Monday, October 1, 2018

The Revenge of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Pennywise (Gamestop Exclusive) from It by NECA

      It's October, y'all! To kick off 2018's The Revenge of 31 Days of Toy Terror I'm checking out a major new action figure release from NECA: The GameStop exclusive variant of Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It. The 2017 It was a fantastic film based on one of Stephen King's longest and most popular books (it's well worth the read if you dig horror and the "kids on bicycles" sub-genre) and companies like NECA and Funko have released some incredible merchandise based on the film over the past year or so. Since the theme of The Revenge of 31 Days of Toy Terror is revisiting toys from lines and properties featured in previous years, Pennywise seemed like a great start: Not only is he a fairly new figure but he represents NECA and films based on Stephen King, such as the NECA Carrie which I reviewed way back in 2013. Anyways, Pennywise is another incredible Stephen King character that we've never had as a proper action figure until this August when NECA released two versions from the 2017 film and Tim Curry's depiction of Pennywise from the 1990 TV film. This version was released in early-mid August as a GameStop exclusive and is notable for being much bloodier than the other versions. Loads bloodier, really. Ready for a closer look at nearly everyone's favorite (or should that be least favorite?) demonic shape-shifting clown entity from the Macroverse? Then join me after the break...



The Facts:

Height: 7 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, double swivel/hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, balljointed waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double swivel/hinge elbows, hinged wrists with double swivels, balljointed neck, balljointed head.

Accessories: Two portraits, four interchangeable hands, balloon, and Georgie's arm.

Non-Scalper Price: $35 dollars

Direction by: Randy Falk and Stefan Folkins; Sculpted by: Adrienne Smith, Kyle Windrix, Alex Heinke, and Trevor Grove; Paint by: Geoffrey Trapp and Jon Wardell


 The Positives:


* There is no denying that the NECA team always does incredible work and Pennywise is some of the finest work we've seen from them. There is a very eerie realism here that definitely captures the chilling vibe of Bill SkarsgÄrd's portrayal of Pennywise. He's perfectly rendered with his Victorian era styled clown outfit, complete with the pom-pom like buttons and oversized sleeves. There are also a few spots of blood splattered on the outfit, too, which violently differentiates this figure from the standard release.


* This headsculpt is wicked. The blood on the portrait and on the ruffled collar is quite intense and really complements the very realistic work on the headsculpt. The eyes are especially terrifying. They look scarily real in this picture, don't they?

* Pennywise comes with one alternate head (the standard version comes with two alternate heads) which depicts the evil clown with his fangs extended for a feeding. The teeth are so crazy looking and incredibly well painted. Dang, NECA, home run here. The heads take a bit of effort to swap out but I didn't have any fear of anything breaking.


* While the 1990 It depicted Pennywise as a more modern Bozo or Ronald McDonald styled clown, the 2017 version of the film uses an older style that fits in well with Pennywise's portrayal as a being present throughout Derry's history. The outfit is quite detailed and looks like an older styled piece of clothing, kind of like that of a Pierrot or Pagliacco. Everything is sculpted here but the wrinkles and folds still manage to give the outfit a realistic look.


 * NECA is company who continually improves their product and their articulation is an area where they just keep getting better and better. Pennywise has as much or more articulation than your average Mezco or Marvel Legends figure and even includes elbow and knee joints that are very well hidden s well as an excellent balljointed neck hidden under his ruffled collar. You can get some great poses out of Pennywise to terrorize the other toys on your shelf.


 * I love the funky shoes Pennywise is wearing. Typically it would be hard to take someone seriously if they were wearing these but, being that he is a demonic clown, I'm giving him a pass.
 * Pennywise comes with a pair of alternate hands to switch out with the standard wide open hands. The alternate right hand is a wide grip for holding the included accessory of Georgie's arm while the left hand looks like Pennywise has either found evidence of droids or he now gets to punch you. Actually, that left arm is designed to allow him to hold the included balloon accessory. The "string" of the balloon fits through the small loop so that it really looks like the balloon is being held in the figure's hand.


