By JAMES BURRELL
Director James Wan’s The Conjuring (2013), which depicted the activities of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played in the film by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) was a huge hit upon its release and would go on to spawn several successful sequels and offshoot films, including The Conjuring 2 (2016), The Nun (2018), The Curse of La Llorona (2019) and this year’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. But of all the characters to emerge from the franchise, perhaps none is more popular than that pint-sized conduit for demonic activity, Annabelle.
The child-sized doll – clad in a long white dress (similar to the one worn by a demented Bette Davis in the 1962 classic, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?), hair styled in long pigtails and sporting a creepy grin – has captured the attention of moviegoers since her brief appearance in The Conjuring. With three subsequent films bearing her name – Annabelle (2014), Annabelle: Creation (2017) and ANNABELLE COMES HOME (2019) – and cameo appearances in other entries in the franchise, the character remains a favourite among horror fans, and has been merchandised into vinyl toys, Halloween costumes, wall calendars, and even life-sized props.
One of the latest Annabelle-themed collectibles to hit the marketplace is the recently released ANNABELLE COMES HOME Clothed Figure from NECA. Part of the company’s retro-styled 8-inch line of horror film action figures with cloth outfits, this Annabelle naturally stands a bit smaller at 5 ¾ inches tall, and features a white satin-like dress with ruffles, a red belt with fabric rose accent, two interchangeable heads (a malevolent-looking one with cracked, distorted features and another, more innocuous mug) and a miniature note with the words “Miss Me?” written on it. The figure is highly articulated; the joints move extremely well, and the toy can easily be positioned in various poses. The heads (which can be switched out easily) feature sculpted hair with bows and are fantastic; the resemblance to the character is spot-on and is one of the most film-accurate that I have seen for an action figure. I love that a gloss effect has been applied to the eyes, while the rest of the face is matte, which provides an eerie effect. The soft goods dress is also film accurate and extremely well made; NECA wisely eschewed fabric for the footwear and instead has the white booties molded to the feet of the figure, allowing it to stand without issue.
The figure is posed in a seated position inside the packaging and comes housed in a window display box resembling the wooden and glass case that stores Annabelle inside the Warrens’ infamous “artifacts room” of possessed, cursed, and haunted objects. The “Warning! Positively Do Not Open” sign at the top of the plastic window is a nice touch. It would have been great if NECA had included a plastic chair accessory, as they did with their previously released ANNABELLE COMES HOME Ultimate Annabelle action figure from last year (though there is a partial chair piece printed on thin plastic with this release), but this is a minor quibble. This is a beautiful-looking figure, and fans of Annabelle and The Conjuring Universe will definitely want this in their collection.
SRP for the ANNABELLE COMES HOME Clothed Figure is $34.99 USD. To display Annabelle in your own artifacts room or on your haunted toy shelf, visit NECA online, your local comic shop, or online retailer.