Toy figurines that belong in your playroom
Thanks to the proliferation of film, comic book and cartoon characters, companies are bombarding consumers with an incredible selection of action figures. With tongue in cheek, let’s take a peek at some of the specimens worthy of a place in Zad’s Toy Vault.
McFarlane Toys continues to celebrate the coolest characters in movies, television, comics and video games with its latest Blue Wave, Color Tops’ figure collection.
I’m still not sure of the point of the color-labeling system, but these 6.5-inch-tall, statuesque and highly detailed items deliver beautifully crafted designs of such stalwarts as Spawn, Narutu Uzamaki and Aguilar of “Assassin’s Creed.”
Perhaps the best of the Blue bunch is the three-dimensional representation of one of the humans from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” TV series. It’s a boy turned into a ferocious fighting machine who fans have watched struggle in the zombie apocalypse.
Figure profile: (Paraphrased from the McFarlane Toys website) The son of Rick and Lori Grimes, Carl has gone from being a reserved, fearful child to becoming a battle-hardened Walker dispatcher. As the youngest original Atlanta survivor, Carl has been forced to grow up brutally fast with little room for childhood amenities.
Accessories: A fantastic version of Carl greets owners led by the figure’s near-perfect head sculpts created using 3-D scan modeling of Chandler Riggs, the actor from the TV series.
He comes dressed in crinkled jeans, a plaidblue shirt (sticking out of his pants, which also covers a brown undershirt), boots and a removable sheriff’s hat.
The figure’s specific designs are taken from issue No. 83 of the comic book series and Episode 9, “No Way Out,” from the sixth season of the show that portrayed an injured Carl after a panicked survivor shot out his eye.
The figure has two interchangeable head sculpts, one with a bloodied eye socket and one with a white bandage covering his forehead and a white patch over the eye socket.
Carl also can wear a removable poncho covered with the bloodied guts of a walker that he once used to mask his human smell while walking through a crowd of attacking undead.
It’s worth noting that Carl is more statue than action figure. He is meant to stand in a set pose affixed to the included base.
That means limited articulation in the legs, but the torso does twist, the arms move at the shoulder and elbows, the wrists twist, and the head is attached at the neck by a ball joint.
However, twisting the head too far left or right makes it look like Carl has a goiter on the side of his neck rather than a properly placed Adam’s apple.
That neck articulation function is a common complaint for collectors of some of the other Color Tops figures.
Watch it: Anchor Bay Home Entertainment released the Blu-ray and DVD collection of “The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season” ($32), which features 16 episodes of the show and enough gore and angst to require a toweling off by viewers.
What’s it worth: I’m still not sold on the Color Top line from McFarlane Toys. More statue than action figure, the masterpieces are best showcased in a geekified office cubicle to impress fellow workers, and are not really articulated or accessory-rich enough to stand with other figures and recreate more complex scenes from the show. (Yes, some slightly disturbed humans with too much time on their hands actually do this.)
Also, the hodgepodge of character choices makes it difficult for collectors to sink their bucks into a single favorite franchise.
I am more impressed by the incredibly posable, 5-inch collections of action-figure versions of “The Walking Dead,” both television and comic book characters, as well as the retired line of buildable, microsize dioramas. I still have the creepy Governor’s Room and Dale’s RV within eyesight as I write this review.