* And here is the balloon accessory. It's made from hollow, translucent plastic but it really does look like it is made from elastic, doesn't it? The "string" that's attached is actually just a piece of wire so it can still bend but it makes the balloon look as if it is actually floating. Unlike the balloon included with the standard Pennywise, this balloon has "I Love Derry" on it. That's a cool extra and really helped sell me on this set.
 * OK, so the last accessory is Georgie's arm. Yeah, Georgie's arm. I don't really have any problem with violent toys but I will admit that having an accessory of a kid's arm kind of freaked me out and almost kept me from picking up this figure. After some thought, though, I figured that Georgie's arm is a pretty significant image from the story and Pennywise is a villain who ends up getting defeated due to this action and his hubris, so I decided to roll with it. Sadly, Georgie is the martyr that brings about Pennywise's demise. It's very well done, but kind of disturbing, too. I have since placed this figure at the rear of a high shelf in my horror collection so my little one doesn't even know it's there.
 The Negatives:

* The balloon's "string" is a wire and while I was trying to insert it into Pennywise's special hand of holding I began to strip the wire. Be careful inserting this in!

* Pennywise's outfit has an excellent sculpt but it really needed a bit more of a dark wash to bring out the details. Also, the use of overlapping pieces of plastic might have helped to bring the lower part of the costume to life a bit more.
   Pennywise is an incredibly impressive figure and a worthy addition to nearly any horror shelf. This one is exclusive to Gamestop, though, and it costs around $5-$10 dollars more than the standard figure. For that extra money you are getting some unique accessories (this one has Georgie's arm and an I Heart Derry balloon instead of Georgie's boat and a standard balloon) and a bloodier paintjob, but one less head. It's kind of weird to get one less head but for the figure to cost more. Pennywise is a Great figure but you do have to take into account that you're getting less than the standard release. Most buyers will probably be content with just the standard figure but for those who aren't just know you're paying a bit of an exclusive tax. I picked this guy up in mid-late August and he was starting to get scarce then. I'm not sure how easy or hard he is to find now. He's a darn fine figure, though, and will probably accompany his fellow Pennywise figures in some fashion during my end of the year "Best Of" awards.

If you're looking for more Pennywise, check out my review of the Funko POP! Pennywise from the 1990 film!

If you like these NECA "Ultimate" horror figures, I've reviewed a few others including:
30th Anniversary Ultimate Freddy
Ultimate Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Ultimate Leatherface

8 comments:

  1. I have yet to see this remake, but it is on my list. Just waiting for Netflix to make this happen.

    Gruesome figure. One I definitely wouldn't want lurking around my house.

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    1. It is very, very good. And yeah, it's a very gruesome figure. It kind of reminds me of some of the older McFarlane stuff in that respect. Definitely very creepy!

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  2. I might not own any of their figures, but I will always love NECA for out McFarlane-ing McFarlane toys when it comes to sculpts AND pose-ability.

    I'm not sure I'd want this fella hanging around my house though, and I don't even have any kids! He just creeps me out!

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    1. Yup, NECA definitely took what McFarlane did and ran from there. They just continues to improve all the time which is great to see. Some companies rest on their laurels but NECA really and truly seems to improve and innovate.

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  3. Barbecue, sir -- have you ever considered putting Pennywise and the Joker together as a Halloween decoration? Just a pair or clowns trick-or-treating, kids. No need to be afraid.

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    1. I've definitely considered mixing together a creepy clown posse of some sort. A posse of insane clowns, even. But not an Insane Clown Posse. Nope, not that.

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    2. How many creepy clown action figures are there? Pennywise and Joker, obviously. Doink, maybe. Clown from Spawn. Buggy from One Piece but he's not really creepy and I don't think he has an action figure. Are there any other clowns I'm missing?

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    3. You've got all your Jokers and Harleys, Pennywise variants, the Joker goons from the Arkham City line, Doink and Clown from spawn are all good. There's also the Mad Clowns line from Figures Toy Company, so that adds four more to the mix. I've never seen the films but I'm pretty sure someone made toys of Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses.

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