The first Puppet Master film was released on home video in 1989. While the movie was intended for a theatrical release, the filmmakers ultimately felt it would do better financially as a straight-to-video release. That strategy paid off as Puppet Master became a sales and rental success. In the movie, a puppet maker named André Toulon uses an ancient Egyptian potion to bring his numerous creations to life. However, as Nazi’s attempt to steal his secret, Toulon takes his own life after packing away his creations. Years later, four psychics are brought together, finding one of their colleagues had committed suicide. While the try to unravel the mystery of his death, and their own visions, Toulon’s puppets begin to attack, taking out each in gruesome ways.
After it’s home video release, Puppet Master became a mainstay in the horror community, and a huge cult classic success. The film was followed by eleven sequels and/or prequels, adding new puppets, and expanding on the history of the crazed killer marionettes. As the franchise continued, , over 20 puppets have been introduced in the films. The franchise has resulted in a number of collectibles over the years, including action figures and full size replica puppets (mainly) from Full Moon Features, who owns the franchise.
This year, NECA Toys is releasing a number of all-new figures based on new horror licenses. Among those new licenses was the surprise announcement of Puppet Master action figures! The figures are being packed in 2-packs, and the first two sets are set for release within the coming weeks. Our friends at NECA have sent over the 2-packs, and we have a new photo gallery and review! Read on for our pics and impressions.
Puppet Master Ultimate 7″ Scale Figure 2-Packs by NECA Toys
- Outstanding sculpts
- Beautiful packaging inspired by the puppet cases from the movies
- Solid articulation
- Well done paint apps
- Nice mix of accessories
- Tunneler’s swap out right wrist joint is fragile
- Pinhead has a hard time holding the hooks
The Puppet Master 2-Packs come packed in a book style box modeled after the puppet display cases from the movie. Each side of the packaging features one of the figures. They are packed in a way to make it worth displaying in or out of packaging. The figure sit in plastic trays along with the included accessories. Blade include a swap out bloody portrait and bloody knife. Torch include a flame effect accessory. Tunneler include a pick axe, a machine gun, a swap out right hand, and a second portrait with a bloody drill and closed eyes. Pinhead includes swap out hands, a pipe wrench, two hooks with rope, a fire poker, and a potion bottle. Blade, Tunneler, and Pinhead are al based on their appearances in the original film, while Torch made his debut in Puppet Master 2.
In-hand, the figures look fantastic. The sculpted detail is really nice, with impressive texture work to mimic the fabric look of the puppets. Comparing them to screen shots from the first film, they’re mostly spot on interpretations. Blade looks a little thin at first glance, but while looking at screen caps from the movie, there were a number of scenes where his trench coat belt is pulled pretty tight. In subsequent movies, Blade’s waist is a lot less thin. In person, I think it’s a non-issue. The rest look pretty much spot on to me. Each figure stands about 4.25″ tall (Torch is 4″ not including the spike on his helmet), so the amount of detail at this size is great to see. While they are all roughly the same height as the NECA Chucky figure, the bodies are proportionally quite different. Blade and Tunneler are very thin, with Torch having a more full frame figure, and Pinhead having fairly small legs and a massive upper body. While these are marketed as “7-inch scale figures”, their height is far too tall to be properly in scale with their other figures. For the most part, the puppets were about 2-foot tall (give or take), which should bring them closer to 2.5″ tall to be really in scale with NECA’s figures. I’d say they’re closer to 1/6 or 1/7 scale scale. In all honestly, that’s not really a problem for me. Full 1/10 scale articulated versions aren’t feasible so I don’t really count that as a negative. The figures look great as stand along releases, and they’re small enough to not look out of place next to other NECA releases.
With the smaller scaled bodies, I’m impressed by the level of articulation found here. While Tunneler and Blade have single jointed elbows, Torch and Pinhead have double jointed elbows. They all have single jointed knees. They have ball jointed hips, ball jointed waists, ball jointed shoulders, and what appear to be rocker ankles (hard to tell if they’re small ball joints or rockers). Torch and Blade also have articulated jaws. I didn’t run into any issues with the joints. They move pretty smoothly, and none were loose, and I didn’t have to resort to heating any of them up before trying to pose them. One joint issue I did run into was with Tunneler’s swap out right hand. The peg connection there was pretty tight, and is incredibly small. I needed to heat up the hand a bit to remove it. However, the second time I did that, his regular (non-gun holding) hand broke at the wrist swivel. Then when trying to remove the leftover peg, the peg itself snapped in half. So take extra care when trying to swap that out. I didn’t run into any other issues while swapping items out. Blade and Tunneler’s swap out heads snapped on and off with ease, and even Blade’s small swap out knife was no issue to change out. While the feet are small, and don’t have peg holes for NECA stands, I didn’t run into any problems keeping them standing.
The paint application was handled well here. Colors look accurate, and there are pretty clean paint lines separating different color areas. I didn’t notice any major paint bleed. Each figure has their own paint washes to add depth and bring out the sculpted details. Metallic paint is used on Torch’s head sculpt and hand, Blade’s knife and hook, and Tunneler’s drill. Overall, the paint is solid, and detailed.
Each figure has their own assortment of weapons or accessories. I believe some of these are an homage to older Full Moon toys. As mentioned above, Blade has a swap out bloody knife and a regular knife. Torch include a flame effect accessory. Tunneler include a pick axe and a machine gun. Pinhead includes a pipe wrench, two hooks with rope, a fire poker, and a potion bottle. The only accessory that’s a little difficult to properly display are the hooks for Pinhead, as the grip hands are more open, so you have to get creative with the way you place those to get them to look right. Other than that, Pinhead’s other items fit perfectly, and Tunneler can easily hold his axe or gun.
In the end, these are really fun figures. The sculpts are great, they have solid articulation, nicely handled paint, and display really well in or out of the packaging. There are a number of good display options for the figures once you open them. and I think most fans will be really impressed with how nice they look in-hand. Check out a selection of images below, and the full photo gallery after that.