Sin City Series 2

Sin City was a visually fascinating movie, reinforcing how far technology has gone to enhance the experience and allow producers, directors, and writers to fulfill their visions in ways never before possible.

It also had one of the most interesting non-verbal characters ever - Kevin, the serial killer. This psycho likes to eat his victims, and while we never actually see him kill anyone in the film and he never utters a single word, we have no doubt just how insanely dangerous he is.

He's all the more interesting because he's doesn't appear dangerous by nature. Played by Elijah Wood, previously best known as Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, he could almost be considered nebbish. He likes jeans, sneakers and Charlie Brown sweaters, topped off with a fine looking pair of nerd glasses. But from your first look at his face, with the vacant eyes and creepy smile, you know that not only is he crazy, he's eat your liver with a bottle of wine crazy.

NECA has the license for figures from the film, and have included Kevin with series two, along with Miho, Wendy, Shellie and the cut version of Marv. The first four come in both black and white and color versions, just like series 1, but the cut Marv comes in black and white either bloody and non-bloody. Oh, and while Wendy comes in both color and black and white, the color version is Goldie, her twin sister, and the B&W version is Wendy. That makes 10 figures, if I'm counting right. You can find these at specialty stores now for $12 - $15 each, or some of my sponsors have them available at great prices.

Packaging -  ***1/2
The packages capture the look and feel of the film well, they're clamshells so they hold up terrific and show off the figure nicely, and they are also small, wasting very little space. That's a big plus for the MOCers, who are always looking for less wasted space.

Sculpting - ***
NECA uses some talented sculptors, there's no doubt about it. Capturing actual human likenesses is extremely difficult, particularly if that human doesn't have attributes which make them easy to 'caricaturize'. While Elijah Wood is one of those folks that's normally very difficult to do - just look at some of the Frodo toys out there - NECA has managed to produce a head sculpt that looks extremely similar to the source material.

They might be helped by the relatively blank stare that he used in the film, since the zombie look is one of the easier to capture in plastic. It's usually how most figures end up, even when the sculptor wasn't trying. Still, there's no denying that some excellent work has gone into producing one of the very best Wood likenesses I've seen.

Unfortunately, the figure itself suffers from some other issues around the sculpt. First, there's the glasses. Now, this isn't really NECA's fault, but a fault of the scale - realistic glasses are impossible to do in the 6" - 7" scale. Impossible. DC Direct failed with Commisioner Gordon, Diamond Select screwed the pooch with Wesley, and while NECA has done better than either of those attempts, these glasses are still the weakest aspect of the character.

I'm including the glasses in the sculpting category, rather than the accessories, because they are glued in place. That was a smart move on their part, since something this small would just fall off all the time (ala Gordon) if they weren't. They are slightly oversized though, not as bad as we've seen in some cases, but enough that it takes away from his appearance. Part of that is because the larger size means that both eyes don't quite line up with the lens, making the scale issue more apparent.

The other factor that drops this score a bit is the awkward posing of the left arm. Because this figure doesn't have much articulation, the pose he's sculpted in is the pose. Now, I don't mind the legs and right arm, because I was able to get him to stand very easily on his own with just a little adjusting, and I was able to use the right arm in a number of ways with either of the included hands.

But with the limited articulation, the left arm just doesn't work well. There's very little you can do with it, and almost all the poses look like he's either broken his arm, or he's just said 'Boo!' Perhaps the fact that the rest of the pose is so dynamic and interesting makes the awkwardness of the one arm that much more aggravating.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are generally clean and well done, and while he's considered 'black and white', this is the black and white of old movies, with lots of shades of gray.

Most of the paint is consistent, but the skin tone was a little greener and darker than I remember from the film. The eyes are clean, with just a little slop around the hair line and on the face, and the smaller details around the shoes and sweater could be a little neater. There's no major issues here, but the quality isn't quite as good as the first series. However, those that hate the heavy paint washes and dry brushing that occasionally plague NECA figures will be happy to see their absence, particularly on Kevin's clothes.

It's worth noting that the glasses are not painted white in this regular version, but clear. We saw him both ways in the film of course, so you could argue either way whether they should or shouldn't be white. I think I would have preferred white myself, and I suspect I'll grab a little paint and fix it up. If you'd like to get the official version with white lens, it does exist - it was an exclusive at the Toronto Comic Con, but you can get it online at the Marvel Collector's Club.

Articulation - **1/2
Kevin has a ball jointed neck, done at the base of the neck inside the torso. This is his best point of articulation, allowing him to cock his head to the side or tilt it forward and back. I'm a big fan of the ball jointed neck, and the additional personality it adds to any figure.

He also has cut shoulders, cut elbows, cut wrists and waist. Technically, he also has cut ankles, but the sculpt doesn't allow for much movement. The arm articulation works fine for the right arm, but as I mentioned above, it doesn't do you much good with the left arm.

Accessories - ***
There are three accessories - an extra set of hands, and a sledgehammer. The extra hands are designed to hold the sledgehammer, and they do that extremely well. As a matter of fact, using those hands and the hammer resulted in my favorite poses. I love the sculpt on the open hands, but with the goofy left arm, they just don't look as good.

The hands have fairly small pegs, and I did have some issues getting them on and off. You want to be very careful, particularly when pushing them on, because the pegs are long and thin. That means that when you go to force them in, it is very easy to bend or snap the pegs. Also, since they are thin and fairly soft, twisting them is not a good idea.

The sledge hammer is nicely scaled, and fits great in the extra hands. Some additional accessories would have been nice, including perhaps some trophy heads or his German Shepard, but maybe that's an exclusive some day. Actually, there is a victim's head with the exclusive Kevin I mentioned earlier, so I might not be so far off on that Shepard idea...

Fun Factor - **
The Sin City figures aren't particularly kid friendly. Since Kevin's back story isn't something I'd be telling a six year old, I'd skip giving him the figure as well.

They aren't a lot of 'adult fun' either, since they are primarily designed to sit on the shelf in a single pose. They can be purty, but not a lot of 'fun'.

Value - **1/2
I'm assuming you'll pay around $12 for this guy, but there are places you can get him as cheap as ten bucks (see below), and that's a great price considering the current market. At ten bucks, I'd add another half star to this score.

Things to watch out for - 
Of course, you want to be on the lookout for the best paint ops possible. You'll also want to be very careful with those wrist pegs when you're swapping out the hands - don't say I didn't warn you.

Overall -  ***
Kevin has a terrific head sculpt, and will look great next to the other Sin City figures on the shelf. The wonky left arm, and some basic issues with paint quality and articulation make him slightly weaker than some of the better figures in the line, but he's still certainly worth picking up if you're a big fan of the film.

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

Where to Buy -
I picked him up at a local Media Play, and some Hot Topics may have them as well. Online options include:

- YouBuyNow has excellent pricing, with both versions of Kevin and cut Marv for just $10, along with the b&w version of Miho.

- Alter Ego has him for just $11.

- CornerStoreComics has him for $12.

- Amazing Toyz has Kevin for $12.

- has the set of seven (color versions of three only) for $77.

- Killer Toys has a set of seven of the figures, including variants, for $90.

- Yikes Comics has a set of five (but you won't know if you get color or b&w versions) for $60.

Related Links - 
I've reviewed several of the earlier releases:

- there's the series 1 Marv, Hartigan and Gail

- there's also the 18" version of Marv (with an 18" Hartigan coming soon).

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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