V for Vendetta Statue

We have a new guest reviewer in the house today - Rob Phillips is here to tell us all about the NECA statue for V for Vendetta.  Give it to us straight, Rob!

In the world of high-end collectibles, an almost surefire way to know that something is not going to be worth the money is if the company producing the product offers up no photos of the actual product before itís released. Another sign would be if a company thatís not really known for producing higher end collectibles decides to throw their hat in the ring for the first time. NECA is not really known as a company that produces large scale statues based on licensed properties. In the past, they were commissioned by Marvel Comics to release some lower end statues based on some of their more popular characters at vastly discounted prices. They were able to do this by shipping these statues in plain brown boxes and offering statues that were of a somewhat lesser quality than the public was used to. Still, they were nice pieces and at $35 a piece plus shipping, no one was complaining. The Marvel deal ended almost before it began (I think a total of 4 or 5 statues were ultimately released) and NECA went on to increase their action figure output seemingly leaving the world of 1:6 scale statues behind. (They were also supposed to release a 1:6 scale statue of Marv from the Sin City film, but I believe plans to do so were ultimately scrapped.) When NECA announced that it had acquired the licensing to make figures, statues, and props based on the film ďV For VendettaĒ, the collecting community seemed both excited and confused. We were excited to be getting anything related to ďVĒ, but were confused by the choice of company to produce these items because DC Comics (who publishes the comics on which the film is based) has their own in house producer of figures, statues, and propsÖ DC Direct. But, like I said, we in the collecting community were simply happy enough that products were in the works. 

V for VexationÖ

After it was announced that NECA would be making a 7-inch ďVĒ action figure, they also announced plans for a prop replica of Vís signature daggers as well as plans for a 12Ē resin statue. Those of us who collect statues could not have been more happy and although the only ďpicturesĒ of the product that were released were really pre-production photos of the character as seen on screen, anticipation was high. The statue came up for order and still there were no photos of the actual product to be found, but if you didnít order one in time you run the risk of the statue selling out and having to pay over inflated secondary market prices if you donít get in on the first go Ďround. Because the statue was rumored to have been limited to only 500 pieces, online retailers were selling out pre-orders and collectors had to be willing to take the chance on this statue sight unseen. Although the previously mentioned warning signs were there, it was time to s*** or get off the potÖ so to speak. I hesitantly placed my order. 

V for Vociferous

When I received notification that my statue was shipping, I patiently awaited its arrival. Between the time it was ordered and the time it was delivered, there had still been no pictures of the final product released by NECA. I honestly had no idea what this statue was going to look like. When I unboxed the statue, if the outer packaging was any indication, I was not going to be pleased. The outer box that houses the statue within was made from the thinnest of cardboard. There were pictures from the film on the outside of the box with something of a picture of the statue as well although with the box being primarily black in color and the statue being about 90% black as well, it was a little hard to make out as you might imagine. I opened the top of the box and attempted to slide the Styrofoam inner container out, but the Styrofoam crumbled between my fingers. This did not bode well for what was inside. NECA had seemingly cut corners on both the outer box and Styrofoam packing materialsÖ what other corners had been cut I wondered? 

To get the molded Styrofoam out of the box without causing further damage to it, I had to open both ends of the box and push the foam up from the bottom as the box lay on its backside. At this point, I noticed that the two sides of Styrofoam were not taped together. Sure, the box does an okay job of keeping the two pieces from coming apart, but I donít think Iíve ever gotten a statue from another company (DC Direct, Bowen, Gentle Giant, Sideshow Collectibles) that didnít have the foam taped together to offer additional protection from damage. We pay good money for these types of things and weíve come to expect that the proper care is taken when shipping such fragile items is necessary. So, after removing the top piece of foam, there was the statue before me. It was covered in a plastic bag and Vís face was hidden in plastic wrap for some reason. I carefully lifted the statue from the foam (it is pretty heavy), removed the outer plastic bag, unwrapped his face, dusted off the excess foam pieces that had adhered to him, and stepped back for a discriminating look. I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I was hoping that all of the precursors to its arrival were wrong and I would be somehow happy with the final product. This was not to be however.

