Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday the 13th: 8-Bit Jason Figure Review

I understand that it's been awhile since I wrote anything concerning the holidays. Yeah, lots going's the holidays. Work, end-of-year finalizing, family togetherness, and TV specials have kept me plenty occupied. But I shouldn't let Friday the 13th go by without doing something special. Friday the 13th was when we first went live with the blog and it means a lot. So what more appropriate then combining two great taste that taste great together: 'Friday the 13th' and Christmas presents?
Photo by FearNet. Design by Fright Rags.
Well no, this is not what I came to talk about today. Still pretty awesome though (available from, sweatshirts currently sold out). What I'm here to talk about are action figures (or collectables, whatever floats your boat). Nothing truly symbolises the greatness of Christmas like a prized action figure (unless it's Castle Grayskull or, I don't know, a pony?). Add in an undead serial teenager murderer and you can smell the chestnuts roasting over an open fire. So I present to you, the long time promised,...

Unless you've been under a rock then you probably have heard plenty about 8-Bit Jason. Oh wait, you have been under a rock? Sorry. Well what we have is a NECA Jason figure that has received a Nintendo inspired 8-bit color scheme made exclusively for a San Diego Comic-Con release. Matt from Dinosaur Dracula actually did a real killer (*hehe*) review of this figure already.

While that alone does a great job of explaining and critique this awesome piece of childhood nostalgia I still feel that I should throw in my two cents. Let me begin by explaining that I originally thought I had no chance of getting my hands on one of these figures. I was so sure that, like so many other SDCC exclusives, I was doomed to being one of those sad individuals who browse Ebay and curses when one pops up completely out of my price range. *sigh*

The true beginning of the 8-Bit Jason was when a customizer named Will Edwards purchased a NECA 'Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter" Jason figure and decided to re-create the paint scheme from the 'Friday the 13th' NES game. Unfamiliar? Honestly I don't have the space to explain the game. If you watched Matt's video or regularly watch James of Angry Video Game Nerd then they have done a much better job explaining it then I could. I honestly never actually got to play the game, only watched from a distance. Why do I care so much then? One, it's a Jason figure. Always awesome. Two, here is what 8-Bit Jason looks like in the game.

80's overload. It looks like he's wearing a Hypercolor boiler suit or was hired as an extra in 'Tron'. I love this color combo, purple and neon teal-blue. I smile each time I think of turbo glow Jason.

Anyhow, Will posted a picture of the final customized job and it went viral with NECA contacting him with an interest in making a SDCC exclusive figure based off his coloring scheme. I assume for a fan and customizer this was the highest honor one could receive (well, that and getting the credit of course. Will Edwards deserves credit. Will Edwards.). Cut to a couple of months later and NECA releashed its first image of their prototype.

You have to give it to NECA for running with a insane idea. What company would go on a limb to do something so obscure as an 8-Bit Jason figure? Really, who?

The minute the prototype hit the internet I became obsessed with getting one of these figures. The only problem was that it was only being sold at Comic Con...or so I thought. I posted a picture of the figure on my personal Instagram on a lark to see if anyone reading could maybe pick one up for me. How willing was I prepared to debase myself? Pretty horribly. Luckily a few minutes later I received a response.

I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY DID THIS! Yay, no losing dignity for me. At this moment I must give all the respect in the world to @rickchacho for saving my ass. Write it in the sky:


So, to make a long story short (too late), I got my 8-Bit Jason. Best purchase in a long time (I say that every time I buy something that I have no place for, or really don't need, but really want anyway. Sorry Alanna dear).

Okay, let's start with the fact that NECA recreated the old 80's NES box. Simply amazing. This should be the gold standard in how to approach figure packaging and design in general really. This propels this figure from the realm of "cool figure" to "valuable art piece that my kids can never touch". It's almost like they made it to be kept mint in box (or MIB if you're hip to...actually no, you can't be that hip if you know that. *sobbing*) and used as an display piece.

