Review: Hail to the King with NECA's Evil Dead 2 Hero Ash Figure

A couple of days ago, did you get a slight ringing in your ears late in the afternoon? Perhaps it sounded like a high-pitched whine. No? Well, then you were mercifully spared injury caused by the girlish squeal I let out after opening this figure of Hero Ash from NECA's "Evil Dead 2" line! It's the 25th anniversary of one of my favorite films, and this is the second series to bring Ash back to the pegs in all his groovy glory. I patiently waited for this figure for a long time, and then my addiction to toy hunts (and aversion to online ordering) caused me have to wait a little longer. "Why wait so long to get an Ash when there were two previous figures released?" Two words: Chainsaw hand! After finally finding this Deadite-killer at Hastings, I snatched him up and took him out for some review photos!

Packaging for Ash will be familiar to any NECA collectors, as it is in the same durable clamshell-style as used with most of their figure lines.The front and sides of the blister feature cool artwork and phrases from the film, along with the "Hero Ash" title for this particular toy. The figure is displayed prominently in the front, and the back has a close up shot of Ash along with a synopsis of "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" and photos of the other figures in the series. The bottom of the package sports the, always welcome, credits for people that worked on the figure. we once again applaud NECA for doing this as the artist that work on toys deserve to be known just as those creating comic books and movies do.

From the back of the package:

After a relaxing cabin vacation doesn't go as planned, Ash is left with three dead friends, an undead girlfriend, and an angry evil spirit on the loose.

As nightfall approaches, Ash must prepare to again battle the legions of the damned if he wants to make it to dawn.

Adrienne Smith and Thomas Gwyn tore into this sculpt like an evil clone going up against a chainsaw! Every detail is present from the pull cord hook on Ash's harness, to his business socks peaking through the tear in his pant leg. How do we know they're business socks? Cause that's all Ash is about! All of the rips and tears are there in his shirt as well, and that's also where one of the small problems with the figure lies. The shirt is made of a more pliable plastic in order to allow for articulation and to add the the realism of the figure. However, something has happened between the sculpt and the factory with the bottom of the shirt not always touching the top of the pants--in a very noticeable way. He can be bent forward or back to make it touch the waistband from that visual perspective, but never both at the same time. The head sculpt also matches up to Bruce Campbell's slack-jawed stare that he has through most of the film-- when not using his "laughing maniacally" face. Most people think of Ash as a cocky bastard, but that didn't really come into play fully until "Army of Darkness".

The paint apps on this figure are plentiful in order to match the various levels of dirt, grime, blood, and Deadite guts that cover this hero. Even Bruce's chest hairs have been lovingly hit with paint to further bring out his full heroic potential. Sometimes NECA's use of washes and drybrushing can cause the toy to look too "muddied", but in this case, all that attention to detail really pays off more than we ever imagined the production figure could!

Articulation is almost perfect on this figure. Ash has a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, ball-joint wrists, ball-joint torso, swivel waist, swivel hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, and ball-joint ankles. All of the joints work like a dream and S-Mart's favorite employee can hold all of his positions. It's well record that I hate v-hips, and while I would have preferred swivel/hinges like on the recent Jason figure, the v-hips work well enough for Ash given his thigh swivels and knee swivels to help balance out the posing options.

Ash comes packaged with two accessories: the possessed deer head that screams and laughs maniacally from the cabin walls, and his trusty double-barreled "boomstick". The shotgun is the shorter version from Evil Dead 2 (going back in time made it longer, I guess) and is made from stiff plastic. It fits in his hand pretty well, and can also be stored in the scabbard on his back. The trigger guard is thin, so be easy with it. Mine snapped off after I carelessly dropped it in a parking lot. The other accessory is the possessed deer head. This thing is incredible, but suffers from a fatal flaw: there's no hole on the back of the mounting bracket from which to hang the head on a wall! That's a HUGE missed opportunity, especially since this thing looks so damned good! It's crazed expression and ball-joint neck make it one of the coolest accessories we've seen as of late, so the inability to hang it was compounded that much more. We definitely suggest picking up some double-sided tape when you buy Ash, cause you won't want to just toss this deer head in a parts drawer!

"Hail to the king, baby", the king of Evil Dead action figures, that is! NECA has done something amazing here, so be sure to check out their official website for all of their upcoming products! Oh, how I wait on pins and needles to see the eventual "Army of Darkness" Ash, with robotic hand...

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