Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Gifts 2018 NECA Gizmo, Studio Series Brawl, and Ocular Max Artifex

I've been a fan of Gremlins for literally as far back as I can remember. Gremlins was one of the first PG movies I was allowed to see as a kid. Fast forward 30 years or so later, I was delighted when my daughter and her fiance got me the NECA Ultimate Gizmo for Christmas. 

Gizmo comes with a plethora of accessories. Different faces, a Santa hat, belt, match arrow, trumpet, bow, and candy cane. These accessories kinda-sorta fit, but there aren't any solid ways of keeping the accessories clipped in or on. The headband doesn't quite fit perfectly.  These are all minor niggles, overall the figure is spectacular.

Awwww.... hi Giz!

Time to hunt the Spider Gremlin!

Think I'll start the "Mogwai on a shelf" tradition next year! 

A knob on the back of Gizmo allows the eyes to be posed. It's rather eerie at first, and funny as well.
Sometimes a slight bump will make the eyes go off, and poor Gizmo looks a little... disturbed!

Without a face clipped on. Gizmo is now truly odd looking!

Gizmo is way too large to scale with other figures, but looks fantastic nonetheless.

Overall, I'm really impressed with Ultimate Gizmo. Now I hope to get the Ultimate Gremlin and the Ultimate Stripe. NECA really did a great job with Gizmo. Stripe was wrong. Gizmo is not "caca". 


  • Great sculpt. Multiple faces and eye roll gimmick allow tons of expression.
  • Articulation decent. Gizmo is too chubby for any acrobatics.
  • Paint well done. Very little overspray or missing paint apps.
  • Tons of accessories.
  • Good sized figure.


  • Eyes get easily thrown off a pose. Gizmo often looks intoxicated.
  • Accessories don't stay in hands well.
  • For an "ultimate" take on the character, many accessories are missing. No Barbie corvette, black armband, 3D glasses, comic book, alternate screaming face and back after getting wet.

From my niece, I got the Studio Series Brawl. Fun figure, and an intriguing piece to transform. Looks really close to the movie character, and has a lot of subtle paint details.

Tank mode is pretty awesome. While not particularly articulated, this really does a solid job of looking like the tank from the movie.

 Scale wise he fits well with other Studio Series Transformers figures. As a Masterpiece stand-in, he is way too small, but works as something that will fit reasonably well in the tight constraints of a Detolf shelf.


  • Movie accurate sculpt.
  • Decent articulation


  • Seems too small, even compared to other Studio Series figures. Jazz crawled on his shoulder in the movie.
  • Could use a little more paint detail.

From the missus, I got Ocular Max's Artifex. Their take on a Masterpiece Hoist, the Autobot field mechanic.

While slightly more fiddly than the Trailbreaker homage that shares the mold, Hoist is a nice looking
representation of the character. The figure has subtle changes to the core design from Trailbreaker, so you can make him shorter. By not compressing the front hood, you can also give Hoist his cartoon-accurate robo-beer belly.

These pictures all use the optional cartoon head. Also included are two G1 toy accurate

The arms use a peculiar system for switching between the blaster, hand, and a smithy hammer. Instead of the usual peg, you pull out a clip on the wrist, pop the accessory into the gap, then re-insert the clip. I'm not a huge fan of that system, because I can see the clip easily wearing thin and falling out with too many uses.

 Truck mode is pretty solid. Comes with a completely functional tow bar. Paint detail on the truck is crisp as well. Others have complained about wear on the paint right out of the box, so I assume its a case of individual figures.

 Scale is pretty close to perfect. He's got a nice, boxy look that really stands out compared to many of the other Autobots. I don't think Hoist has ever been considered a fan favorite, but actually having him in hand, he's a really enjoyable deviation from the norm. I highly recommend him for a fun figure to play around with. He's got an enjoyable transformation, a G1 feel, and helps fill the Autobot ranks.


  • Great design.
  • Articulation good. Can duplicate many of Stripe's scenes from the movie.
  • Paint well done.
  • Transformation is smooth.
  • Accessories and transformation allow for cartoon or toy accurate robot mode.


  • Hands held in by clips. Doesn't seem as wear resistant as other methods.
  • No "Hoist goes to Hollywood" alien mask.
See you all in 2019!

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