That back has some awesome artwork that revels the "special features" that Jason is sporting. Now it's like a 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle' figure. Awesome (although a "blood spray in cold water" feature would of been pretty bad ass).

I adore that his main special feature is the ability to glow-in-the-dark while his secondary power is being ugly. Not just ugly but face melting at the end of 'Raiders' ugly. That scene from 'Jason Takes Manhattan' with the street punks now makes a lot more sense. Ugly powers: Activate!

Back to the notion that this was always meant to be a show piece collectable. They've also built a window box that opens to view the figure without removing him from his plastic prison. Like Stinky Pete in 'Toy Story 2" (wow, I'm making a lot of references in this article).

The background has been made to appear as the boss battle cabin when Jason appears in the game. To many youths this created years of nightmares. That sound still haunts some.

More common then not you were not prepared to face Jason at his point and you died, then you would be visitied by this inspirational message:

"You and your friends are dead.
Game over." 
What a jerk. I know the game was made in Japan and there is a translation issue, but this just seems like a cruel line. what about:

"Oops, seems like you have sadly 
been defeated by the killer. 
So sorry. 
Please feel free to try again and remember, everyone in your life still loves you 
(including your parents)"
Actually, that seems a lot darker.

Well, there it is. Like I said there's not much more to say about the figure since he's behind a plastic shield of protection. I've decided that's how NECA wished him to be so that's how I shall let him remain. Matt's review goes more in depth about how the figure's joints move and how he smells (like heaven I guess) so I'll have to take his word for it.

And I'm fine with that. Sure I would love to take him out, but this is the crown jewel in my horror toy collection now. Putting to shame many of the other horror figures I own-

 -including my previously owned 'Friday the 13th Part 3' Jason figure from Mezco Cinema of Fear line.

Don't get me wrong, Jason Part 3 is an amazing figure-

-but how can you compete with a Jason that glows-in-the-dark? No contest.

And he has glow-in-the-dark weapons. Sure, you can argue that his axe doesn't appear as it does in the game (which is more like a toothbrush)-

-or that the figure comes from a game that is actually not that great (damn you LJN, you suck at everything)-

-or that this is manufactured coolness to pray on the nostalgic buyer in all of us-

 -but who cares? It's an 8-Bit NES Jason figure.

That glows. In a reproduction video game box.

Dare I say, this is the possibly the last 'Friday the 13th' figure you will ever need.

Uh, wait a minute Jason Part 3. What you have in mind. I don't like the way your looking at him.

Wait, hold on a minute. What are you doing?


Oh my God, I can't believe you did that. Well hope you're happy jerk. You ruined a SDCC exclusive.

And for what? To fulfill a insecure feeling of-

The cussing axe? That's why you busted up 8-Bit Jason, to get his GITD axe? How petty are you Jason Part 3? Pretty petty it seems.

That's cold Jason Part 3 man, that's damn cold. It's not even that great of a axe. Wait a tick-


8-Bit Jason is back and he's pissed.

Lesson Number One: serial killers don't like it when you take their shit. Actually, that's the only lesson here.

What you gonna do Jason Part 3? How you going to get out of this?

Oh damn-

This is getting ridiculous, even by late 'Friday the 13th' standards.

Maybe if your very, very quiet he'll go away. Yeah, he's known for not being very persistent.

Don't do it. Haven't you ever seen a 'Friday the 13th'? You'll get-

Ooooh! You reading this probably saw that coming (having probably seen the films).

The question is how did YOU not see that coming Jason Part 3? I mean, there's already a big axe gash in your mask. From 'Friday the 13th Part 3'. Brain damage much?

Things are starting to get out of control now. I feel like an adult needs to step in.

Hey, that's the same pose from the box-

-yeah, from 'Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood'. Neato.

