YELLOW SUBMARINE (MCFARLANE)
Yellow Submarine is a very strange film. Very, very strange. But, as a fan of both the Beatles and animated films, it’s a movie I enjoy quite a bit (it helps that I was 7 the first time I saw it). While the film obviously stars the Beatles as its main protagonists, for most of the film, they’re paired up with lovable goofball Old Fred, a native from Pepperland, the undersea land that the Beatles are recruited to save from the Blue Meanies. I told you the film was weird. Back in ’99, McFarlane Toys of all companies grabbed the Yellow Submarine license, and put out a small assortment of figures from the movie, including Old Fred.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Old Fred was technically part of the first series of Yellow Submarine figures from McFarlane, but he was a rather late addition. The initial shipments of the series featured Ringo and the Blue Meanie, John and the Boob, George and the Submarine, and Paul and the Glove. When fans complained about the lack of Old Fred, McFarlane responded by replacing the Glove with him in subsequent shipments. Why he wasn’t just released separately is beyond me, but oh well, here he is. The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. His sculpt was new to him, and it does a good job of capturing the admittedly inconsistent design of the character from the film. He’s mostly constructed out of connected abstract shapes, but that’s about right. The details of the face are absolutely spot on, and the uniform is basic, but accurate. He’s sculpted in a mostly normal standing pose, but for some reason, his right arm is bent at the elbow and extended outward at the shoulder, which looks sort of odd. Like, I’m not sure how the arm is meant to be positioned, because it looks equally weird in all of the poses. I just don’t recall him having this pose at any point of the movie. Paint is a bit iffy on this figure. The basic colors are fine and all, but the application is really sloppy, especially on the yellows. The buttons don’t even always get fully covered. It’s not ideal. As he’s sort of an accessory himself, Old Fred includes no accessories of his own. Which is fine I guess.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Yellow Submarine Paul McCartney was actually my very first Yellow Submarine figure. However, that one was an earlier release, so he didn’t come with Fred. I got Fred about two months ago when my brother found a Fred and Paul set at a nearby antique store. Not a whole lot to say on this figure to be honest. He’s about on par with the rest of the set, so yay consistency, and I’m happy to have one to go with my Beatles.