Ten years ago today, we reviewed Movie Maniacs Freddy Krueger. It's just convenient timing that we get to review another one now.
A child psychologist is tormented by recurring nightmares. But not until she meets a new patient with the same horrific dreams does her quest for answers lead to a certain house on Elm Street - where an evil that defies the grave is about to be unleashed upon the world.
NECA is up to Series 4 of their Nightmare on Elm Street toys, and there hasn't been a "plain" Freddy since Series 1. They've all had some kind of crazy gimmick, which both suits the character and is great for fans who don't want to buy the same figure over and over, but it sucks for those of us who couldn't get the Series 1 figure because stores didn't carry it. I've never seen any NoES movies - I don't care about the extra bits, I just want Freddy. We asked NECA about the odds of them doing a deluxe set featuring a plain body and all the various heads they've designed, but they said no.
Anyway, back on topic. NECA made a human Fred Krueger before, back in 2004 as an SDCC exclusive. Comparing the two, it's amazing how far NECA's come in every category. NECA's taken their recent reputation for eerily accurate likenesses (e.g., Robert Patrick, Michael Fassbender, various Arnolds Schwarzenegger) and delivered a Robert Englund face that puts the old toy to shame.
The Springwood Slasher's trademark sweater is a separate PVC piece that fits over the toy's torso, while
the arms are just sculpted. Impressively, the level of detail doesn't have any discrepency between the two different materials. All the Freddies have the same (unarticulated) legs, which is disappointing: after Ash and Jason both had articulated legs (and far fewer releases of the mold than Freddy's had), going back to immobile legs isn't fun. On the other hand, it does mean that the big wrinkles in his loose black pants don't get broken up by misaligned joints, so that's something, we guess?
According to people who would know (i.e., horror geeks), Freddy's glove underwent slight redesigns for every film -
as long as it's brown and has four claws, it looks right to me. But if NECA is resculpting all these figures' necks in order to make sure they're film-accurate, I can't imagine they're cheaping out when it comes to the gloves. Freddy's Dead did show us glimpses of the evolution of his weapon, but this is the classic. The gloppy solder on his fingers and the back of his hand is right where it should be, and his fingers are curled so as to make an interesting piece.
While the legs are unarticulated, the rest of the figure is very good. He has balljointed ankles, for balance purposes, and balljointed wrists to facilitate hand-swapping (on other figures, not this one). Like most NECA toys these days, he has swivel/hinge elbows and shoulders, and a balljointed head. His torso is what's really impressive, though: you may not realize it unless you take off his sweater, but he has a balljointed waist and a balljointed chest - you can really get some serpentine poses out of him, if you try. Maybe that's why NECA went with the solid legs, to make sure he's as steady as possible.
Another disappointment with this figure is that he
only comes with one accessory: his trademark fedora. When other releases came with extra heads, extra limbs, demon babies, and whatever else, getting Freddy with nothing but a hat pales by comparison. It's a nice hat, and it fits tightly on his head, but it's still just a hat.
Getting a human figure of Fred Krueger, the Springwood Slasher, is very cool thing in and of itself, but as far as being a release in this particular toyline (filled, as it is, with cool, creepy versions of Freddy that all share this same playable body), having an unscarred face is the only thing he's really got going for him. Hopefully NECA will release another "plain" Freddy before the line ends, because this toy is well-made, and I need a crispy version of him.
But seriously, NECA: make that deluxe pack. Forget screen-accuracy, just this once! Just give us the plain body, a neck that looks good, and all the different heads you've made. Maybe some different gloves if it budgets out. Call it the "Twisted Dreams Pack" or something (to make it clear it's not meant to be 100% accurate to any specific film) and make the ultimate NoES action figure collectible.