Thursday, 1 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: NECA Ultimate Chucky


Release Date: November 2017
RRP: $29.99/£29.99

Halloween has only just passed, and like many I've spent the last month or so getting into the spirit by revisiting some of my favourite horror films. And as far as gore-filled slasher fests go, the Chucky series is definitely the closest to my heart. During my rewatch of all seven films I came to the conclusion that the maniacal doll first seen in 1988's Child's Play needed plastic representation in my collection, and wandering around a convention recently NECA stepped in to provide just that. Joining the likes of Freddy, Jason and Leatherface, NECA's Ultimate Chucky figure is designed to be the very best among their ever-popular horror range.



Like the other entries in NECA's "Ultimate" range, Chucky comes packaged in a lavish book-style window box which opens up to reveal the figure and all of its glorious accessories. However Chucky's box is especially good as it's an almost perfect recreation of the Good Guys doll packaging, complete with the seemingly innocent doll peering out through the (printed) window. This accuracy only applies to the front and sides of the box of course, as the back does the usual thing of showing the figure and its accessories off in a variety of poses. With all the bright colours on the rest of the box, the eerie, dimly lit promotional pictures displaying Chucky's murderous side are a really nice clash and make them all the more effective.




Once you get the figure out of the box you can really see just how well NECA have done on the sculpt here. The headsculpt is an extremely close likeness to the doll seen in the actual film, and given the size difference here that's a pretty impressive feat. The sculpted hair also looks fantastic, which is definitely worth noting as along with face sculpts it's often something that can make or break a figure's likeness. Moving down the body and all the paint detailing is nicely applied and accurate, which again is pretty impressive given all the tiny images on the overalls. When looked at with certain lighting you can even see a bit of denim texturing on him. Admittedly I'm not familiar enough with NECA products to know if this is par for the course with them, but they really knocked it out of the park with Chucky.


The standard Good Guys doll head is all well and good, but who honestly wants to buy a Chucky figure with that? Thankfully NECA have also loaded the figure with three other heads that nicely encompass different periods from the film series – a standard snarling face (based on the original Child's Play version), the mutilated face from the climax of Child's Play 3 and finally the iconic stitched up look from the later Chucky films. This one is specifically from Curse of Chucky, which makes sense as the Bride or Seed versions would also require some minor costume changes. There are a couple of other different looks (or expressions) NECA could have chosen here, but between the four heads the range is pretty much perfect. The option to choose between the normal and stitched heads is EXACTLY what I want in a Chucky figure, while the Good Guys doll and mutilated face add that extra level of display and playability to the toy. All four heads are immaculately sculpted, but special praise has to go to that Child's Play 3 head. All that muscle and sinew is brilliantly carved, and that blood red paint job really shows off that deep detail. Brilliant stuff.





For articulation Chucky has a ball-jointed head, ball-cut shoulders and hips, hinged elbows and knees, ball-jointed wrists and feet swivels. That may not seem like a whole lot, but given the figure's size it actually ends up falling just short of perfect. Sure a waist swivel might have been nice just for a little more motion, but as the figure of an actual doll "slightly less than human" motion works pretty well on it. Other than a bit of initial difficult popping the alternate heads on (particularly the scarred and mutilated ones) there wasn't much in the way of stiff joints. Everything moves as it should, and Chucky is able to jump between lifeless doll and sadistic murderer poses pretty effortlessly.





But while the figure itself may be excellent, it's perhaps the accessories that really help it live up to the "Ultimate" title. In addition to the aforementioned three extra heads, Chucky also comes with a huge variety of weapons to suit all of his killing needs – and like the heads they're all pieces derived from the films. From Child's Play there's the Good Guys toy hammer, Voodoo Knife and Baseball Bat, from Child's Play 2 the Good Guys Yardstick, knife as well as the makeshift knife arm he resorts to at the end of the film. Then from Child's Play 3 there's the razor and pistol, and finally from Curse of Chucky a good old fashioned kitchen knife. Again it isn't representative of every Chucky film, but it covers a lot of memorable ground. Of course it's not much good including all these things if the figure can't hold onto them, so NECA have also provided three additional gripping hands to go along with the default open ones.

One last accessory included here that isn't pictured is a flat-packed card Good Guys box, perfectly printed and able to (loosely) fit the figure inside. It's another perfect accessory and a very welcome part of the set, but since it requires assembly I decided to just leave it untouched in the box as I won't be using it for display. You can see some images of what it looks like put together here.



When compared to higher quality (but more often than not more expensive) Japanese brands such as Bandai Tamashii Nations NECA often might not stand up all that much to scrutiny, and you don't have to look far for horror stories of painted over joints and unavoidable breakages. Nevertheless their horror film range is easily one of the most beloved in their repertoire and with Ultimate Chucky it isn’t hard to see why. An affordable, high quality figure with not just an impressive selection of accessories – but a selection that covers multiple films. Something like that is so rare with figures nowadays but you just can't help but to be impressed. Scaling excellently with other 6-7" inch figures, if you're as big of a fan of the Chucky series as I am then you definitely won't want to miss out on this.

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