Monday, 30 January 2012

Review: Gremlins Mogwai George

I read an article online over Christmas listing 'unusual' Christmas films. Obviously Gremlins was on it, otherwise I wouldn't have brought it up, but the odd thing was that the article said that the film wasn't any good. I think the writer is the first person I've ever come across who hasn't loved it!

(Apart from my then-ten year old brother-in-law who made me turn it off part-way through due to FEAR)

I can almost understand a dislike of the sequel, though personally I love that just as much as the original. Wisely, director Dante decided to go full-out comedy on that one and it's hugely enjoyable if only for the weird and wacky variety of mutated gremlins. A TV studio and a genetic research lab in the same building? What was that all about?

I think everyone can agree, however, that the one thing that was a definite improvement in the sequel were the gremlins themselves, specifically that they all had personalities. In the original the only gremlin to have such a thing was Stripe, whereas in the sequel there was George, Lenny, Daffy, Brain...

I was out on a rare shopping trip without the children the other day. This meant that I was actually able to look in the shops for longer than 2 minutes, with no one shouting 'I WANT TO GO HOME!' the entire time. Bliss. The weird thing was that despite spending as much time as I liked looking round, I was only out for as long a time as I am when I'm with the kids. I put this down to my ability to use stairs instead of having to fight for space in a lift, or going the long way round with the pushchair.

I have no idea how disabled people cope in city centres. At least if things get really bad I can cheat & carry the pushchair up & down stairs. You're a bit stuffed if you're in a wheelchair.

Anyway, on a whim I picked up mogwai George from Forbidden Planet while I was out. I'm always a little wary of NECA toys for two reasons. 1) Often their products are more akin to statues and have little in the way of meaningful articulation, and 2) They seem to break on me all the time.

So far both of these fears have proven unfounded. While limb-movement is hindered somewhat by his bulk, it is possible to move his arms and legs to a variety of positions and even his ears move around. His head is completely free to move all over the place and still look fantastic, which is quite astonishing. I'm not so convinced by the eye-moving feature. This may just be due to George having his eyes barely open so you can't really see them rolling around inside his head. If/when I pick up another figure from the range I'll have to investigate further.

While I'm certainly not going to start throwing George around, the joints appear to be strong, though I was extremely cautious after first taking him out of his plastic prison.

You can always rely on NECA to make a good-looking figure and I have absolutely no complaints about the sculpt. It oozes George's personality. This is honestly one of the best looking figures I have seen in a very long time. I really like that NECA always puts the sculptors name on the packaging - they deserve to get a little credit for their work. Saying that, I will now admit I can't remember who is responsibly for George and I've thrown the packaging away so I can't look it up. Bad me!

A couple of years ago now NECA launched a Gremlins line, so while this is labelled as 'series 1' it's really a reboot for the line. Last time they mostly focused on characters from the first film, so it makes sense that this time around they've started on the sequel characters first. The first set of mogwai's include George, Lenny & Gizmo, with Combat Gizmo, Mohawk and Daffy to follow soon.

There is a very good chance I'm going to pick up further mogwai in the line and based on George I think a tester gremlin should be quickly purchased too. A little pricey - as these things always are - but definitely worth it in my opinion.

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