Welcome to Figures & Speech, Nerdist’s regular column by, for, and about grown-ups who still play with their toys but might want to know more before they buy. From product reviews to informed editorials, these are most definitely the articles that’ll make you want to strike a pose.
NECA‘s quarter-scale figures are practically a line unto themselves, having more in common with each other than they do with smaller figures in the license. They are also, in many cases, the only way to get really great figures of characters we like: no offense to Hasbro and Playmates, who make mass-market figures that have to hit a certain price point, but they’ve never given us a 1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Donatello this movie-accurate, or a Deadpool this detailed. Both arrived in my mail right before Christmas; Don should be widely available now, with Wade Wilson showing up later this month. If you like the NECA quarter-scales as much as I do, that’s a merry Christmas AND a happy new year.
Donatello is based on his appearance in the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, in which he was voiced by Corey Feldman, arguably making him the most popular at the time. Deadpool, on the other hand, is number “00” in a new line of Epic Marvel, and if you’re wondering why he’s not a movie-based Deadpool, it’s because Marvel and Fox don’t cooperate any more on making movie toys (X-Men 3 was the last time they did). Only in Asia has there been a specifically movie-based Deadpool figure (from Hot Toys), but fortunately, movie Deadpool was pretty comic-accurate to begin with. If I were to bet, I’d say this line will quite likely lean heavily on characters like Wolverine and the Human Torch that NECA can’t do through their Marvel Cinematic Universe license.
NECA really went above and beyond on the packaging–it’s clear they’re big fans.
When I first heard NECA would be doing comic-based figures in this scale, I was worried they’d be more cartoony and stylized, as you see from many other companies when they make “comic” versus “movie” versions. I needn’t have worried–rather than going with one specific comic look, they’ve NECA-ized him with all the detail of their other realistic figures.
He’s winking in a comic-book style, but then the movie had him do that as well.
Fittingly, Deadpool comes with a massive arsenal, and multiple hands to hold them all.
The scabbard that holds the katanas and his sai plugs into the back strap assembly. It goes in easily…and unfortunately comes out easily too.
Regrettably, the hands do not include a certain obscene gesture. NECA has done that before (with Captain Spaulding from House of 1,000 Corpses) but Marvel probably nixed it. He does have “devil horns” with brass knucks, however.
But the coolest, and most fourth-wall breaking accessory is his smaller machine gun, which features an easter egg so small I didn’t even notice until enlarging the photo:
The writing’s funny, but the topper is that Deadpool has a NECA Scalers Deadpool figure hanging off the back of his gun. These are a smaller line of stylized, clip-on figures designed to hang from headphones, curtain strings and such. As ever, Deadpool is a fan of his own merch.
Odds are you will never display Deadpool in a manner that reveals the soles of his feet, but in case you do…
There is one issue I have with the figure, and it’s the aforementioned scabbard. With tiny pegs, it sticks into the brown cross-strap on his back, but the cross-strap is soft plastic while the sheath is rigidly hard. And it doesn’t take much to make it pop out. You could glue it in, but I fear doing that would make the figure hard to ever transport, at the risk of cracking the rigid scabbard piece. Maybe enough glue to make it a slightly tighter fit; right now, the recoil from popping off his hands to swap them out is enough to send the back piece flying.
Deadpool has all the articulation you’d expect, including double-knees and double-elbows; really, the only thing that might surprise is the mid-foot hinges. Because he’s a thin and tall character, his center of gravity isn’t as low as on some, and you’re probably going to want a doll stand to keep him up for display.
TIME TO FACE A NEW CHALLENGER!
Donatello’s box is more modest, with the idea being that if the 1991 movie were coming out today, here is how the merchandise would be packaged.
The colors, textures, and fades on him are outstanding, and put all previous movie toy versions to shame. Really, click the photo below to enlarge it to maximum size–it’s hard to fully appreciate at any less.
Donnie’s eyeballs are painted super-realistically, with a finish that makes them look moist, and his bandana, while sculpted on his face, is cloth in the back so that the ties hang realistically in any pose.
He has less articulation than Deadpool–no upper bicep swivel or mid-foot joint–and I suspect this is NECA being sticklers for accuracy and making the figure only as articulated as the original Turtle suits were able to be. He does have a loose mid-torso ball joint inside the shell, which allows him to rock his upper torso side to side a bit, all while looking like an actual turtle with such natural outer-armor.
The mutant master of machines (seriously, Donatello is maybe the smartest teenager I’ve ever seen) doesn’t have as many accessories as Deadpool either, but they are all ones that count.
In addition to his signature Bo staff, which can be stashed on his back, he includes extra hands, a slice of pizza, and an ooze container. You can even pop the top off the cannister and fill it with slime if you so choose. Get it? Ch-ooze? Okay, I’ll leave the jokes to Deadpool.
I’m gonna have to get all of these, aren’t I? Yes, I think I am.
Both Donnie and Wadie should fit in well with your other NECA quarter-scales, if you have any (and you should).
Donatello will run you around $100, while Deadpool is more in the $110 range, which makes sense given that he has more articulation and weapons. Both are worth your while if you’re even remotely a fan.
I don’t suppose they’ll ever do an 18-inch Vanilla Ice from Secret of the Ooze, but man, would I buy the crap out of that one.
Pizza rules. But never steal it from a Turtle.
Images: LYT for Nerdist
Luke Y. Thompson is Nerdist’s weekend editor and a toy fiend. Show him your collection on Twitter @LYTrules.