SDCC 2022: NECA’s ’90s Nostalgia for Turtles, Gargoyles, Dinosaurs

Let’s start with the bad news from NECA: their signature quarter-scale figures aren’t coming back any time soon, except for some re-releases. Based on feedback they’ve gotten, they do not believe fans have the shelf-space or the budget to accommodate rising costs in that size. The company very much still wants to do superheroes, as evidenced by the surprise reveal of Owen Wilson and Michael Pena action figures from Paramount+’s Secret Headquarters. But there’s nothing new to announce from either the “Original Superheroes” line or Defenders of the Earth.

The Boys, however, is also done. Black Noir will close out the line, and the proposed A-Train won’t make it. (Given the content of the show, owning action figures of Homelander et al always seemed a bit ironic.) On happier notes, ’90s nostalgia is very much alive and well. NECA has mined ’80s fan favorites like Aliens, Predator, Terminator et al for all they’re worth, and now the next generation has disposable income. The Gargoyles line sees a massive expansion with Broadway, Lexington, Angela, Xanatos, Armored Xanatos, and Steel Clan. Demona’s folded wings will arrive soon with another figure.

Thanks to good relations with the Jim Henson company, the popular cult puppet sitcom Dinosaurs will get new toys. NECA showcased Earl and Baby Sinclair, who will sell separately with appropriate accessories. And speaking of puppets, E.T. gets more figures for his 40th anniversary, including a deluxe figure with light-up heart, and an “Amblin logo” biking past the moon diorama. From which the bike can detach and either display on a stand, or get played with utilizing a pull-back-and-go motor.

RELATED: NECA Debuts Rob Zombie’s The Munsters Toys With Zombo

Robocop finally delivers a Peter Weller likeness, thanks to “time and money,” as the actor’s asking price finally came down. And long-requested figures based on The Thing continue — after years of not merchandising it, Universal decided to do so for the 40th.

Universal Monsters continue with Dracula and an accessory set that includes his coffin and an armadillo. The Gill Man from Creature From the Black Lagoon is next, and a special diorama hinted at Bride of Frankenstein next. In Frankenstein-adjacent news, NECA also showed their Herman Munster figure from the Rob Zombie movie.

But NECA these days practically runs on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and lots more will come. When the company first started with the license, Playmates’ rights severely restrained what NECA could do. That changed once Nickelodeon, who now owns the license, saw how much money they were making. The TV cartoon series toys continue to add many more characters, as will the comics lines, from The Last Ronin to the Archie comics and Mirage books. Expect all-new Turtles, Shredders, Splinter…and yes, Renet in her blue costume. No new movie characters for the moment.

Check out what NECA had on display in our gallery below. Then tell us what you think in comments.

Recommended Reading: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate B&W Collection Vol. 1

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