Toy Fair 2015: NECA

By bill - February 21, 2015

neca-featNECA makes it big, makes it badass, and makes it awesome in 2015.

Of all the booths I was excited to check out at Toy Fair, NECA was probably the top on my list.  Nobody can top the level of fun concepts, amazing sculpting and affordability these guys continue to excel at, and their 2015 display at Toy Fair proved once again why NECA deserves to be adored by toy collectors and cinephiles alike.

Let’s start with the big reveals– the literal big ones.  We’re getting an 18″ Mega Scale Christopher Reeve Superman!  The sculpt definitely rings true to the most iconic on-screen Superman, and the subtle detail on this figure is uncanny.  You’d swear the figure’s costume was fabric, but no, he’s all plastic– that’s just the wonderful texture detailing NECA added to the sculpt.  My only issue is the eyes, which seem to be looking up a little too dramatically.  I’d like the final figure to have his eyes centered just a bit more… though if any character can get away with looking up like this, it’s probably Superman.

Danny DeVito’s Penguin from Batman Returns looked great, as well.  The biggest struggle with this figure was perfecting his soft good coat, but the end result was well worth the time and energy.  Another 18″ scale figure made its debut at Toy Fair, an all new Big Chap Alien.  This is one of the finest sculpts of the creature I have ever seen, and it might be the most well articulated 18″ figure ever from NECA.  Actually scratch that– he’s not 18″… he’s 18″ scale.  That means the Big Chap will actually clock in over 22″ tall, and yet will still only carry a $100 price tag!

Aliens and Predator– two of NECA’s biggest hit series– will both continue strong in 2015.  The second set of Kenner-inspired Predators will hit next month, followed by a Sega Genesis style Predator 2, and the 25th Anniversary Dark Horse Predator, with special paint apps and an all new spear which replicate the Hunter’s appearance on the cover of the very first Dark Horse Predator comic book.  If you never read that issue, don’t worry– a reprint of it will be packed in the box along with this figure.

Predator Series 14 is one that leaves me deeply conflicted.  The lineup features the three brothers from the entirely heinous Aliens vs Predator movie.  Obviously, this means the source material behind Celtic, Scar and Chopper is total garbage, a movie whose only lasting legacy is invalidating not one but two sci-fi movie franchises.  Here’s the rub, though– NECA killed it with these figures, which are all new sculpts with added articulation we’ve long been hoping for in their Predator figures.  All three figures look so fantastic, I might ignore the awful film that inspired them and add them to the collection regardless.  I gotta think long and hard on that one.

Aliens, however, I have no compunctions about collecting with glee and enthusiasm.  Series 4 will bring us two versions of our hero Ellen Ripley, along with her Nostromo crewmate Dallas, and between them all two versions of Jonsey.  Series 5 made its debut at Toy Fair, and will include an Aliens style Ripley with her custom pulse rifle/ flamethrower weapon, a torn-in-half Bishop who comes packed with an alien egg and facehugger, and reissues of the Genocide black and red Aliens, perfect for hive building.

Series 5 will hit mid-summer, along with the latest deluxe Aliens toy, a Power Loader for Ripley to pilot.  This piece is just stunning, in perfect scale with NECA’s Alien Queen.  Every on screen detail is present in the Power Loader toy, from the hydraulic claws to the clear plastic warning light dome on the top.  Ripley, the Loader and the Queen are destined to become the centerpiece of many toy displays in 2015, I can guarantee it.

NECA’s Aliens line will also include the funniest toy of the year, as well.  While not on display yet (the box art is just being finalized now), a six-pack of “Weyland Yutani Farms” Alien eggs is also planned.  This set will be packed in an egg carton (!!!) and will feature three open and three closed eggs, in scale with the 6″ figures, and all six will include its own Facehugger.  Not only is this packaging concept hilarious, but one pack will instantly build out your Alien hive in a great way… I love it!

