Friday, 4 March 2016

POP! Movies: Army of Darkness – Ash

Year: 2014

Company: Funko

Theme: POP! Movies, Army of Darkness 

In 2016, Ash Williams doesn’t need a lot of introduction to horror fans. As the primary character of the Evil Dead trilogy, (SPOILER ALERT) guest star in the 2013 Evil Dead remake and most recently appearing in the Ash vs Evil Dead online series, he’s been a horror icon ever since his debut in the 1980s.

This POP has actually been out for a while now, but I’ve spent my sweet time waiting to pick him up. I haven’t watched a lot of horror in recent years, so I wasn’t sure I wanted him. Even more so, a good friend of mine is kind of THE Evil Dead guy in my circle of friends. I love the films – but he LOVES them, and I kind of felt like I’d be infringing on his territory if I picked it up. Some of you will know what I mean; it’s like when you’ve been listening to a band for months or years, then all of a sudden your friend who never really showed must interest in them decides he’s their biggest fan.

But late last year I went to a screening of Evil Dead II on the big screen at George St, and it was just as good as I remembered it. And then he popped up (pun fully intended) in a local Co-Op Bookshop, so I thought it was time to take the plunge. 

This is a great caricature of Ash/Bruce Campbell. The raised eyebrow is perfect, and though it doesn’t quite capture Bruce Campbell’s chin, this is simply the nature of the POP format rather than a flaw per se. As should be expected, he’s armed with his signature chainsaw hand and boomstick (shotgun). His blue shirt is appropriately heroically tattered, though he doesn’t look as bloody or dirty as he gets in the movie. I’m sure keen customisers can fix that, though. But at a glance, there’s no doubt as to who this is – and it’s a really fun rendition!

The figure was released in a kind of transitory period for Funko. While it doesn’t display the intricate detail that has been present on an increasing number of POPs, it’s still a couple of steps removed from the basic body that was primarily utilised in Funko’s early days. It’s a good mid-point from my perspective – incorporating all the necessary details and simplifying them, rather than getting a little too busy and over-detailed.

“Well Tom,” I hear you say, “This review has been pretty positive and all, but what about the paint? In virtually every POP review you’ve ever written, you criticise the paint job.”
And that’s true. But this time I’m not going to go down that rude. There is certainly some room for improvement, but on the whole it’s quite acceptable. Check your one in person first, of course, but it’s none too shabby.

Sadly, there were only two (three if you count the glow in the dark Deadite) POPS released from Army of Darkness – Ash here and a Deadite. There are a few different characters that could have been made into POPs if they’d wanted to expand the line; the Pit Witch, Sheila and Evil Ash all spring to mind, not to mention possible different versions of Ash. The most glaring omission, really, is that there isn’t a version of Ash available with a copy of the dread Necronomicon Ex Mortis. Though perhaps this will change with the success of Ash vs Evil Dead. With all the TV shows that are getting merch from Funko, it’s entirely possible they’ll look at doing some of these characters.    

Ash is still freely available, but isn’t as widely stocked as some of his fellow horror companions like Freddy and Jason – if you see him, I’d grab him. The Deadite has now been discontinued, but can still be had for around retail price if you’re a s-mart shopper. He's not quite as essential -- but Ash is a fine addition to any horror POP collection.    

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