In 1988, John Carpenter released They Live. In the cult classic film, a nameless drifter (now known as John Nada) moves from city to city, taking any jobs that he can. He’s a man just looking to get by. After taking a job on a construction site, he comes across sunglasses that reveal the truth about the world he lives in. Humanoid aliens have infiltrated every aspect of society. The use subliminal messaging to keep the population unaware of their presence. The specialized lenses in the glasses block out the alien signal, and reveals not only the messaging on our every day advertising, but who among us is one of the ghouls. As Nada takes justice into his own hands, he comes across a group of rebels who stand against the invaders, and look to alert humanity to the danger around them.
About a year ago, NECA released the first of their collectibles based on They Live. The excellent 8″ scale 2-pack featured both a male and a female ghoul from the movie (check out our Photo Gallery). Coming later this year is their figure based on “John Nada“, one of the heroes of the film played by the late Rowdy Roddy Piper. The figure will eventually be joined by Frank Armitage, who was played by the excellent Keith David. Our friends at NECA have sent over an advanced sample of the Nada figure. After the jump you can see a full gallery and review for the upcoming figure, which should hit stores in December.
They Live – John Nada 8″ Scale Retro Clothed Figure by NECA Toys
- Two excellent head sculpts
- Great paint work on the portraits
- Easy to swap out the portraits
- Newer retro body used with better articulation
- The belt was changed from the prototype and is no longer film accurate
The Nada figure is packed in a collector friendly window box. The design is similar to the previously released They Live 2-pack, so they will display nicely together. The box is mostly black, with some branding and poster art from the film. The back of the box showcases the figure and included accessories. The figure includes a portrait with sunglasses, a standard portrait, a shotgun, a pistol, and an ammo bandolier.
With this being part of the retro clothed figure line, the main new piece of sculpting will be the two portraits that are included. The portraits were done by sculptor Trevor Grove, who has worked on all four NECA figures from They Live. As expected, the sculpts are stellar looking in-hand. The likeness to Roddy Piper is pretty much spot on. The paint work doesn’t appear to be digitally printed, as you don’t see the dot patterns that tend to pop up when using that tech. Instead, the face here looks to be hand painted, and the detail work is pretty impressive. Lines around they eyes are crisp and clean, and their are more subtle transitions used in the rest of the face. Both head sculpts were treated with this care, and it helps to really sell the likeness here. The heads swapped out with no trouble, as I never needed to break out a hair dryer to loosen the ball joint for removing or snapping the other one on. I was also able to remove the sunglasses from the one portrait. There are two small slots at the hair line that hold them into place, and there’s enough leway to slide them down his nose a bit.
Nada looks to be using the newer 3.0 retro body style, which added things like rocker ankles, and double jointed elbows. This added articulation makes a nice difference compared to older releases. The updated ankles are especially helpful when trying to stand the figure more naturally. The joints all worked great. I didn’t run into any breakage issues, and the movement was smooth and never felt like they were overly tight. The outfit is a bit more of a mixed bag. The plaid shirt actually looks great. The material feels appropriate and doesn’t hinder the articulation. It sits pretty naturally on the torso. The pants feel a little more bulky than some of their recent clothed figure releases. They don’t sit quite as naturally as the shirt does, but the color and design look accurate enough to the film. The belt was changed from the prototype, and it’s probably the only real negative I have with the figure. The material is really thin, and the design is no longer accurate to the film. Accessory wise, you get a shotgun, a pistol, and an ammo bandolier. The double jointed elbows and bicep swivel allows the shotgun to be held properly. The bandolier can be removed once you pop off one of the head sculpts.
Over the years, NECA collectors have continually asked for a figure based on John Nada. Now that it’s on the verge of release, and I have it in hand, the figure was worth the wait. I know some fans are unhappy this isn’t a fully sculpted 7″ scale Ultimate figure, but those who collect the 8″ scale lines will be really pleased. Nada has great head sculpts, and looks fantastic next to the previous They Live Aliens. Check out a selection of photos below, and the full gallery after that.