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Gollum 1/4 scale - Lord of the Rings
NECA

Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA


This weekend I finally got to see The Hobbit for the first time. I hit the IMAX 3D version for my maiden voyage, but plan on seeing the HFR version very soon as well to compare.

I loved the movie, but I have to say that this is one of those times where I think the 2D will be better than the 3D. I don't think it was necessary to make the film epic or beautiful, and in fact I think it hurt some scenes (like the flight from the Orcs in the open fields).

Perhaps my favorite scene in the film is when Bilbo and Gollum have their contest. The CGI on Gollum is amazing, and the expressions, body movements, and dialog makes Smeagol and his best friend Gollum the most interesting characters in a very character filled movie.

NECA has just released their quarter scale Gollum action figure, labeled with the Lord of the Rings logo, but just as applicable to the new film. You should be able to pick him up for around $45 - $50.

I've seen ads stating that the Gollum is limited to 7500, but there's no mention on the package, and no COA.

For those that prefer his softer side, there's also a Smeagol version, with a less malevolent head sculpt.

Packaging - ***
The box is fairly basic, but for the MIBers, it works well. The window shows off the figure, and it's sturdy enough to handle basic shelf and storage wear.

It's not particularly collector friendly, however, and it will take some effort to get him out. Putting him back is possible, but probably more work than most folks - even the more anal collectors - will want to go through.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA

Sculpting - ****
This is a terrific looking figure, from top to bottom.

The skin has an amazing texture, very life-like and realistic. The sculpt on the eyes and teeth is perfect, and easily as good as any of the higher end collectibles we've seen in the past.

This guy is billed as quarter scale, and he stands about 10" tall upright. He'll be closer to 8" in most poses though, bent at the knees and waist.

He seems a smidge small to me, but it's a minor issue, maybe 10% or so. He stands great on his own, and the posed hands look good with most stances.

It's also worth noting that the sculpt allows the articulation to work extremely well, something that's all too rare.

They also made a smart move with Gollum's stringy, balding hair. They went with actual hair (well, the nylon kind), rather than sculpting it. This allows it to fly around his head, very thin and stringy. It adds a lot to this figure, and looks much better than other Gollum collectibles.

Paint - ***1/2
NECA has occasionally had issues with the paint ops on some of their figures. In fact, it's been the one thing that's hurt them at times.

Not so here - they've knocked this one out of the park. The skin has just the right speckled, sickly hue, and the grubby fingernails and toenails look amazing.

The best work is in the face, however, where the eyes have a shiny, life-like color, and the teeth (nine of them, I believe), show what years of Orc snacks can do to your oral hygiene.

The paint work does an excellent job bringing out the best aspects of the sculpt, including the skin texture and expression.

There is some bleed of the red into the whites of the eyes, but it works here for this character. It adds to the expression of anger and hate, making him appear even more insane, if that's possible. 

There is one other issue, at least on mine. The pupils are a little wonky, with one riding lower on the eye than the other. It's only noticeable from certain angles, but it is a bit of a bummer considering how great the rest of the paint work is.

Articulation - ****
There's a lot of joints here - and they are also all useful and well designed.

If the ball jointed neck had worked just a smidge better - it doesn't tilt back very far, making it tough to get some of the better leaning poses - I would have been completely satisfied.

The ball jointed shoulders, wrists and elbows, along with the cut biceps, allow the arms to take just about any pose.

The waist is a cut joint, and there's a useful ab-crunch as well. Coupled with the leg articulation - ball hips, knees and ankles - these joints allow him to take a tremendous number of stances, and he can even keep his feet flat on the ground for most of them.

Accessories - Bupkis
The figure doesn't have any additional items, and there's enough to choose from that it's disappointing. 

Fun Factor - ****
Any kid (or adult, for that matter) who loves the Tolkien universe is going to love this figure. It's an excellent combination of sculpt, paint and articulation, and works both as a collectible and as a true toy.

Value - **
While this is technically a quarter scale figure, he's really only 8 - 10", depending on how you pose him. I have no doubt the license is expensive with the Hobbit franchise just gearing up for another big run, but this guy still feels about $10 - $15 more than he should be. Thankfully, the exceptional sculpt and paint work help assuage some of that price point pain.

Things to Watch Out For -
Zip, zilch, nadda!

Overall - ***1/2
There's three issues here - the price is a little high, the pupils aren't quite perfect, and there's no accessories. Two of these are a done deal, but if you're careful picking out your figure, you may be able to avoid the pupil misalignment.

I'm really impressed with the overall quality of the sculpt, paint and articulation, and this is one of the nicest Gollum's we've gotten. There's a minor nit here and there, but if you get lucky on the pupils, you'll have one mighty fine figure.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Alter Ego Comics has either version at $47 each.

- Big Bad Toy Store has Gollum for $50, or the pair for $89.

- Urban Collector has the Gollum and Smeagol as a pair for $87.

- Entertainment Earth has the pair for $85.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
Other Hobbit and LOTR goodies include - 

- the recent Key to Erebor prop replica.

- Bridge Direct is doing the action figures for the new film. 

- NECA has done other quarter scale LOTR figures too, including Aragorn and Gandalf.

Discussion:
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Gollum Hobbit quarter scale action figure by NECA


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

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