GUILLERMO DEL TORO SIGNATURE SERIES (NECA)
“One of Guillermo del Toro’s most visually stunning films, Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark yet beautiful fantasy set five years after the Spanish Civil War.The insidious brutality of the real world continues to cast a long shadow, infiltrating even the fantasy world of eleven-year-old Ofelia, who begins a terrifying, reality-spanning journey after meeting a mysterious faun in a crumbling labyrinth.Her mystic quest crosses seamlessly from one world to the other, weaving a parable about the power and pain of innocence.”
After making a modest impact on American audiences in 2004 with his live-action adaptation of Hellboy, Guillermo del Toro found his first real critical acclaim in the States with 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno, in its original Spanish release), which firmly established del Toro’s signature dark fairy tale aesthetic to mainstream audiences, and helped to make him more or less a household name. At the time of its release, these sorts of films weren’t getting a ton of toy coverage. Like, just right at the time of its release. They were all over the place before, and after, but it was in this sort of window of things taking a step back. Whatever the case, it meant no toys. Fortunately, NECA’s coming to the rescue with a whole line devoted to del Toro’s filmography, a sizable portion of which is devoted to Pan’s Labyrinth. Today, I’m looking at Ofelia’s guide to the mystical side of her journey, the Faun!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Faun is figure 4 in the Guillermo del Toro Signature Series, and the third figure in the line to be based on Pan’s Labyrinth. Also, the second Doug Jones character (the other being the Pale Man, also from Pan’s Labyrinth), for those playing at home. He won’t be the last. The figure stands 8 inches tall (8 1/2 with the legs fully extended, but then he can’t stand) and he has 29 points of articulation. The Faun’s an all-new sculpt, patterned on his design as seen in the film. It’s one of the most distinctive designs from the movie, and NECA’s done a pretty respectable job of capturing it in plastic form. If you’re familiar with the structure of other NECA creature figures, then this one’s pretty much following their established formula. He’s got a articulated body, with some rubber overlays in place to help keep the design from being too segmented and broken-up. The detailing is up to the usual NECA standards. His details are sharply defined, and he incorporates all of the Faun’s earth-y textures quite nicely. The head is, admittedly, probably the weakest piece of the figure. It’s the least defined and seems to be the most caricatured part of the figure. The face of the Faun in the movie is obviously very stylized, but this rendition seems to stand-out from the body a little more so. That said, it’s hardly a bad offering, and all of the important details are there to sell the design. The paintwork is again pretty standard for a NECA release of this style. There’s a lot of washes and accenting to bring out all of the small sculpted details, and to help bring him in line with how the character is lit on screen. Again, the head is sort of the weak point, specifically the eyes, which just feel way too cartoony when compared to the movie. They’re really the one part of the figure that sort of ruins the illusion for me, and they really don’t seem to fit with the rest of the figure. The Faun is packed with a few character specific extras. He’s got his satchel and a bone to carry in it, as well as the container he gives to Ofelia when she enters the Pale Man’s abode. There aren’t any fairies to store in it (you’ll have to pick up Ofelia for those), but he does get the dagger that she retrieves for him, which he can hold or store in the container. I wouldn’t have minded an extra head with a different expression, but it’s not a bad selection of extras at all.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, confession: I bought this figure without having seen the movie. In fact, I sat down and watched this movie for the first time immediately prior to sitting down to write this review. The things I do to write an informed review for you guys… Okay, actually, I have to say, I don’t know why it took me so long to finally watch the movie, and I’m really glad I did. Whatever the case, it was the Faun’s cool del Toro design that got me on-board with this figure, and it does make for a really cool toy, even with its few small flaws. I think I may have to grab an Ofelia to go with him.