Tuesday, October 18, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Spooky Toy Review – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Ultimate Freddy Krueger from NECA


Happy Halloween and welcome to the latest spooky toy review of the season on Needless Things!

Freddy Krueger is my favorite of the horror movie “slashers”. He’s the only one that had a real personality and I latched onto that when I was a kid. Also, he was using the whole supernatural gimmick before the rest and I found that much more interesting than “big, scary dude in a mask”. Don’t get me wrong – I love Jason and Michael and Leatherface and could write whole posts about how great they are, but Freddy is my guy.


Anytime NECA announces one of these new Freddy figures, I sort of sigh and set about the task of figuring out how important which features are and how it compares to the ones I already own. Dream Warriors is my favorite movie from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, so this one bore a bit more scrutiny.

Or at least, that’s what you’d think. It turns out the only Dream Warriors Freddy I have is the one from McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs line, and it’s a little questionable as to whether that one really is or not. It’s labeled as being from the first movie and includes that poster, but Freddy’s sweater has green stripes on the sleeves and the marionette from Part 3 is included. Regardless of that figure’s place in continuity, it simply doesn’t hold up to the figures that NECA is releasing today. I’ll always love that Movie Maniacs release for what it is, but as far as quality Freddys go, it doesn’t make the cut.

So to speak.

The one I’m reviewing today is loading with accessories and has plenty of articulation. Plus, it’s a product of NECA’s current crop of sculptors and designers, so the quality was sure to be solid. Twenty-five bucks seemed a little steep, but once I saw it in the store I had to grab one. I’m glad I did, because I went back the next day and they were all gone.

FIRST GLANCE

A great-looking Freddy with a heck of a paint job. Not only does the figure stand out, the accessories all appear to have strong paint apps. And I’m always a fan of Freddy with a removable hat.

PACKAGING

NECA has gone with the simplest and most appealing package style for its ongoing line of “Ultimate” figures. The front panel features the Dream Warriors movie poster, which is one of my all-time favorite movie posters. It opens up to reveal a picture of the figure and also the figure itself in a nice window box.

NECA tends to use pictures of the toys on the packaging and I don’t get it. I’d much rather see a picture of Robert Englund from the scene being depicted than this picture of the toy. The same goes for the back of the box. I’d prefer a reference to the movie itself over just a picture of the thing that I’m buying. I don’t really understand why they do it this way.


Regardless, this is a nice box with an overall fantastic design. When  you buy one of these, you do feel like you’re getting a deluxe action figure.

LOOKS

Freddy Kruger is a burned, disgusting mess and NECA didn’t shy away from sculpting him as such. This one doesn’t have as strong a Robert Englund likeness as the A Nightmare on Elm Street Ultimate Freddy, but the makeup changed quite a bit as the series progressed and Englund’s face was more obscured later on. The bottom line is that the sculpting is incredible here and that there’s no doubting that this is Freddy.

There are at least three different colors on the skin alone. All of the twisted, burst flesh is as vivid as I’ve ever seen on a Freddy figure. The eyes are centered nicely with a bit of black around the edges to bring them out. Freddy’s teeth are a horror show. I don’t even like looking at them (and I meant that in a complimentary way).


This sweater is the one everyone knows. The sculpt of the knit looks great. The alternating red and green stripes are placed well and the painted green is thick enough to look good. By the third movie the creators knew that this sweater was a Pop Culture Thing, so they were playing up the look and making it stand out. This figure reflects that.

The shape of the torso has the same slant as the last figure and now I’ve decided I like it. If you burn, your flesh twists and melts and pops. Once it cools down or gets to whatever state Freddy is supposed to exist in, it isn’t going to fit the same. So that slant to Freddy’s shoulders might not be attitude or a pose. He probably just can’t stand any other way thanks to his melted skin. Gross, I know, but there it is.


The front portion of the sweater is removable so that you can swap it for the “chest of souls” accessory. I like the idea, but the execution has left the figure – mine, anyway – with unsightly gaps at the shoulders. 



There might be a hairdryer solution for this. I haven’t messed with it too much yet because I think I’m going to end up displaying the other chest and it doesn’t have this problem.


