The Walking Dead Stabs, Shoots and Chops its Way to the Toy Aisle

By bill - October 8, 2011

It’s Walking Dead week here at Kastor’s Korner! In celebration of AMC’s incredible Walking Dead returning to TV this Sunday, we’ve got lots of coverage for all your zombie needs, and we’re kicking things off with a first look at the brand new Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys! To truly capture the feel of The Walking Dead universe, McFarlane is releasing toys based on both the AMC TV series and the original Image comic, and today we’ll be taking a look at two of our favorite survivors in their comic-style appearances… Rick Grimes and Michonne both survived the zombie apocalypse, but at what cost?

We can’t really answer that as only Robert Kirkman knows for sure, but thanks to McFarlane Toys we can take a closer look at their action figures!
Officer Rick Grimes is the protagonist of The Walking Dead, and his action figure captures the deputy sheriff in his iconic police uniform, complete with jacket and hat. The figure was inspired by the cover of TWD issue #1, and Rick certainly strikes a badass pose… however I was very pleasantly surprised to find this guy is no statue! Despite the limited articulation of the prototype on display at Toy Fair, Rick is fully articulated and capable of some great posing options. With 23 points of articulation– including a fantastic ball joint neck and great ratchet joints on the wrists and elbows (similar to McFarlane’s Halo figures) Rick is a very cool looking zombie killer.
Grimes includes four shotguns and a duffel bag that stores them all and slings over his shoulder, as well as a hatchet and pistol, both of which can be stored on his belt. As always, I’m a huge fan of figures that can store their gear so Rick’s storage capacity is great and well-executed.
In fact, well-executed is the perfect description for this figure across the board– between the large amount of gear, great articulation (McFarlane is still among the best in the game at masking articulation so as not to detriment the aesthetic of the toy), and some great paint apps with good washes and a nice matte finish that really brings Rick to life (which is a good thing in a world filled with zombies!)
While the wash is well-executed, I have seen a few Rick’s with some sloppy apps, especially around the face and hairline. With a little looking, though, you’re sure to find a figure with great paint application which really accentuates the great sculpt.
There are two alternate deco versions of Rick that will be exclusives as well. One variant will be available at Toys R Us and features Rick painted in black and white to match the comic book source material. This is a great idea for a variant that pays tribute to the black and white comic that started the Walking Dead craze, and Rick looks every bit as cool without the color– also keep in mind for black and white fans Diamond Comics will be offering a similar “black and white” deco zombie two-pack, which will look fantastic with the monochrome Rick.
A third variant will be for sale later this week at New York Comic Con, featuring Rick covered in blood. The blood apps are very cool, plentiful without being too over the top, and look like they came from a single direction (like he just shot a zombie to his left. It’s nice to see the even the blood spatter was well thought out and ridiculous, and blood-soaked Rick looks great next to the Zombie Roamer figure (post-headshot, but we’ll get to that in my next review!)
Rick isn’t our only survivor in this series. Tough as nails lawyer-turned-ronin warrior Michonne is also captured in plastic. Michonne sports her most iconic look from the story arc where she takes her revenge against the maniacal Governor, with a jacket, purple top and skirty with punky belt and combat boots. Michonne’s figure looks every bit as tough as the hardened survivor, with a great facial sculpt that’s all business and over 20 points of articulation, making her just as well engineered as Rick. The only point of articulation that would benefit the samurai zombie slayer would be hinged ankles– from the shin down is one solid piece, presumably to not interfere with the sculpt of the boots, but the solid ankles leave her a little off balance in some poses. The excellent Halo-style hips help offset this balance issue, so with a little time spent playing around you can still get her to stand pretty well.
Michonne includes her signature katana, as well as plenty of her iconic “revenge tools,” including a power drill, hammer, pliers and spoon (if you’ve read the story, you’d get it)… and as another well-thought move her hands are sculpted to hold any of the objects between the pair– her right hand is much more closed providing a firm grip on the smaller pieces like the pliers or hammer, which the left hand is open wide enough to grip the drill of sword. Even if it wouldn’t be accurate to the comic, some kind of bag or storage device would be great here… I have a feeling lots of loose collectors may end up losing Michonne’s smaller parts pretty easily.
I’ve been very excited for The Walking Dead toys ever since they were revealed at Toy Fair earlier this year, and the idea of alternating between comic and TV based figures is a fantastic idea, and one that’s sure to please all kinds of Walking Dead fans. While we knew from the prototypes at Toy Fair that these toys would look good, I cannot be happier that the final figures play and feel just as good as they look, with tons of attention to comic-accurate detail, great paint apps, some fun variants and excellent overall design.
The comic series figures are just starting to make their way to retail– Big Bad Toy Store has them in stock now as singles or a set, and Toys R Us is starting to shelve them as well in their “collector’s aisle,” although for a typically-inflated TRU price.
Thanks again to McFarlane Toys for giving us this first look at The Walking Dead series one– Check back tomorrow as we take a look at the zombies!!


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