You know what’s totally heinous? Being reminded how old you are. But, hey, that’s what happens when reflecting on pop culture classics of yesteryear. If you’re a child of the 80’s/early 90s’, and remember Bill and Ted, then you’re an old dude (or babe). It’s been a whopping 27 years (Whoa!) since rockin’ nitwits Bill S Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan hopped in a phone booth and traveled through time, meeting up with historic figures like Genghis Khan, Socrates (pronounced in Bill & Ted speak as “So Crates”), Billy The Kid, Abe Lincoln, Joan of Arc and Napoleon. And, 25 years, since their follow up sequel Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, which saw the happily dimwitted duo go the hell (literally) and back.
Regardless of the passage time, and despite the long promises of a 3rd movie from actors Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters, the fandom for Bill and Ted is still strong. So much so, that NECA, purveyors of toys and collectibles from the hottest IPs, have released a most triumphant figurine boxed set.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure Wyld Stallyns 2-Pack stand 8” tall and feature the likenesses of actors Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves. Each poseable figure wears tailored fabric clothing similar to the MEGO style toy lines of the 1970s and comes with his own guitar, as well as a cardboard backdrop and Telephone Booth Time Machine.
The new Bill and Ted figures come in a collector friendly window box. The box features logos and artwork from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The art and colors used on the box really pop, giving it an uber retro feel. Best yet, there’s no twist ties, clam shells, or other obstructions that would require destroying the box to unleash the figures. “No way”. Yes, way!” The figures, guitars , and straps sit on a plastic tray, allowing you to place the figures and accessories back on for storage or display. Having the choice to be able to display figures in and out of the box is always a plus!
NECA says the sculpts are based on the likeness of Keanue Reeves and Alex Winters. For the most part, sure, their recognizable enough – Ted more so than Bill. The choice in facial expressions, however, were not wisely selected. Ted, who is supposed to have a “whoa” reaction, as he is prone to have, looks more like someone who’s been told there are no more cookies. Bill’s facial sculpt is considerably worse, carrying the “I just smelled my own fart” face. Both figures also suffer from poor painting, not so much in color or detail, but rather that the paint is gobbed on – the thick acrylic paint stands out from the rest of the non-painted bodies. Given the odd facial expressions and thickly layered paint, one could say, that they look like a Robot Chicken parody of Bill and Ted. Overall, though, the shapes of the heads are good, and the detailing in the hair are great, but both are close approximations to Keanu and Alex rather than exact likeness
While it’s not the sort of attention to detail and tailoring that we are seeing with the One:12 Collective or Hot Toys, the Fabric clothes are what truly maketh the figures. Their attire is spot on to the movie, and feature a nice thin thread, keeping the clothes from looking too “puffy” or over-sized on the figures. Bill has his name on the back of the shirt, as well as the Stallyn. Ted has his “Save The Humans” sticker on his shorts. The jackets are removable for both figures, so you can display them a few different ways.
The figures have single jointed elbows (and probably knees), swivel joints in the biceps, rotating and hinged wrist joints, waist articulation and more. The joints are nice and tight with no issues holding poses or standing at all. With over 25 points of articulation, in total, some pretty Wyld movements and poses can be achieved.
Bill and Ted come paired with their own guitars to shred on. They look great and are most bodacious, fitting perfectly to Bill and Ted’s well-placed hands.
Inside the box is a Wyld Stallyns backdrop as well as the cardboard Phone Booth. The backdrop is pulled right from one of the opening scenes from Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure where Bill and Ted are a “practicing” to be rock and rollers when they openly admit they don’t know how to play. It’s a simple piece, printed on cardboard, but dioramas like this always make for great displays.
The Phone Booth itself simply folds together, much like a box. The printed art on the phone booth works well, and at 9 x 4 x 4″ when assembled, up-scales nicely with Bill and Ted. Again, a simple, cheap, and effective way to make the most out of a toy figure set. Besides, who doesn’t love a good paper craft?
If this were let say Hot Toys set, each figure would be $2-$250 dollars and the Phone Booth would its own separate purchase at $3-400. Of course, the quality and attention to details with a Hot Toys figure can’t be compared plastic 8-inch figures off a toy shelf. What NECA offers still resonate with fans just as much as anything Hot Toys has to offer. The figures and what they’re paired with are, are the best on the market. There’s no other Bill and Ted merch out there sans maybe some Funko Bobble Heads and the old Kenner toys from the Bill and Ted animated series from the 90s that pop up on Ebay on occasion.
Because, while “everything is different, it is also the same. Things are more moderner than before — bigger, and yet smaller…. It’s computers and… well… Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure Wyld Stallyns 2-Pack rules!”