V for Verdict

Probably the first thing I noticed about V was that he wasnít holding his trademark daggers in his hands. They were positioned for him to do so, but the daggers were separate pieces that I had to track down in the Styrofoam. The second thing I noticed (and NECAís greatest transgression in my opinion) was that the daggers (both in his hands and the ones on his belt) were made of plastic and were severely bent. The daggers are Vís signature weapon of choice and all 6 of them looked remarkably different from one another. They seemed to take the shape of the statues body after they were placed in their holders on Vís belt. Even the two that were separate pieces were skewed though. I thought for a second that they could be bent back into looking somewhat straight, but this was not the case. If this were an action figure this sort of thing could be overlooked, but this was supposed to be a high-end collectible that people were spending hundreds of dollars on. How could this be overlooked by the folks in quality control?? Surely they had to know that there would be complaints. Itís one of the first things your eyes focus on because the silver of the daggers is offset by the black hue of the rest of the statue. Simply putÖ they looked terrible. 

The two daggers that are separate from the other four that are already placed on Vís belt do not fit snugly into his outstretched hands. Rather, they sort of lay there and if the statue is jostled at all, the daggers will fall right out of his loose grip. The other 4 daggers on his belt look as if they should be removable, but they donít come out easily and I was afraid to force the issue for fear of breaking the pieces on his belt that hold them in place. 

The statue is one continuous piece, but the base is extremely nondescript and plain. Itís the same color black as the rest of the statue with the exception of Vís face/mask. The statue is painted in a matte black finish with some blue wash over to create some sense of depth and dimension. (The blue wash looks overdone in photos because of the camera flash. In person, itís not so prominent which is a good thing.) In my opinion, they could have used a combination of matte black and gloss black to create the illusion of Vís costume being different materials. For example, make his pants matte black and make his boots gloss black to give the appearance of patent leather. Do the same for his gloves perhaps. 
NECA chose to go with one simple matte black finish over the entire statue which makes one thing blend into another including the base. Another big complaint Iíve heard from people other than, but including myself, is the thickness of Vís hat brim. One collector I spoke to mentioned that it looked like a deep dish pizza on his head. In reality, the hatís brim should have been much thinner. Whatís more is that the hat brim and several other parts of the statue are not entirely smooth. There are bumps and blemishes that I can only attribute to the casting process, but these things should have been worked out in the preproduction phase and should never have made it to the final product. 

The one positive thing I can say about the statue is that Vís face/mask is done very well. A lot of care seems to have been taken in this area given that itís the only place on the statue that really requires some amount of care to be taken. 

V for Vilified

NECA should be embarrassed by this piece. It could have (and should have) been done so much better than it turned out. It has all the earmarks of cut corners and a rush to production in order to get the product to market. It was delayed several times and I can only imagine why. If this is the final product after months of delays, I would have hated to have seen what they would have produced if it came out on time. I wouldnít have so much of a problem with this piece if the cost was more in scale with NECAís lesser quality statues from their Marvel days. Put it in a plain brown box and charge people $35 for it. Not the $150 plus that these were selling for. When you put V next to similarly priced products from Bowen or Gentle Giant, thereís just no comparison. I had really hoped to have a nice ďV for VendettaĒ statue to add to my collection, but this particular piece was really a disappointment. 

Overall - **

Where to Buy - 
Online options include:

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $132.

- Amazing Toyz has him for $140.

- CornerStoreComics also has him at $140.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $180.

- And for the U.K. collectors, Forbidden Planet has him at 115 pounds.

Relates Links:
Not too long ago, Michael reviewed the smaller figure from NECA also based on V.

Figure from the collection of Rob Phillips.

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