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Review : McFarlane Stranger Things Lucas


Welcome to our review of the McFarlane Stranger Things Lucas 7 inch scale action figure. After the debut wave of Eleven and Chief Hopper, McFarlane Toys expanded their Stranger Thing line with a 2nd wave made up of Lucas and his friend Dustin as well as a deluxe Demogorgon figure. The Lucas and Dustin wave was released in March 2018.


"An integral piece to the strange things that occur in Hawkins, Indiana Lucas is there for his friends. Never afraid to voice his opinion Lucas is strong and always there for friends, no matter what the risk."

Packaging 3/5


Perfectly in keeping with the show, the McFarlane Stranger Things figures are packaged on 1980 style blister cards. The artwork is also very 80''s with a movie poster type image of a number of the key characters sitting on top of the Stranger Things logo.

Around the card is a red and white border, reminiscent of the silver bordering used on the vintage Star Wars line. This is broken at the top with the Netflix logo. And even the McFarlane logo gets a retro treatment as they've used their older inverted blue triangle design.


review of the mcfarlane stranger things lucas action figure

The card back is a big change in style to the front and is split into contrasting blue and red panels. On the larger red panel are details of the current releases, as of this time this means images of Dustin and Lucas and the Demogorgon. To the side of the two kids is a blue circle with their numerous accessories pictured.


To the left in the blue panel is the Stranger Things logo and then a number of "coming soon" characters. Each of the coming soon figures is represented as a head shot of the actual actor in a red circle. From the 5 pictured Mike, Will and Punk Eleven would be Wave 3. While Barb is an exclusive release. To date there has been no release or announcement for Steve?



The card has to be ripped to access the blister and within the blister sits the figure in a further plastic tray. Lucas is strapped in with elasticated straps at his waist and feet. These straps can and do rub the paint so be careful taking these out. The same applies to the tape holding in the accessories which can have a habit of taking paint with it when it's torn off.


This choice of blister card may work well for the retro feel of the show, but it they are hard to find in mint condition if you wish to keep your figure carded.


A figure stand sits behind the card and you will need this in order to display the figure as we will see shortly.

Paint & Sculpt 3/5


Before we can do anything with Lucas, the figure has to be placed on the inclusive Stranger Things stand. The stand is cast in a clear plastic, but it does have a faint yellow tone to it. The Stranger Things logo is printed on top.


The stand has a single peg, and this corresponds to a hole in the right foot of Lucas. The fit is pretty tight and snug. While some collectors do not like these stand types, you will need some form of support for Lucas as McFarlane have not sculpted or designed him to stand on his own.


Rather than the flat feet and ankle rockers we see on Hasbro or NECA figures, the McFarlane shoes are sculpted naturally with a bend in the trainers. The right leg is also longer than the left and this, and the shaped feet making Lucas almost impossible to stand on his own.



From a distance, the likeness to actor Caleb McLaughlin looks good. But up close there are some flaws, predominantly with the paint apps. The eyes are very big and are then shaded very heavily, so it almost looks like makeup. The expression they've chosen is also odd and non-descript, and considering Lucas' role in the group he should be more assertive looking? His bandana is well painted with a neat camouflage design.


The neck design is pretty bad and neck looks swollen and if you turn the head at all the neck sticks out further than the chin?



Lucas' outfit is well presented. He has a plain blue T-shirt and over this red coat with beige collar. The jacket includes sculpted buttons that are then painted in silver. He wears a tool belt of sorts with individual pouches, and these are weathered so the edges look worn - a nice touch.



The trousers can look varying in colour depending on the light. In our images they look purple, but are more brown in natural light on display. They are well sculpted to include the folds and creases of cloth and ruffle up around the worn trainers complete with stripes and sculpted laces.

Accessories 4/5


You can't fault McFarlane for the accessories they are including with the Stranger Things figures. Lucas comes with a whole raft of pieces, starting with this military style torch. It is cast in hard plastic and painted in army green with tiny detail on the clips and the lens.



We then have a slingshot, this time cast in a rubbery plastic so the armrest and the elasticated piece have some play for display purposes. The articulation in the arm won't stretch to a firing pose, but you can get a preparing to fire pose.



The Walkie Talkie is going to get plenty of use as it will come with all the four main members of the gang. It looks oversized, but of course these are kids so it will look larger. McFarlane haven't worked out how to get a gripping hand to hold this - so the solution is a spare right hand with a giant peg in the middle. This peg slots into the back of the Walkie-Talkie to mimic Lucas actually holding it.


This all works well except for the fact the ability to swap hands is almost impossible. The designers have used such delicate and tiny ball jointed wrists that the hands wont slot in and out easily. Too much force and the joint just disintegrates and your figure is ruined, not enough pressure and the piece won't clip in and hold.


That means once the hand is out, it ain't going back on easily. Considering the articulation of the hands is rudimentary anyway, why a peg into the sleeve wasn't a better (and potentially cheaper) solution?



The final accessory works much better - the rucksack. Each kid has a differing rucksack, so no re-use here which they could have got away with if they'd wanted. Both straps on the bag are closed, and you put it on by bringing the arms backwards and sliding it over them to the elbows and then up to the shoulder.


Once in place it sits naturally enough and looks to be an extension of the figure with paint tone and finish to match. The bag is blue in colour, with silver stud details and a brown section underneath. You even have the loop on top where these bags are hung on coat hooks.



Articulation 2/5


McFarlane are not renowned for extensive articulation, but since their return to 7 inch figures it has been improving and is now starting to close the gap with some of the other 7 inch producers like DCC and Diamond.


Lucas has 13 points of articulation, starting with those difficult legs that refuse to stand without the inclusive stand. The legs are jointed at the hips with a T-joint allowing the hips to swing out forward and to size. This gives full movement, but looks awful when the lines of the trousers are broken when these joints are engaged.


No matter how good the hips may move, they are then restricted back again by the knees which are single rotating joints that can't get to a right angle. When you combine all these factors it ultimately leaves Lucas in a neutral pose



We have also seen some aspects of the arm articulation that commences with a shoulder joint that is not quite a ball but instead looks to be pinned just inside the torso. This shoulder can extend to aout 45 degrees from the body and also rotates. The elbow has a similar range, bending to 45 degrees and denying the figure the ability to be posed using his Walkie Talkie or firing that catapult.



We finish the arms with those fragile wrist joints which allow rotation of the hands only within the sleeves of the jacket. Why on earth these aren't plugged into the sleeve is beyond me as the tiny ball joint seems too small and delicate for swapping out hands.


The final joint is on that large swollen neck and here the head can rotate and has a few millimetres of forward and backward tilt.

Summary


The McFarlane Stranger Things line is a brave one for the team to go after. It is essentially bunch of 1980's kids with one or two cool monsters - it is a line that initially felt like it was going to let you down and finish before you had the core group of characters. And that is the very reason I held on getting Lucas and Dustin till I knew Mike and Will were also on shelves.


The price of sub £20 is reasonable on these, particularly for the sculpt and the paint on the outfit at least - Lucas does have some issues on face tones. The amount of accessories is also impressive.



The issues of course are around the joints. It is not so much the lack of articulation, but the thought process of not designing the figure to stand without a particularly ugly stand. And those terrible wrist joints on a figure that includes swap out hands.


With a few tweaks this is an awesome figure, but as it stands (or rather doesn't) poor Lucas comes in at a below average 2/5





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