My PS1 was Crash paradise. From the moment I discovered ‘Rolling Stones’ (level two) on the pre-packed demo disk that came with my first console I was in love with the bonkers bandicoot; and for years his games were all I played. It’d be an understatement to say that NECA’s announcement of 7″ action figures had me moderately enthused.
Sadly, my internal hype-o-meter might have been over active. This isn’t to say he won’t be taking pride of place on my mantelpiece (metaphorically, oh how I wish I had a mantelpiece) he will! It’s just that, like the mangy marsupial himself, there are some nits to pick.
To start off positive, the likeness is fantastic. The figure oozes Crash’s wild, clueless energy and it draws the eye even when in a crowd of similar toys. The detailing and the moulding are delightful. His fur, baggy pants and signature Mohawk all ‘pop’ and there isn’t a square millimeter on him that hasn’t been meticulously shaped and crafted.
He’s no slouch in the articulation field either. His possibility is given a nice boost by his ankle tilts and knee swivels, even if his hips are a little restricted and his ab-crunch gives him his recognisable hunch. Given his squat design I’m amazed that his head has this much articulation and I’m similarly impressed with his arms that pack in a universal joint at the shoulder, elbow and wrist. His eye-brows are the talking point though. Each one is on a ball jointed stalk bringing a huge amount of expressions from just one toy. Honestly, I spent my first day with him just twiddling those bushy brows. He goes from scared to furious quite well.
The negatives start to creep in though. Great effort has clearly been made on the paint job but mine has a few glaring errors. My Crash has scuffs on both his eye balls, a blob of stray paint on his nose and signs of wear on his shoes. It’s a real disappointment as my attention is always drawn to these small issues that really shouldn’t have made it through quality control, especially on a £30 collectible.
An issue that will effect more than just myself is Crash’s mouth. It’s been moulded in a half-open smile that just makes him look gormless no matter what you do with those eye-brows. It’s the lack of his signature toothy grin that knocks this figure down off from perfection for me and it’s a real shame.
Lastly, he comes packaged with a flat pack cardboard crate. It’s flimsy and cheap-looking and only makes me wish they’d have given us some actual accessories, why bother?
In summary, NECA’s opening gambit for their line of 7″ Bandicoot figures is a bold start. Their artistry and materials are of a high quality and the result is a charming, nostalgic play-thing that will undoubtedly delight any fans of the PS1’s first mascot. If you can bag one for closer to £20 I’d say it’s a winner.