With the fourth season of AMC's hit television series underway and the promise of the second round of comic-based interactive adventure coming from Telltale, it's the perfect time to peruse the painted plastic people (living and dead) of McFarlane Toys The Walking Dead series four TV figures.
Now I am more of a comic book fan myself, so I look at the fourth series from McFarlane and I wonder why Rick has two of everything and his son has a perfectly-round melon, but I suppose I can't begrudge the 20 bajillion people who only watch the television show their versions of the characters.
Yes I can. Go read the comics.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
Dixon Brothers 2-Pack
Daryl: Crossbow, axe, prison keys, knife, pick axe, redneck cool.
Merle: Bayonet hand, pistol, knife, machine gun, redneck rage.
Exclusive Rock Grimes: Rifle, revolver, zombie-catchy pole thing, more hands than he should have.
The Governor: That's not a knife, this is a knife, pistol, extra head with un-extra eye.
Andrea: Pitchfork, rifle, pistol, tasteful vest, sass.
Carl Grimes: Hat, duffle bag, knife, prison keys, entirely too much intact skull.
Riot Gear Zombie: Flip-up helmet, dagger in his neck, possibly sass.
Gas Mask Riot Gear Zombie: Gas mask with a face attatched to it, because ew.
WHAT I LIKED
Likeness — When McFarlane Toys tries to recreate real people, they often come off looking fake in the package. That's because real people should not be sealed in plastic. Freed from their prisons and cast in the right light, the each of the actor-based figures actually does a fair job of being who it is supposed to be.
Poseability — Not only are the figures in McFarlane Toys' The Walking Dead series four quite articulated, with moving wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders — all of the nice moving bits — they don't look like they should be highly poseable. I was was expecting a bunch of plastic statues. I was pleasantly surprised.
Fine Detail — The wrinkles, the textures, the tiny veins in Meryl's hands that I just know would be there if I were to take Michael rooker's hand and go skipping down the lane. They make the figures look a bit busy up close, but from optimal viewing distance (I'd say about three feet) those details coalesce into a real tiny person. Or corpse. Corpse-people.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
Brittle Plastic — Meryl's machine gun snapped in half while I was trying to remove it from the package. That's not good, especially in a figure line with such fine detail. Every finger, knife, strap or pistol barrel feels like it's on the verge of breaking with the slightest force. The figures are sturdier than that, but the feeling won't go away now.
Sloppy Paint — same issue I've had with many of McFarlane's recent releases, the finer the details of the sculpt, the more likely whoever is in charge of painting the bits on will screw something up. Several blotches in this batch, I'm afraid.
MY FINAL WORD
These are unmistakably action figures based on the characters from The Walking Dead television show. Even the pair of zombies, faceless (ha ha) monsters in any other line, stand out here as characters from the television show. That's the whole point of the line, and it gets the job done. They're a bit too brittle for my vigorous play style, but a collector that shelves or cases their conquests shouldn't have a problem.
Now if we could only get them to do video game-based toys...