The movie looked so good, that
two companies picked up the license to
produce collectibles before it was ever released. Sideshow and NECA
both planned for the main character, Sam, to make it into action figure
I looked at Sideshow's late last year, and now NECA's version of Sam is
You'll pay around $13 - $15 for
this guy, depending on the retailers. Of course, I have the usual great
suggestions at the end.
has stayed with the clamshell packaging, which works great for
specialty market figures. You'll have to carve Sam out, but that's just
what he's hoping for.
NECA also included a photo of
himself on the front, instead of just shots of the toy. I always
consider that a plus.
Sculpting - ***1/2
Back at Halloween time in 2008, a bunch of additional stills were
released for the film, so we have quite a bit more reference material
the two heads, I much prefer the unmasked version this time. Of course,
it's really the masked version that's his signature look, and the
unmasked version is supposed to be the 'surprise', but there's
something off about the round burlap had. In fact, that's the problem -
it's too round. It looks like there's a balloon under there, rather
than a slightly roundish pumpkin-like head. It's a minor quibble,
because the burlap detailing and button eyes make up for it. But it's
what holds the figure back slightly for me, and I'll probably display
this version with the unmasked head.
Speaking of that second
head, the sculpt is outstanding. The detailing of the melon skin is
excellent, and it holds up even under extremely close inspection.
body is a fairly straight forward sculpt, but the selected pose works
well. He stands great on his own without the display stand if you
prefer, and the stance works well with a number of head and arm poses.
body is made from two pieces, front and back, that are then assembled.
That means there's a seam down both sides, but they added a slightly
scalloped edge to the seam, which makes it look like a sewn edge!
That's a nice touch, and helps mask the seam a little.
designed to fit in with other 7" scale monsters. He's smaller of
course, coming in at about 5 1/4" tall. Without having seen the movie,
he seems a *little* tall, but I'm not going to complain, because I
think at any shorter statue, he'd look far less imposing. I can
sacrifice perfect scale this time for a better shelf appearance.
Paint - ***1/2
The character should look like a small child in costume on quick
glance. But on closer inspection, something should seem...off.
used the paint to accomplish that, but adding dirt and wear to the
footy pajamas. There's also a nice color and look to the burlap bag,
and they used a wash to bring out the fine texturing.
Most of the
fine detail work is on the pumpkin head. The color is quite good, and
the detailed stitching and eyes look as good as the far larger Sideshow
Articulation - **1/2
The articulation here, particularly with the unmasked head, is better
than it might look at first glance.
has a ball jointed neck, but that joint really only works fully with
the unmasked head. Obviously, the bottom of the bag around his
shoulders restricts the ability of the head to tilt, but it still turns
He also has a ball jointed left
shoulder, bit it's the
single pin type often called 'NECA style', since they have used it so
often over the years. It's a little limited, but it does work well
enough for this style of figure and doesn't break up the sculpt too
Both wrists are cut joints, and
the right elbow is a cut
joint too. But the left elbow is actually a pin joint, and can move
forward and back...slightly. The sculpt restricts it quite a bit, but
it still adds a bit to some arm poses.
There is no body or leg
articulation. The body is actually hollow, and as I mentioned in the
Sculpting section, there is a seam down both sides where the front and
back is attached.
There's a little clumping on the
skin tone of
both hands, and the work on a couple of the patches on the clothing is
a bit sloppy. But overall, it's a much better paint job than we've seen
on specialty market figures in this price range in some time.
Accessories - ***1/2
Sam comes well equipped, especially for a specialty market figure.
We've seen the number of accessories shrink over the last year with
most horror figures, so it's nice to see him with multiple goodies.
the swappable head of course, and I prefer his unmasked pumpkin version
for the reasons explained in the Sculpting section. The heads swap
easily, and both look as though they belong when they are in place.
also comes with a small display stand, but you don't really need it. He
stands great on his own, but you can pop him on the pegs of the stand,
and it looks like he's outside on the ground. The base also has a
couple indents for the pumpkins.
Speaking of the pumpkins, there
are two. Actually, they are jack-o-lanterns, not just pumpkins. One of
the rules of Halloween that Sam enforces is 'never blow out a jack o'
lantern', and one of these two is shooting fire up out of the top quite
convincingly. In one of the photos, it will appear as though the
lantern lights up, but it does not. That was merely a well placed light
creating the effect of a light up feature, and I thought it looked
cool. The flames are translucent. But not having it light up is a bit
disappointing, since NECA already gave us a light up jack o' lantern
back with the old Halloween boxed set, and another one here would have
really been cool AND film specific. This flaming lantern is actually
right out of one of the movie
has a candy bag too, but I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. It
appears as though it should rest in or over his hand when it sits on
the ground, but it doesn't quite reach. Still, the sculpt and paint are
good, and you can use it as a background piece.
For his hands,
Sam has two weapons. He has a knife buried in an open candy bar for his
right hand, and his deadly lollipop in his right. Both fit tightly and
Fun Factor - **1/2
He's a creepy character, and smaller kids aren't the audience, but for
slightly older kids who love monsters and beasties and things that go
bump in the night, he'd be just right.
Value - **1/2
No great shakes on the price, but you are paying about the normal going
rate and getting enough to make it worth it. Two and a half stars here
means that the Value is pretty much average, and won't effect my
overall in either a positive or negative way.
Things To Watch Out For
Nothing. I'm betting the paint ops are fairly consistent on this one,
and there's nothing to fear with breakage or damage.
Overall - ***1/2
Over the last six months, we've seen a lot of specialty market figures
that disappointed, usually due to cutbacks on paint, but sometimes from
weak sculpting as well. Sam is a nice return to the level of quality
you should expect from this price point and style.
have no idea if this movie is going to be good or not, but without the
distribution Hell, AND two figures sitting on my shelf, I can certainly
tell you that I'm looking forward to finally seeing it.
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Articulation - **
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2
Where to Buy -
There are a number of great online options:
- Urban Collector
is carrying it for $13.50.
Earth has it at $14.
has it at $14.
- or you can search ebay
with the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.com.
Related Links -
I actually have a related review to this odd little guy! I checked out
the Sideshow version
earlier in 2008. It's amazing that a movie that may never get released
already has not one but TWO collectible figures based on the main
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