The Dog Alien will also get the video game treatment, a very stylistic figure that shows off both of the color tones in the game.  Look for this figure to be released in early summer.  NECA’s video game collection continues to be a hit, so in addition to the Dog Alien and City Hunter Predator, 2015 will see NES Godzilla and a newly sculpted Mohawk from Gremlins 2 join the fun line as well.  And yes, Brand Manager Randy Falk confirmed we’ll see a movie colored Mohawk released as well, some time after the game version.

For fans of more modern video games, NECA revealed two all new toy lines at the show.  Little Big Planet will feature multiple versions of Sackboy, fully articulated, including some figures with skins of other game characters like God of War and Uncharted.  The most ambitious video game line, though, is Heroes of the Storm, which will draw in characters from the entire creative universe of Blizzard.  NECA hopes to tackle every major character in the Blizzard stable in this series.

In 2014, NECA released their Ultimate Freddy Kreuger figure, and this year, more properties are getting the special anniversary treatment.  A new 40th anniversary Leatherface will feature improved articulation and tons of accessories, including an alternate head, hammer, and– of course– his chainsaw.  Terminator 2: Judgment Day will actually gets its own Ultimate LINE of figures, with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800, the T-1000 and Sarah Connor each getting their own highly detailed, fully articulated Ultimate figure.  The T-800 was the only one on display, but this was a stunning improvement on NECA’s earlier Terminators, with no less than three swappable heads (glasses, no glasses and ripped face), and tons of weapons.

Schwarzenegger gets more love from NECA thanks to the John Matrix deluxe figure, from the movie Commando.  Matrix is armed to the teeth and looks like a total badass.  And Arnold’s latest movie, Terminator Genisys is also getting the toy treatment from NECA.  While they weren’t allowed to show the prototypes yet, these new movie figures will feature the same level of detail and articulation as the T2 Ultimate figures.

Pacific Rim keeps moving along, as well.  Otachi, the newest deluxe Kaiju, will be released any day now, and the next wave of Jaegers, featuring the final on-screen robot Horizon Brave, will hit this spring.  The new reveal at Toy Fair for this line was the Comic Con exclusive, a set of chibi-style Jaegers and Kaiju figurines.  These little guys were actually featured in the movie, being played with by a kid at the beginning… this means they’re both toys AND prop replicas, which is totally cool.  NECA has plans for more Pacific Rim figures in the future, as well… while nothing has been revealed they hinted we might see more all new Kaiju, and some new and improved versions of the star Jaegers in the future of this line.

The classic Planet of the Apes series is also continuing, with Series 3 set to include Caesar, a new Gorilla Soldier and General Aldo.  NECA hopes the line can make it to a fourth series, which would include Julius and General Urko.  We will also likely see another exclusive Gorilla Soldier two-pack, this one featuring more new head sculpts and uniform markings from the Apes TV show.

Rounding out NECA’s figure lineup are the latest 8″ retro style figures.  This Mego-inspired toy line made a BIOG step forward with NECA’s new and improved “2.0” style body, which upped the articulation and left these figures with a look that perfectly blends retro charm and modern day detail.  In addition to new versions of Freddy, Jason and Leatherface, Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie will get a new doll based on his look from the Run To The Hills cover art.

Most surprisingly, we will also see a pair of figures from Interstellar, based on Matthew McConaughey‘s Cooper and Anne Hathaway’s Brand.  Each character is depicted in their space suits and will feature swappable helmeted and unmasked heads.  Interstellar didn’t strike me as an overly toy-etic movie, but the space suit designs were very cool looking, and NECA’s toy versions came out great.  Look for both astronauts to venture into the toy aisle this summer.

If you asked me what my favorite thing at the NECA booth was this year, I’d be stumped… I could barely conceive what I’d consider the TOP FIVE coolest things they had in their 2015 offerings.  Once again, their lineup for the year is impressive, diverse and lots of fun, a good mix of eagerly anticipated confirmations like Reeve Superman and Ultimate Terminator, along with some genuine surprises like the Pacific Rim chibis and Interstellar figures.

Here’s our full photo gallery from NECA’s Toy Fair display.  Take a look through what might be the coolest lineup of products coming out this year!

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