For the first time in a long time, we did not have a Turtle Tuesday post this week. We do, however, have a Warriors by Night Wednesday for you! It feels like NECA’s Gargoyles line is the most stop-and-start action figure line I’m into of late. The line has seen large gaps between releases and we’re basically on a 2-1-2 release schedule with gaps of 6+ months in between. Today’s figure I think went up for preorder with an estimated ship date of last September or October, but here we are in May and it’s just now arrived, but with another figure! Are these supply chain delayed figures or is it merely NECA having to prioritize other releases to either hit a certain window with them or are events like Haulathon mucking things up for our beloved warriors of the night? I’m not sure, but the release calendar for Gargoyles is looking uncharacteristically crowded for 2023 and I’m curious to see how much product eventually sees release this year. As for today, we’re taking a look at the latest member of the Manhattan Clan and his name is Brooklyn.
Brooklyn arrives in the same Ultimates styled box as the rest of the figures in the line boasting original artwork by Djordje Djokovic and Emiliano Santalucia. It seems to appropriately place Brooklyn at the bridge from which he took his name, though it almost looks like that was a thought that came after the image of Brooklyn himself was conceived since he’s hovering in a crouched pose which is a bit odd. Djokovic is the sculptor as well for this release with paint by Geoffrey Trapp and Jon Wardell. Brooklyn is unmistakably based on the character from the animated series, but like the other figures in the line, the realism is dialed up a notch with him. He’s very lean and very cut, and unlike the other humanoid gargoyles we’ve seen so far, he has a visage that’s very much animalistic in form as opposed to the more human features of a Goliath or Hudson. That’s Brooklyn’s defining trait for me, his rather large beak, as well as the red hue his skin features. It’s a muted crimson and he boasts simplified wings that are more like large kites than bat wings. He also has the claw like tips on his wings similar to Demona. And despite being another male character, he does feel a bit like Demona due to his more slight appearance.
Brooklyn in his neutral stance, which does involve some bent legs, stands at around 6.25″ to the top of his head and a great deal taller if you factor in his horns. He seems to scale well with Goliath and the others and he certainly fits in stylistically. His default portrait is pretty similar to his animated appearance, but with an added paint wash over the flesh that makes his eyes stand out a bit more. He translates rather well and so far I think Goliath has been the one to look the least like his animated counterpart. Of course, the added detail of the muscles here really sets this version of Brooklyn apart from the show. He does not look bad by any means, but the musculature does feel a bit overdone. He must have less than 1% body fat as he is absurdly cut. His entire body is cast in the same red plastic, which reminds me of a red crayon that’s melted in the sun, but also hit with a topcoat of paint for some added definition. The claws look like they’ve been hit with a red-brown shade of paint, though it’s not evenly applied. The toes look great, but the right, open, hand he comes packaged with on my figure almost has no paint on the claws. The interior of the wings look like they’ve been hit with a wash in a similar shade that oh so slightly darkens that area from the bone structure of the outer wings while the backside is far darker. They’re almost purple, and the light shines off of them and creates a more vibrant range of colors like a soap bubble might do. The hair appears to be sculpted in white, but with a pearl coating and some light blue to give it a nice luster. He’s also sporting the typical loincloth the gargoyles all seem to be fond of and it’s a pale blue which contrasts nicely with all of the red. This is an overall strong looking figure that compares favorably to the others released so far. He’s not knocking Hudson off the top of my personal list of best in the line, but I think he’s ahead of Goliath.
Brooklyn has a fairly typical arsenal of accessories for this line, but with some surprises. For hands, he comes with two open hands in the box plus a set of fist hands and a set of gripping hands. The width of the grip on each hand is different so one is a bit tighter than the other. The tighter of the two works best with his included lance weapon. I don’t recall a lance in the show which makes me think it’s a tribute to the old Kenner figure which all featured weapons. It looks pretty cool though and is painted with a gun metal finish and I suspect many will display Brooklyn utilizing it. He also has some show accessories in the form of a pair of sunglasses that can fit over his eyes reasonably well and a page torn from Demona’s grimoire, something the sorceress would like to get her claws on in the future. It’s not an amazing accessory by itself, but it’s a fun inclusion since Demona’s grimoire was sculpted with the page torn out so it pairs well. It’s also very well done for what it is boasting more paint than your typical Marvel Legends action figure. Lastly, we have a second portrait which features the jaw permanently open and the eyes whited-out. The hair sculpt looks to be exactly the same, but it looks nice and it will work if you want your Brooklyn ready for battle on your shelf, or hanging from your ceiling, or wherever you ultimately place him.
