“Victims, aren’t we all?”

RavenThe Crow was supposed to be the coming of age, the very point which would catapult Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee’s son) into the big league of Hollywood.

After starring in a string of B-movie releases, the Proyas blockbuster was a showcase fated to thrust him into the limelight, at the cost of his life. Brandon Lee was killed during the shooting of the film due to an accidental gunshot wound – the bullet passed through his abdomen and lodged in his spine, causing massive blood loss. The film, based on a graphic novel of the same title by James O’Barr (who wrote it in attempt to deal with the death of his girlfriend at the hands of a drunk-driving delinquent), evolved into a grim, gothic pastiche-like memoir of a man whose immortality came at the cost of his own life.

NECA celebrates the 10th anniversary of the cult film with the release of ‘The Crow: Reflections Box Set’. By detailing the character’s metamorphosis from hapless victim to undead avenger, NECA manages to render (in plastic) what is perhaps the movie’s most pivotal moment. But we’ve rambled enough. It’s time we sunk our teeth into the meat of the issue.

Packaging [9/10]

The box is solid cardboard, printed with pictures of the figures themselves. What will give mint-condition collectors a massive hard-on is the packground poster of the city skyline as seen from Shelley’s apartment – a perfect backdrop to any display. The figures, diorama and stands are securely held in place with twisty ties (gotta hate ‘em) and clear vac trays, moulded to fit each figure. Great packaging that perfectly marries protection and presentation (despite the damn twisty ties) and the only figure set I have, whose packaging I was compelled to use in my display.

Sculpt [10/10]

RavenNECA hit the jackpot when they managed to rope in the talented fellows who made McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs line so popular, especially Kyle ‘Tankman’ Windrix. A legendary toy sculptor, Windrix’s attention to detail and the level of likeness he manages to capture border on the implausible. My personal favourite was the headsculpt of Eric Draven (don’t be fooled by the paintjob, the same sculpt was used for both figures). The accuracy with which it captures Brandon’s likeness is an ode to the sculptors’ art. But fawning over a facial sculpt would be unfair to brilliance of the clothing, the diorama and the accessories, all of which are par excellence.