Review : Eleven
Wave/Series : McFarlane 7"
Released : March 2018 (UK)
Price : £16.99 - £19.99
McFarlane have been back in the 7" Action Figure game for about 2-years now, but in that time they haven't really found any major hitters in terms of licences aside from The Walking Dead. This may all be set to change with the arrival (finally for the UK) of the long awaited Stranger Things figures.
Like most of the McFarlane releases, these are not a wave as such, but are individual releases with us getting two simultaneously to kick off the Stranger Things line. Here we are looking at Eleven.
While all the McFarlane 7" figures to date have been window box releases, the Stranger Things figures are blister carded in a nod to the shows retro feel and 1980's setting. The cards are designed with the rounded corners and J-hook us children of the 80's remember so well, with the card art being very reminiscent of the movie posters of the time.
Round the back is more 80's retro goodness with section showing off images of the two figures released so far - Eleven and Hopper. To the side of this in a contrasting blue colour is a checklist of upcoming figures of Dustin, Lucas, Mike, Will and the Demogorgon. Only the Demogorgon has an image of he actual figure, the others are head shots of the cast.
The final segment of the card is beige and turned over to the legal and copyright details. This card seems to be the European release with a number of the rear text items repeated in French and Italian.
Eleven is packed into a blister on an inner tray, and the only way out is by ripping the card (old school style). The inner tray see's Eleven strapped in by two twisty/elastic ties which do take some undoing. The rest of the accessories are held in by tape. Watch out for the blonde wig which sits behind the tray not in it - it falls out very easily and can get lost in the packaging.
At this point in my review we normally start looking at sculpt and paint, but not with this one. There is a key issue to address immediately with Eleven and that is with her leg joints and her ability to stand. Straight out of the pack it is clear there is something not right about her lower legs and knee joints. In fact when you close the knees up fully in to what would normally be a neutral position they are horrifically bent unnaturally forward (see images).
Couple this with very loose ankle rockers somewhere in the sneakers, and there is zero chance of Eleven standing under her own steam. Thankfully there is a stand included. This looks to be a clear plastic, but up close does have a yellowing to it. The Stranger Things logo is printed onto this in a deep red. There is one foot peg and this goes into Eleven's right foot, the only one with a corresponding peg hole. This fit is not good either and there is still some terrible leaning until you get those knees and ankles balanced.
While I was pretty frustrated at this point after fighting to get Eleven stood up, this was soon forgotten when you start to admire both the sculpt and paint job on this figure. Considering that this is a sub £20 item (I bought both Eleven and Hopper for around £35) the facial sculpt is arguably on par with, if not better, than NECA. The likeness to Millie Bobbie Brown is spectacular
The eyes in particular are very intense, and while the skin has varying tones and shades which heightens the likeness while also adding depth and shadow. Eleven even gets a tiny blood trickle from her nose.
The body and outfit are equally as impressive. Eleven stands a shade over 6" high and comes in her pink dress and blue jacket. The jacket is ruffled and creased and has patches of dirt washed into the blue. Similarly the dress is dirty and stained in the creases. The hands and legs are a plain skin tone and the only spoiler to the look of the figure remains those ugly knee joints with a very old school peg joint clearly visible from both sides.
We finish with off white socks and dirty and muddy sneakers.
McFarlane are not about high articulation, but they are trying to add enough to each figure to give the figure the poseability it needs. Eleven is advertised as having 12+ points of articulation. 12+ is a stretch, I can get to 11 points ironically with another couple bordering on what could be classed as a joint.
We start with a very maneuverable ball jointed head with a good range of motion. We then have a shoulder joint and a single rotating elbow which gives a decent range of arm movements. The hands are simply plugs so there is no pivot, only a rotation at the wrist.
The legs start with the floppy ankles we spoke about earlier. There is then that bizarre knee joint which looks to be 10 years out of date and seems to bend the knee the wrong way. Because you also have to have the joint open to have Eleven standing, you expose the ratchet underneath. Above this are the two contentious joints as I think the hips may be a swivel, but they certainly don't do anything else. With that in mind I would not have been adverse to McFarlane skipping the knee joints and adding more joints into say the arms or the torso.
Eleven gets a second set of hands in the pack, both designed to hold the accessories she is also packed with. Unlike most modern figures where the peg and hand are connected and they slot into a socket in the arm - the McFarlane joint is a peg in the arm onto which the hand slips by means of a tiny ball joint. While the hands come off easily, they are difficult to add back on as you can't really see what you are doing and if everything is lined up.
The spare right hand is bizarre at first look with what looks to be a 6 digit coming off the thumb. This is actually a peg which is used with the radio accessory.
This radio is cast in a black plastic with silver paint added to the aerial and a few buttons. I am not sure why a gripping hand was beyond McFarlane? Instead we slot the radio into the hand by lining up a hole on the back with that weird plug. Once in place it looks odd as the grip is still not there and in a lot of poses it looks like she is levitating the radio.
The other alternative hand (left) is a gripping hand and is there to hold Eleven's Eggo. The Eggo itself is a simple disc with waffle imprinting. It slots neatly into the gripping left hand.
Our final piece is the wig that Eleven wears in the first series to blend in at the school. The hair piece is a faily heavy solid piece and is well painted in shades of blonde with a wash to add darkness to depth.
Because it feels so rigid and heavy I was sceptical on the fit, but it did indeed slot over the shaved head of Eleven and sits pretty well.
I do however urge caution using the wig as my first instincts were probably correct and after just one fitting on my figure it gouged a load of paint off the side of Eleven's head - frustrating! Why include something that will actually damage the figure? It it can't be engineered to work without damage then don't include it or make it a swap out head option.
The Stranger Things Eleven is a stunning figure with an awesome paint job. It then undoes all that hard work with the worst knee joints I've seen for a very long time and an inability to stand for any period of time - even with the stand. The hair piece is also frustrating as it damages the figure it is meant to be designed to fit. The choice of the radio and the peg in the hand is also an odd one and doesn't look great.
All in all Eleven will look awesome on display, you just need to keep her upright and that might even mean the radical solution of glueing her lower joints.
I score the Stranger Things Eleven a 3 out of 5.