Cult Classics
18" Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA

Last week, I checked out the latest set of Cult Classics figures that includes a 7" scale version of Beetlejuice. This week, I'll take a look at his bigger cousin, the 18" (quarter scale) version.

This isn't the first time NECA has tacled the Beetlejuice license. About 7 years ago they took a crack at it with these figures, but the quality and ability of the company has came a long way since then.

I'm a huge fan of the 18" plastic figures. The scale looks fantastic on the shelf, and the plastic versions from companies like Mezco and NECA are far cheaper than the high end 'statues' from other companies in this scale.

As is often common for NECA, they've added a sound feature to Beetljuice. Turn him on, and a small motion sensor on the front will play a series of lines right from the film.

You can pick this guy up at several of my sponsors for around $40 - $45, which is pretty good in today's market.

Packaging - **1/2
It's a big box, but not bigger than it needs to be. There's no wasted space, which is a plus these days, but it seems like the window and box construction is a bit weak. I'm betting most of the boxes will be crushed, especially for the folks that buy it mail order.

It also seems odd that the sound feature isn't hyped a bit more on the box. It does mention it on one side, but it's not played up as much as I'd expect.

Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA

Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA
Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA
Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA
Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA
Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA
Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt is great, even better looking in this larger scale. The head sculpt shows off more of the texture and wrinkles, and the eyes and mouth have an even more lifelike appearance.

I can't say that I see Keaton in there any better, but the eyes and mouth look more accurate. The nose still seems off to me, with too great of a curve to the front, but the realistic detail helps make up for it.

The hair is made from that same translucent plastic as the smaller version, making the solid hair seem more wispy and fine, like it was in the film. It also allows for light to shine through in some very cool ways.

The body is designed for one pose really, and the more limited articulation (more on that in the later section) doens't provide as many options. Fortunately the intended pose is a classic one.

The lower legs are made from a hollow VERY hard plastic. Hard plastic like this tends to feel cheap, ut the reality is that he'll be less likely to wilt over time, a big problem for many of these large figures.

The coat is a rubbery material, softer than the rest of the figure. The sculpt is good on the overall body, and the hands look terrific, but unfortunately all this good sculpting isn't supported by the next category...

Paint - *1/2
You'd assume that the bigger the figure, the easier it is to paint, especially when it comes to the larger details. This figure proves that particular theory wrong.

IfI were grading only on the head, the score here would be much better. The skin, eyes, and mouth all look excellent, although the 'dirt' smudges on his face are a little too fake and heavy handed.

But the suit is a disaster. The black stripes are uneven, sloppy, and inconsistent. I don't mind some of the black 'spray' effects, because they add a bit of a worn, dirty look to the white suit. But the terrible work on the stripes, along with the random black marks, scratches, and chips in the paint is just unacceptable.

Articulation - **1/2
The 18" figure has the same amount of articulation as the 7" figure...but it doesn't work nearly as well.

There's that ball jointed neck, but it doesn't have the range of movement of the smaller version. There are far fewer  poses you'll be able to get out of it.

There's the ball jointed shoulders, which work fairly well, along with the cut elbows and cut joints at the top of the boots. The waist and wrists are ball jointed too, but these have less mobility as well.

That's a bit disappointing, because I was really looking forward to exercising those same joints in this larger scale.

Accessories - Bupkis
Nope, nada, zippo, zero. At least you get a sond feature.

Sound Feature - ***
Most of the 18" figures produced by NECA have some sort of sound feature. Beetlejuice is no different, and his lines are lifted straight from the film soundtrack. They are all clear and loud, with the speaker placed on the upper back. That's where the switch to turn it on and off is as well, but the small motion detector is on the lower left of his belly.

There are seven different sayings, all done in the same order each time:

- Go ahead, make my millinium!

- Learn to throw your voice, fool your friends, fun at parties!

- Whoa, sandworms. You hate 'em, right? I hate 'em myself.

- You bunch of losers! You're working with a professional here!

- Thank you! Woo! That is why I won't do two shows a night anymore, babe. I won't. I won't do them.

- It's showtime!

- What do we got here tonight, kids.

Obviously, those are some key lines. The only downside is that the sensor is very close to the jacket, and most of the time it was hidden for me. In fact, it looks like someone tried to punch a hole through the rubbery jacket at that spot, but it isn't completely through the material.

This means that the sounds only work sporadically based on motion, and you have to readjust the jacket regularly.

Fun Factor - ***
It's not the usual toy style action figure, but it's still plenty of fun. And while you might not have any other figures in this scale, this one makes a fantastic Halloween decoration.

Value - **1/2
This guy runs you around $40, and if it wasn't for the weak paint ops, he would have gotten another half star here. The price isn't bad at all for such a large figure, even with the cheaper plastic used for the legs, but the paint ops are just too cheaply done.

Things To Watch Out For
If you're picking yours off the shelf, watch those paint ops. Otherwise, you shouldn't have any issues.

Overall - **1/2
It kills me that this figure is scoring below average. I really like the head sculpt, and the talking feature is solid. The articulation allows you to put him in the most classic pose, and he COULD have looked fantastic on the shelf.

I say COULD because the paint job on the suit is just awful. The work on the head is fine, but the body has more slop than I've seen in years, especially on a figure in this scale. This is a figure, that like SOTA's Pumpkinhead from a few years ago, would look much much better with a repaint. If you have the skill to fix it, you'll end up with a terrific looking figure.

Even without the repaint, he can still make a good Halloween decoration. Just don't expect him to be as high quality as other figures in this scale.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - *1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Bupkis
Talking Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
There's a few online options amongst my sponsors:

- CornerStoreComics has this large version for just $37.

- Urban Collector has a great price on the 18" Beetljuice at just $37.

- Alter Ego Comics has this guy for $40.50.

- YouBuyNow has the large for $48.

- for the UK fans, you can pick up the small figures at Forbidden Planet for 25 GBP.

- or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
If you're a fan of Beetlejuice, check out these reviews:

- last week I looked at the 7" version of this figure.

- before that, we had the ancient series from NECA.

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.  Averaging the two scores together and then converting to a five star system for comparison is: 3.13

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Beetlejuice 18 inch action figure from NECA

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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