Inboxing – Neca Yu-Gi-Oh! Collectible Figures: Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Red-Eyes Black Dragon

Many reviewers do unboxing reviews. I do not plan on opening these so I suppose this review’s an inboxing? Intheboxing? They’re more like small statues than pose-able action figures so while the review would be better if I opened these, hopefully this’ll give you enough of a gist to decide whether or not to buy them.

I got the Blue-Eyes a long time ago but I found the Red-Eyes this week and I had to get it. While I was really impressed with Blue-Eyes when I got him, I got motivated to do this review because I now have both. They’re amazing tributes to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and as a big fan I was excited to write something about them.

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I was a big fan of Yu-Gi-Oh! when it first got dubbed by good old 4kids! Entertainment. Played the card game once the cards were in English and I’m still a fan though it’s more out of nostalgia than anything. Not playing as much anymore but I still play casually for fun. As for the toys, I only got one of the figures Mattel made way back. I did buy the heck out of Dungeon Dice Monsters though. I also bought some of the Kotobukiya things like the little boxed figures but those are chibis with crazy eyes. They’re cool in their own right but aren’t the accurate portrayals some might like. Anyway, when it comes to Yu-Gi-Oh! toys I don’t have much to compare these to.

Some time ago I heard Neca was going to do a bunch of classic Yu-Gi-Oh! stuff that will cater to the adult collector. I read about Heroclix, some non-Dungeon Dice dice game, pins, dog tags or something… Yeah, wasn’t too excited about those. I like Heroclix but the pull rate for the rare ones is beyond unfair so I bought two and stopped after seeing the secondary market prices on the ones I wanted. The other items seem random and don’t really appeal to me. For those they do appeal to, I hope you enjoy them but I wish there was more focus on the figures and perhaps bringing back Dungeon Dice Monsters.

Anyway, I saw this Blue-Eyes White Dragon along with Dark Magician and Kuriboh on a trip to the store one day, the three of them making up series 1. Each of them priced at $12.99 and I think they’re pretty much to scale with each other. The price was disgusting for Dark Magician and especially Kuriboh but I picked up Blue-Eyes because this thing is beautiful. I luckily got it at a discount but for the detail and care that went into the sculpt, $12.99 isn’t an awful price.

Let’s get the pictures out of the way before I talk about it. Here’s a picture from the front.

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From the back you’ll see they used the art from the original card we all remember from the show.

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What’s that? They didn’t use the original art? They used the tablet art instead?

NOOOOOOOOO

Mini rant but I’m tired of seeing the tablet art for all prints of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card now. I’ll assume it’s some dumb issue with Japan because this has affected Dark Magician and Red-Eyes Black Dragon as well. Their reprints haven’t used their original arts in years with one recent exception. I liked both tablet arts when we first got them but it’s fatiguing now. We’re not even getting the LOB art anymore.

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Despite this, it’s kind of cool to get a big full body picture of him, wings and all. I’ll admit that despite my wishing the original art getting to see the light of day more, the tablet pose may have been the better choice because it’s the entire art unlike the card. I did expect the original art since that would’ve been more nostalgic considering this is aimed at the crowd who was into Yu-Gi-Oh! from the beginning but seeing the entirety of this Blue-Eyes is a nice consolation. Overreaction aside, no foul here.

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Some shots at different angles

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Not the best shot but the base extends just a bit past its feet and has a raised Yu-Gi-Oh! logo on it.

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Here you’ll see the plastic backdrop attached to the base is the giant rock tablet. Yeah, what else would be behind him? It’s a bit small because the figure’s pretty wide but I suppose expanding the tablet would make it too tall because it’s already taller than the figure which is bending forward.

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Despite being called Blue-Eyes White Dragon, it has always looked more like a metallic blue, even in the show. It totally shows here because this guy is shiny. This figure is as accurate as can be and to me, a perfect attempt. It’s exactly what I’d imagine when I think of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. It’s about 3 and 1/2 inches tall and a little under 5 inches wide if we’re going from left wing (from the front) to tail. If there are any flaws, it’d be factory flaws. Looking at it, some parts aren’t as smooth as I’d like and there’s also some bubbling and scratches. I’ll recommend that if you can, check the tongue and teeth for paint flaws. I have no problem with the paint on the rest since it’s one color but I’ve seen a few not so good mouths. Still, it’s a fantastic figure and I have to give Neca a lot of points for such a detailed and true to the design sculpt. Go buy it!

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I didn’t really know they were going to make Red-Eyes so when I saw it in person, it was a pleasant surprise. I was also surprised to see that all the figures cost $9.99 this time which is much more fair, especially since series 2 is all big guys unlike Kuriboh and Dark Magician. I was so excited to leave with it. His wave mates in series 2 are Summoned Skull and Gate Guardian. I don’t plan on getting the other two even if Summoned Skull is a classic in both the show and card game but I appreciate their figures nonetheless. I will say that considering it was Black Skull Dragon, a fusion of Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Summoned Skull that defeated Gate Guardian in the show, how cool would it have been if that was in this wave? I’d have bought that with Red-Eyes and Summoned Skull to have all three. It’s not like Gate Guardian isn’t memorable but it’s definitely not my first choice. Moving on…

Pictures first from the front

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On the back of this one, they somewhat surprisingly used the original art. His only other art used for the English cards wouldn’t be easy to clip out. Bias for original art aside, this art does work better to show the body like the tablet Blue-Eyes did so it was the right move.

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Same with Blue-Eyes we see the whole dragon again unlike the card art. I have to wonder where they’re keeping these full card arts. I can’t imagine how many Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are missing parts and I’d love if they’d release a book or something of them.

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More shots and you’ll see the backdrop is more akin to the original art’s background. Wish it was wider though because Red-Eyes has big wings. It would’ve been easier to extend here because there’s nothing in the picture to ruin like tablet but I guess they wanted to keep the backdrop size consistent.

