Defenders of the Earth Ming the Merciless review
My NECA Phantom figure had serious hip issues and has proven to thus far be impossible to fix. That’s made me very leery of opening my final figure in the Defenders of the Earth — Ming the Merciless.
Let’s see if I have better luck with this guy so I can someone to fight my Flash Gordon figure.
Packaging: I like the presentation with the yellow, which definitely helps a colorful figure like Ming stand out.
I also dig the big graphic of Ming with an art style similar to the old school packaging. The line hasn’t reached the shelf presence that it matters, but I appreciate the circular image of the figure on the side.
The bio is very nicely done in its summary of Ming’s obsession with defeating Flash Gordon. I do wish the text were bigger. It seems like a lot of wasted space to have such a small font size.
Likeness: This is the cartoon Ming brought to gritty, realistic life. The sculpt is amazing.
Ming’s head sculpt is killer and just embodies cold detached evil. The cape collar has some sharp angles, but it’s the uniform with the elaborate jewelry, belt and skirt piece with the dragon logo are really well done.
NECA made the right call in giving Ming a cloth cape. A plastic cape would have ruined a lot of the fun and been too stiff and rigid.
I’m really impressed with how nice this turned out. It’s a tremendous best in the wave/line showcase figure and easily wins the trophy for best Ming figure ever.
Paint: Flash Gordon and The Phantom are relatively simple on the paint and it seems like the budget was used on Ming. That was a great call as this elaborate paintjob is amazing.
The gold pops and is just overall a very eye catching figure. Unfortunately, the paint team was super sloppy in terms of application so a lot of the paint flakes off on the shoulder joints upon the first movement.
That’s assuming the paint hasn’t caked up the joint so much that you can move the articulation point.
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Scale: Ming is about the same height as Flash and Phantom so there’s no problem with them all being the same height.
Articulation: I’m not the biggest fan of this NECA see-saw set up for the hip articulation. Trying to loosen up the joints enough to make my Phantom figure workable essentially left him useless.
I didn’t have that problem with Ming, but the connection joint setup is not ideal if any of the hip ball joint sockets are stiff/stuck. I’ve already mentioned the issues with the paint making some joints stuck.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to give Ming the hot bath treatment. His joints all moved with light and patient fiddling. These figures are pretty fun when they work properly. That’s a big if, but maybe my Phantom was just a lemon?
The cape also helps with posing as it has its own wire so it can be positioned as dramatically as needed.
Ming the Merciless has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knees (double jointed)
Accessories: Ming comes with the same blaster we’ve gotten from Flash and The Phantom along with the short and longer blue translucent effects.
He also comes with a sword with some nice detailed work on the hilt with impressive color in the blade.
My favorite accessory is the dragon staff.
I love the intricate detail on the dragon sculpt with the tongue out.
Worth it? This is not a cheap line clocking in at $30 a figure. Naturally $20 would be the ideal price point, but $25 would be OK.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
There’s a certain amount of nervousness when opening up a new NECA DOE figure. Ming has some significant paint problems at the joints, which is an issue with a $30 figure. Still I’m ecstatic to have such a tremendous version of one of my favorite 80s cartoon villains in figure form.
Where to get it? Walmart had an exclusive 30-day window, but now you can order the full set from other retailers including Entertainment Earth. You can grab Ming from Amazon for above retail price.