In this feature, we’ve thus far shined the spotlight on the coolest toys from the majority of the big horror franchises, including Halloween, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Child’s Play and The Evil Dead. And it's now time to tackle my personal favorite one...
Freddy Krueger has been an absolute merchandising powerhouse since he came onto the scene in 1984, very few years passing by in the subsequent decades without the release of new Elm Street toys and goodies. NECA, Mezco, Sideshow Collectibles and McFarlane have all churned out several different Freddy figures over the years, making it incredibly difficult to pick and choose a mere ten.
That being said, I feel pretty confident that the list I currently hold in my hands represents the absolute best of the best, so without further delay, let’s take a look at the ten Elm Street toys every fan of the franchise needs in their collection!
We begin with the first Freddy Krueger toy that I ever owned, and which I still own and cherish to this day. In 1989, the same year The Dream Child was released, die-cast car company Matchbox put out this talking Freddy doll, which blurted out several sayings at the pull of a string. Shortly thereafter, the company pulled the dolls from shelves amidst parental complaints – the character is a child molester, after all – with only 40,000 of them being shipped out before the protests began. Around the time New Nightmare came out, a limited run of the same dolls – presumably leftovers from Matchbox – were released into Spencer Gifts, with new sayings and the pull string replaced with a push button activation. Mint in box, the original Matchbox dolls sell for at least $100, but they can be found much cheaper if the boxes are damaged or missing altogether.
Toys sure have come a long way since I was a kid, as this 2012 release from Sideshow Collectibles serves as a perfect example of. Sideshow has put out several 12” Freddy figures over the years, based on franchise installments such as Dream Warriors and Freddy vs. Jason, and at the tail end of 2012 they gave the burnt up dream demon their prestigious Premium Format treatment. Actually, it’s the second Premium Format Freddy they’ve released, and it’s hand downs the superior of the two. Measuring 18” tall, with real metal blades, and limited to 1,250 pieces, this incredible statue originally sold for $350 and now sells for nearly double that.
Shortly after NECA released a couple New Nightmare figures in 2005, Mezco spent a few years playing around on Elm Street, and their first order of business was putting Freddy into the inaugural series of their popular Cinema of Fear line. Thinking outside the box and bringing something a little different to the table, Mezco decided to ditch the iconic striped sweater and instead throw Freddy in a tux, depicting him as he was in the hilarious “Where’s the f’ing bourbon?” scene from Dream Warriors – complete with the severed head of Kristen’s mom and even Freddy’s skeleton. The toy was released in 2007, and it was followed up by figures that saw Krueger dressed in a waiter’s outfit and surgical scrubs, based respectively on The Dream Child and Dream Master – both of which I’d also recommend, since they bring a little diversity to the Freddy toy collection. Cinema of Fear Series 1 Freddy can typically be purchased for around $30-40.
In 2008’s Cinema of Fear Series 2, Mezco released another Freddy figure and also gave some love to his main adversary, which is the first of only two toys ever released that depict Nancy Thompson – the other being Mezco’s Screen Grabs figure, which recreated the scene where Freddy bursts through the wall, above a sleeping Nancy. This figure recreates another highly iconic encounter between Freddy and Nancy, a display piece that immortalizes the original film’s bathtub scene in plastic. Nowadays, these can be found for upwards of $80, selling for a bit less outside of the packaging.
Mezco got even more creative in the fourth and final series of the Cinema of Fear line, at long last giving us a full action figure of one of Freddy’s victims. Alongside the aforementioned Freddy in surgical scrubs, this awesome figure of Dream Master’s Debbie “Roach Girl” Stevens was released in 2009, depicting her horrifically gruesome demise in the film. Not surprisingly, it didn’t sell too well and can be purchased nowadays for even less than it originally sold for. Nevertheless, it is in my opinion a standout gem in the world of Elm Street collectibles, and I can only hope that another toy company someday decides to give us more toys of characters other than just Freddy.
NECA once again returned to Elm Street in early 2011, with the first series of a line based on the franchise that still continues to this day. Surprisingly, very few Freddy toys over the years have actually depicted Freddy as he was seen in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, where his sleeves were solid red rather than striped, and this Series 1 release is without question the definitive original Elm Street toy. Packaged with an alternate head and outstretched arms, this is one of my favorite Freddy figures ever made, as it totally nails the more gritty and frightening look of Freddy from the original - before he became more cartoony looking. Out of print, you can expect to pay around $60 to get your hands on one of these.
Series 2 of NECA’s Elm Street line was also released in 2011, comprised of figures based on Dream Warriors and Dream Master. It was the Dream Master figure that was the standout of the two, immortalizing the final moments of the film, where various souls rip and tear their way out of Freddy’s body. A truly awesome figure, and one of the most unique we’ve seen over the years. These still sell for around the same price they sold for back in 2011, typically going for no more than $20.
At the 2012 San Diego Comic Con, NECA repurposed parts from past Freddy figures to form this awesome new toy, which was exclusive to the event. Though they easily could’ve gotten away with merely painting the repurposed figure black and white, the company went one step further by adding in Freddy’s skateboard and a sliced up two-dimensional standee of Mark Gray, of course based on one of the more memorable kill scenes in Dream Child. $60 is about what it’ll take to win one of these on eBay.
We’ve seen a few figures over the years of a pre-burn Freddy, but none of them nailed the likeness of Robert Englund more than this one from NECA, which was released last year as part of the fourth series of their Elm Street line. The head sculpt is absolutely dead-on accurate, and it’s quite frankly the only ‘Fred Krueger’ figure you need to own. These are still in production, so they’ll only run you around $20.
We talked about NECA’s video game-inspired figures more than a few times here on FEARnet last year, which began with a Comic Con release of Jason and was followed up with this figure of ‘8-bit Freddy.’ While the purple and baby blue Jason is no doubt the more exciting of the two, I nevertheless can’t imagine any Freddy toy collection without this highly unique figure in it. It’s the kind of toy that you’ve just gotta own, and though they were limited to only one production run, you can still find these for around $30.
Which of these Elm Street toys are your favorites, and did I leave off any that you feel are must-owns? Comment below and let us know!