Review by Caroline Stephenson.
When I was but a wee lass, my sister and I were allowed to pick out one movie at the local Blockbuster each weekend if we were good. Without fail, I would always grab the tattered copy of THE LAST UNICORN, but one weekend my sister decided to mix things up and instead grabbed GREMLINS. Now the way she described it—ancient magics, adorable, furry creatures—I was on board. But the film ended up being far more terrifying than she had let on and I ended up not sleeping for weeks! Needless to say, I had some reservations about GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, but Joe Dante’s second installment of the GREMLINS series was much more cartoonish and comedic than the first, especially with the introduction of many new characters like the “Brain Gremlin” and the lusty “Female Gremlin.”
What happens when Gremlins start playing around with dangerous chemicals and unknown serums? Hilarity ensues of course. One of the best creations to come out of the film is, of course, the infamous “Bat Gremlin”. In honor of this fang-tastic creature and after vocal demand from customers, NECA has finally released the ultimate Bat Gremlin figure. Let’s see how it compares to the original thing!
First impressions, this is one wicked figure. Jason Frailey was responsible for the sculpt, and it really holds up next to Rick Baker’s design. He did a really nice job capturing all the different textures of the Gremlin’s skin, from its gravelly shoulders to its plated thighs and leathery wings. The horns on the face are prominent and even from the left to the right side. The teeth leave something to be desired, although I can’t imagine a real Gremlin’s teeth being perfect anyways.
The articulation on this figure is pretty satisfactory with hinged ears and jaw, ball-jointed arms, elbows, hips, and knees. He also comes with a solid stand which partnered with the comprehensive articulation makes for some awesome flying or hovering poses. The stand is a huge bonus for me since so many of the stands I’ve gotten with figures have served little to no purpose. My only issue here is that the box claims that the figure has a “bendable wing structure that allows the wings to spread open and fold closed. The material of the wings does allow for bending and folding, but there isn’t really a way for the wings to “fold closed,” let alone hold that position. There also seems to have been a change from the initial design to the final design, which you can see in the pictures above. The figure on the left looks to have a ball joint in the wing, which would better serve to help fold the wing, while the design on the left, which is the figure I received, has no extra joint. Overall, I am still really, really pleased with the amount of action I get out of this guy.
Jon Wardell and Geoffrey Trapp did a really nice job with the painting of this figure. The different skin textures are enhanced by their meticulous attention to detail. As with many mass-produced figures, there are some areas of unevenness, but overall I think the paint job brings more to the figure than impairs it.
Just in terms of poseability, this is one of my favorite figures that NECA as released so far. There is just so much you can do with the articulation and the awesome stand. The Bat Gremlin can be found on ToysRUs.com for $45.99, although I have seen it as going for as much as $57.95. If you’re a fan of GREMLINS, this is most definitely a figure you’ll want to add to your collection.