10 Classic 80s Movies That Deserve NECA Collectible Figures

These 80s classics will have your inner child collecting once again.
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Founded in the late 1990s, the National Entertainment Collectible Association (or NECA for short) has been responsible for the construction and design of officially licensed figures based on hit Hollywood franchises. With a stable wealth of partners and employees, NECA has sold over thousands of collectible figures.

However, NECA's strength comes from their vintage line of collectibles that have urged fans to enter the collecting hobby. NECA has already offered several 80s figures in the form of franchises An American Werewolf in London, The Terminator, Escape From New York, and Robocop. Due to NECA's relationship with major film companies from Disney, Warner Bros. 20th Century Fox, Universal, and MGM, the possibilities for NECA's future collectible line highlighting the 1980s are limitless. 

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10. Scrooged

An 80s reimaging of the classic Charles Dickens' holiday tale A Christmas Carol, the Bill Murray-led Scrooged offers plenty in the way of figures that NECA can make into a set of memorable display pieces. Firstly, there is the protagonist taking on the archetypal Scrooge role, wealthy TV executive Frank Cross, who moves through most of the film in an office-appropriate black and suit tie combo.

Additional accessories can include a cigar and his mistletoe-laden top hat. Aside from Cross, other figures in the Scrooged collection would likely consist of the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Another crucial figure in the line would be Frank's rotting old boss Lew Hayward (John Forsythe), who visits the bitter man with a warning in the hopes of changing the ways of the television mogul.

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9. The Elephant Man

The second full-length feature of director David Lynch, 1980s The Elephant Man is not a conventional horror film but a psychological drama starring a near-mythical character. While NECA may choose to build a figure off Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Frederick Treves character, the main attraction is The Elephant Man himself John Merrick (played by the late John Hurt).

Born through disturbing circumstances, Merrick was initiated into a traveling circus and came into eventual contact with Treves, where he was given an opportunity to acclimate into regular society. In this new environment, John discovers such pleasures as tea and paper mache, which would all make for fun accessories to include with a Merrick figure.

In the early days, NECA spearheaded a horror line dubbed Cult Classics, and an Elephant Man figure would fit right into that line, whether it is a revitalization of the brand or a minor homage. 


8. Little Shop of Horrors

1986 musical ensemble Little Shop of Horrors wouldn't be a lyrical piece without an electric group of characters to give life to the fantastical world which the film occupies. At the head of the adventure is mild-mannered Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), appropriately fitted with dull clothing and a pair of round glasses. Alongside Seymour on his journey is Krilborn's caretaker/boss Mr. Mushnik (Vicent Gardenia), love interest Audrey (Ellen Greene), and the maniacal dentist Orin Scrivello (Steve Martin).

Acting as a chorus for the film are the trio Crystal (Tichina Arnold), Ronette (Michelle Weeks), and Chiffon (Tisha Campbell), which would make for a fun three-pack set. As for the signature Venus Flytrap plant Lucille II, NECA can utilize their own deluxe boxed figure model, which they have used for other figures in the past. 

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7. The Princess Bride

A classic fairytale adventure only imagined in a storybook, The Princess Bride unites multiple heroes and villains from distinct walks of life coming together to battle for love, revenge, and friendship. Now, NECA has released a figure for "The Man in Black" Westley (Cary Elwes) during their formative years of production.

However, it's the extensive ensemble of characters that makes The Princess Bride what it is. Now that NECA has had the experience dishing out figures based on premiere franchises, today is a better chance than any for the company to out the rest of the featured players their shot at collectible figure glory.

Aside from Wesley, notable omissions include the Princess Bride herself Buttercup (Robin Wright), swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), and the colossal Fezzik (Andre the Giant). 


6. Pet Sematary

An often overlooked adaptation of a classic Stephen King novel, 1989's Pet Sematary is classic horror in that it follows a family's willingness to betray the law of averages in order to rid themselves of a tragic loss. The central villain of the narrative is none other than a reanimated form of toddler Gage Creed (Miko Hughes), which would make for a memorable NECA collectible, to say the least.

