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Home alone

For many, the holiday season means friends and family.  For others, it’s all about the lights and festivities.  Still, others look forward to spending hours in front of the television, watching those old holiday classics that everyone has come to know and love.  Alongside the old staples like A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, and, of course, Die Hard, lives the 1990 John Hughes/Chris Columbus comedy, Home Alone

If you have somehow, missed the movie that inspired a million impressions of a particular aftershave scene, the plot is fairly simple: an abusive, negligent family decides to take a trip out of the country and leaves a small child “home alone” to defend himself against a pair of ruthless criminals that think nothing of hurting a kid.  Unbeknownst to them, the child in this case just happens to be a rather psychotic child named Kevin McCallister.  Take a look at the Honest Trailer from the folks over at Screen Junkies.

Kidding aside, Home Alone is definitely one of those holiday movies that people either love or they hate, and for those that just can’t get enough of the film (but like to forget that there are actually five films in the series), the ever famous NECA has something for you.

2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the film and in celebration, the fantastic toy makers have released a trio of 8in action figures modeled after Kevin and the Wet Bandits.  These aren’t your everyday action figures, however.  These are professionally sculpted figures with changeable parts and fun accessories.  With all of that NECA cred behind them, the figures definitely have a lot to live up to and, as usual, NECA hit this one out of the park.

Packaging

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If there is any area in which the figures are lacking it is in the packaging.  While the box proudly boasts that these are the 25th Anniversary editions and come with a bit of holiday cheer, the toymakers didn’t take the opportunity to go all out.  The pattern that wraps the box is reminiscent of the needlepoint your grandmother is so fond of showing off or, perhaps, an ugly Christmas sweater, and the back recreates one of the iconic movie posters using the figures.  The boxes do each have clear plastic which allows buyers to see each of the individual figures and extras behind the glass but beyond that, there isn’t much going on when it comes to the display.  It’s what’s inside the box that matters.

The Figures

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All three of the figures display a bit of excellence.  The Kevin figure is draped with a sweater from the film with cloth material that serves as his jeans, along with his loafers.  In other words, an almost perfect recreation of one of the easily recognizable outfits donned by the character in the film. The one issue with Kevin is that the main head that comes with the figure doesn’t look much like Macauley Culkin, the actor who famously portrayed the character.  It is easy to see that the makers were going for a sly, sarcastic expression but, unfortunately, the expression comes off a bit more drunk than sly.  The head is removable, however, and the figure comes with the most famous expression Kevin wore during the movie: the after shave scream.  This replacement head, by comparison, is absolutely a wonderful representation of the character and the actor, which will likely lead many buyers to display this replacement head.

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The same could be said about Marv Merchants, played by Daniel Stern.  Marv is, of course, a bit of a dolt, and NECA did their best to represent this in the main head attached to the figure.  While there is definitely a superb level of skill and talent on display when it comes to the features, unfortunately, the figure comes off a bit more cartoony than the makers likely intended.  The replacement head, however, is a home run.  Showing off Marv’s angry face, burnt by an iron, the replacement head is so accurate that it almost seems Stern himself was somehow miniaturized and cursed to live the rest of his existence as an action figure.  Yes, it is that good.

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Harry Lime, played by Joe Pesci in the film, wears his wool trench coat and slacks, and, of course, his wool beanie.  WIth this figure, the face is instantly recognizable as Joe Pesci and the details in the face are amazing.  The smile lines that wrinkle around his eyes are perfectly placed, while every little detail, down to his fingernails, was perfectly sculpted.  Of the three figures, Harry is definitely the winner.  The replacement head shows off an angry scowl along with a beanie covered with (plastic) tar and feathers, and shows off his burnt scalp after being hit with Kevin’s impromptu flame thrower.  Even Harry’s teeth are perfection with this figure.  Again, this is the hands down winner of the three.

All three figures are made of hard plastic but jointed for easy positioning and with the right diorama, it is easy to see how favorite scenes could be displayed with ease.

Accessories

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Besides just the replacement heads, each of the figures come with accessories straight from the film.  In Kevin’s case, the figure comes with a Little Nero’s Pizza box, zipline and handlebars, a bb gun, and changeable hands for holding the gun.  These are definitely some fun accessories and the gun is especially interesting.

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Harry

Marv and Harry may not come with quite as many accessories but what they have is fun.  Harry comes with his crowbar, a kaleidoscope, and a bandit sack.  Marv also has a bandit sack and crowbar, and also includes a snowglobe.  While there aren’t a ton of extras, what NECA has offered are still great items to bring back some memories.

Constructive Criticism

These figures average about $30 per character, so buyers can’t expect the same accessories or extras that may come along with a $200 statue, for instance.  That being said, while the extras are fun, a few more could have been cool.  For instance, Harry could have included the famous blowtorch; Marv could have included a spider or even changable feet, one with a nail through it.  The sculptures could have been a bit more accurate with respect to Marv and Kevin.  However, that is really just nitpicking.

Closing Thoughts

If you are a fan of Home Alone and happen to also be an avid collector, or know someone that is, this could make a perfect holiday gift.  The set is fun and at around $30 per figure on Amazon, you could definitely do a lot worse.  NECA is known for quality and they continue that tradtion with this set.  Sure, there are a few things that could have been done  better but there is no doubt that the makers know their stuff.  

Category: reviews

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