House of 1000 Corpses - NECA


Sean Teeter is back tonight with another review of the latest House of a 1000 Corpses figures.  Awhile back he reviewed SEG's versions, and then did the exclusive version of Spaulding from NECA. Tonight he follows up with a review of the regular release NECA figures.  Tell us all about it, Sean!

After being so jazzed over the exclusive version of NECA’s Captain Spaulding, I just had to snatch up the whole first series of their House of 1000 Corpses figures, especially after my huge disappointment with SEG’s treatment of the license a while back. NECA’s going places fast these days –their acquired licenses speak for themselves: Pirates of the Caribbean, Sin City, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Kill Bill Vol. 2, and others. While the Corpses’ line might not be as big as these others, NECA’s shown their talent for horror figures on the three series of Hellraiser figures they’ve produced, plus the preview shots for the forthcoming Cult Classics series. Needless to say I’ve been looking forward to these guys for a while now.

The exclusive version of Captain Spaulding served as a preview for NECA’s treatment in this line, and I didn’t hesitate giving him a four star rating. But now, the big question is how do the regular series figures fair in comparison?

Packaging - ***1/2
As I said in the exclusive Spaulding review, I dig clamshell packaging. These guys come in good, solid plastic and are surrounded by very nicely laid out graphics. The red-tinted movie poster image is very eye-catching as opposed to the floating heads montage found with the SEG cards. As a little bonus, a small mug-shot of each character from the Devil’s Rejects is packaged with each figure. Spaulding and Otis have pictures of themselves, while Dr. Satan has a shot of Baby.

Sculpting - Otis: ** ½; Dr. Satan: ***; All-American Captain Spaulding: *** ½ 
While I’m generally happy about these figures, I found myself a tad disappointed with their final looks. Otis is the clear loser here, for many reasons. I like that NECA chose his ceremonial appearance, especially since were going to get a scraggly, white-trash version when the Devil’s Rejects line comes out later this year. However there are some problems to be found. While the face is actually kind of close to Bill Mosesly’s appearance in the flick, the hair just doesn’t look that great, especially the chunks glued to the sides of his head. Instead of imitating wispy hair, they look like the soft-rubber chunks they really are. The wig is a throwback to the hair found on Go-Go Yubari in NECA’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 series and just doesn’t work too well. The soft-sculpted robe over the body also has problems –it hangs too long in the back and takes some adjustment to get Otis to stand right. The glue holding the robe together in front seems fragile, so don’t tug too hard –mine’s already ungluing a bit. The under body appears to be the same from the Devil’s Reject’s preview pictures on NECA’s website. What’s kind of frustrating about this –besides the obvious reuse—is that Otis has a sculpted holster on his leg, but nothing to put in it.

Dr. Satan seems to fall a little shorter than I had hoped or expected. The body has some really nice lines and wrinkles to it, but the face sculpt seems a little cartoony to me with those wide-open eyes. The arm braces are also a little lacking, as they’re sculpted in soft plastic and not as detailed as they could be. The front apron is nicely done however, and has many different holsters for the Doc’s toys. 

Spaulding’s body and hands are the exact same as the preview figure, suffice to say they look good. The soft plastic vest of the jacket looks good; I really like the skull pin on the lapel. The arms also look nice, but the new sculpt compromises the articulation a bit. The head sculpt is good and once again looks very much like Sid Haig, but the expression just doesn’t do it for me as much as the preview version. While all the wrinkles and creases are perfect, the squinty eyes and closed-tooth grin just aren’t as cool as the wide-eyed, goofy version we’ve already seen. It just doesn’t fit the character as well.

Paint - ***1/2
Here’s one category that all three of these guys do well in. Spaulding has the same paint ops on his body, down to the off-color joke written on the back of his t-shirt. Of course, you can’t really see it because of the jacket. There’s no bleeding to really be found anywhere here, but the reds and whites on the soft rubber sculpted section of the jacket are darker than the rest of the color scheme.

Most of Otis’s look comes from the molded colors of his sculpt. The only real paint ops here are on his face, which is pretty close to the movie. However Otis’s skin is too dark. He was really pale in the film and the white face paint in the final scenes was pretty solid, as opposed to the “powdered-on” look here.
Dr. Satan has a really nice wash over his whole wrinkled body. Everything about this guy is old and withered, down to his toenails. There is a blob of gray paint on his left arm however. 

Articulation - Otis: **; Dr. Satan: ** ½; All-American Captain Spaulding: ***
Overall I was disappointed in the articulation of these figures. Spaulding has ten points of articulation: ball-jointed head, shoulders, and cuts at the forearms, wrists, waist, and ankles. Almost all of these are the same as the exclusive figure, except for the forearms. Because of the jacket sculpt, the articulation point was moved to the sleeve cuffs, as opposed to the biceps. While Spaulding still has the same amount of articulation, his arm poses are more limited.