While Gage's parents Louis (Dale Midkiff) and Rachel (Denise Crosby) Creed would be logical additions, even more, ambitious figures can come in the form of zombified truck victim Victor Pascow (Brad Greenquist) and Rachel's older sister Zelda (Andrew Hubatsek) suffering from spinal meningitis.

Currently, the only recent representation Pet Sematary has received in the figure format is through Funko Pop figures. The story additionally received the remake treatment in 2019, which may warrant a toy line as well. 

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5. Blade Runner

Though NECA has produced figures to coincide with the release of the much-anticipated 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049, there were not figures released for the original 1982 sci-fi epic that started it all. Set in the future (or past?) Earth of 2019, Ridley Scott's dystopian epic sees titular Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) on the hunt for runaway synthetic humanoids known as replicants throughout the streets of Los Angeles.

Now, a Deckard figure would be a must considering his role as the main character while additions would include replicants, which the film has no shortage of. Key replicants featured in the movie are Deckard's love interest Rachael (Sean Young) alongside escapees Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Pris (Daryl Hannah), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy), and Leon (Brion James). NECA may even consider a pre and shirtless damaged variant of Roy Batty given his prominence as the film's main antagonist. 


4. Coming to America

With the release of Amazon Prime's Coming 2 America reinvigorating new life into the franchise, a set of classic Coming to America figures for longtime fans would be appropriate timing. Between the African land of Zamunda and the borough of New York City's Queens, each memorable character introduced is ripe for figures.

Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his faithful comrade Semmi (Arsenio Hall) would likely release as a package given their prominence together.

Akeem's extended family and role within Zamunda would be a way for NECA to branch out a possible line. That's without taking into account all of the characters Murphy and Hall encounter throughout the original film; including barbershop owner Clarence, barbershop patron Saul, Reverand Brown, and the lead of Sexual Chocolate Randy Watson. 


3. Poltergeist

For a company known for dabbling into the realm of horror, it's surprising that NECA has yet to release any Poltergeist figures. A quintessential horror film of the 1980s, Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist sees a typical suburban family haunted by ghosts from within their house... which happens to rest on an ancient Indian burial ground.

The obvious contenders for figures are young Carol Anne Freeling with a television set, Robbie Freeling's possessed clown doll (as either a main figure or an accessory), paranormal investigator Tagina Barrons, "The Beast", a disfigured Marty Casey, and perhaps even a deluxe edition of the evil tree stalking the Freeling residence.

Even if a Carol Anne acts as the sole human of the line, the film invests in otherworldly creatures that it'd make sense those would be most valued. Though the Poltergeist franchise has not had a recent entry since 2015, Amazon's recent acquisition of Poltergeist owners MGM may spell long-term for the future of the series. 

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2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Perhaps the 80s movie made for figure collecting is Robert Zemicks' 1988 detective noir mystery Who Framed Roger Rabbit, based in the animated land of Toontown. The film stars the late Bob Hoskins as gruff yet well-meaning detective Eddie Valiant, who comes into contact with Roger Rabbit and a host of animated cartoon favorites.

Though the animated characters may be off-limits due to contracts, any toons and characters made specifically for the film should be fair game for figures. That means an Eddie Valiant figure featuring a hat, saw, Frank Sinatra sword, lifeguard float, and personified bullets are on the table.

If there's a Valiant, a Jude Doom (Christopher Lloyd) with interchangeable heads and a can of toon dispatching Dip wouldn't be far behind. Robert Zemicks' Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an animated fan's dream come true and it's well time that it receives the NECA makeover.


1. Indiana Jones

With all of the franchises NECA has had the privilege of working on, it's odd that Indiana Jones has seemingly been unavailable this entire time. The original Indiana Jones trilogy is a benchmark of 80s cinema with its eclectic cast of characters, locations, and special effects.

The various outfits of Indiana Jones aside, Jones has some of the best villains and supporting characters to ever grace the silver screen. Even 2008's critically disliked fourth installment Kingdom of the Crystal Skull offers a variety of opportunities for potential figures (Indy in a fridge anyone?).

As the franchise prepares for a return to the big screen next year, NECA finally given the opportunity to produce figures would be astonishing for avid fans of the series. 

Current junior Writing Arts major attending Rowan University. I am an avid writer, comic book reader, and film enthusiast.

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