Hellraiser Series 2
Pinhead, Barbie, and Skinless Julia

NECA (Natcional Entertainment Collectors Association) has been turning heads this last year.  With the first Hellraiser series, and then the Gremlins figures, folks took serious notice.

Now the second series of Hellraiser figures are hitting, and with a six figure line up, they're even badder and better than the first wave.  I shot so many photos of the entire line that I decided I'd break this up into two reviews - tonight it's the new Pinhead (from all the movies), Barbie (from Hellraiser 3) and Skinless Julia (Hellraiser 2).  Next week will be Butterball (from Hellraiser 1 and 2), Surgeon (from Hellraiser 6) and Angelique (from Hellraiser 4).

There's some good news on the price front as well.  Retail prices this time will be $10 - $13, and Spencer's has gotten on board at the $10 price point!  That's good news for fans who are looking for to buy the entire series.

These figures will be hitting over the next two weeks, depending on where you live, and will be carried by Spencer's, the Sam Goody family, and other specialty stores.  If you found Hellraiser 1 at at store, they'll probably be carrying series 2.

NECA runs a Hellraiser specific site, and they have instructions up for both Julia's dress removal, and the construction of the Pillar of Souls.

Packaging - ***1/2
Hey, it's not clamshell packaging, but it's still pretty good.  Each card back has a large head shot of the specific character, with great color and lots of detail.  The back shows off the rest of the line, and there's plenty of text to explain the Pillar of Souls add ins and other features.

Sculpting - ****
NECA has some seriously great sculpting in this second series.  While not everyone of these figures might be your personal favorite, you can't deny the level of detail, quality and attention that these sculpts have.

Skinless Julia is overall my least favorite of these three, but I love her sculpt.  She looks like she just jumped off the page of Gray's Anatomy.  They also came up with a terrific way to handle the bandages - the dress and head piece are soft rubber, easy to remove, while the arms are swappable with skinless versions.  You do have to be careful though, especially with the head covering.  First, remove the arms from the figure.  Then the dress comes off over the feet very easily.  When pulling of the head covering, do it from the back, not front, and do it very slowly.  I managed to tear the chin on mine because I wasn't being careful enough.  NECA have their own instructions up at the site.

Pinhead is called 'hellbound' this time around, and I'm assuming that's because the box is in the process of opening.  His hands are sculpted to work with the articulation and allow you to pose him holding the Lament Configuration in both hands.  The wrist/hand sculpts might seem a little weird looking at first, but they have been designed to hold the box. The head sculpt is all new, gritted teeth expression that works very well with the character.  The eyes could have had a little more expression, but overall he looks great and there's enough change to the sculpt to make him worthwhile.  

Finally, Barbie looks great as well, although he's likely to be a less popular character.  He's not quite as cool as Surgeon or Butterball, but the sculpt work is still great.  The barbwire is cleanly done, and both head sculpts look good and snap on and off easily.  His belts are also separate from his body/clothes, and he has a nicely sculpted pair of sheers on his belt that aren't removable, but hang loose.

Paint - Julia ****; the rest ***1/2
I don't have any major complaints about the paint ops.  True, some of the figures don't have quite as much variety as others (like Barbie), but that's more of a character design issue than a toy issue.

Julia stands out in this category because of the exceptional work on her muscles, bones and cartilege.  I wasn't joking about Gray's Anatomy - she really does look like a drawing from that classic tome.  Sure, they don't look like they'd rather rip your soul out than talk to you, but you get the idea.

The other two have clean ops, with good definition between colors, no bleed and no slop.  There's some nice added blood, especially on the hands of Pinhead, and the small detail work on the barbwire of Barbie is very clean and neat.

Articulation - Skinless Julia **, Pinhead, Barbie ***
The articulation on these won't be amazing, but it's fairly adequate for the characters.

Julia has shoulders, and cut hips on her body.  Her neck has a very nice ball style joint, so she can look up and down as well as side to side.  And surprisingly, both sets of arms have wrist joints.  While she had the most trouble standing - since Barbie and Pinhead have flat bottoms that's not surprising - she still was able to stand on her own.

Barbie has neck, shoulders, wrist and waist.  His articulation is somewhat limited, but works well with the accessories.  His lower body is all one solid piece, with a rubber skirt over a plastic armature, similar to Pinhead.

Pinhead has neck, shoulder, wrist waist and cut biceps.  The arms work to come together in front and hold the box nicely.  His lower body is a rubber skirt covering an interior armature again.

Accessories - ****
Here's another category that these figures truly excel in.  Every figure comes with multiple accessories, and they are all sensible and usable.

Barbie has the fewest of the set, with his swappable head, flames to shoot out of his mouth, and his, uh, demonic martini shaker.  Does this thing have a name?  Whatever it's called, it fits perfectly in his hand, and the flames even look great.

Julia comes with her outfit, swappable arms, and the bloody heart.  The heart fits in the hands of either set of arms, and the use of the rubber outfit was a great idea.  You have to be careful with the head covering, but once you get the hang of it, you can put it on and remove it fairly easily.

Pinhead comes with the Lament Configuration again, but this time it's in the process of opening.  The sculpt is excellent, especially at this scale.  He also comes with two 'utensils', attached to ropes on his body.  Both can be removed, and are nice and bloody.

But the really great accessory is the Pillar of Souls.  Each character comes with one piece of the pillar, and the sculpting and paint ops on these is amazing!  I've included photos of one piece plus one shot of the completed pillar.  I'll have more photos with the second review as well.

There's a ton of great detail in the pillar, and it snaps together fairly easily.  It only goes together one way, and NECA has instructions on the web site if you're having trouble.

The top (or bottom?) piece that comes with Julia is also designed to be used as a stand for her.  The long pieces aren't intended for that, because of the sculpting on them, but for them to do that for Julia was another nice touch, since she has the most trouble standing.

Value - ***1/2
I'm grading these at $10 each - pay higher and take off some stars.  And at ten bucks, these are a great value.

First, this is a licensed product, not an in house line.  They have great sculpting, excellent accessories, and good paint ops.  The articulation is adequate, and they are well worth the $10 price point.

Overall - Julia ***; Barbie, Pinhead ***1/2
The first series of Hellraiser figures were good, but these blow them away.  The character selection is better, and there are at least three must have figures in the series.  The best part is which three are must haves are likely to vary from person to person, due to the smart selection.

I should have the review up for Surgeon, Angelique and Butterball next week, and at least one of those figures will be getting four stars.  Which one?  You'll have to wait and see!

Where to Buy - 
Your best bet is Spencers if you're going shopping locally, although Sam Goody and Media Play should have them as well. On-line:

Killer Toys has them for just under $10 each, a great price!

- Time and Space Toys doesn't have the second series listed yet, but if you missed the first series they have the full set of six on sale for $60.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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