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The Walking Dead Series 5 Expands Our Survivors

TWD5-featMcFarlane Toys’ new set of Walking Dead figures starts to round out our core cast of survivors well.

The latest Walking Dead action figures from McFarlane Toys follow the welcome design trend of the last few series, so many of these new additions feature great, all new sculpts, a nice articulation pattern and lots of weapons and accessories.  The split is similar to the previous wave– three humans and two zombies, but this time out it’s the survivors who clearly have the edge.

The AMC show’s favorite couple get captured in plastic, as both Glenn Rhee and Maggie Greene make their toy debut along with Tyreese.  On the zombie side, we get Merle as a walker, and one of the Charred Zombies from the pit outside Woodbury.

TWD s5 KastorsKorner051I think Glenn is my favorite of the bunch, with the best portrait we’ve seen in this line since Wave 3’s Michonne.  The sculptors really nailed the likeness of Steven Yeun, and the rest of the figure is just as good.  Glenn features a healthy amount of articulation, plus tons of gear to customize his look– a rifle, a removable riot gear vest, a pistol, a knife, a metal pipe and even an alternate beat-up head, which can swap on very easily.  He’s one of the best figures I’ve seen from McFarlane ever, and I can’t imagine a more definitive version of the character.

Maggie is quite nice as well, with the same articulation as Glenn and almost as many weapons– she comes packing a pistol, a knife and a rifle.  The portrait of Lauren Cohan is a wonderful sculpt, but the paint apps leave her eyes slightly too large, making her look off model from certain angles.  Still, she’s easily identifiable, and depicted in her most iconic look, with the green tank and jeans from the taking of the prison.  She’s clearly modeled to be from this scene, due to the blood patterning on her chest and hand, which coincides with the Riot Gear Zombie from the last wave.  I could have done without this added deco, but it’s not so overt as to ruin the figure by any means.

TWD s5 KastorsKorner035Tyreese is another good figure, and a nice surprise to see a newer character get his place in this collection.  You can clearly tell this figure is based on Chad Coleman, even with his omnipresent knit cap as part of the headsculpt, and the figure sports a nice sense of heft and size, keeping the big guy in scale with his fellow survivors.  Tyreese features a solid paint job with some very good weathering details on his shirt and boots, and features a pistol with silencer, a shotgun and his hammer.

The zombies are both good, although they pale in comparison to the human figures.  We have seen this before in the collection, but I thought the outstanding Riot Gear zombies of the last wave were moving us away from that trend.  I guess not… at least, not entirely.  Merle is good, making logical reuse of the human Merle body with a new head.  I’m actually surprised we haven’t seen more of this kind of parts reuse on other “turned” characters before now.  The zombie deco is good, with a creepy pale complexion to his skin and some wonderful blood stains on his face, hands and shirt.  I just wish it was a little less obvious he was a straight recast, right down to the bayonet on his fake arm; in the show it had been broken off when he turned, so a new arm stump piece would have gone a long way in making this Merle unique.

TWD s5 KastorsKorner021The Charred Zombie is an all new sculpt, but sadly he goes back to the limited articulation of the early wave figures, with just a swivel head, swivel right arm and swivel thighs.  He’s pre-posed in a decent lurching position, and the detail here is great– his burned flesh is wonderfully textured, and the paint work is remarkable.  The figure is cast in translucent orange plastic, then painted in dark, burned blacks and ash greys, giving him an authentically incinerated look.  He features a stand to help keep him upright, and a gas can with which he can do nothing.  It’s a nice looking figure, still leaps and bounds ahead of what we were seeing in the early waves of the series, but looking at him next to great figures like Glenn or Maggie, he doesn’t compare.

Overall, this latest set of Walking Dead figures is another winner.  We get three excellent figures and another two good ones, and we’re moving ever closer to completing the main cast of survivors.  I like the two waves per year plan McFarlane has been sticking to with their TV figures, and as the show continues moving forward, delivering more zombies and revolving its cast, I think this toy line will have a life span just as long.

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