutting around the perforated border on three sides of the card. But once done, the clam shell opens and closes allowing you to remove the figure for shelf display or to stow in its plastic tray for a complete on-card look on your wall.
Necronomicon Not Included.
These aren't your dad's dolls. NECA's Mego-style action figures are more like deluxe versions of their fantastic 7-inch scale figure line. Realistic sculpting gets improved on with the addition of a larger size, numerous accessories, real cloth outfits, great articulation and knockout packaging. All that at the slightly higher price tag of $24.99 - about $5 over what a NECA 7-inch figure retails for. Not bad, not bad at all. While NECA's 7-inch figure line will always have a place in my collection, they've opened my eyes to what Mego should be.
Evil Dead 2 Mego-style Ash is in stores now. The Roy Burns "Jason" should be hitting retail any day now.
All Photos by Jeff Saylor
Review Samples Courtesy of NECA
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Last edited by JeffSaylor; 08-30-2014 at 12:04 AM.