Cult Classics Series 1
Patrick Bateman and Mohawk Gremlin

Mcfarlane Toys came up with a somewhat unique idea several years ago - create a single line, but put characters from very different movies under it. There are lots of films that have only one or two interesting characters that are interesting, and could never support their own line, but work perfectly in this scenario.

McToys has since let their Movie Maniacs stray from that original concept, doing 3, 4 or more of the same license in one series. But any time you have a good idea, other companies catch on, and that's what's happened. Both NECA and SOTA now have lines that follow the same theme - SOTA has Now Playing, and NECA has Cult Classics.

Series 1 of Cult Classics is hitting now, and includes the Crow, Jason (Friday the 13th), Mohawk Gremlin and Patrick Bateman (American Psyhco). Tonight's review covers the last two, which I picked up at a local Media Play for $11 each. I have some other suggestions at the end of the review for retailers.

Series 2 has already been announced, and will include Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko, the Tall Man from Phantasm, Freddy Krueger and Leatherface. Also, along with the regular series 1 figures, there's two 18" buggers - another Patrick Bateman, and a T-800.

Packaging - ***1/2
Cult Classics use clamshell packaging, with single sheet inserts. There's nice photos on the insert, along with a reasonable amount of interesting and useful text.

I would have like some instructions on the mohawk for the Gremlin (okay, so it's actually pretty easy, but still...), but in general the packages are sturdy, well designed and look great.

Sculpting - Gremlin ****; Bateman **1/2
This pair of figures is the perfect example of the opposite ends of the spectrum - one great, one not so great. Did you know that Bateman without the 'e' is Batman? Freaky, huh...

The Mohawk Gremlin is huge, much larger than the Gremlin NECA did for the Gremlin license. Of course, that's actually on purpose, as this Gremlin is the big bad (and I mean big) from Gremlins 2, not the original Gremlin film. His sculpt is even more impressive than the various Gremlins from the older series, which is saying quite a bit.

The mohawk comes as two separate pieces from the main body of the figure. The pieces snap into place fairly well, at least they did for me. I've heard that some folks have had issues with keeping them in - and had to break down and glue it. But they snapped in tightly and stayed put for me. They are sculpted from a soft material, softer than the body itself.

He stands great on his own, and the sculpt works nicely with the articulation. While the Jason and Crow figures from this series are also fairly well done, the sculpt on the Gremlins makes him the pick of the litter.

Unfortunately for Patrick, he's the runt of the litter. It's not that he has one thing that makes him awful, but many minor things that add up to make him disappointing overall.

His head sculpt is actually better than I had expected. From the early prototype photos, the face looked way off. However, the final paint job actually made it work better than it looked originally. It's still not a great Bateman sculpt though, and you'll have to look at it with squinted eyes in just the right light to see Christian Bale hiding in there someplace.

The hand sculpts are very harsh, done with more detail than is really appropriate in this scale. The left hand works only well with one accessory, and is in such a goofy pose that it works against the overall appearance of the figure.

The body sculpt is important in his case, because unlike the Gremlin, Bateman doesn't have much articulation. The pose he's sculpted in is fairly awkward, and also violates the number one pet peeve - he doesn't stand up on his own.

The feet don't work well with the center of gravity, and Patrick likes to fall over backwards. It wouldn't be so bad if he had a pegged display base, but the base doesn't work that way, and is only there for him to stand on, not to hold him up.

Paint - Gremlin ***1/2; Bateman **
The paint ops on the Gremlin are clean, neat and very detailed. The work on his skin mottling and coloration is top notch, and the small detail work on the eyes, teeth, and ears looks great.

Again, Bateman doesn't stack up as well. The face paint is better than it was on the prototype, with less wash, and a more even skin tone, but the hand paint is awful. It appears as though perhaps they are supposed to be either dirty or bloody, but it really doesn't work since the darker color is only in between the fingers, and it's really, really dark.

The work on the suit is better, but the blue of the tie is bleeding into the white shirt a bit, and there's a little more slop in general than you like to see in a specialty market toy.

