Among collectors, particularly those of classic movies and horror, the Cult Classic range from NECA brought about some of the most iconic movie characters and anti-heroes to life as 7" figures.
Running from 2005 through to 2008, many of these Cult figures are now highly sought after and worth much more than their original RRP.
In this review we go back to 2005 and series 1 and take a look at The Crow.
The Crow is arguably one of my favourite movie characters and this series 1 release depicts him in his most iconic look from the movie with the long tattered coat. NECA's early figures lacked any form of usable articulation so let's get that out of the way first. Eric comes with a head joint which allows for some side to side movement until the hair stops any further movement. The arms are on a rotating shoulder joint and simply let you raise Eric's open armed pose either higher or lower, once you are happy with the arm position you can then swivel the wrists to allow the hands to match the pose. A waist joint is visible, but doesn't move. The legs are then also on a swivel joint and although they move they do nothing as the stance is fixed in the sculpt. To help Eric stand you can rotate the feet, and if you have the complete figure can match the peg hole on Eric's boots to the peg on the graveyard stand. Sadly as Eric's feet are close together and his arms wide apart he has a tendency to lean, even when on the stand, so for my display I have dropped Eric onto a Kaiser stand which locks around the waist of the figure.
So articulation isn't great, but the sculpt on the other hand is stunning. The head captures Brandon Lee perfectly with the hair sculpted around the face with individual strands coming off the fringe to dangle in front of the face. The jacket, which is a separate piece in soft rubber, flows beautifully down Eric's slim frame and flares out at the bottom. The coat is designed to include damage and there are large holes and a couple of tears in the rear. The wrists are wrapped in black ribbon and that stretches onto the hands. Under the coat is the ripped vest and waist wraps and down into the skin tight black trousers. The figure is finished in large unfastened boots which include intricate elements in terms of the laces and numerous lace holes.
For a figure in essentially an all black outfit, the paint applications are particularly good. The trousers, top and then jacket are all done in a slightly different finish of black so all three don't look the same and work as individual pieces of clothing. Buttons on the trousers are picked out in a bronze colour, whilst the lace holes int he boots are silver - this is brilliant attention to detail as many would have done both in the same colour. The head is the true work of art with the face paint replicated really well so that it looks like face paint - what I mean by this is you can make out skin tones underneath and there are variations in colour rather than a flat white. The eyes are the smallest detail on the figure, yet stare out at you behind the black eye make up and from beneath the strands of hair.
As I mentioned earlier, if you are lucky enough to pick up a complete figure he comes along with a graveyard stand into which you can peg the figures feet. Into this then slots a head stone. The headstone is a great piece on its own - textured to feel like stone and with the cross a relief sculpt and the name ERIC DRAVEN actually carved into the finish as is the cherub head and wings. The paint is a grey, but then dry brushed in a lighter tone and with then green dry brushing towards the base to represent moss. The base itself is a little plainer, but is well done in grass and mud tones - its just a pity the figure doesn't want to stand up all to well when pegged on the base.
Eric is also packed with The Crow itself which slots into a hole on Eric's shoulder. The crow is well sculpted but doesn't sit all too naturally on the shoulder, in fact NECA left it out of a lot of promo shots which may tell a story in itself. I display Eric without the crow. The one omission that was not included on this series 1 figure, but was later packed in to a shirtless Eric in 2008's Hall of Fame releases, is Eric's guitar. In the gallery below be advised I have added the McFarlane Crow Guitar to my figure. If you want to display your long coat Eric Draven with a Guitar then you will also need to get the older McFarlane version, or the aforementioned shirtless 2008 version of Eric.
All in all, Eric Draven from The Crow is a stunning piece that will look brilliant in a collection of Horror, Cult or just movie 7" figures. Yes, the articulation is lacking - but even had this figure had all the movement in the world, most of us would still have displayed him in the pose NECA chose anyway. Sculpt, considering it is 10 years old, blows a lot of the modern stuff away, and the paint is perfect and with nice touches of detail like the variation between buttons and lace holes.
If you don't have this figure, I suggest you track him down. Prices continue to rise and it is unlikely this franchise will ever be revisited like others in the Cult Classic range have.
I score Eric Draven a 4 out of 5.