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The NECA Toy Company

The NECA Toy Company or the National Entertainment Collectables Association are a toy manufacturer with offices based in New Jersey, that typically targets teenagers and adult action figure collectors.
Founded in 1996 they specialise in figures based on movies, video gaming, TV, music and sports. Many of the 60 plus licenses they have secured would not be touched by other companies, being considered too specialised, with too niche an audience to be worthwhile.

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NECA Packaging

Jonah Hex

Their figures typically come in clamshell packaging and are generally available in both collector and comic shops and more recently for some of their more popular lines, general toy stores such as Walmart, Toys R Us and Target also.

As their core audience largely grew up in the 1980s, or are fans of the major science-fiction series that emerged during that time, it stands to reason that NECA would secure the licenses of so many of the greats from this period.


NECA Aliens & Predator Action Figures

Two of the most popular franchises from this period are Aliens and Predator which have enjoyed series after series of successful releases, bolstered by the myriad of comics and movies. NECA followed up on the early successful efforts from Kenner’s Alien and Predator releases with painstakingly replicated figures.

Robocop and Terminator, likewise were originally Kenner series taken on by NECA. Interestingly in the interim years, McFarlane Toys also released Terminator figures in their Movie Maniacs line but without the rights to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face, hence the creative license played with the damage to his features, whereas NECA eventually released super-accurate renditions of the Austrian oak in all his glory, as well as renditions of his appearances in Predator and Commando.


On the subject of likenesses, NECA released the first ever John McClane figure based on Die Hard hero Bruce Willis, mainly because he was often rather touchy about how his face was used. For some reason this one reminds me more of Ronald Reagan.
Other figures such as Rambo and Rocky have also proved popular with the seminal 80s action hero incarnations of Silvester Stallone rendered in plastic.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Freddy Krueger
Friday 13th

NECA Horror Figures

Horror fans have also been more than well served, after years of McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs providing figures of virtually every butcher of screaming young ladies, NECA followed up with their expanded, poseable and scene specific figures based on Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and a host of others including of course the lovable, hapless Ash from the Evil Dead movies.

Interestingly with their Ghostbusters line, NECA got the license to the ghosts but not the busters, an imbalance later rectified by Mattel.

Moving out of the 80s, many of the most popular and exciting film series of the 21st century have received renditions by NECA. Kill Bill and Shaun of the Dead being bloody black comedies that defy the average child-centric toy line.
The Nightmare Before Christmas, long known for its teen, goth-friendly merchandising potential has enjoyed many series’ also.

Harry Potter
Pirates of the Carribean

There have been other lines associated with more family-friendly fare such as the Harry Potter, which passed from Mattel to NECA for the fourth and fifth films until eventually being to Tomy for the conclusion of the series. These Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix toys are considerably more detailed and designed for display rather than play.

Pirates of the Caribbean also enjoyed NECA's attention during the period of the second and third movie releases. There were also child-focused figures from Zizzle, but by the time the fourth movie emerged Jakks Pacific had obtained the license.

Comics and TV have also made their way into the line-up. Sandwiched between Playmates’ long-running production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, NECA released super-detailed versions based on the original Mirage comics which became firm fan favourites and in fact informed on the design of the new Playmates toys.


NECA Masters of the Universe 1
NECA Masters of the Universe 2
NECA Masters of the Universe 3

In a similar scenario Mattel have always produced Master of the Universe figures but there was a time between the end of the 2000 line-up, based on the third cartoon and the collector-focused MOTU Classics, when NECA made several assortments of non-poseable mini stactions (action statues) which were scaled and sculpted by the Four Horsemen to reflect the style of the previous figures and likewise elements of these were incorporated into the Classics line.

The world of video games has proved a veritable buffet of licenses, with NECA cherry-picking fans favourite characters from Assassin’s Creed, BioShock, Gears of War, God of War, Left 4 Dead and Street Fighter IV to name a few.

Rendering a real-life person into plastic is always supremely difficult because of the inherent requirement to capture the living body in sculpture. A person’s facial details are simply too complex to perfectly translate, although the technology to attempt this continuously moves onwards and upwards. However, video game characters do not exist in real life, so in essence the multi-polygonal structures of their faces and the fact that they were made originally by machines lends themselves to this process for some very authentic action figures.

NECA thus stands for many as the benchmark for quality, affordable, collector focused licensed figures. Which have been your favourites over the years?

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PLEASE NOTE: All prices and values quoted on this site were correct at the time of publication based on the average value across several online and offline auction sites etc. The prices quoted ARE NOT an offer or solicitation to buy any figures at these prices.

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