Articulation - Gremlin ***; Bateman **
The articulation on the Gremlin is good, but not perfect. He has a cut joint neck, excellent ball jointed shoulders, cut elbows and wrists, and cut hips. While not a lot of articulation, it's enough to give him quite a wide range of posing possibilities. And between the excellent shoulders and the extremely long arms, he can actually bring his hands together in front of his body.

He could also use a ball jointed neck, and while the body design would have made it tough, it wouldn't have been impossible. Still, the figure is a nice combination of sculpt and articulation, and shows how well it can work together when done right.

Bateman doesn't nearly as well, and yet he does have the ball jointed neck. It's definitely his best feature, and most of his remaining joints fall short. He also has cut shoulders, cut wrists, ankles and waist. The sculpted right arm, bent at the elbow, leaves much to be desired, since it's extremely limiting in terms of poses. The ankles barely move, and certainly not enough to make it possible to correct his issues with standing.

Accessories - ***
Both figures do pretty well in this category, and it's easily Bateman' saving grace.

The Gremlin comes with a spifftastic display stand, right out of the lab. There's test tubes on the floor, and interesting details every where else. It might see a little small, but actually works pretty well with the figure - it's the tabletop, not the floor.

He also comes with a big flask of nasty blue fluid, right from the film. He can hold it in his hand or hands, and it looks great with the overall display.

Bateman comes with a ton of extra goodies, although none of them are exceptional on their own. His display base is part of the floor with the newspaper on it, and while the detail is good, it doesn't do much to keep him standing.

He also has his head phones with player, but they don't fit particularly well on his head. He has two nasty knives, both silver, and both pretty monotone. Something a little different in color on the handles would have been nice. 

There's a well done axe that fits in his hands nicely, and he can actually hold the nail gun in his oddly shaped left hand perfectly. The briefcase is a briefcase, and that funky left hand can carry it, albeit in a funky pose.

Finally, there's a videocassette, and his extra right hand, designed to hold either of the knives better than the initial hand. The extra hand pops on and off of a very hard peg on the arm, which is different from the usual, where the peg is on the hand. This works much better, and is much less likely to break.

Fun Factor - Gremlin ***1/2; Bateman **
The Gremlin is a figure kids can have a lot of fun least kids who like freaky looking monsters. Bateman is a psychotic serial killer, and is a fairly dull looking one at that. How many kids want a yuppie in a suit, even if he is a few french fries short of a Happy Meal?

Value - Gremlin ***; Bateman **1/2
At $11 each, the Gremlin is a pretty good deal. Great sculpt, paint and articulation, nice size, and with decent accessories. Bateman has decent accessories, but falls short in most other areas, so he's no better than an average value.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Look through the Batemans for the best paint job possible - that's going to be your biggest issue. There's nothing to worry about with the Gremlin.

Overall -  Gremlin ***1/2; Bateman **1/2
The Gremlin is a damn fine figure, and an excellent example of a movie figure done well. If you can only pick up one of this series, you should seriously consider making it this one.

Patrick is on the other end of the scale. His only saving grace is his accessories, and even those have some minor issues.  Without them, he would have ended up losing another half star in the overall score. He managed to pull out an average score, but there's enough annoying basic problems to make you think twice unless you're a major fan.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - Gremlin ****; Bateman **1/2
Paint - Gremlin ***1/2; Bateman **
Articulation - Gremlin ***; Bateman **
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - Gremlin ***1/2; Bateman **
Value - Gremlin ***; Bateman **1/2
Overall - Gremlin ***1/2; Bateman **1/2

Where to Buy -
I picked these up at Media Play, which was the first store in my area to finally get these in. At $12 each, they were a little better deal than most figures in this market. There are also online options:

- has the individual figures for just $10.50, or the set for just $42.

- Amazing Toys has the Mohawk Gremlin for $12, and they also have the set for $45, along with preorders for series 2.

- CornerStoreComics has the full set for $45, or the individual figures for $12 each.

- Alter Ego Comics has this set for just $48 for the full set of four.

- Killer Toys has them for $14 each, or $50 for the set.

- Yikes Comics has the individual figures for $14 - $15 each.

Related Links -
Not much this time around...

- here's the NECA website though, so you can check out what's coming up.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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