Toy Review: NECA Gremlins 2 Tattoo Gremlins Box Set

NECA‘s Gremlins are a bit like Malibu Stacy for creature fans, though they tend to include a lot more than a new hat. Especially when it comes to figures from Gremlins 2: The New Batch, there are a lot of color patterns to choose from, as well as dress-up accessories. Seriously, it’s amusing to think that these are essentially dress-up dolls — but monsters. For figures based on the first Gremlins film, they mostly looked all the same save Stripe, with his distinctive hair. For the sequel-based figures, like these Tattoo Gremlins, they do use the same base body, but the paint and deco gets pretty wildly different.

The two Gremlin figures here are the same basic figures as the Demolition two-pack, with the same body as the Brain Gremlin. Their paint jobs make them stand out, however, with the green one marked like a frog, and the brownish one more of a desert lizard scheme. And that’s without even mentioning the large corporate logo tattoo on the green one’s chest. Joe Dante only made the sequel on the condition of complete creative freedom, and the whole thing is a big satire of corporate sequels. Yet here we are still buying the merchandise, decades later. Everyone laughs.

The oddest thing about the articulation is the lack of a waist or mid-torso joint, though in this case that would interfere with the WB tattoo. Neither Gremlin has a jaw hinge, though the green one has ball jointed ears. Aside from that, we’re talking ball-jointed neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, severely restricted hips, and hinge knees. Both come in the package with open claw hands, but include additional to hold their accessories. The large splayed-out toes do wonders for the figure’s balance.

The green one includes a towel with bendy wires inside, so it can wrap around him any number of ways. He also gets a mallet, previously released in the line, that feels like it’s real wood. Pretty basic accessories, yet they let him look like a real mischief maker.

The tattoo artist comes with a lot more. His faux-leather hat has a real metal chain on it, and it fits his head nicely. The mirror shades balance rather than slot on his face, and fall off easily, but they look good when they stay in place. His jacket, made to look like denim and cowhide, with fake buttons, hangs very nicely at the scale. And for accessories, he gets an S&M riding crop, and a tattoo gun, which in the movie was a soldering iron, and looks it. The cord attached is a bendy wire which doesn’t plug into anything; like the movie prop, it can simply go offscreen. Of the alternate hands, the left holding-hand isn’t as fitted a grip as the right, but if you wrap the cord around his hand, the gun will stay there.

The insert backdrop is mostly of a dark wall and a skylight, and can be repurposed for your shelf or photos. As always, the figures are held in the plastic tray by numerous shirt-ties you’ll need to cut.

It’s a more desirable set if you’ve never owned any Gremlins 2 figures yet. If you have, you know exactly what to expect, but they build out the army with more accessories to share and newer deco. NECA seriously went all out on the paint jobs, with several layers and washes combining. They look as good as the original prototypes on display, which cannot be said of too many figures these days.

Entertainment Earth has the set for $59.99, which sounds extra-sweet when you see that the Demolition two-pack is $74.99. Considering they have a similar amount of accessories and clothing, this is by far the better deal. (Entertainment Earth is an affiliate partner of Superhero Hype, which may earn fees from purchases made through links.)

Take a look at many more images in our gallery below to get a real sense of the detail. Then tell us what you think in comments!

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