If you haven't yet looked on your calendar, today is Jason Voorhees' favorite day: Friday the 13th. As tempting as it is to head out into the woods and go camping with some friends, I instead encourage you to wait out the day at home, and lock yourself in your bedroom until Jason's done doing what he's gotta do.
In an effort to keep you in your computer chair, I thought it only fitting to give the Friday the 13th franchise the Must-Own Toys treatment today... a task that's quite a bit easier said than done. In fact, given that so many incredible Jason toys have been released over the years, this was no doubt the hardest time I've had to date when it comes to narrowing the awesomeness down to just ten selections. But just as Jason has to brutally slaughter any horny young teens who wander into his neck of the woods on a day like today, I had to do what I had to do!
The dream sequence from the end of Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic moments in the history of the franchise: a jump scare that gave us our very first glimpse of Jason Voorhees. Mezco Toyz immortalized the scene in the first series of their "Screen Grabs" line, mini-dioramas that brought our favorite horror movie moments to life. It's worth owning not only because it's awesome, but also because it marked the first and only time young Jason and final girl Alice Hardy were immortalized in toy form. You can buy these today for around $25.
When it comes to the Friday the 13th franchise, Sideshow Collectibles dug deeper into the series than any other toy company over the years, releasing 12" figures of Jason as he was seen in every installment of the original franchise, other than that time he (sort of) took Manhattan. Hardcore fans will probably want to own them all, but if you're not one of them, or don't exactly have hundreds of dollars to burn, picking up your favorite Jason should suffice. Having too hard of a time selecting just one from the bunch, I decided to go for Sideshow's 12" Mrs. Voorhees doll, a character as important to the franchise as Jason, but who has never been given all that much love when it comes to toys. Mrs. Voorhees' very first toy came equipped with a host of weapons and even her own severed head, and you can snag her on eBay for anywhere between $50 and $100.
In 2005, NECA paid tribute to the 25th Anniversary of the release of Friday the 13th by putting out this incredible box set, which came with the only other Mrs. Voorhees toy that's ever been made. A mash-up of the first two films in the franchise, the set included Pamela Voorhees and Part 2 Jason, as well as the shrine Jason built to his mother after Alice cut her head off. Both figures can be displayed alone or together with the base, and Jason comes with his sack-head mask and an alternate head without the mask. This ultimate tribute to the Voorhees family has recently been selling for around $50 on eBay.
In 2010, Japanese company Kaiyodo released this figure as part of their "Revoltech" line of highly-articulated toys. Measuring only 5 inches tall, the toy is nevertheless one of the most detailed and impressive-looking Jason figures ever made, based on his appearance in the third film. Featuring interchangeable heads and masks (before and after the axe to the head), the toy came with a whole host of weapons as well as a barn display base, and featured 12 ball-joint points of articulation. Perhaps coolest of all, one of the other accessories was the severed head of Chris Higgins, who actually survived her battle with Jason. Why is he holding her bloody head then? Because the original plan was to have him decapitate her at the end of the film, a scene that was apparently shot but forever lost. Big ups to Kaiyodo for paying tribute to that never before seen moment, a little touch that makes this toy all the more awesome. I picked up mine a couple years back for around $50, and that's about the price you can still expect to pay for one today.
In addition to their 12" offerings, Sideshow also released a few other incredible Friday the 13th collectibles over the years, including this Part 3 statue. Measuring an impressive 23" tall, the Premium Format figure was a whole lot more than a mere toy, cast in polystone and hand-painted with a hand-tailored fabric costume. No doubt the most coveted figure based on the franchise's third installment, the statue was limited to just 750 pieces and originally sold for $280. As you'd probably expect, it now sells for far more, typically going for at least $500. Let that be a lesson to you: when Sideshow releases a Premium Format figure that you want, buy it directly from them while you've got the chance!
It was earlier this year that NECA returned to Crystal Lake and put out two brand-new Jason toys, inspired by the third and fourth installments in the franchise. Since a couple of Part 3 figures have already found their way onto this list, I chose this one to give some love to my favorite film in the series, which also brought to the screen my favorite depiction of the character. NECA's Final Chapter Jason toy is available as both a regular version and a battle-damaged variant, and it's of course the blood-covered variant that I prefer. Oh, and if you're wondering if Jason's head has a piece cut out of it so that you can stick his machete into it and recreate his awesome final battle with young Tommy Jarvis (unfortunately sans Tommy), you'll be happy to know that NECA thinks the same way us fans do... and that's why we love them. You can grab this one for about $20.
Mezco put a few different incarnations of Jason into various series' of their "Cinema of Fear" line, based on his looks in installments like Final Chapter and Jason Goes To Hell. My personal favorite of the bunch was their Series 2 offering, which was based on the film that is in my opinion the last great film in the original franchise: Jason Lives. Jason came packaged with many accessories, including a bloody hunting knife, his own tombstone, and even a severed arm from the awesome "paintball massacre" scene. Also included? Sissy Baker's decapitated head, one of the few times a Jason victim was immortalized in plastic... even if it's only her head! This figure usually sells for around $100.
Rounding out the Sideshow releases on this list is no doubt one of the coolest Friday the 13th collectibles ever made: a gravity-defying statue that depicts Jason in his watery grave. The statue is of course based on the seventh installment, The New Blood, and was part of the company's "Scream Scene" line, which also included a Freddy vs. Jason statue that was pretty damn close to making this list. Hand-painted, the diorama was cast in polystone and limited to 750 pieces, and will nowadays cost you a few hundred bucks more than its original $200 price tag. Mezco released their own underwater Jason figure in Series 2 of the "Screen Grabs" line, which saw Jason strangling Tommy Jarvis from the ending of Jason Lives. It's not nearly as impressive as Sideshow's offering, but worthy of note for being the only Tommy Jarvis toy ever made.
Say what you will about Freddy vs. Jason, but I thought it was a hell of a good time, and found the final fight scene between the two to be one of the more satisfying and kickass moments of the decade. NECA paid a fitting tribute to that battle with this awesome box set, which features both villains and a fiery base on which they could be displayed together. When displayed separately, they're just your standard Freddy and Jason toys, but put together, the battle scene from the movie really comes to life, NECA perfectly capturing that moment in the film when the music kicks in and the two finally come face to face. The set came with three different Freddy heads, including the more demonic look he took on towards the end of the movie, and even his severed head, which is magnetized so it can be held in Jason's hand. Of all the Freddy vs Jason toys, this set is definitely my favorite, and should only run you somewhere in the ballpark of 50 bucks.
This list would of course not be complete without mentioning this figure NECA put out just a couple months back, which is without a doubt the most unique Jason toy any company has ever made. Inspired by Jason's colorful and bizarre look in the 1989 Friday the 13th NES game, 8-bit Jason was housed inside of packaging inspired by the game box, and was exclusive to this year's San Diego Comic-Con. Not surprisingly, it became one of the most sought-after horror toys of all time, and I think it's safe to say that no Friday fan's collection is complete without it. Love the game or hate it, NECA delivered something truly unique and exciting with this release, thinking outside the box to bring us fans something really special. These can be found on eBay for around $100, and you can trust me when I say they're worth every penny.
Which of these ten toys are your favorites, and what other Friday the 13th toys are you mad at me for leaving off the list? Comment below and let me know!
Want to watch more scares on TV? We do too, so we’re asking for some help. What are you waiting for? It’s the 13th of the month and it’s time to tweet. Want more Thriller, Horror and Suspense 24/7? Tweet your cable provider now! Spread the word and come back next month to request FEARnet. Your ticket to horror is here: www.fearnet.com/iwantfearnet