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Gremlins - George and Lenny
NECA

Gremlins action figures by NECA


I know all about Gremlins. Right now, I have one completely dead laptop, a desktop that keeps rebooting (damn Vista!), and a beeping smoke detector that needs a new battery. I get those three taken care of, and there will be three more issues to take their place. The concept of gremlins in our systems seems more appropriate now than ever.

NECA is continuing their action figure series based on the movie, and has released three Mogwai. There's a basic Gizmo, who I skipped since I already have the SDCC version. Along with him, this series has a furry George and Lenny, and there's a second series of three (including a Mogwai version of Daffy!) coming soon.

I picked these up at the local Toys R Us, but you can pick them up at a number of online retailers as well.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Gremlins action figures by NECA
Gremlins action figures by NECA
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Gremlins action figures by NECA
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Gremlins action figures by NECA
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Gremlins action figures by NECA
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Gremlins action figures by NECA
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Gremlins action figures by NECA
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Packaging - ***1/2
If you like clamshells, you'll appreciate NECA's determination to stick with this type of package. I prefer them for their sturdy, indestructible nature, but others complain that they require a knife to free the toy.

A nice feature is photos of the full set of figures both out now and coming out soon on the back.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I'm loving the sculpts on both the Mogwai and the larger evil Gremlins. There's plenty of detail work in the fur, and the faces have perfect expressions.

This time we get George and Lenny, the gruff Mogwai and his less than brilliant buddy. I have to say that it wasn't until I saw these two together on the peg that I made the connection to Steinbeck's characters in Of Mice and Men, which goes to show how slow I am.

Like the novel's characters, Lenny is taller than George. Here he is almost 4" tall, while George is closer to 3 3/8" tall. Both fit in nicely with the larger Gremlins as well as the Gizmo's in the series.

Both figures stand great on their own, and the basic hand sculpts work fine with most poses. Since they have no accessories, there's nothing special they have to hold.

Paint - ***
The paint work on the larger Gremlins is a bit cleaner and sharper than what we get with the Mogwai, but the work is still solid.

Some of the edge lines are a bit fuzzy, especially around the eyes and mouth, and there's a little clumpiness to the skin tone that was a bit unusual.

Still, the work is superior to some of what we've seen in the Harry Potter and Terminator series this year, and I'm hoping that's a sign of overall improvement in this category for NECA.

Articulation - ***
These guys are short and stocky in their friendly form, but NECA found a way to get in some decent articulation.

The ball jointed neck works great, with lots of tilt and turn action. You can add a lot of personality to the poses, critical for cute little buggers like these.

The shoulders, elbows, hips and wrists are all designed as pin/post ball joints, but they are pretty restricted by the chunky design of the characters. Still, the joints generally give more poses than I expected.

Accessories - Bupkis
Unlike the larger, monstered out versions, these have no accessories at all. That's a bit of a let down, considering the price.

Action Feature - *1/2
These figures all come with a rather annoying feature - the eyes are movable. There is a track ball like button on the back of the head, and rotating this ball moves the eyes around oogly moogly style. Unfortunately, once you pull out the piece of plastic keeping this ball in one place, it will flop around on it's own, prisoner of gravity. That means the eyes flop up to the top quite easily, and it is VERY hard to keep them in any reasonable looking spot. Either the ball mechanism needs to be tighter, or NECA needs to drop it. Fortunately for George, his slitted eyes don't show much, but it's very frustrating on Lenny.

Fun Factor - ***
Kids are more likely to give the wonky eyes a pass, making them more fun for them than the OCD collector.

Value - **
Fifteen bucks or so seems to be the going rate for action figures these days, but without any accessories it's hard to give these guys that extra half star. They aren't a terrible value, just not quite up to average for me.

Things to Watch Out For -
Nothing likely to break or snap here.

Overall - ***
I'm loving the sculpts on these, and as a set they look terrific. It's particularly nice to get the Mogwai AND Gremlin versions of characters like George and Daffy, and the fact that the scale is appropriate between the two styles really improves the look of the group when they are all together.

I do wish we'd gotten a couple accessories, and I hate the goofy posable eyes. I'll end up sticking the piece of plastic back into the ball to keep it in a single position.

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

Where to Buy -
Toys R Us appears to be the mass market store carrying these. Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has the set of three (including Gizmo) for $45.

- Things From Another World has a case of these Mogwai figures for $180.

- Entertainment Earth has the case for $185.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Check out my previous look at the gremlined out versions of George, Daffy and Flasher. And don't forget that NECA started with these years ago.

Discussion:
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Gremlins action figures by NECA


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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