You know a great way to celebrate the Halloween season?
Spooky rock n’ roll music.
I started listening to CALABRESE about eight years ago when they first appeared at Dragon Con. They’re one of those bands that’s so good you wonder how they aren’t even bigger and better-known than they are. Their horror rock is top notch and they’ve only been evolving and growing over time. You pretty much have to add them to your Halloween playlist.
You should also listen to their episode of the Needless Things Podcast.
You know another great way to celebrate the Halloween season?
I’ve been reviewing creepy and horror-themed toys here on Needless Things for even longer than I’ve been listening to CALABRESE. As a matter of fact, my first toy review went up on my MySpace blog ten years ago.
Now, spooky horror rock and spooky horror toys combine in the form of a very limited edition statue/figurine/staction figure/whatever you want to call it of Dayglo Necros, a character from CALABRESE’s fourth album of the same name.
In my opinion this band has mastered the art of merch and has always offered cool and compelling stuff. They’re as creative with art and design as they are with their music and I’ve picked up more than my fair share of CALABRESE stuff. When the guys came on the Needless Things Podcast they talked about possible toy ideas, which eventually led to this guy.
I still want my 3.75” CALABRESE tour bus so they can drive around and solve mysteries.
More than anything else, Dayglo Necros looks like a figure from Playmates’ late 80s Ninja Turtles line, only much nicer. And not covered in bugs and garbage.
The colors are bright and the level of sculpted detail is tremendous. It looks much better in hand than it does in online photos, and it looks pretty darn good in those.
Dayglo comes packaged in a Styrofoam container – the kind that statues come in that splits into two halves. It’s very nice and, more importantly, very secure. There’s no exterior box with artwork or a blister card or any of your standard action figure packaging, but considering the price tag on this guy I’m okay with any cost-cutting the guys could do.
Besides, you know me – he was coming out of the box anyway.
Inside of the Styrofoam blocks the figure is sealed in a protective polybag. I didn’t have any issues removing it and the design of the package is such that it would be very difficult to inflict any damage on the figure inside.
There was a zipper pouch attached to the exterior of the casing with a sticker displaying the number of the run of 200 that you received. More on the contents of the pouch later.
This figure is based on the album art from the album of the same name:
The head sculpt is a great 3D interpretation of the character. What started off as exaggerated features become even more bold in what I’m thinking of as the “TMNT Homage Style”. It’s effective because what was simply artwork now feels like a character. The detailing on the face is excellent, with wrinkles and deep-set eyes and fangs all distinct and precise.
Dayglo is a little bit Elvis, a little bit Dracula, and a little bit Toxic Crusader. The torn clothing is straight out of that late 80s/early 90s Playmates Toys aesthetic – TMNT, Toxic Crusaders, Dick Tracy – and it’s used with great effect. This guy looks like he’s seen some action.
The high-collar cape is total Draculelvis, and if “Draculelvis” isn’t already a character somewhere, he should be. The clasp has a sculpted pentagram (of course) and there’s a winged bat-skull guy on the back with the letters “D” and “N” underneath. This is the only wonky part of the figure. The bat and the letters aren’t quite at the level of the rest of the figure, but I think that’s because they’re basically 2D pictures rather than 3D sculpting. They’re still neat and charming. And very Elvis. There are also rivets running down either side of the cape that look great.
Dayglo has a big ol’ belt that continues the Elvis imagery, but also feels like a wrestling championship.
Finally, Dayglo is grasping a non-removable stake. It has a great, unique shape and a nice crimson stain.
Dayglo Necros’ box has an attached zipper pouch full of goodies. While they aren’t things that interact with the figure, they are included with the purchase and honestly add a good bit of perceived value.
CALABRESE have a history with postcards in the style of trading cards, and they’ve all featured cool artwork. This release includes a set with Bobby, Jimmy, Davey, and - I believe for the first time - Dad Calabrese! Each card is signed, something the band does with most of its printed merch and I think that makes each piece cooler. There’s also a Mystery Card, but I won’t spoil it here!
The exclusive “Dayglo Gang” button is only available in this set and features close-up artwork of Necros’ hideous face! It’s a button. They’re great because they’re art and you can put ‘em on your leather jacket.
The Dayglo Necros poster features the live action version of Dayglo from the music video – he doesn’t look familiar at all… and is signed by the fiend himself. Another neat premium to enhance the value of this set.
As cool as this release is, there’s not a lot of fun here. No articulation means this guy is just going to stand next to your Draculas and swamp monsters and look awesome. Which is fine.
While I wouldn’t toss it around or want to see what happens if it falls off of the shelf, this figure seems pretty sturdy. It’s molded out of a high quality poly resin and does not feel fragile. On top of that, it stands up well. Sometimes static figures – especially independent releases – can have problems with the grading on the feet of the final product and they don’t stand as level as they’re supposed to. Dayglo Necros has big, flat feet and stands very solidly on the shelf.
I can’t give Dayglo a perfect score, but I will say that he’s an essential part of any horror collection. Not only is this a cool, original character, but only 200 people in the history of planet Earth will ever own one of these. I am happy to be one of them.
You guys know that I typically balk at designer toys or higher-dollar indie items. In general I’d rather have a few new NECA figures. But Dayglo Necros is something special and I know I would’ve ended up kicking myself one day when I realized they were sold out and I didn’t have one.
4 out of 5
You can buy your very own Dayglo Necros here!
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