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Here you get a better shot of the base which is much bigger than the one with Blue-Eyes. Something I noticed was that while Blue-Eyes has the usual Yu-Gi-Oh! logo on the base, this base has a different one. It has the logo used on the package’s front instead of the classic logo with the Japanese characters in the back. Not sure what happened here but I wish this stayed consistent.

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Neca did a great job with this one too. Sporting the Metalgreymon pose during Agumon’s Warp Digivolve, the sculpt looks great and I have no problem with it. It looks just as I’d imagine and it’s a badass display piece. Light also reflects off the black very well and I think it’s pretty cool that this one is shiny in its own way while Blue-Eyes is metallic. Red-Eyes stands at about 4 and 1/2 inches tall and a little under 5 inches wide from wing to wing.

At the store, it took a while for me to pick one out of the bunch. It’s easier to notice scratches, marks, and potential dust because it’s a black dragon. I kept wondering if some of the things I saw could simply be rubbed off or if it’s stuck. Could be a speck of something that got on it too. As far as checking for paint, you can probably tell from the pictures it’d just be the eyes and teeth. The rest of him is black so there shouldn’t be any paint issues there. Just watch out for scratches because they’d be quite noticeable against the black.

Anyway, from looking at these figures I learned something new. Despite being a long time Yu-Gi-Oh! fan I honestly did not notice how similar the bodies of these two were until now. I always thought they were completely different and just had the same naming scheme. Turns out that barring the head, there are many similarities. Their legs, tail, arms, and to some extent their torsos look quite alike. I used to think Red-Eyes was just a skinny counterpart to the fatter Blue-Eyes but I appreciate the pair more now that I know they aren’t similarly named just because. There were design elements that justified it and I thank these figures for enlightening me.

I will mention a minor thing. If you look at the original Red-Eyes art, it seems to have eight neck connections while the art we haven’t gotten in English has nine. Meanwhile in the show I’ve seen anywhere from four to nine. One calendar art has a whopping ten neck connections. Is that enough? The figure has six which matches up with the art Kakuki Takahashi drew for the Anniversary Pack and his Yu-Gi-Oh! art book but in a manga appearance I counted seven. I feel like Neca picked what they deemed to be as accurate (and not ridiculous) as possible but before this I never knew that the different artists who have drawn Red-Eyes officially had such different opinions on neck piece count. In my extensive neck research I’ve concluded that six or seven would be an appropriate number because I think that’s what Takahashi intended. Neca delivered with six.

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As sort of a bonus, I’ll talk about the two waves. I didn’t spend too much time looking at the series 2 figures but I think they’re fine from the quick looks I took. When it comes to series 1, Dark Magician is one of my all-time favorites and naturally he made it in. I think the mold is okay but the quality on him was awful for all the ones I’ve seen. So many mispaints, lack of paint where there should be, scarred/poor faces… There’s nothing near as bad on the dragons. Besides the price issue, I normally would’ve taken him because he is a favorite and Yu-Gi-Oh! figures aren’t a common thing. I want to support the guys making these so we can get more but this one time, I couldn’t. While I can be a stickler for good paint on my toys, none of the Dark Magicians I’ve seen were even passable. It’s a shame because I’d really want to have one in scale with the dragons, especially since he’s part of the main character trio. If I ever see a decent one and hopefully at a lower price considering series 2 is cheaper, I’ll pick him up because I really want it. To be fair, humans are harder to get right than non-humans when it comes to toys. I have positive thoughts about every other sculpt and Dark Magician happens to be the only human-like figure. Still, with the exception of some bad heads/faces, the sculpt is solid for the most part. It’s just the quality issues that kept me from buying him.

Kuriboh looked fantastic but again, it’s to scale with the dragons so at the same price as Blue-Eyes it’s an easy pass. It would’ve been really cool if it were a bunch of Kuribohs flying around as if Multiply was played but it’s just a tiny Kuriboh about the size of a Lego figure with a thing up its butt to keep it on the base. Can’t justify the price on this one but otherwise, good job.

From recent visits, Kuriboh and Dark Magician were shelfwarming but Blue-Eyes is all gone. Series 2 just came out but I’m hoping it sells well. There’s no news of series 3 but I want one. I was surprised to see Gate Guardian before Exodia. Thought Exodia would’ve been an instant hit if done right. If they’re restricted to Duelist Kingdom, my number one choice would be Curse of Dragon, perhaps with a removable Gaia so it can double as Gaia the Dragon Champion. I could go on all day if we went beyond season one. At this point, I think they should go all out and do fusions or the god cards. Imagine Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon or Slifer done by these guys. I’d also love to see Neca tackle the 5D’s in the same scale. I’d probably buy them all including the Stardust and Red Dragon Archfiend upgrades, but not you Black-Winged Dragon… You stay on the drawing board for messing with the series. I know I basically named dragons but that’s because the ones we got turned out so well.

Final Thoughts:
Extremely satisfied with these purchases and I highly recommend them. I feel any fan of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! shouldn’t be without these guys. When it comes to accuracy, these would probably be what Masterpiece Transformers are for the G1 cartoon (for the most part). As a translation from various artwork to figures, these are perfect and would serve as great display pieces. If you can get them at $9.99, go for it but if they’re still $12.99 at your store… that might be okay for the dragons. If $650 is a little out of your price range for these inaccurate yet fancy takes on these classic dragons,

http://www.goodsmile.info/en/product/2931/Artwork+Series+Blue+Eyes+White+Dragon.html
http://www.goodsmile.info/en/product/2932/Artwork+Series+Red+Eyes+Black+Dragon.html

then Neca’s figures are for you! Go buy them so we can get a series 3!

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