“I’m From The Oceanographic Institute.” – Matt Hooper
**Full disclosure: the following piece is filled with Jaws puns. And I’m not sorry about that!**
It is hard to believe that we are just a few years away from the 50th anniversary of Jaws. Released in the summer of 1975, the Steven Spielberg thriller forever changed the face of film and is still considered one of the most influential movies in the history of Hollywood. In fact, it is even credited for paving the way for what would become the modern-day blockbuster.
That said, this fantastical work of fiction has never been a big hit within the world of collectible merchandising. Over the course of the last five decades, Jaws has amassed only an Orca-sized amount of bric-a-brac. While other intellectual properties of the period have enjoyed a much bigger boat worth of wares, Jaws has been forced to splash around at the shallow end of the pop-culture pool.
Now, that is not to say that fans have gone completely without. We did get a game from Ideal Toy Company. There was also a video game from LJN released to the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1987. In more recent years, companies like Ravensburger, Funko, McFarlane Toys, and Super7 have also dipped their toes into the world of Jaws on occasion.
But, if you ask this writer, it just isn’t enough.
Fortunately, as we approach the warmer days of beaches and bikinis, NECA is looking to add more depth to the shark’s stock with a series of vintage-style action figures that effortlessly call to mind the days of big blocks and black lights. And, who better to herald in the season of sand and surf than everyone’s favourite oceanographer, Matt Hooper, as embodied by Richard Dreyfuss!
Joining the previously released Quint figure from last year, NECA will be offering fans two different takes on the classic Jaws character over the next few months. The first figure will be based on Hooper’s arrival to Amity Island. Standing 8-inches tall, this version will feature multiple points of articulation and come with two interchangeable heads featuring the authorized likeness of a young Richard Dreyfuss. Two hats, a duffel bag and a pair of paper cups will also be included. Further mirroring the classic action figures of the day, Hooper will also come with a fully tailored outfit, complete with a really nice denim jacket.
The second figure ups the fun factor tenfold. It is based upon the scene where Hooper suits up and comes face to face with Amity’s unwelcome underwater visitor from behind the bars of a shark cage. This figure will also stand 8-inches tall and will feature multiple points of articulation for numerous posing options. Ready for plenty of close encounters right out of the box, the Shark Cage version of Matt Hooper will be sporting a tailored scuba suit and will be equipped with flippers, a spear, an underwater flashlight, a knife, and an oxygen tank. A pair of interchangeable heads will also be included — each once again featuring the authorized likeness of Richard Dreyfuss as seen in the film.
Both figures will be packaged in collector-friendly window boxes. So, just when you thought it was safe to put some money back in your wallet, NECA announces two brand new Jaws-some figures that collectors will certainly not want to be without! There is just one problem: you’re probably going to need a bigger shelf.
The Amity Island version of Hooper is scheduled to release in just a few short weeks. The Shark Cage version will arrive shortly after, with an expected release date of September.
Both figures are currently available for pre-order through several online retailers, including Big Bad Toy Store, Dorkside Toys and Entertainment Earth. Look for either version to set you back about $40 USD, depending on your store of choice.