Muhammad Ali Takes on NECA’s Superman, Aliens, Predator and Terminators [SDCC 2016]
A lot of companies bring out the biggest surprises at San Diego Comic-Con, but you can always count on NECA to outdo itself (and most of the competition). This year was no exception, with some incredible announcements and showings like the Muhammad Ali vs Superman set and the rest of the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1/4 scale. And that's all on top of the continuing excellence of the Aliens and Predator lines, which are digging even deeper into the Kenner classics this coming year.
We have to talk about the Neal Adams-inspired Muhammad Ali vs Superman set though. A total left-field pick for an action figure pack, but one that perfectly suits NECA's unique brand of classic cuts mixed with fan-favorite characters. The DC license is a tricky one for NECA, since most of the merchandising is handled by Mattel at the mass market level, but exceptions are made once in a great while, and they tend to work out in collector's favor. With this set, not only are we getting a throwback Superman, rendered in comic-style coloring, but also a figure of the greatest boxer of all time, a even rarer feat. Who will win? Only you can decide.
The upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles look even more amazing when all together than Donatello did all by his lonesome at Toy Fair earlier this year. The Jim Henson designs translate wonderfully to action figures when in the right hands, and there's some great detail in all four figures. The head sculpts are perfect too, capturing each in the exact demeanor you most equate with Raph, Donnie, Mikey and Leo.
It's hard not to feel a little bit nostalgic for the Kenner-inspired Aliens and Predator figures, which somehow were a thing sold to kids in the '90s, and NECA's interpretations manage to fit right in line with the screen-accurate versions that its been making for years. Adapting the over-the-top designs into figures that somehow still feel of those worlds without being too goofy was no doubt a challenge, but the sculpts and paint apps are on point. Several of the figures in the Kenner Aliens diorama don't technically have a place yet, but if enough interest is shown in that tan Xenomorph --- which looks suspiciously like the sewer monster from "The Case of the Killer Pizzas" episode of the animated TMNT series --- there's a chance it might see release. Even without it, we're content in knowing the Gorilla and Mantis are just the start of NECA's Kenner Aliens plans.
This is only a glimpse into NECA's plans for the next year, with more reveals, like figures based on AMC's Preacher, on deck this fall. It's hard to imagine a more diverse and interesting slate of figures coming from anyone else, and we can't wait to see what else is in store.