AMC's adaptation of writer Robert Kirkman's zombified comic-book series continues to inspire the designers at McFarlane Toys. It's release of The Walking Dead TV Series 2 collection contains five new action figures averaging 4-inches tall with multiple extras.
The collection offers a trio of notable undead (all ghoulishly gushed about below), the combative Shane Walsh and a new sculpt of Rick Grimes, a man tasked with protecting his wife, child and a group of humans caught in an unimaginable new world.
Figure profile: Paraphrased from the McFarlane Toys website — The small-town sheriff's turned-hero and leader of the survivors during the zombie apocalypse, Mr. Grimes continues to struggle with his moral convictions in season two of the popular television series.
Accessories: Our warrior in civilian attire gets 14 points of articulation for plenty of upper-torso posing but no joints at the knees.
His garb and paint job is impressive with nuances such as a dirty bloodied T-shirt, soft plastic holster, sheriff's hat (with star), cowboy boots, wedding ring and watch on his right wrist.
A pair of extra interchangeable hands helps grip both an included hunting rifle with scope, revolver and animal control stick (used to lasso zombies around the neck).
I am a little unhappy with the obvious joints on his arms that, although help poseability, ruin the illusion of the figure. Also, be careful: Swapping and installing hands is a delicate process.
What does remain crushing to this fan is McFarlane's inability to really capture the facial sculpts of the humans. Mr. Grimes only look like actor Andrew Lincoln if I squint and cock his head at the right angle. However, his designers really make up for it with the three undead figures, each a true star in their own right.
Well Zombie (seen in the second season episode "Cherokee Rose") is truly one of the most disgusting figures I have ever owned over my 30 years of collecting toys. I'm smiling while I type this by the way. Tethered to a rope at the midsection, this rotting, bloated, hunk of a former human actually breaks apart at the torso (as seen in the show as he is pulled from a well) to reveal his innards. Of course, the gross fleshy uncanned ham is included; that was initially used to tempt him.
RV Zombie (from the second season's "What Lies Ahead"), dressed in a short-sleeved madras shirt and jeans, is memorable for a hinged head that pops back at the neck showing a cross section of his bloodied tissues. And, oh yeah, also a removeable screwdriver plunged into his eye socket that Andrea used to smite the flesh eater in the show.
Bicycle Girl Zombie (seen in the first episode of season "Day Gone Bye") does an amazing job of three-dimensionally visualizing the heavily rotted, legless living corpse of a female. Push a lever attached to her base and she slightly crawls forward with an outstretched arm wanting to grab a human morsel. By the way, her tattered jeans are removable and reveal a grotesque surprise for those who dare to look.
Price: $14.99 (for ages 13 and older)
Read all about it: Yeah, it's an awesome television show, but only a fiend-admiring fool would not purchase a couple of Image Comic's compilations celebrating Mr. Kirkman's 9-years-and-running, benchmark comic-book series. Budding fans will most appreciate the series of massive omnibus editions (measuring almost 13-inches by 9-inches). Start with The Walking Dead: Volume 1 Deluxe Hardcover (averaging $95), collecting the first 24-issues in black and white splendor, and I challenge you not to buy another.
What's it worth: The plastic stars of MacFarlane Toys latest ode to The Walking Dead are not really action figures, but more configurable statues with a pinch of action. Deputy Grimes will certainly not tolerate much roughhousing before breaking apart nor is he exquisite enough to stand in a display case with other cherished collectibles.
However, he is certainly a novelty worthy of hanging out with one of his zombie foes on an office desk. He and his cast mates are sure to stir up chatter about one of hottest shows on television.
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A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
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