A Call to Action (Figures): NECA
Last week I walked into Toys R’ Us not knowing what I wanted, and I saw this Terminator figure:
I didn’t have to even look at the bottom of the box to know what company made it. I could tell by the quality of the sculpt and the paint job that NECA had made it. It’s no surprise that Weston named NECA his Company of the Year in his Year in Review. Dollar for dollar, NECA is the best toy company in the world.
Hasbro has snatched up most of the superhero licenses, Star Wars, and has always had G.I. Joe, which would be a disadvantage for most toy companies but NECA responded in the smartest way possible. They’ve produced high-end products for a low-price and put them into must-have lines.
Look at the Terminator. He’s not from the Terminator movies (although NECA has a great line of those here), but a 16-bit Robocop versus the Terminator game, which I hadn’t heard of but will soon be finding a way to play on my phone. This series started with the Toys R’ Us Exclusive 8-bit Mego Style Jason Voorhees earlier this year, and has expanded to include more and more toys. It’s a smart move, as it reframes licenses they already have (Jason, Terminator, Robocop, etc.) in a way that appeals to gamers as well as run of the mill action figure collectors.
And that’s not the only way they’re turning nostalgia to cash. Their Reel Toys, which I’ve talked about at length because they’re phenomenal, are based off 70’s bootleg figures. They’ve got the same look, and the same fabric close that look and feel great.
Possibly the coolest thing NECA makes is their Scalers. I unfortunately haven’t pulled the trigger on buying some of these yet, but I can’t imagine a home office that wouldn’t be enhanced by a few of these trailing down the backside of the computer.
There are companies that make higher quality toys, but I’d argue that those companies aren’t competing with Hasbro and Mattel the way NECA is. NECA’s on the shelves at Toys R’ Us and most comic book stores (or at least the ones that carry figures). And in a few years, I hope we’ll be talking about how Hasbro is trying to make in-roads into a NECA dominated market. Dollar for dollar, NECA is the best toy company out there right now.
(Pssst. Take a look at the sneak peek of NECA’s Alien Power Loader here.)
A Call to Action (Figures) is a weekly column published every Wednesday, chronicling my rants and raves about all things action figure. Next week I’ll be predicting what figures we can expect based on the movies coming out this year.