Friday, 23 October 2015

POP! Movies – Jason Voorhees (Glow in the Dark Chase Edition)

Year: 2011
Series: POP! Movies
RRP: See below…

I watched a LOT of horror films between the ages 18 and 25, ranging from more tame, mainstream fare through to the highly disturbing and Z-grade. The Friday the 13th series really straddles both worlds – though Jason is a pretty iconic protagonist/villain, a lot of the films are objectively terrible. Camp sensibilities get more and more pronounced as the series goes on, but the energy just isn’t there to sustain it, especially in clunkers like Jason Takes Manhattan. Some of the latter-day instalments like Jason X and Freddy vs Jason were certainly not masterpieces, but at least they were self-aware enough to be fun. So though I definitely used to be a fan, I don’t have strong reasons to recommend other people spend their time watching them! There are plenty of better films – horror and otherwise – to watch. 

But as I said, Jason is iconic. He’s a character who has grown much larger than the films that spawned him, thanks in no small part to his hockey mask. He’s also not an entirely unsympathetic character – Freddy Krueger was a bad, bad man before becoming an undead nightmare monster, Pinhead was a total hedonist, and Michael Myers was a psychopath from childhood. Jason, on the other hand, was a child with some kind of severe medical issue who was unfortunate enough to drown at a summer camp. His motivations are never really explored, but you can extrapolate that this may have played a role in why he acts the way he does.

At any rate, he is a sure-fire movie merchandising success these days, so it’s not really surprising that he was one of the first POPs Funko produced. Jason has had a number of looks through the different movies – not surprising, given that the series has had numerous changes in direction, many different people handling the mythos and multiple actors playing the character. This figure looks to be mostly based on his appearance in Freddy vs Jason, which, while not as detailed as his appearance in some of the other films, is a nice “generic” look for him. It captures how the public tends to think of him, even if it’s not entirely reflective of most of the actual films. His machete is spattered in blood, unsurprisingly. Jason hacks up just about everyone he runs into, which skews against Funko’s cutesy aesthetic, but is certainly character-accurate.

Paint is pretty good (what a shock!), but the mask is a little rough with the way the grey is applied around the holes. This is accentuated a little as the mask is not painted – it’s cast in glow plastic, so errors couldn’t really be covered up with other paint, as you could theoretically do with the regular release. Nothing especially problematic, particularly considering that this is one of Funko’s older figures when paint was regularly much, much worse than this.  

Overall, it’s a good example of the kind of figure I like from Funko’s earlier years. While the more detailed sculpts they use now are still frequently very cool, I like the simplicity of the older ones – it didn’t work perfectly for every character, but it helped give a slightly more unified aesthetic to the your collection. 

Now…to cost. As Jason here is a chase version, some retailers will just sell him at the same price as a regular POP, if you can actually find him. I’m not sure if Funko has re-released this figure, or if this is genuinely old stock that has just shown up in store now. I came across him in an EB Games store in Sydney a couple of months ago, and he was just sitting in among all of the rest of their POP section. I paid RRP, but on eBay he goes for absolutely silly money. So think wisely before going ahead with the purchase – the only real difference I can see is that his mask glows in the dark, so the “regular” version is perfectly serviceable. Don't get me wrong, I love glow in the dark stuff! Just not at that kind of price tag. 

I don’t watch a lot of horror anymore – I don’t get time to watch a lot of movies, and I don’t have the same stomach for gore – but Jason is a well-made POP and a fun reminder of those younger days. Now, if only they’d make some Zombie Flesh Eaters POPs…  

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