Toy Review: NECA’s Non Era-Specific King Kong Action Figure

It’s a dad-level joke to say there’s something primal about giant apes, but it’s also the truth. When King Kong first came around in 1933, the movie was pitched as a “gorilla picture,” because that was a thing. Usually men in gorilla suits, rather than fifty-foot monsters created by stop-motion, but still. The combination of looking vaguely human-ish while also remaining utterly savage may be what does it, but at any rate, toy companies love big apes too. NECA hung on to the Planet of the Apes toy licenses as long as they could, and McFarlane Toys keeps bringing back Cy-Gor.

But now NECA has their own Kong, and there’s a reason to do it besides loving ape characters. Kong, the giant ape himself, is technically public domain, due to a loophole involving Merian C. Cooper’s original novel developed concurrently with the original film. Individual aspects of the movies, and trademarks within them may be copyrighted. The Empire State Building, for example, or Curtiss Helldiver planes. And specific movie likenesses of Kong’s face. But anyone can use a giant ape named Kong. As such, this action figure isn’t specific to any one incarnation. He comes with two heads, one of which is closer to the 1933 version than not. The other is a roaring version that’s closer to the 1976 edition (as is the brown fur), while his body sports battle scars like the 2005.

While most of NECA’s figures conceal their articulation as much as possible, King Kong is a big chunk of toy, and his joints are clearly marked. This design may not be as clean as some, but it seems to invite more play and posing. Double-ball and hinge elbows and knees allow for key poses like chest beating and his throat-grabbing death fall.

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And while it takes some doing, he can go down onto his haunches like an actual gorilla. Hips, shoulders, neck and shoulders are all ball-joints of various types, while his wrists and ankles are limited disc-and-pin balls.

Alternate hands so often seem wasteful in figures. Let them hold their accessories, maybe in one hand while the other is a fist. But Kong needs both sets — to beat his chest requires both fists, and to pry a tyrannosaur’s jaws open utilizes both pulling hands.

Assuming this figure was originally set to tie-in with the planned release of Godzilla vs. Kong, it’s interesting to see how NECA flipped the scale. Typically, the big radioactive lizard is the larger one, but Kong dwarfs most of NECA’s Godzillas. (Playmates scored the official Godzilla vs Kong rights, but NECA had Godzilla until recently.)

Note: Kong’s roaring head features a shiny, fresh bloody nose. He’s a fighter, for sure. And the detail on hims is impressive, from all the teeth inside his mouth to the bottoms of his feet.

Fans of any one specific King Kong might potentially feel disappointed, as he doesn’t represent anyone’s favorite movie. But fans of kaiju toys in general who can appreciate a classic reinterpreted can squint hard enough and see whichever version they like. And for folks who just love ape toys as much as Randy Falk and Todd McFarlane do, he’s perfect. Big, powerful, and fierce.

Check out more images of the great ape in our gallery below.

Buy it now: NECA King Kong 7IN Action Figure

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