Ohh, posed too long. Jason Part 3 pulls the old "machete-through-the-middle-of-the-hand" defense. He should of seen that coming. Both of them should have seen this all coming. It's like fighting Nega-Link, but in reverse. Neither seems to know the others moves. It's like these guys never read anything about the 'Friday the 13th' films.

Uh...never mind.

Okay, that's about enough. I don't mind the violence but now my stuff is getting messed with.

Who can stop these unstoppable killers? I mean Jason Part 3 is human but 8-Bit Jason is a zombie (I'm assuming). Isn't there anyone out there who can stop the mindless living dead?

Well, it's up to you Jason Part 3. You have to end this.

I guess I was wrong, it seems like Jason Part 3 has seen at least one 'Friday' film. Unfortunately it was 'Jason Take Manhattan'. Fortunately he now knows Jason's true weakness: convenient toxic waste.

And there just happens to be a convenient drum of Toxic Waste. Lucky that it just happened to be laying around *wink*.

What a delicious (and strongly sour) turn of events for 8-Bit Jason.

OK, this whole thing is starting to seem like a Scooby-Doo episode. I believed it when an horror film character broke into a video game character's box to steal a glowing axe but now it's really getting silly.

Still, this may be the best nondescript photo I will ever take for Culturally Significant!

I stand corrected, this will be the greatest. Continue on.

It would seem that 8-Bit Jason is down for the count.

Come on Jason Part 3, you won. Let him keep his dignity.

Oh...the humanity.

Who knew a serial killer could be so cruel?

Stop! Stop! He's already dead!

That face. That horrible face-

A face you know all too well because-

-behind the mask, that face-

-is yours.

Don't you see, you've been fighting against yourself. Against your past (or future or whatever).

But you can embrace it now. Embrace yourself by embracing your 8-bit self. And finally you can be one.

*music swells*

*music continues to swell*

*music screeches to a halt*

NO! Why God, why?! killed him. Killed the only person who shared your pain. Killed the one person who understood your quest for revenge.

You killed the only other person that could understand you.

A person who could make you whole...cause he was part of you.

You finally succeeded in killed the only thing left from your past: a chance for happiness.

You are now...forever alone.



The 'Friday the 13th' franchise has had a definite effect on the zeitgeist. Want to make a quick stock horror movie killer? Put him in a hockey mask and the work is done. We tend to associate a goalie mask with slashers more then actual goalies now it seems. To question Jason's impact is pointless, the question is how relevant is the 'Friday the 13th' NES game? Pretty damn relevant it seems. The reaction this figure has had shows that there is a large demographic that have fond memories of a game that the very same group seems to despise. How does that work? I think it's because 8-Bit Jason, and his garish fashion sense, represents a specific time period that is fondly remembered. If thee 'Friday' films came out today there may very well of had the same social impact but perhaps not the same nostalgic impact. A modern Jason game sprite would be fully digitized with detailed quality and a realistic color palette. In other words, kinda boring. The 80's was a period of hyper color, not hyper realism. 8-Bit Jason represents that. That sense of fun, the sense of retro-ism that is so fondly remembered. It may not of been the best quality, but it was pretty rad.

Or maybe NECA just felt they could pass the same figure with a new color scheme, which if you think about it is pretty fricking 80's. 

That's my review for the 'Friday the 13th' 8-Bit Jason figure. It was perhaps a little long winded and went off the beaten path a couple of times, but it sure was fun. This is definitely one of the best collectables ever. If you can ever get a chance to get your hands on one then buy it immediately. If you wanted to read more into the creation of the 8-Bit Jason please read Freddy in Space's review here.

Till's got a death curse,

After the relase of the 8-Bit Jason figure Freddy in Space and artist Frank Browning wondered what would happen if NECA continued down the road of video game edition of their toys. Thus NES Michael
 photo fun4_zpsf74942ab.jpg
Image by Frank Browning and Freddy in Space

Following there cue I thought I'd create the most horrifying figure of all:


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