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NECA Captain Spaulding

Sean Teeter is back tonight with a great review of the NECA's take on the evil Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses.  Tell us all about it, Sean!

I usually donít go after exclusive versions of figures all that much, unless thereís something unique about the figure. For example, I have a few Master Chiefs from the Halo line, but I donít feel the need to pick up a retailerís exclusive version because they have the guy in teal or pink as opposed to green, red, or blue. 
However, when a true exclusive pops up in one of my areas of interest, I will give it a second look. 

This past year my new favorite company NECA, picked up the license to Rob Zombieís House of 1000 Corpses, as well as the upcoming sequel, The Devilís Rejects. Iíve been thrilled with their work on the Hellraiser line all along, and needless to say after my sheer disappointment with the SEG figures produced a little while back, I was overjoyed that someone would be taking a new approach. 

The first release is a Media Play/Suncoast exclusive Captain Spaulding. While the same body will be used on the upcoming regular release version, there are enough differences between the two figures that I felt this one was worth picking up. Well that and the fact that this guy blows the previous SEG version out of the water . . .




Packaging - ***1/2
I dig clamshell packaging. While the SEG figures also had clamshells, the plastic was kind of flimsy and easily damaged. The graphics and presentation on Spauldingís card are really nice and use the movieís poster as its main graphic as opposed to the floating heads montage found with the SEG cards. 

Sculpting - ****
When I look back on the SEG review I did, I canít believe I actually gave their Spaulding a rating as high as ** Ĺ in this category. Besides the Professor figure, Spaulding was the only one that captured some of the essence of the source material, so I probably gave him a little more leeway. 

The NECA version on the other hand deserves no leeway, simply because it doesnít need any. This guy is nowhere near as complicated, or intricate in design as something like a McFarlane Alien sculpt, but damn. I cannot find a single fault in the sculpting of this character.

The baggy clown pants, every crease and wrinkle in his shirt, the stubble on his arms, all the way down to his giant clown shoes: perfect.

The head sculpt is simply a work of frigginí art. The demented, goofy-ass, open-mouthed grin just captures the character so well, Iím amazed every time I set eyes on it. This looks so much like Sid Haig itís scary.

If you have problems with clowns, donít buy this guy. However if youíre very much into stuff like Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and Stephen Kingís It, then you need to grab him immediately. He just looks so freakiní awesome.

Paint - ****
Figures with decent sculpts are always left to the mercy of their paintjobs when it comes to the final presentation. For example, the Hasbro Jabbaís Palace Luke and Sideshowís Fox Mulder are figures that have decent-looking, source-material accurate sculpting. However their final looks arenít as great as they should be due to sloppy or bad paint jobs.

Luckily for Spaulding, his paint ops are even better than his sculpt.

The white polka dots on his blue pants are all clean. In fact, I canít find a single bleed on the whole figure! The dirty white wash of the shirt is perfect, as is the hot dog graphic. Even the off-color joke on the back has nice, clean lettering. The tattoos on the arms look great, but the real showcase here is the head.

The smeared white make-up, dirty teeth, and blue eyebrows, give way to one of the greatest sets of eyes Iíve ever seen on a figure of this scale. The amount of expression and character here really raises the bar on eye ops for the future. 

Articulation - ***
Spaulding has ten points of articulation: ball-jointed head, shoulders, and cuts at the biceps, wrists, waist, and ankles.
From the waist up heís got some pretty decent posing possibilities, especially with the interchangeable hand sculpts. Except for the ankles, heís a statue under the belt. But in the end, itís okay. The ankles allow for balance and the upper-body allows for some nice variations. Thatís a heck of a lot more than I can say for the three-point articulation on the SEG release.

The bicep sculpts donít line up as well as they should with the shirtsleeves when moved around, but this is something we probably wont see on the regular release since that version will be wearing his patriotic jacket. 