Brooklyn’s articulation should also feel familiar as he basically follows in the same footsteps as the other figures in the line. He’s very similar to Goliath, but with a little extra range by virtue of his more slender build. His head is on a double ball peg, but his movement is pretty well restricted by his hair. He can only look so far in either direction and has basically no range looking up. He does have some tilt and can look down. I should add, I’m rating the articulation with his wings on. They do come off, but he’s a gargoyle and they’re a part of his body that he can’t actually remove. If you were to take them off, you’d get a little more range out his head, but why would you display a gargoyle with no wings? He does have an articulated jaw on his standard portrait and that works just fine. He does have a joint at the base of the neck, but it doesn’t really do anything. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to, or if it just exists as a way to connect a neck there and allow for some future reuse down the road. It seems like a missed opportunity though since the cut is already there. The shoulders are the standard ball-hinges and Brooklyn can raise his arms out to the side to a horizontal position. They will rotate as far as the wings will allow, though they do rub a bit on his pectorals which stick out a bit. They’re the same color, so there’s not a lot of danger here, but it’s something to be considerate of. He has a biceps swivel which works fine and double-jointed elbows that will bend past 90 degrees. The wrists swivel and hinge and the tight, gripping, hand has a vertical hinge which is much appreciated.
In the torso, we have a ball joint at the diaphragm that mostly exists to allow the character to rotate there. There’s some forward and back and a little tilt to either side, but it also feels a little on the loose side which worries me a bit going forward. So far, it seems fine. There is a waist twist below that which feels like it’s just a twist instead of a ball joint which would have added some more forward and back, but oh well. The thighs are connected via ball and socket joints and Brooklyn can rotate there. His loincloth rides up and over his left thigh, but covers more of his right thigh, so the left has more rotation than the right. The left one also has some paint rub on the thigh which is unfortunate, and the loincloth restricts Brooklyn’s ability to kick forward to about 45 degrees, which is disappointing. He can kick back pretty far though, if that’s something you value. The knees are single-hinged and can bend to about 90 degrees. They also swivel. The ankles are hinged and have okay range and they also feature an ankle rocker. The toes hinge and rock as well as these creatures are designed to essentially stand on their toes. They’re nice and tight which is needed for their normal stance. The tail is affixed via a hinged peg and it’s also bendy. It works fine and the hinge is tight enough that it can act as a support limb for stances, though it could be tighter. The wings connect via the same mechanism and can be adjusted up and down as well as in and out. The hinges are very tight and like the other figures in the line make horrible clicking noises that will have you thinking you’re about to break the figure. So far, I have had no such breakage from any of the Gargoyles figures and Brooklyn’s are nice and stable, unlike Demona’s which were way too loose.
Brooklyn’s articulation is basically in-line with the rest: good, but not great. The range at the head is an issue for him as NECA declined to include any articulation in the hair. This means you have these big, open, wings for flight, but Brooklyn can’t look forward in a flying pose, something that was an issue for Goliath as well (and really, all of them so far). The range in the torso and hips is also not suitable for crouched poses which is a bummer since these are gargoyles, after all, which typically are crouched when in stone form. I wish we could get these guys into a three-point stance, but it’s just not possible with or without the wings. And then there’s those wings, those gigantic, rigid, wings. You would think we’d be used to them by now, but it seems they just become more of a nuisance with each successive release. They’re really only good for very dramatic posing which doesn’t lend itself well to the more neutral portraits each figure comes with. Brooklyn’s wings are also just plain huge as his wingspan is about 22.5″. I always thought of him as one of the smaller gargoyles, but evidently I was wrong. He’s the first release in the line that I just can’t fit onto my shelf, which already includes Goliath with the caped wings. It’s a problem for this line and NECA’s solution of packing caped wings with the non-winged characters isn’t the best solution. What we really need are relaxed wings, and at this point I think NECA just needs to suck it up and offer a wing set on their website or something. And just package future figures with options. If it raises the price, then so be it, because it’s a consistent complaint I see online about this line.
In short, Brooklyn is very much as expected. If you’ve been happy with the releases in this line so far then you’ll be happy with him. If you have been displeased, or annoyed by the wing options, then expect the same. I want to love this line, and the paint and sculpt work have been very good. It’s clear that NECA has done its homework given the episode specific accessories we’ve seen so far, but something has to be done about those wings. Then again, it’s an issue that hasn’t stopped me from buying these so maybe that’s all that matters to NECA, but I’m actually seeing people sharing images of their collection and they’ve just taken the wings off which is insane to me. They just aren’t gargoyles without wings, so I’m continuing to try and find a way to work these things into my collection, which now will require a second, dedicated, shelf. If you’re interested in adding Brooklyn to your collection, he’s currently available online and can be found at specialty shops. He should also arrive at Target any day now where you’re likely to find the lowest price available (around $36, if I’m not mistaken). If you’re in on this line, then you probably need him. If you’re out because of the wings, well he’s not going to change your mind. Hopefully, relief is on the way.
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