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Fred Krueger

NECA
by Rustin Parr

NECA continues to impress with an exclusive so amazing I'm still shocked it actually got made. This is one of those figures that everyone has to get because it's just so damn amazing it exists!

Like the Mirror Scotty figure, this guy is a textbook definition of a perfect exclusive: mostly re-used figure (low production cost for a low production run) with just a couple added pieces to make it cool, and a niche figure for a niche audience (i.e. it isn't something everyone will want so its limited availability is fine - we're looking at you, Mattel).

The bastard son of 100 maniacs, Freddy grew up violent and alone. His sociopathic behavior culminated with a series of child murders in the Elm Street area of Springwood, Ohio. While standing trial for his crimes Freddy was set free of a legal technicality. Outraged, the families of his victims sought justice themselves. Freddy Krueger was burned alive by his Elm Street neighbors. Years later Fredy returned to terrorize the descendants of the Elm Street families in their dreams. Whatever you do, don't fall asleep...

Fred Krueger is quite literally the evil Freddy Krueger before he became the scarred, murderous bastard in people's dreams. You know, when he was just an unscarred murderous bastard to local children. Therefore, since it's pre-fire Freddy, this is basically just a Robert Englund figure, and seriously, how cool is that!? The likeness isn't perfect, but it's good enough - you can tell who it's supposed to be, at least.

Fred is the same sculpt as the Freddy figure in the Freddy vs. Jason 2-pack and the 18" Freddy that NECA did earlier this year. It's a good sculpt, so I'm fine with it, but honestly though, posing is a bit difficult because he really is sculpted and proportioned to be brandishing the "claw" above his head. As for articulation, there are 10 points - ankles, waist, neck, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. The gloved hand gets a balljoint.

Kyle "Tankman" Windrix handled the sculpt for Freddy, just like he did way back in 1997 for the Movie Maniacs version of Freddy. Fred's a bit bigger than that figure, but the sculpt and design obviously have come a long way - put the two of them next to each other, and you can really see a difference.

Getting him to stand is tricky; the easiest way is just to turn his left foot inward till it's parallel with, or even angled toward, the right foot. It looks silly, but he stands, though even a simple base would have been a welcome accessory.

Speaking of accessories, Fred comes with a doll, which he can actually hold pretty well, and interchangeable Freddy parts - a flame-broiled head (with removable hat) and right hand. They're not at all necessary, just cool extras. What's really cool is that the necks of both heads and the torso-hole are sculpted to look muscley while the pegs on the heads are painted to look like bone, and the Freddy head's peg is even sculpted to look like vertebrae - very cool touches. What the second head does is remind me that the figure in the 2-pack comes with two interchangeable heads itself and ultimately, I wish I'd remembered that at the con, and gotten myself a second Fred, so I could have three figure with all three heads... oh well.

Ultimately I have very little to complain about for this figure, just because the sculpt and sheer novelty of it as so good. I guess the pose is kind of a problem... oh, yeah, as are the nine twisty ties I had to undo to get this guy free! I hate twisty ties, especially their rampant over-use!

-- 08/16/04


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