I’ve had an action figure of Gizmo that NECA produced many years ago. I had always thought it was a really good likeness as well. He’s been sitting somewhere in storage for many years, and I finally had to drive to dig him out when I decided to pick up Haskins. For those who are asking “who is this Haskins fellow?” Well he’s a Mogwai, one of those cute furry guys that turn into terrible Gremlins if you feed them after midnight. Haskins is like Gizmo’s chubby, squint-eyed cousin and he’s totally adorable.
Now why did it take me until now to buy one of NECA’s new Gremlin or Mogwai figures? Well I have tried to avoid getting into a new line, and despite how great these figures look I have abstained. I would buy the Spider Gremlin they showed a few years back that is currently in limbo, but I’m one of the people also causing it not to get made. Haskins caught my eye when NECA originally announced the third Mogwai series that also includes sad Gizmo and Stripe. He’s just got an oddball look about him, it’s very intriguing. What drove me over the edge, was when I went to locate a Haskins I found this:
Yes, normally you would avoid buying a broken toy but there was something very exciting to me about a Haskins sans face! I was also a little curious and wanted to get a better look at the moving eyes, so twelve dollars is a price I was willing to pay for a little project. Plus, look at him in that clamshell … he’s even cuter as a mouthless, bug-eyed mesh of a mogwai and Mantenna. It’s probably worth noting (in case you don’t understand how toys are made) this is not the norm. Figures are hand-made in China and occasionally have a random defect like this. This defect really isn’t even that bad because the face snaps on and off, so as far as I’m concerned it was a bonus! Every other figure I saw was fine, so don’t worry too much if you are ordering online from a place like Amazon. They should get to you in decent shape.
So Haskins is here and I was also able to locate my old Gizmo to compare mogwai. Well there is no doubt NECA has done everything they possibly could to make these mogwai as articulated as possible. They gave him the ability to move all of his body parts: ears, head, eyes, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and legs. How much more can you ask for a little furry guy that is slightly over three inches tall? I’d ask for a removable face … and I got one! Seriously though, they pack a lot of value into these little guys.
It’s amazing how some action figures just do not age well. Way-back Gizmo was so great when I got him, but compared to the sculpt and design of the new guys he just can’t even compete, to the point that he looks goofy. I never thought he looked goofy in the past. I suppose it is just amazing what your eyes will accept when they have nothing to make a comparison with. Of course there is little reason to own the old Gizmo anymore besides to get the tiny furballs he came with. NECA has now done a Gizmo in all three Mogwai waves. The most important being series 2 Combat Gizmo because you will need him when the elusive Spider Gremlin is made.
Haskins is a pretty neat little action figure. I think the movable eyes is a great addition to the modern mogwai figures because it gives you a little more to fiddle around with. I’ve had him for a day and I find myself moving his eyes all about. Sometimes he goes cross-eyed but if I tap the back a couple of times he straightens out … just like with real life cross-eyed kids! The eye movement feature is really great, but my one request would be maybe a better way to lock the eyes in a position. He tends to favor looking side to side, but doesn’t like holding an up or down stare very well.
If you are looking for something cute, affordable, and well made I would suggest grabbing a mogwai that fits your personality. I’m a Haskins type of guy, but that sad Gizmo has me rethinking things. Even if you don’t want to commit to the Gremlins, you can get yourself a nice Easter basket full of Mogwai which will do a couple of things: first make you the coolest person ever, and second help fund (in order of likelihood) the eventual fourth series of Mogwai, third Gremlin series, and the Spider Gremlin. Mogwais are awesome and only cost about $12 at stores, skip a meal at Five Guys and go grab one and check them out, it may cause an addiction.