Speaking of hairdryers, Freddy’s glove is a fucking mess. It’s made out of rubber, so of course the blades were going to get warped. Somehow the pinky and ring fingers are fine, but the pointer and middle finger blades are all warped like the fingernails of those crazy people that don’t ever cut them. I heated them up, but they warped back some. I suppose I’m going to have to boil this thing. Fortunately, it looks fantastic. The sculpt is incredibly detailed, with the metal plates standing out nicely and the inside looking particularly impressive. NECA got all of those little details. The paint is all spot-on.


Freddy’s trousers are just black trousers with some nice details, but those shoes look great. The stitching and soles are well defined and there’s a wash of dark paint to make them look grimy and old. Even the eyelets are painted.

ACCESSORIES

This Freddy comes with a “chest of souls”, Kritsten’s papier-mâché model of the Elm Street house, Freddy’s hat, two syringe hands, an extra screaming head, and Phillip’s marionette with a stand.


The chest of souls looks fantastic. The sculpt is great and the paint matches the rest of the figure. There’s no difference in the sweater colors between this and the main body. It switches out fairly easily and on my figure this one fits better than the default chest. When this one is plugged in, it looks like it’s just how the figure came.


The house has a ton of sculpted detail. Shortcuts could have been taken, but weren’t. The thing is clearly made of popsicle sticks. The shite portion has a wash that gives it the look of papier-mâché and the red door and green parts are intentionally amateurish. I love that NECA is making things like this and the tongue phone, but I’d love to have Nancy and Kristen figures to go with them. Heck, I’d buy figures of everyone from Dream Warriors, even Nancy’s dad.


Freddy’s hat looks great. Not much to say here.


The syringe hands are rubber like the default glove hand, but the syringes have more substance than the blades and didn’t get all bent up. They look great and even have translucent tubes. The left hand is easy to switch out, but the glove hand is a real pain in the ass. There’s a barbell that connects the hand to the arm and the hand connection is so tight that it tends to pop out with the hand. I shouldn’t need the hairdryer every time I want to switch these hands, but I do.


The extra head is glorious. It’s Freddy screaming as he dies or is banished or whatever it is that happens to him at the end of every movie. The sculpt is great, but the glorious part is that the cross on his forehead is clear plastic that connects to a larger clear piece in the back of his head:


That’s right – NECA put light piping in Freddy’s head so that the cross can light up like it does in the movie! I wish they’d used a more solid plastic for the rest of the head, though, because if you get a bright enough light source to make the cross look good the whole head lights up. 



Still, “A” for effort. I love light piping when it’s done right and this is close.


The marionette looks much better than the McFarlane version. It has three points of articulation and a little stand so that it can stay upright. I love it.

FUN

Freddy has ball joints at the head, shoulders, waist, and hips. The knees and elbows are hinged with swivels at the top. The hands are on barbells and have a very tiny degree of motion, but mostly just swivel. Same goes for the feet except that they’re restricted by the trouser legs. Which is fine.

The elbows don’t have a ton of bending range. They can’t even make it to ninety degrees. The knees bend a little deeper, but without ankle joints there isn’t much point.

The head isn’t actually so much a ball joint as a peg on a stick. It swivels just fine, obviously, but doesn’t have a whole lot of range otherwise.

But you do still have a whole heck of a lot more posing options than most other Freddy Krueger action figures, and plenty of interactive accessories. The removable hat is awesome enough, but once you add in the hands and head and chest options you’ve got a veritable plethora of options for playing with ol’ Fred.

OVERALL

I’m still looking forward to that sweet spot where the Robert Englund likeness and the costume are both at their peaks (I think it’ll be for The Dream Child), but this is a great action figure of my favorite slasher from my favorite installment in his franchise. They hit the right accessory sweet spots and aside from a few issues put out a figure that fits the “Ultimate” description.

4 out of 5


If you want one, buy from Amazon and help Needless Things pay the bills!:



2 comments:

  1. Nice review. I already have the 30th anniv Freddy from NECA, but this one and the New Nightmare versions are both tempting.

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    1. I saw the New Nightmare Freddy in TRU the other day. I didn't want to spend $22 on him, but now I'm kind of regretting it. I think I'm gonna stop in today on the way home. I need to check for the new Joes again, anyway.

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