When the Bride awoke from her three-year coma, her first question was "where's Bill?" When Series 2 of NECA's Kill Bill figures shipped to stores, fans were asking the same thing.
Leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Former lover of the Bride and the father of her child. Bill sought revenge on the Bride for leaving him and massacred the entire wedding party and left the Bride for dead at the Two Pines Wedding Chapel.
Kill Bill Series 1 was supposed to comprise four figures, but only three ever shipped to stores - O-Ren Ishii got quietly cancelled somewhere along the line, with no official word on why. So when Series 2 shipped and all that anyone could find were Beatrix, Elle and Pai Mei, it seemed fans had gotten hosed once again. Eventually NECA released word on what had happened: there was a problem with the mold, and all the Bill heads came out malformed. Rather than ship a bad product, NECA pulled Bill from the cases and promised the later assortments would have the corrected version.
It certainly took them long enough.
Bill's looking great in action figure form. He's wearing the outfit from his final confrontation with the Bride: mostly black with a white shirt and a dark red pattern across the shoulders of his jacket. It's a definite Western look, accented by a holster strapped around his waist. They even got his necklace and the ring on his right hand.
The sculpt is good, and was worth the wait. Bill is looking younger here than in the film (or the prototype), but that's probably unavoidable. As a mold is used and re-used, the fine detail can begin to smooth out, and while the sculpt may have started out with all the fine lines of David Carradine's face, by the time the figures really start coming out, it would have smoothed out. Still, there is no question at all of who this is.
Bill hasn't been fighting, so he's not bloodied and dirty like the Bride and Elle were. His clothes are pristine, but that doesn't mean NECA slacked off on the paint apps. The red on his jacket is crisp, and there is no paint spill anywhere on the figure - maybe the fact that they had extra time to work before the figures shipped meant that they took extra care?
A cold-blooded killer and one sadistic bastard, there's no way Bill would let himself be caught empty-handed. He's got his Hanzo sword, with the oni on the blade and the sheath. A gun rests perfectly in his holster, and he's got the bamboo flute that he played in his pensive moments.
The figure's articulation is nice. He's got a balljointed head, shoulders and waist, hinges in hs elbows and peg joints for his wrists and knees. His right arm is sculpted so that he can nearly fold his arm in half, allowing him to (almost) rest his blade against his shoulder.
Like all the Kill Bill figures, Bill comes with a small display stand. He gets a 3 1/4" by 2 3/4" circle of ground, presumably the dusty land of his hacienda, or perhaps the private beach on the shore. There's a single footpeg on the stand, and a hole in each of the figure's heels.
For a while, there, it seemed like Bill would never be released. It had been months since Series 2 shipped, and what few figures were left had started to hit clearance. It's a good thing he made it, though: this is definitely one of the better offerings in the line, and missing out on the guy the movie's named after would be a shame.
Do you think there will be a Series 3 of these figures? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.