Accessories - ***1/2
Spaulding comes with six accessories: a baggie of fried chicken, his handgun, two extra hands, his miniature Uncle Sam hat, and the distinctive bathroom key.
The hand sculpts are very nicely done. One pair is open while the other pair is made to hold various items. The right hand works well with the baggie while the left one goes with the gun. The coolest part about the hands is the ďLoveĒ and ďHateĒ tattoos on the fingers.

The gun is very nicely rendered and is sculpted in stiff, solid plastic. The baggie of chicken also looks really nice and the cartoon Spaulding paint job on the front is flawless. The mini-hat works very well. Iím glad NECA went with the source material and used an elastic strap as opposed to using a peg or magnets to keep it on. The bathroom key chained to the bird-flipping monsterís hand is a nice little doodad. Spaulding can hold it, but not as well as his other toys.

The hands, gun, and baggie will be seen with the regular released version as well. The mini-hat and key are exclusive to this figure. The regular release will feature a full-sized hat and a baton instead. 

Durability/Quality: ***
Iím worried that the gun might snap if too much pressure is applied, as well as the elastic strap on the hat. The hands could have also snapped in a little better and left less of a gap, but itís hardly noticeable. 

Value - ***
I picked him up at a Sam Goody for $11.99 and I feel like I got a decent deal. It really depends on if you were a fan of the movie or not. Or if you have a thing for, or against, clowns . . .

You can probably snag him for $12 or $13 at Sam Goody, Suncoast, or Media Play. I cannot find this guy anywhere online other than Ebay. The regular release version can be found at Killer Toys and CornerStoreComics

Overall - ****
I didnít even have to think about this one. Even though itís early in the year, I can easily say that this guy is probably going to be one of the best-looking figures of 2005. 

This is the first release in NECAís House of 1000 Corpses/ Devilís Rejects line. Compared to the other characters slated (Skull-faced Otis, Dr. Satan, Patriotic Spaulding, Shotgun Baby, Tiny, D.R. Otis), this guy is probably the most mundane of the character designs Ėif this great figure is any indication about the rest of the series, NECAís going to sweep up this year for sure. Heís just too damn cool. Interestingly enough, NECA must really like the Captain since their releasing several versions: the regular release, the Suncoast exclusive, their Chiller Convention exclusive (same as the Suncoast, but with the clown make-up washed off and the alternative hands sculpted flipping the bird), a head-knocker, and a talking 18Ē figure. Wow, evil clown city. 

I visit NECAís news section every now and then, so I know that there are at least a few people over there that check in at Michaelís site. After seeing their take on Spaulding and the upcoming line-up being offered, I have to wonder if they read my SEG review a while back. Not only did NECA address issues I touched on, but I specifically mentioned them and McFarlane as being better companies with these kinds of figures.

With the SEG figure I had issues with Spauldingís hat, and stated a couple of times that a separate hat and string as opposed to a sculpted one would have worked better. NECA gave us that. I harped on the single accessory. A bucket of chicken? Címon. I wanted some other stuff, maybe a weird item or two from his shop. NECA gives us a lot more, including the distinctive bathroom key from the movie. The articulation, paint, and sculpt defects I complained about with the SEG figure are nowhere in sight here. Line-up wise, I was really ticked with SEG at the absence of Dr. Satan. Well, NECAís got a fully loaded version coming out soon, complete with over a dozen accessories. Plus we get a version of Otis that doesnít look like Oog the Pig-Boy. 

In the end, I donít really know if anyone at NECA caught my review and I seriously doubt they used my complaints against SEG to guide their own figure decisions, but itís really cool to see a company that definitely has the wants of the true toy lover in mind. Great sculpting, great articulation, great accessories, and all at affordable prices Ėtheyíve got it down.
NECAís just going to be on fire this year. Not only do they have the long-awaited Pirates of the Caribbean line coming out just around the corner, but theyíre also producing figures for Sin City and Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy. Plus theyíre taking on McFarlaneís Movie Maniacs with their own Cult Classics line. Iím sure that by the end of 2005, NECA will have put a serious dent in my wallet with all this great stuff. 

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ** 1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Durability/Quality - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ****



Figure from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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