#2940: Zombie Captain America

ZOMBIE CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Captain America’s team were the first responders to the zombie outbreak — and its first victims.”

October may be over, but the spookiness continues….well, for today at least.  But it’s in this great sweet spot of spookiness *and* Marvel.  Because, well, it kind of has to be, because how else am I going to get all these Legends reviewed.  Yay for the crossover potential of Marvel Zombies!  First appearing in the pages of Ultimate Fantastic Four in 2005, later that same year Marvel Zombies launched in its own book, spawning a whole franchise within a franchise.  Said franchise within the franchise then made its way into the MCU this year in What If…?‘s fifth episode, aptly titled “What if…Zombies?”  My opinions on What If…? were a bit mixed, and the zombies episode was itself rather a mixed bag for me, but there’s no denying that the zombies make for a good concept for toys, especially when it gives me a good excuse to buy another Captain America, who, it should be noted, remains a Captain in this universe, rather than getting a promotion to Colonel as his does in *some* zombie universes out there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zombie Captain America is part of the Watcher Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s unnumbered, as the one figure in the set that doesn’t actually include a piece for the Build-A-Figure (ironic that the zombie is the only one that doesn’t include an extra body part), and he’s also the double packed figure for this assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Compared to other MCU Cap figures, the articulation scheme on this one is definitely improved.  There’s a better range of motion on most of the joints, as well as use of ball joints at both the neck and the mid-torso, which supports a more fluid range than prior molds had.  He also gets pinless construction on both the elbows and knees.  While you would think that a Zombie Cap would be a good excuse to share some parts with older MCU Cap releases, this figure shares only the left boot with the Infinity War version.  Everything else is all-new to this release.  The helmet and shoulder harness pieces are separate parts, adding some nice depth to the sculpt.  The uniform is also nicely detailed, and there’s some fantastic work on the tattered remains hanging around the major spots of damage on the body.  Speaking of the damage, the actual damage is a lot more gruesome and in depth than I’d had anticipated on a mass retail release.  The legs in particular are quite gnarled.  It’s some truly impressive work.  Aiding the rather impressive sculpted work is some pretty solid paint work as well.  All of the base work is pretty straight forward, and matches the color scheme presented in the show, but they’ve also added a degree of blood coverage (albeit in a slightly purple color, so it’s not explicitly blood) around the wounds.  Hasbro doesn’t often do this kind of accent work, so it’s certainly nice to see them do it here, especially when the confines of a mass retail release would have given them an easy pass for not including some of these details.  Cap’s only accessory is his shield; it’s the same mold they’ve been using since the First Ten Years release, but this time with a bit of that purple splatter on the front of it.  It’s a good piece, but he does end up feeling a little bit light compared to other offerings.  That said, I’m not really sure what else he could have gotten.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I run hot and cold when it comes to zombies, and I wasn’t super big on the episode this figure was based on, so I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel about this figure in hand.  That said, he’s still a Captain America, and I do have a hard time passing on those.  I gotta say, this is honestly one of the strongest figures in this set.  He’s just a solid figure from start to finish.  Really, I just wish we had a more standard Cap that matched this one in quality, but that’s hardly on this particular release.  He’s utterly fantastic, really.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#0841: Farmer Zombie

FARMER ZOMBIE

THE WALKING DEAD MINIMATES

FarmerZombie1

I have *a lot* of Minimates. The vast majority of them were purchased because I actually wanted them, or was invested in the character presented. However, some of them I have for no other reason than “they’re Minimates.” Today’s focus, the Farmer Zombie, is one of the latter.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FarmerZombie2The Farmer Zombie was released in the third series of The Walking Dead Minimates. He was double-packed, and could be purchased with either Prison Hershel or battle-damaged Tyreese. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. The Farmer Zombie is based on a zombie that appeared in issue 49 of the comic. He uses the basic ‘mate body, along with an add-on piece for his hair/the saw-blade stuck in his shoulder. The add-on piece attaches from the bottom of the head, slipping over the neck peg, rather than plugging into the top of the head like most ‘mates. The piece works reasonably well, though it does greatly limit the posability of the head, since the whole thing’s all one piece. As with most Minimates, paint is this figure’s strongest suit. The base colors are suitably drab, and the detail work is exceptionally well-handled, with some great texturing and depth, which makes the guy actually look pretty darn creepy. The Farmer Zombie’s one accessory was a clear display stand, though my figure was lacking his.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 3 is actually where I stopped really picking up Walking Dead Minimates, so I didn’t get this guy new, nor did I feel any huge need to track him down later. I ended up getting him when I ordered a random loose “Mystery ‘mate” from Luke’s Toy Store, along with a few other items. I wouldn’t have gotten this guy otherwise, but I’m glad I did, because he’s actually a pretty well-put-together ‘mate.

#0390: Carl Grimes & Burning Zombie

CARL GRIMES & BURNING ZOMBIE

WALKING DEAD MINIMATES

My relationship with The Walking Dead is a strained one. Shortly after discovering Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, I decided to track down a few of the other things he’d worked on. This of course led to The Walking Dead. I quite enjoyed it, for about 99 issues. Then, I read issue 100, and my interest in continuing reading stopped dead. This had the unfortunate side effect of turning me off of the line of comic-based Minimates just two series in, meaning I missed out on a few of the principle characters. But there was one character I knew I couldn’t miss: Carl.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Carl and the Burning Zombie were released in Series 6 of The Walking Dead Minimates. I know that there was originally meant to be a TRU series to go along with this one, but TRU backed out, leading to a bit of consolidation. I can’t remember if Carl was always in the main series or not, but he was released and that’s what counts.

