I know I’m not the only one who wore out their local Blockbuster’s VHS copy of Evil Dead 2. For me, it was the “Swallow this.” line (gets me every time). The film is rightfully one of the best B-movie horror films of all time, and while Bruce Campbell may not be (to borrow a line from My Name Is Bruce) “the greatest actor of his generation”, is still an amazing master of slapstick humour. That, and being tortured by Sam Raimi. I know I’m a little late on this one, but dammit, seeing as I missed out on the original waves of figures based on Evil Dead 2, NECA giving folks like me a second chance with this Ultimate Ash figure was too good to pass up. As for those who already have those figures, does this release warrant a double-dip?
As with the other figures in the line, Ash comes in a collector-friendly windowbox packaging, recreating the poster art for the film. The back of the box features shots of the figure, as well as mentioning the events of the original Evil Dead film (something Evil Dead 2 didn’t actually do). The flap on the front of the box opens to reveal the figure in the cabin, probably looking for his possessed hand.
As previously mentioned, it’s a re-release of the original figure with some updated articulation. The details are still top notch, even with a four-year-old sculpt. When compared to NECA’s Ash Vs. Evil Dead line of figures, Evil Dead 2‘s Ash has a bit of a stylized look, although we’re dealing with a much younger Bruce Campbell in this case. Regardless, the look of the figure is still accurate to the film, right down to the smears of goop on Ash’s clothes, and the duct tape on the stump of Ash’s right hand. I love the textured look of Ash’s pants, and the washes used to bring out the texture. There’s no instance of sloppy paint application here, even with the “accuracy” of the film’s continuity. Great-looking figure, overall.
Ash has been given 25 points of articulation with this update, and all the joints are tight with no floppiness. The head is on a balljoint, and can move around without any problems. The same can be said of the pin-and-socket joints for the shoulders. Ash’s shirt isn’t the same soft vinyl used in current NECA figures, but still allows the arms to fully rotate and move out to almost a T-pose. The arms bend and rotate at the elbows, and can bend to 45°. The waist is on a ball joint, but partly because of the plastic used in the upper torso as well as the sculpt, it doesn’t quite allow full movement. Then again, it’s Ash we’re talking about, so no acrobatics. The new articulation in the lower torso allows the legs to move up and down, in and out, as well as rotate at the hip. The joints at the knees allow the legs to rotate and bend at roughly 45°, and the ankle joints allow for foot rotation and some pivot, but are hindered by the sculpt. Again, Ash isn’t doing ninja kicks.
All of the accessories from the Series 1 wave of Evil Dead 2 figures are included here. First is the trusty shotgun, which is sculpted nicely with some nice silver paint applications mixed in to give it a worn look. Then there’s the axe with Evil Ed’s green blood smeared on it. Again, great paint application with the blood splatter effects. Next is Linda’s possessed severed head. Again, some wonderful detail in the doll texturing, and the detail in the hair is amazing. The reel-to-reel tape player has some fantastic details as well, right down to the back with the battery compartment and speaker. There’s also the Necronomicon, and like the original release, there’s a nitpick. In spite of the great sculptwork and painting, this version of the book is from Army Of Darkness, not Evil Dead 2. A rights issue, unfortunately. Oddly though, the 8-inch clothed action figure was able to have the Evil Dead 2 version of the Necronomicon. Oh, well.
Also included is Possessed Ash’s head, which you’ll probably need a hair dryer to warm up the plastic before attempting to pop it on the peg. We also get Ash’s severed hand, which again, has some great details worked into the sculpt. Finally, there’s the swappable forearm that can be popped on to give Ash his hand back, and that hand can be popped out for a possessed version. Now I know that some people are going to be complaining about the lack of a chainsaw and sawed-off shotgun. And that’s a good point. However, those were all part of the Hero Ash figure that came in Series 2, and wouldn’t fit in with this one (the missing straps for the sawed-off, ripped shirt and so on). Yeah, it sucks. It’s not quite the “Ultimate” Ash that some were expecting, but at least we’ve got the Ash vs. Evil Dead figures as a consolation.
Again, since this is a re-release with updated articulation, those who already have the original Evil Dead 2 figures from 2012 aren’t going to have much reason to pick up this Ultimate version (unless you’re a diehard collector). For those who did miss out on those figures (sadly, myself included), this is a welcome second opportunity to grab an awesome Evil Dead 2 version of Ash without breaking the bank. All of the original accessories and features are included, so it’s a definitely less-expensive alternative.
Big thanks once again to Northmen Collectibles for making this figure available.