Review: Hellraiser Ultimate Pinhead Action Figure
Hellraiser was the toy license that seriously put NECA on the map. At the time, McFarlane Toys were basically the only game in town when it came to horror movie figures, and fans had been demanding a Pinhead figure for a long time. McFarlane even developed a prototype sculpt, but a sticking point with the rights holders turned out to be they wanted a whole line of characters and not just the one iconic monster. NECA obliged with three full series, each of which included a collect-and-build accessory piece that required purchasing all the figures to get. It was their first line on a par with McFarlane’s level of detail — a prior Beetlejuice line had fallen very short — and collectors ate it up.
Each of the three series included a Pinhead figure. These were the days of limited articulation, so it was easy enough to just make the character in a new pose and call it different. Now, however, NECA figures feature full articulation and the ability to strike every pose. In revisiting Pinhead after all these years, two main things have changed. Firstly, he includes everything the character needs. And secondly, the scale is a bit larger than it used to be. The prior Hellraiser figures stand on the smallish side when compared to modern NECA monster figures. Anyone who wants a Pinhead to stand alongside recent Freddys, Jasons, and Michaels is going to need this “ultimate” version.
Aside from size, the biggest difference in the new Pinhead is his actual sculpted legs. All prior toys of the interdimensional, sadomasochistic demon tended to treat everything below the waist as a single sculpted piece. For the purposes of simply duplicating movie poses, that’s fine. But now Pinhead can finally sit down, kick, crouch, and adopt multiple poses. Since his skirt is now soft (with a bendy-wire hem), he can even do the Marilyn Monroe blown-up dress look.
The legs’ appearance is no great revelation. Collectors who’ve owned other Cenobite toys like the Chatterer in the past will notice a strong resemblance. Articulation on them is a disc-ball and hip cut combo, ball knee, and ankle hinge-twist combo. The downside of articulated legs? Standing him up gets harder. Pinhead is a slim character, so his weight distribution goes side to side rather than back to front. A stiff breeze might blow this one over. Although anyone now inclined to pose him with an action stand doing a Matrix kick or something will not have that issue, obviously. McFarlane’s circular stands do not fit the holes in his feet.
His three weapons — hook, knife, and hacksaw — hook on to the string that runs through his pierced navel. He can also hold them, though only the hook fits snugly in his hands. Speaking of, he has three sets: weapon-holding, closed-box holding, and open-box holding. Both versions of the Lament Configuration puzzle box are small but nicely detailed.
Arms have double hinge, double-ball joints at the elbows, concealed shoulder ball joints, and hinge/cut on the wrist. Mid-torso and neck are also ball joints, and his head slips off with ease (but not excessive ease) to switch out portraits. Open and closed-mouth sculpts are the choices, and while the pins seem individually bendable and possibly breakable, collectively they hold together strongly. Packaging is standard NECA ultimate window box with velcro panel, though for this figure the cover art is more like a Scream Factory deluxe Blu-ray than the original movie poster.
Ultimate Pinhead retails for about $32, while the older Pinhead figures tend to go for $35-$40 in package. So for a bigger figure with more articulation, this is the one to get. The sculpt, though very similar, allows for much more articulation, most of which is fairly well hidden. However, for collectors who already have multiple Pinheads, this one is not drastically different. Considering how accurate the first bunch were, it’s not like there was a ton of room to improve. Sure, NECA could have added heads of the non-Doug Bradley actors to play the character, but realistically, nobody wants those. Except maybe the actors themselves.
In the end, the best reason to get this one would be to stand him alongside other recent horror icons. Unless he’s the buyer’s first Pinhead. In which case, there may be no need to ever buy another afterward. Get a better look in our gallery below.