CARL GRIMES

“Rick’s son, Carl had trouble adjusting to life inside The Community, and when their defenses were breached, he lost an eye trying to escape.” Carl is easily the most important character to still be unrepresented in this line. This was an issue that was noted pretty much from the start, though. In the initial 15 or so Minimates DST showed off when they confirmed the license, Carl was nowhere to be seen. As it turns out, Diamond was just waiting til they were certain they could get him right. Carl is around 2 ¼ inches in height and he features 10 points of articulation. Carl uses the standard Minimate body as a starting point, but he features a special set of lower arms and legs to give him a smaller, more childlike appearance, as well as sculpted add-ons for his hat/hair, backpack, and belt/holster. The arms and legs were first used on for the Thunderkittens from Thundercats. They provide a slight change in height and stature, at the expense of the articulation in the wrists and ankles. It’s not a perfect tradeoff, but it’s reasonable enough, and it provides enough of a difference to make it worthwhile. All of Carl’s sculpted pieces are re-use: the hat and holster are from Series 1’s Rick Grimes, and the backpack is from TRU Series 1’s Glenn. Since the hat is meant to actually be Rick’s the reuse is sensible, and the bag and holster are pretty good pieces. Carl’s paintwork is pretty good. All of the basic work is clean and well applied. The detail lines are also pretty great. I love that he’s got a Science Dog t-shirt. The face seems a bit too old for Carl, though. The cheekbone lines age him. Not terribly so, but it doesn’t look quite right. Carl is well accessorized; he includes an extra bandaged head, a hairpiece (re-used from Series 2’s Sailor Zombie), a handkerchief, a coat with an extra set of sleeved arms to match, a rifle, a handgun, a flashlight, and a clear display stand. The bandaged head is actually a bit better than the regular. For some reason, he looks younger. Don’t know why.

BURNING ZOMBIE

“Survival Tip: While not an effective way to kill a walker, fire is a good way to dispose of fallen corpses, a breeding ground for disease.” Burning Zombie is yet another basic zombie. Like the shoulder Zombie, I feel certain this one is based on a specific Zombie from the comics, but I don’t have an extensive enough knowledge of the series to know exactly where it comes from. It’s a pretty standard Zombie, though.  The Burning Zombie is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. The figure is built out of the typical Minimate parts, with an additional piece for the flames. This piece previously saw use on the TRU exclusive Nova Flame Human Torch. It’s a good piece, and it’s well served to what they want to represent. Aside from that one piece, the figure really relies on paint. Fortunately, the paintwork is great on this figure. Everything is nice and clean and all the detail work is really sharp. The little details and texture on the zombie’s skin is outstanding, as is the detail work on the pants. Diamond continues to go the extra mile with their zombies in this line. The Burning Zombie includes a torch (presumably the one it was lit with) and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Carl and the Burning Zombie were acquired from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. I had passed on quite a few series of this line, but Carl proved to be enough to pull me back in, at least for a few sets from this series. It helps that Carl is one of the best figures in the line, and that he was packed with a pretty fantastic Zombie. I had a minor issue or two with Carl, but overall this was a tremendous set, an a fantastic showing for a pivotal character’s introduction into the line!

#0380: Shoulder Zombie

SHOULDER ZOMBIE

WALKING DEAD MINIMATES

ShoulderZombie1

When it comes to Minimates, Marvel Minimates is consistently the flagship line. Generally, there has always been at least one other line that takes the spot of “Strong second,” however exactly what line that is has changed over the years. Upon its introduction, The Walking Dead Minimates line took this spot. The line has cooled down a bit since its launch, but it’s still going pretty strong overall. Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the line’s Zombies, dubbed the Shoulder Zombie.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ShoulderZombie2The Shoulder Zombie was released in the fourth series of Walking Dead Minimates. He was included both with Alice and Prison Suit Lori, depending on which set you got. Every zombie in the line is based on a specific zombie from the comics. That being said, I’m not up enough on The Walking Dead to know exactly where this one comes from. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. The figure makes use of the standard Minimate body with a unique torso in place of the regular one. The new torso has been specially sculpted to show the gruesome shoulder wound from which the figure gets its name. It’s a pretty good piece, though it’s been noticeably toned down for the figure. This is understandable, but it’s a little bit gummy when compared to the (painted) extension of the wound present on the face. The rest of the figure is handled with paint, and it’s all done really nicely. There’s no real issues with bleed over or slop, and there’s some truly impressive detail work, especially on the face. I really love how they eyes are going two different directions. The Shoulder Zombie’s lone accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, why, you might ask, do I have just the Shoulder Zombie and neither of the complimentary pack ‘mates? Here’s why: when I placed my order with Luke’s Toy Store for Series 57 of Marvel Minimates, I decided to take advantage of a rather cool thing the store offers. See, they have a pretty great selection of loose Minimates, which I’ve ordered from before. But, they also offer the chance to buy a “Mystery ‘mate”, which could conceivably be any Minimate in existence. I decided to take a chance, and this is the one I got. All said, it could have been much worse. It’s not a figure I would have tracked down on my own, but having it in hand, it’s fun enough that I don’t regret the purchase in the slightest.