Think Horror, and most people will think of Freddy Krueger. The character, who made his debut in 1984 in the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie has had numerous figures over the years. He was a big part of McFarlane's Movie Maniacs range, and later the licence moved to NECA and he was released as part of Cult Classics before moving to a range of his own.
In 2014 NECA launched their Ultimate Series of figures. The principle of the Ultimate series is to release a definitive figure of the character and pack them with a plethora of accessories and parts - from alternative heads & hands, to miniature props from the film. One of the first figures to get the Ultimate treatment was Freddy, who himself was celebrating his 30th Anniversary. It is very apt that we are publishing a review of this figure on Halloween itself.
For the Ultimate series, NECA have chosen to go with the packaging style they have used on their Video Game series, with a fully enclosed box and a front flap that can be flipped back to view the figure. I am not a MIB collector, but if I were I would be frustrated by not seeing the figure in any way. Some may disagree, and each to their own, but I would have preferred a window box similar to what they are using presently on the Terminator Genisys figures?
Whatever you think of the box style. the design is brilliant. The front is the 1984 cinematic poster and this turns the corner into a flame effect background and the film logo again alongside the text identifying this as the "30th Anniversary Ultimate Freddy". On the reverse the flame effect background continues, into which are insert panels that show the various looks and accessories that are included in the box set. there is then a bio of the movie itself which scrawls down the left hand side of the box.
The front flap is held in place with velcro, and once opened reveals the figure underneath. The inner flap is a very dark red colour and shows an atmospheric shot of the actual figure itself. The trim around the window is designed in a red and black stripe which represents Freddy's now infamous sweater.
Inside the box and the figure is tied into the usual perspex tray and behind this is a 3 sided cardboard insert which continues the flame background that was seen on the box.
So what do you get? Well Freddy comes complete in the box with his "standard" unsmiling head. You also get a smiling version and a skull version. The hat is a separate piece and this fits on all three heads, so you can essentially have 6 different head options. The left hand can be swapped out with a damaged version. and the final two accessories are a flesh face and the tongue phone.
Looking at the sculpt first and Freddy is really well executed. The heads in themselves contains so much detail from the damaged flesh, to the skin folds and on the smiling figure that infamous grin. Freddy's jumper is sculpted in a textured design that replicates the actual texture you would find on a knitted piece of clothing. This texture however doesn't continue down either arm, so it can look a little like Freddy is wearing a tank top rather than a jumper. That's not to say there isn't plenty of detail in the sleeves with the folds of the jumper and finishing at a ribbed cuff. My only slight gripe is that the jumper has been sculpted to ride up at one side. That means despite the articulation that we will look at shortly, the figure looks slightly odd unless posed with a slight lean to the right so that the jumper looks like it has ridden up against Freddy's hip. The ridden up jumper does allow you a glimpse of the torso underneath, and this is unbelievably sculpted to Freddy's actual torso, even though it is practically unseen unless you have the figure turned upside down.
You can't do Freddy without doing the clawed hand and this is executed really well on this right hand with each part of the glove defined really well from the screwed back plate, to the metal fingers and the knife blades. The left hands are pretty basic, but look fine, although I am not 100% convinced by the damaged version, and in particular the green "splurge" that is shooting off the stump of the missing fingers.
Freddy's trousers are sculpted with natural looking folds and a seam runs down each leg and around the turn ups, exactly as you would see on a real pair. The figure is finished with a pair of laced boots.
The hat, is molded in a soft rubber and fits perfectly on any of the three heads without looking over sized and unnatural which is quite often a downside of making a removable hat/helmet. The skin mask is OK, but doesn't really do much other than be a prop - the same can be said of the tongue phone.
Paint applications are near on perfect. Each head is painted with red flesh underneath through to a skin tone which has been washed and highlighted to perfection, with eyes and teeth picked out really neatly. The jumper stripes are neatly applied, and the sweater is then washed to make it look grimy. Trousers are a grey colour up close and dry brushed with a slightly lighter grey to add depth. The claw hand has about 4 different colours in play from the skin underneath to the bronze of the glove, the red of the finger tips and the silver of the blades - great attention to detail.
Articulation wise, and the figure does enough. The heads all rotate fully round the body and can achieve an ever so slight movement up and down. They are very difficult to swap over and I worry about damage if you are going to change these regularly - my advice is to always heat them up first slightly. The arms are on a two way shoulder joint so can go out to Freddy's side and then up to over his head if you feel the need. The elbow then bends and rotates with the wrist on a rotating peg. Like the head, the left hand is a real pain to swap out and again I recommend heating the joint first to aid the exchange.
The figure does include a torso joint that is just visible through the ridden up jumper, this works with a waist joint to allow Freddy to pivot and swivel his top half and also to achieve the right lean that I talked about earlier to match the pose to the jumper. Hip joints move back and forth and out to the side, although be warned one of mine was very stiff and any NECA collector knows that forcing these may result in a snapped joint - here once again some gentle heat from a hairdryer is your friend. The knee joints bend and as usual NECA has done a decent enough job of hiding the knee joints to look like a fold in the cloth. The ankles are on pivots so do swivel and move back and forth sligtly, enough to stand him firmly on a flat surface.
If you are a Horror fan, a movie fan or just a Freddy fan then I have to say this is currently the figure for you. For a £25 (approx) price point you can achieve a number of looks for Freddy and articulation and paint are about the best you will get on a Freddy figure. My only niggles are the difficulty in swapping parts (NECA seem to have rectified this if you compare ease of swapping to the recent T800 Ultimate figure), the slightly odd jumper sculpt and the lack of texture on the sweater arms.
That aside and Freddy is a superb figure and I award him a high 4 out of 5.