The cult classic horror film Nightbreed is nearing it’s 30th anniversary. The film, directed by Clive Barker, follows Aaron Boone, who is suffering crippling nightmares of a city full of monsters. When he visits a psychologist named Dr. Phillip Decker, Boone is framed for the serial killer murders that Decker is committing. Chased down and killed by police, Boone is brought back to life as an inhabitant of Midian, the monster filled city he had visions of. Together, they are forced to face Decker as he schemes to destroy the underground city, and all the monsters who dwell there.
Nightbreed is a fascinating film, with amazing set pieces, a great assortment of creature designs, and a surprising amount of world building. Sadly, it suffered immensely from studio interference, which resulted in a much shorter theatrical film than Clive Barker had wanted. There are have been multiple cuts of the film over the years. The three main versions are the Theatrical Cut, the Cabal Cut, and the recent Director’s Cut. Each one is actually quite different, with the Cabal Cut and Director’s Cut shifting focus away from Decker, and adding more to the Midian mythology. The theatrical cut is the most widely known, and gives us some great scenes with Decker, who is played by horror icon David Cronenberg.
NECA has released an 8″ scale figure of Dr. Phillip Decker in their cloth figure line. The masked figure includes an impressive array of bladed weapons, as well as a suitcase for storing some of the knives. Our friends at NECA have provided us with the figure. After the jump, check out my thoughts and full gallery.
Nightbreed – Dr. Phillip Decker 8″ Scale Cloth Figure by NECA Toys
- Great addition to the horror line up
- Fantastic sculpted mask
- Nice assortment of weapons
- The briefcase is a nice touch
- Solid articulation
- Hands have a hard time holding the weapons
Like most of NECA’s 8″ scale classic character releases, Decker is packed in a plastic clamshell with a poster style cardback. The artwork for this release was created by Justin Osborn, whose art can be found on numerous t-shirts from Fright Rags. The back of the card shows off a few images of the figure itself. Decker features a cloth outfit, five different blades, and a briefcase.
The Decker figure looks fantastic in hand. The mask, which is the first thing you notice on the figure, looks pretty much perfect. The sculpt work there is nicely detailed, with a heavy texture on the skin like material Decker had. The offset zipper mouth piece is partially opened, and the sculpted button eyes are just as unsettling as you would expect. The glove hands are also newly sculpted (from what I can tell). The paint work on the portrait adds to the fine detail work. There are multiple layers of paint wash to add depth, and nice clean lines separating areas like the eyes, zipper, and exposed skin by the mouth. The fabric outfit uses a nice thin thread for the suit. This results in more form fitting clothing that looks more natural. The jacket is held closed by velcro, and you could easily swap out different pieces of the outfit for custom figures.
The numerous weapons included here are impressive. You may notice a few of the blades are repurposed from other retro releases. But you also have the unmistakable blade that Decker uses for much of his killings in the movie. Each of the blades is cast in a hard plastic, so there are no warping issues. The plastic briefcase snaps open, revealing spaces for three of the knives. It’s a great touch, and the briefcase itself makes for a great diorama element. My only real gripe is that the hands have a very loose grip, and many of the blade handles don’t fit tightly in the heads.
This is a figure I would never have expected to see an official release. I have come across numerous customs at horror shows over the years, so there is some market for the character. By making it part of their 8″ cloth figure line, there’s not much to lose. The patterns for the outfit can be reused on other characters calling for a similar tie, button up shirt, shoes, and pants. With the right release, even the jacket could be repurposed. So the tooling costs really come down to a new portrait, a few weapons, and a set of hands. A much smaller risk than a fully sculpted 7″ figure. Regardless of that, Decker is an absolutely great addition to the 8″ figure line up. Check out a selection of images below, and the full gallery after that.
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