Toy Review: Gargoyles’ Evil Clone Thailog, by NECA

NECA‘s second figure in their Gargoyles line, Thailog, is mostly a repaint of the first, Goliath. So if you missed our review of that one, go check it out for the basics. The TL;DR of it all is that he features an excellent new muscle body sculpt, and a wingspan that at maximum width reaches around 19 inches. Slightly stiff shoulder balls and the torso sculpt make it tough to raise his arms too high above his head, the hair restricts neck movement somewhat, and the joints that attach the wings to the body sound scarily like they might break when adjusted. But so far, they have not.

Across-the-board price raises in the action figure realm over the past two years make Thailog cost $5 more than Goliath, at $37.99. That’s going to be standard Gargoyles price moving forward, and probably true for other Ultimates figures as well. Fans of Gargoyles who just want one should go for Goliath. But casuals who just want a cool gargoyle figure may go for Thailog more. He’s darker colored for a more gothic look. And his new headsculpt most definitely expresses more evil intent. (Superhero Hype is part of the Entertainment Earth affiliate network, and may earn fees for purchase made through links.)

It looks as though the upcoming Brooklyn figure will use a different, yet similar body from these first two –same-ish design, slightly sized down. And it’s interesting that the Gargoyles’ tails remain completely smooth. That’s cartoon accurate, but everything else on this figure sport more detail than the cartoon, and NECA’s no slouch at making flexible tails for Aliens. A bit more texture might go a long way.

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Thailog sounds like a Celtic name, when in fact it’s just the phonetic spelling of “Goliath” backwards. On the Disney cartoon, the character is an accelerated clone of Goliath, identical except in coloration, which was affected by accelerated growth. And he has the evil and cunning of human villain Xanatos, which explains his very human accessories.

The most significant is a flare gun. Hold it in the special bonus hand with trigger finger, and pull off the flare to insert the firing effect. Stick it on the barrel, and the flare at the other end. It balances fairly well for being such a big effect, though it may not stay in position forever in a display. Also, it’s brittle-hard and spiky. So go easy on it.

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He also includes a briefcase with sculpted money and keys inside. And on this sample, the moment we tried putting the briefcase in his hand, the handle popped off. Was it meant to? Probably not, but a little glue fixed it easily. Just…be sure to hang it gently over one of his claws, and don’t try to force it in hand. Aside from the standard open-claw and fist hands, Thailog has a trigger-finger hand for the gun.

Who would have ever thought we would miss twisty-tie wires on these figures, especially when NECA used to be notorious for them? Well, the plastic “shirt ties” are even more of a pain, harder to clip with nailclippers or scissors and stressful to break by hand. They’re what keep NECA packaging from being truly collector-friendly. Which is weird, because they put so much effort into nice packaging, they ought to go the extra mile with either sandwiching plastic trays like Diamond Select and many Japanese toys, or super figure-hugging trays like Star Wars Black Series. The cool comic artwork on Thailog’s box cover feels worth preserving.

As figure prices go up and up, the likelihood of collectors wanting every single minor variant of the main characters goes down. But in any line of monsters, kids will be drawn to the most monstrous version. Thailog’s ultimate sales may prove a testament to either side of this equation. But all else being even, that flare gun is way cooler than Goliath’s book and jalapeno pepper.

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