#2058: Ofelia

OFELIA

GUILLERMO DEL TORO SIGNATURE SERIES (NECA)

As one of Guillermo del Toro’s most successful films both commercially and critically, as well as good number of movie-goers’ first exposure to del Toro’s work, Pan’s Labyrinth, unsurprisingly, makes up the backbone of NECA’s spotlight on the director’s work.  In addition to getting two of the film’s most distinctive creatures, we also get the film’s protagonist (a real rarity when it comes to toys from horror properties), Ofelia, whose reality and fantasy blending quest drives the film.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ofelia is figure 3 in the Guillermo del Toro Signature Series from NECA, following Santi from The Devil’s Backbone and the Pale Man, also from Pan’s Labyrinth.  She’s the middle of the three Pan’s Labyrinth figures, and actually works as a pretty solid bridge from Pale Man to Faun.  Ofelia is seen her in her green and white party dress, which she wears on her way to the first of the three challenges from the Faun.  It’s not a particularly long-lived outfit, but it’s somewhat important to the plot, and definitely her most distinctive look from the movie.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  The articulation on the upper half of the figure is definitely well-implemented, but the legs, especially the hips, are rather restricted by the thick plastic dress.  There’s no easy solution to that, though, and I can’t really fault NECA for choosing aesthetics over performance on this one.  It’s not like Ofelia’s going to need to get into a ton of action poses, so this should do.  Ofelia’s is a pretty decent recreation of her appearance in the movie, though perhaps not quite as strong as the Faun was.  She overall seems a little too stretched out and lanky for actress Ivana Baquero in the film.  I had a similar complaint about the Newt figure from the Aliens line.  I think it’s just something that comes with the translation from real person to articulated figure.  The likeness on the head also isn’t the best we’ve seen from NECA.  It’s not bad, but it’s not quite right.  The hair is definitely throwing it off somewhat, as is the slightly blander expression than Ofelia tended to have in the film, but the face also seems a little too rounded for Baquero, especially at the jawline.  The prototype looked a little closer, so it’s possible it could be a paint thing.  Speaking of paint, Ofelia’s paint is a little more basic than we tend to see on NECA offerings, since the dress is, by it’s very nature, meant to be a much cleaner looking piece.  There’s a little bit of slop on the edges of the transitions from white to green, as well as the edges of her socks.  The facial likeness is again impacted here, I think mostly by the eyebrows, which are just the wrong shape.  It’s minor, but it definitely throws some things off.  On the plus side, NECA’s usual knack for subtle accent work shows up on the green section of her outfit, which have some very nice depth work going on.  Ofelia’s smaller than the average figure, but is at the same price-point as the Faun.  She makes up the difference via accessories.  She’s packed with the key retrieved from her first task, her storybook, three differently colored fairies, and the stone sculpture from the beginning of the film.  The sculpture is made from polystone, and is a very impressive backdrop, but by far my favorite of the extras included here is the story book, which has a hinge, allowing for it to be opened to view two fully detailed pages.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I hadn’t seen Pan’s Labyrinth when I bought the Faun?  And then I sat down and watched the movie before writing his review?  Yeah, well, I really liked the movie, and I knew as soon as I finished watching it that I was going to need an Ofelia to go with my Faun, so I grabbed her the next day.  While she’s not as technically impressive a figure as the Faun, she’s definitely a solid accent piece, and the extras included really make her worthwhile.  Plus, she’s kind of the main character, so…

Ofelia was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and she can still be purchased here.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#2038: The Faun

THE FAUN

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.

The Faun was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.