Toy fig­urines that be­long in your play­room

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - BY JOE SZADKOWSKI

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.

Carl Grimes

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.

Price: $19.99.

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.

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