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NECA Castlevania Succubus

Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA

Castlevania is a game that's been around for what seems like forever.  Like Mario or Street Fighter, this battle between Dracula and the vampire hunting family, the Belmonts, has had real staying power.

NECA picked up the license to do action figures as an independent series, separate from their popular Player Select line. They've released four figures - the hero Simon (with a clear version), Alucard, Dracula (with a variant head sculpt) and the Succubus.

These are technically a 2007 line, not 2008, because they did start shipping at the holidays. Not a lot made it out then, so most folks didn't see them til '08. Because they didn't make it out widely early in the year and lots of folks missed out, they were re-issued in greater numbers last in 2008. That's when I picked up Succubus at a local FYE for about $17.

Generally, a Succubus is a demon that takes the form of a beautiful woman to seduce men.  Under that definition, this figure fits the bill, seducing me into forking over seventeen bucks for a character I don't particularly care about for a game I haven't played in years. It's no surprise what a babe in a g-string can get you to do, even if she does have big leathery wings.

Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA

Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA
Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA
Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA
Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA
Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA

Packaging - ***
While many other companies have switched back to cardback/bubble style packages, NECA has stuck with clamshells. I've always been a big fan of clamshells, since they allow for personalization through the cheaper paper inserts, and are much more likely to survive peg and storage wear. Also, I can actually open the package without cutting off a finger.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is one of the most attractive female sculpts of the year, and if I were only going off this category, this figure would certainly be in my top five for 2008.

The hair is nicely detailed, and the corset and sleeves have great texturing. The wings have a leathery appearance created by adding small sculpt details,  and the overall body sculpt is hot without being anorexic. 

Things that could be simply painted, like the g-string - aren't. They've sculpted these areas with raised edges, adding realism to the appearance of the figure.

She's a big girl, standing a full 7" tall. She'll fit in quite nicely with most other 7" lines, both movie and game related.

I have two minor issues that hold this category back from a perfect score. The first is the position of the head.  The neck joint only turns side to side, so you can't back it up at all. The idea of the tilt was a good one, but it's just a smidge too far, and without a good ball jointed neck, you can't do much about it.

The other issue is also tilt related - she tilts forward quite a bit. This is due largely to her feet getting bent awkwardly in the plastic insert. The issue is correctable: just dip the feet in some very hot water to soften them up and get them in just the right spot, then dip them into ice water for a quick harden in the new position.

BTW, don't try to remove her top, unless you plan on repainting her. The top was supposed to removable originally, but ended up being glued in place.  I gave it a shot, but it's not meant to be for me.

Paint - **1/2
Unfortunately, the paint work doesn't support the sculpt. There's some good work here, particularly on the translucent wings, boots and costume. But there's some critical areas that pull this score down for me.

First, there's the eyes.  Nothing is more critical on a figure than the eyes (at least from a paint perspective), windows to the plastic soul that they are. With the head tilted down, the pupils had to be pointed up, and they are not. Instead, she looks like she's checking out your new Sketchers.

The eyes are also fairly sloppy, with poor cut lines, and oddly shaped pupils. There's other slop on the shoulders, and some areas of the costume, and at this price point it's not acceptable.

I also noticed that all the ones I saw on the pegs had crooked g-strings. The 'pouch' is sitting at a slightly odd angle, looking mighty uncomfortable even for a demon. It's not obvious in photos, but in person you can see that it was slightly mis-aligned with the sculpt.

Articulation - *1/2
This is not a highly articulated. I didn't expect it to be, and therefore my weighting for this category is much lower than sculpt or paint. Obviously, you may be more concerned.

She has what amounts to a cut neck, and with the long hair in back, the mobility is fairly limited.

She also has cut shoulders, cuts at the top of the boots, and cuts at where the wings attach to the back. And that's about it.

Accessories - ***
She comes with three items, which is about three more than the average specialty market figure these days.

There's a small display stand, which you'll need if you don't correct her ankle bend. It works fine, and is small enough to be out of the way when posing her next to other figures.

She also has a dangerous looking double bladed ax.  The sculpt could use a bit more detail, and the paint could be a bit more realistic, but she holds it in her sculpted left hand just fine.

Finally, there's the a Fleaman. His sculpt is great, but much like the bigger figure, his paint is a bit weak. His hands appear sculpted to hold the ax (which makes sense), but the hard plastic fists were too tightly sculpted to work for me. Use some hot water, and you can probably make it work.

Value - **
Wow, seventeen bucks! To get the full set of four figures in this first wave plus the variant, it would cost you $85, not including tax. Ouch!

She is available online for a more reasonable $13 or so. At that price, she gets her extra half star here.

Things To Watch Out For
Paint. There's not much else to worry about.

Overall - ***
When I first snagged this figure, I thought for sure that she'd be at least a half star higher than this.  It was only on close inspection that I realized the paint really wasn't up to the standard I expect.

That being said, I suspect this figure is still going to rank in my top three female figures of the year.  Yea, I know her paint is not what it should be (hopefully you can find one with a better application), but there's something about her allure, something about her gaze, something that just...compels me to love her.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint -**1/2
Articulation - *1/2
Accessories - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
There are several online options:

- Entertainment Earth has her individually for just $13.

- CornerStoreComics has her at $20.

- or you can search ebay with the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.com.

Related Links -
I didn't look at any of the other Castlevania figures, but I have looked at NECA's Player Select Assassin's Creed, and Legacy of Kain.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!


Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.75

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Castlevania Succubus action figure from NECA



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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