Gentle Giant has a track record of translating live action movies into animated style collectibles, from Star Wars to Pirates of the Caribbean to Lord of the Rings. Now they’re embarking on their newest animaquette series by featuring icons of classic horror and slasher films. Here’s my review of the inaugural piece, the Jason Voorhees animaquette.
Let me get this out of the way first: No, this is not a collectible for everyone. Jason is sculpted in true slasher film form, stalking away from a murder scene, machete in hand and victim slung over his back. When this piece was first revealed, a lot of people were shocked by how unnervingly young the victim looks. I suspect that’s just a result of the process of transforming an average teenage girl (as Jason is apt to kill in any of the Friday the 13th films) into a cartoony style. So no, I don’t think Gentle Giant is trying to sell us a statue depicting a dead elementary schooler, despite appearances.
With that dealt with, I can dig into the actual review, which really is a positive one. The statue stands around 10″ tall, and it ships in two pieces. Once you open the box, you can plug Jason into the base via a peg on his foot. His other foot rests in the valley formed by the crushed sign on the base. The victim girl is sculpted onto Jason’s back, making that all one piece.
I’m a big fan of making things cartoony, so it’s no surprise that I really like this statue (along with the animated Freddy Kreuger that recently was unveiled at the San Diego Comic Con), despite my not being a fan of the source movies. This piece really conveys a nice animated sense of Jason lumbering along, and his oversized hands and feet really sell the statue for me. I also like that his head is disproportionately small, making him look a little goofy but sinister at the same time. The only thing about the translation I’m not crazy about is that they chose to give him long, spindly legs. If I remember my horror flicks correctly, I think Jason is a pretty beefy and bulky guy. He’s not one to be prancing about on stick thin legs. That really is my only problem with this version of Jason.
The victim is sculpted in a darkly humorous manner, shown slack jawed and with her eyes rolled up. There’s no question that she’s a little disturbing to look at, but you can’t deny the humor in the piece. As befitting any Friday the 13th victim, she has a decent amount of blood leaking out of her. Her shirt has several splotches of painted-on blood, presumably from knife wounds, but the wounds are not sculpted onto her. I liked that choice, as having sculpted stab wounds would make the victim look a bit too grisly for this cartoonish collectible (as if having blood dripping out of her ear was not grisly enough).
The paintjob on Jason is solid and tight, and I was impressed by a lot of the little details I wasn’t expecting. Perhaps my favorite of those details is the way Gentle Giant painted Jason’s hands and visible skin. I was expecting a flat greyish or pallid skin color, but they went a step beyond by mottling his skin with blues that gives it an errie, vaguely veiny look. It’s very fitting for the piece and gives Jason some extra depth. Jason’s clothes and mask are shaded believably and covered with just enough grime to make it work. His jacket is torn and rended in the back, and the slashes look good in this format. The machete warrants mentioning as well, as it has some nice and subtle blood streaking on it. It’s not gooped with blood and gore as you might expect from a cartoony take on Friday the 13th.
Finally, the base deserves a nod, as it includes some really neat detailing that goes above and beyond. Gentle Giant could have gone the easy way and released a standard, plain black base, ala most of their other animaquette pieces. Instead, they chose to give Jason a nice patch of grass to be trekking through, complete with a little tree stump. And under Jason’s foot, being crushed as he moseys away, is a broken “Crystal Lake” sign. Very nice touch.
As I said at the beginning, this statue is not a collectible for everyone. If you’re a fan of Friday the 13th or horror movies in general, or if you’re crazy about Gentle Giant’s (as well as Electric Tiki’s, as they’re the ones who pioneered these statues with their Tooned Up Television line) animated style (as I am), you should grab this guy up. He’s limited to 1000 pieces, so I can’t imagine he’ll be sticking around retail for super long.
He’s still in stock right now here: Entertainment Earth