Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Review: Friday 13th SDCC 'Video Game' Jason

The Nintendo Entertainment System, NES, arrived in Europe in 1986 and really kick-started console gaming as it is today. It seemed that pretty much everyone everyone could think of was soon turned into a console game - including such oddities as the red spot from the 7 Up logo. A lot of film franchises were turned into games, mostly the violent ones as running and shooting comes in very useful when trying to think up a game. Terminator, Robocop, Aliens - all of these were turned into games. And all of which the rights to the action  figures are currently owned by NECA.

NECA's been looking to the past for inspiration recently. Take series 10 of its Predator figures, for example, all of which are updates of the Kenner line from the early 90s. They've done a glow in the dark Robocop figure, again inspired by a figure of the past.

For SDCC decided to release a Friday the 13th Jason figure, based on his look from the terrible NES game. It's so terrible that it's regarded as one of the worst games of all time. But I'm sure that didn't stop a lot of children playing it simply because it was based on an 18-rated film, which, awful or not, automatically makes it cool.

The box for this figure is based on the NES game box. I love it when companies do this. I love this type of thing so much that I've made a bunch of custom covers to make my cartoon DVDs boxes look like their vintage toy packaging. Hmm, I should really post those on here sometime.

But I'm getting off the point.

The figure box even included fake wear and damage at the corners, making it look even more like the cheap-cardboard NES boxes of the 80s. Opening the flap shows a 'screen shot' of the figure in the game. The whole thing is brilliant and worth the price alone.

But we still haven't got to the figure.

Jason is essentially a purple repaint of the existing figure released by NECA., copying his look from the game. I had a friend stay at my house once and he was scared by all the toys which lit up when the lights were turned off and he tried to get to sleep. I'm sure he'll be very happy to know that Jason's hands, feet and hockey mask are glow in the dark. Excellent.

Jason comes with two accessories: a large knife and an axe which can only be held in his right hand. The left is sculpted to be more open so is unable to hold anything. His mask is removeable, revealing his deformed face beneath. His face is purple, matching his clothing, which doesn't make much sense when you think about it (shouldn't it be glow in the dark like his hands? But then his shoes, not feet, are glow in the dark so...)

The articulation is extensive (I'm not going to list it all), but it's worth noting that the waist joint is restricted for reasons I have been unable to uncover. It looks like it's supposed to turn, but doesn't do so very far. Maybe it's just a little stuck and once forced it would free up, but I'm too afraid to try it.

I've never had the misfortune of playing the Friday the 13th game (I'm sure the price of it on the 2nd hand market has leaped considerably since this figure was released), but I have sat through all the films. Unlike a lot of excessively long horror film franchises, I didn't mind sitting through the Fridays. Whilst generally bad, they all had a reasonably good or original idea lost in them which could, in the right circumstances, have resulted in a great films.

But again I'm getting off the point...

This figure will appeal to fans of Friday the 13th, NES fans, or even fans of figures which come in really cool packaging. The box is so cool that I almost didn't remove the figure from it - luckily it can go easily go back in. It gets a big thumbs up from me!

But it gets even better...

Motivated by the success of Jason, a Freddy Kruger 'game' figure is coming soon (yeah, there was a terrible Nightmare on Elm Street game too). And, of course, NECA own the rights to Terminator, Aliens and more. How long before they get their own game figures?

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