By bill - February 15, 2012

One of my favorite booths to check out every year at Toy Fair is NECA. Featuring quite possibly the best sculpting for 6″ toys in the US, NECA have perfected the process of turning pop culture into a plastic artform, and 2012 looks to be another amazing year for the company! Get caught up on all the plans for NECA this year… including some amazing new toy lines to look forward to.

The first series of Evil Dead 2 toys will be hitting shelves any day, and Series Two will follow later this year. The second go-around will include an incredible new Chainsaw Ash (complete with a possessed deer head accessory) and also Henrietta, who will include an alternate head with long, snake-like neck straight from the movie.

Also in the realm of horror, NECA will release a pair of new Freddy’s and two new Jason, from their ongoing Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th lines.

Much like Evil Dead, the stellar Rocky Series One is just starting to get to retail, to be followed by two more waves later this year. Look for Series Two to include Russian monster Ivan Draego and a very cool mid-punch Rocky (done as a tribute to the slo-mo fighting scenes from the movie series). Series Three will include Clubber Lang as well as Rocky in his yellow and black trunks.

It didn’t take much for me to fall in love with the new Gremlins line, so I’m very pleased to see a whole bunch of new Mogwai and Gremlins on tap this year! Mogwai wave 2 will include Gizmo (as Rambo), Daffy and Spike, while Wave Three will bring us some Mogwai from the first movie, including an adorable scared Gizmo and our bad guy Spike.

The Gremlins themselves will be back, including a second set with the Phantom, Lenny, and a generic brown Gremlin (while he’s intended as a generic New Batch Gremlin, he will get some kind of “official” name before he hits shelves). Wave Three wasn’t fully revealed, but is set to include a Gremlina with real, rooted hair. On top of the figure series, a full-size stunt puppet replica will also be available in limited quantities. Molded directly from one of the stunt puppets used in Gremlins 2, this creature will look incredibly cool running amok in your home. Sadly there has been no update on the amazing Spike spider-Gremlin shown last year… NECA is still trying to find a way to release him as a deluxe figure, but there’s no answer yet.

The Aliens and Predator classics licenses have both been extended, and 2012 will see a new version of Predator from the first movie, as well as some Colonial Marines from Aliens! We’ll see two marines in 2012, Hicks and another trooper that NECA wasn;t ready to spill on just yet. Both will feature more accurate details and articulation than McFarlane version from Movie Maniacs. Hicks won’t be the only toy to bear the likeness of actor Michael Beihn– Terminator will continue this year, including the much fan-demanded Kyle Reese!

On top of these new and returning lines, NECA was also excited to announce three all-new licenses coming later in 2012– first up in Rambo First Blood! The line will launch in the Fall, with two distinct versions of Rambo based on the original movie. If the line continues, look for it to include figures from the entire Rambo series.

The company also secured the rights to Prometheus, and is working on figures now– they will be released in Fall, a few months after the movie hits theaters. NECA won the license pretty late, and didn’t get access to any designs until last month, so the fact that they plan to turn around the first wave of figures in less than half a year is pretty ambitious.

Hunger Games just might be this year’s Twilight, and much like the saccarine vampire property, NECA will release two assortments of Hunger Games figures. Series one includes Katniss, Peeta and Gale, and four more figures are on the way later in 2012.

Video Games have been NECA’s other claim to fame in the toy world, and they have acquired a full license to the Valve games:

Team Fortress has four figures in development

Halflife 2 will feature Gordon Freeman in his space suit, complete with a Head Crab that will fit over the head of Gordon or most other 6″ scale figures.

Borderlands 2 will include two pairs of figures including Psycho Bandit, Clap Trap, Salvador, Assassin– all with game accurate shading, cross-hatching and heavy ink lines very reminiscent of NECA’s beloved Turtles line.

Other video game figures include two creatures from Left 4 Dead: Boomer (with alternate “exploded” torso) and Smoker. Assassin’s Creed will continue, with onyx Ezio in April, Revelations Ezio in Summer, and the DaVinci Flyer later in the year.

Gears of War get four new recruits, including Savage Therons, Marcus out of armor and a new COG Soldier, while Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City will get a figure line starting with Vector in April.

NECA has retained their rights to Bioshock, and will release a line based on Bioshock Infinite planned to include five figures. Since the game is a ways off, they had nothing to show just yet, but expect a full reveal of this lineup at Comic Con this Summer. In the meantime, NECA did have on display the upcoming Columbia statue and Sky Hook pieces from the game.

NECA has never been a company to shy away from great properties, and they really bring their “a” game to everything they do. I’m happy that well-executed lines like Gremlins and Rocky seem to have a healthy future, and I can’t think of a better company to handle exciting new properties like Promotheus and the Valve games… and I can’t wait to see how well they can pull off the Colonial Marines from Aliens– I’ve been waiting most of my life for a great toy version of those bug-busting jarheads!

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