I didn’t know what to expect from Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead series, but once I sat down to watch Season One I was pleasantly surprised to find a fun, schlocky, scary, and campy cavalcade of demonic events, which did a fine job of carrying the torch from the cult classic film series by Sam Raimi. Now, Starz has just recently premiered Series Two of the show, and the first wave of toys has been released by NECA.
The first wave of Ash vs Evil Dead action figures includes two versions of our hero, Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams, along with Eligos, the “Demon of the Mind” who served as one of Season One’s most iconic antagonists. All things considered, this feels like a valid lineup for the first (of multiple) wave of toys, and the all new sculpts by NECA’s team are just as great as we could hope for.
We’ve got two versions of Ash in this debut assortment. The first is in his Value Stop stockboy smock, while the second features the chainsaw hand and Boomstick look that has become Ash’s most iconic. Each figure features two alternate Ash headsculpts, which– across the board– are fantastic. These portraits feature a variety of expressions for our hapless hero– from resolved to screaming– and truly capture Bruce Campbell’s contemporary middle aged look. While NECA’s Evil Dead 2 portraits of Campbell erred on the side of overly cartoony, the Ash vs Evil Dead sculpts lean more toward real life, which works well for the figures.
Eligos, on the other hand, is an entirely new creature for the long running franchise, and NECA’s figure nails the design. From the flayed skin around the demon’s mouth, to the extra mandibles outside and the hand-like feet stripped of flesh, this creature is nasty and unsettling in all the right ways. Eligos features a great range of articulation– including a hinged jaw which adds an unexpected variety to posing options– and despite the creature’s otherworldly feet and hock-jointed legs, the figure can stand very securely.
In a perfect world, Ash vs Evil Dead would have been established as the hit series it has become by the time Season Two debuted. And with that prediction, every character in the series would have been equally considered fair game for the toy line. But since this property was relatively unproven– at least in terms of television– I get my NECA opted to release multiple Ash variants before considering Kelly, or Pablo, or Ruby…and of the ensemble that makes up Ash’s new crew. Now that the series has proven itself– and hopefully the action figures are doing likewise– I genuinely hope we see toys based on Pablo and Kelly and the rest of the great cast, so that Ash can continue his campaign against the Evil Dead alongside his newfound allies.
Thanks to NECA for giving us the opportunity to look at the first wave of Ash vs Evil Dead figures. If you want to add these toys to your collection, you can pick them up from NECA’s eBay store, Toys R Us, or your local specialty retailer.