- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 5, 2013

McFarlane Toys gives fans of AMC’s popular zombie show “The Walking Dead” a pre-Halloween treat with its latest action-figure collection. For those counting, we are up to TV Series 4 here and the masterpieces arrive just in time for latest episodes of the show to hit screens next week.

The new line-up (averaging 5-inches-tall with multiple points of articulation) includes the recently deceased Andrea (with a memorial pitchfork), Rick Grimes’ tough-as-nails son Carl (sporting dad’s 10-gallon police hat), a pair of nearly unstoppable zombies and a megalomaniac with a simmering temper named Philip Blake who can unleash his horrific rage upon humans as well as the undead.

Figure profile: (from the McFarlane Toys website) The charismatic leader of the seemingly utopian town of Woodbury, the Governor plays the role of stern, but just, leader — a hero and source of confidence and hope to the people he protects. But, the role he plays and the true man are too very different things. Beneath his well-meaning facade is a man capable of acts of violence and dread that could make even a walker’s skin crawl.

Accessories: Our incorrigible tyrant gets 22 points of articulation, a pistol with hip holster, hunting knife with sheath, and another large knife.

His garb looks plucked right from his first televised appearance in the third season of the show. It’s highlighted by a dark-blue, quilted hunter’s vest and golden key around his neck (that unlocks that famous room of horrors).

The other item owners will appreciate is an extra head showing off the Governor with an eye patch, a required addition after the famed samurai sword wielding renegade Michonne poked his peeper during a fight.

I do have to admit, I could have also used either a version of the Governor’s zombie daughter, or at least of the pickled undead heads in the package.

Finally, the 3D laser sculpting of actor David Morrissey’s head looks pretty good, but it’s slightly marred by a sloppy paint job that makes his eyes a bit too beady and closed. The eye patch head is more accurate.

Note: My Governor had a very loose hand that popped from the joint, so be careful when having him hold items. Also, switching heads should be a delicate process to not bust off the peg.

On a grislier topic, Todd McFarlane and the boys continue to excel at recreating miniature versions of the undead as witnessed from the current pair in this collection, featured in the third season’s episode “Seed.”

Riot Gear Zombie — A flesh-eater is tough enough to kill, but what about one protected from head to toe in body armor? This rotting ghoul has a splash of blood on the flip-action visor connected to its helmet and is balanced off by Maggie’s removable knife implanted in its neck, a very nice touch.

Riot Gear Gas Mask Zombie — The second death machine, also garbed in black riot armor, comes with a removable gas mask to show off a face devoid of skin. The visor on the mask is also removable to feature an upper part of its face with flesh still intact.

Price: $14.99

Read all about it: Prolific sequential-art scribe Robert Kirkman, with artistic help from Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, debuted the first issue of The Walking Dead comic book back in 2003. The series continues to exist with issue No. 114 recently released by Image Comics. Those looking to read about the heinous crimes of the Governor should purchase a massive omnibus edition (measuring almost 13-inches by 9-inches) called The Walking Dead: Volume 2 Deluxe Hardcover (averaging $62). It collects the 24 black-and-white issues (No. 25 to 48) that offer the introduction and subsequent story arc involving the infamous leader of Woodbury.

What’s it worth: The Walking Dead TV Series 4 action figures are not as memorable as past collections that included a grotesque Well Zombie as well as Michonne and her pair of pet walkers. However, the Governor is, without a doubt, one of the key characters of the series and required owning for any fan looking to build the ultimate diorama starring his ever-burgeoning collection of The Walking Dead figures.

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