Otis has eight points: cuts at the shoulders, right bicep, left elbow, wrists, waist, and a ball-jointed head. Because of his pre-posed sculpt, Otis’s arm articulation can only allow for small variances. There is a waist joint hidden under those robes, but it doesn’t add much.
Dr. Satan is the biggest disappointment for me in this category. While the doctor does have twelve points of articulation they don’t work as well as they should, or could have. Doc’s got cuts at the shoulders, biceps, forearms, wrists, ball-joints at the ankles, head, and a limited ball-jointed waist. The waist is pretty nice, and allows Dr. S to hunch over his intended patients. The arms are the big disappointment here. The cut joints just don’t work very well. NECA gave the doctor soft-sculpted arm braces to allow for movement in the arms when they should have given us articulated braces instead. While they’ll hold up to some bending and flexing in the short term, I’m sure they won’t go the distance down the road. Ball-jointed shoulders would have really allowed for some nice pose recreation from the movie as well.

Accessories - Otis: **; All-American Captain Spaulding: *** ½; Dr. Satan: ****
Spaulding comes with seven accessories: a baggie of fried chicken, his handgun, two extra hands, his large Uncle Sam hat, his red-white-and-blue baton, and the distinctive bathroom key. The bathroom key was not listed in the write-up online or on the packaging information, so I thought it would only show up with the exclusive version. Silly me. Except for the hat and baton, all of these items were found with the preview figure.
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 “Love” and “Hate” 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. Instead of the previously release mini-hat, Spaulding gets a full-sized one. While I like the little hat better, this one works perfectly fine but has a little bleeding in the stripes on top. The bathroom key chained to the bird-flipping monster’s hand is a nice little doodad. Spaulding can hold it, but not as well as his other toys. The baton seems to be a little too skinny for Spaulding to hold onto, but it still works out all right with enough tinkering.

Otis is at the low end of the spectrum here with two measly accessories. He gets a book and a lantern. The book is permanently opened and has some little scribbles on the pages. The lantern looks really nice, but feels very fragile. I was really worried about getting the handle into Otis’s grip without breaking the thing. The clear plastic “glass” works really well and the candle with the sculpted flame is a nice touch. However, Otis seems to be missing something –perhaps he could use a nice big knife or something to threaten his victims with.
Dr. Satan is fully loaded with all the tools of his trade. The good doctor comes with fifteen different torture tools, plus his removable oxygen mask and air tank.
Among the tools, Dr. S has a large pair of forceps, three pairs of long scissors, two pairs of short scissors, two long clamps, one pair of pliers, one compass, four various awls and chisels, and his large drill. All the scissors, clamps, and the pair of forceps are actually articulated, but have somewhat fragile joints. The drill’s hand crank looks like it might be able to turn but I’m afraid of breaking it if I tried.

The paint schemes on the tools are nicely done. Some are new, some are worn, and some have blood spattered on them. The strap-on mask and air tank work well, but the connecting hose is a bit of a pain to position just right.

Durability/Quality: Spaulding: ***; The Rest: ** ½
Spaulding’s pretty solid and his accessories seem to follow suit. Otis’s front robe seems to separate pretty easily and his lantern is kind of fragile. Dr. Satan’s arm braces feel like they won’t stand up to lots of movement and all his little scissors and clamps can easily break if too much pressure is applied. 
Just a note: when unpacking and applying all of the Doc’s little toys to his apron, you might want to do it over a large white piece of paper on a flat, empty table. These damn things get lost quite easily in carpets of any color and depth.

Value - Otis: ** ½; The Rest: ***
I got these guys as a set from for $31.05 ($10.35 a pop). They also sell them individually for $10.95. For ten or eleven bucks, I think Spaulding and Dr. Satan are worth it. Otis just seems kind of plain to be asking the same price however. For you brick and mortar store types, you can find all three at places like Sam Goody and Suncoast for $11 to $12.

Killer Toys has the set for $32.95, or $11.95 individually.
Cornerstorecomics has the set for $34.99, or $11.99 individually.

Overall - Captain Spaulding; Dr. Satan: *** ½; Otis: ** ½
These three are a hell of a lot better than the SEG line, but they’re not perfect. 
Otis is the clear loser in this bunch. While I like the chosen look, I’m disappointed in the lack of accessories and articulation. There’s also something about his pale mop o’ hair that doesn’t do it for me either. My hopes were up big time after picking up the exclusive Spaulding figure from Sam Goody earlier, and the lack of ball-jointed articulation on the others really let me down. 
Dr. Satan is meant to be the showcase figure in this line, but he still falls short. The limited poseability really factors in here, as does the cheap way NECA did the arm braces. However, the decent sculpt and huge amount of accessories really brings this guy across the finish line for me, so I’m not as disappointed.

For those of you who remember my previous Spaulding review, you’ll notice that this version is a half-star lower. Despite the same basic body, paint scheme, and accessories, there are a few things here that just aren’t as good as the exclusive version. The different articulation points on the arms decrease the posing options for one. The biggest change for me is the head sculpt. While it looks good, the previous version is much more superior in capturing the character’s look and personality.
NECA’s behind Spaulding all the way I guess, since we’re getting the regular release, the Suncoast/Sam Goody 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 18” figure.

In the end NECA did a more than serviceable job on these guys, and I’m really looking forward to their Devil’s Rejects’ line coming out later this year. Well, let’s be honest, I’m looking forward to every one of their lines coming out this year.

Figure from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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