Zanti Misfits

I'm a big fan of Sideshow Toys work, which is pretty obvious if you read these columns regularly. And one of my favorite series from them is the Outer Limits. Okay, it was no Twilight Zone, but the show did feature some terrific early 
monster makeup, and influenced much of the movie makeup we see today.

They've already produced Ikar and Ikar's Soldier (reviewed here), Gwyllm (reviewed here), and the Ebonite Interrogator (reviewed here). They have additional plans to produce Andro and the Helosian. And shipping right now are the Zanti Misfits, reviewed today.

There are two unique characters available. One is the 'Regent', the other is the 'Prisoner'. The plot of the episode involves a race of ant people called the Zanti's, who work out a deal with Earth to send us their 'misfits'.  They actually make an ultimatum - work with us or we'll kick your ass.  We agree to be their prison planet, with the expected results.

The Misfits SRP is $30 each, and they are available right from Sideshow as well as a couple places I have listed below (which can save you a little money).

I re-watched the original episode before writing this review, which is something I always try to do with licensed characters.  While the episode is certainly not in the top 10, at least the Zanti's were memorable, as was Bruce Dern in one of his first of many roles as a sleaze ball.

Packaging - ***1/2
The boxes are slightly different from the usual sixth scale boxes from Sideshow.  These are smaller and a little more square, and the top flap wraps up and over the box itself.

The design is great, and once again there are plenty of excellent graphics and text.  I knocked off a half star because there is little to differentiate between the two characters on the box (other than the name in small print), and because of some particularly annoying twisties on all six legs.  Yes, I know they need them, but these were particularly hard to get at, and hurt the collector friendliness of the package.

Sculpting - ***
Both characters look terrific, but not quite as accurate to the source material as usual. The cut of the sculpt is fairly deep and detailed, so although there aren't a lot of surface details you still get a very realistic appearance.  But after re-watching the episode, I found that the facial hair is too obvious and thick here, while the actual Zanti's have body hair as well.  Still, it's a good translation of the original figures in this format.

Both heads are slightly different, with additional hair differences. The faux hair is glued on well, and is decent quality. The overall body sculpts are almost identical, but the paint ops make them unique.

It's important to note that the creepiness of these particular monsters works well in this format. People hate bugs, always have, always will. And there really is nothing creepier than bugs with human faces. Eww.

Scale is an interesting discussion point on these. They aren't sixth scale, but are actual scale (1:1) from the show. The are fairly large - about 8 inches long - and would scare the hell out of anyone that awoke to find them crawling up their leg. However, that means they break out of the sixth scale world. The same will be true of the Twilight Zone Invader, due out any day.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops on both figures are good, although some of the work around the eyes and face didn't quite live up to my expectations.

The overall body work is solid, and they've done a nice job using the paint ops to create two fairly distinctive characters. The mouth details are great, but the pupils and whites of the eyes were a bit sloppy on both of mine, with the lines around the pupils being slightly off in particular. Again, it's not terrible, and certainly worth the ***1/2 rating, but be careful picking yours out.

Articulation - ***1/2
Each figure has plenty of articulation, and yet stand well on their spindly legs. One of the issues you often see with bug like figures is that the legs tend to sag or have difficulty holding the weight of the figure. That doesn't appear to be an issue here, even over time, as the legs are made from very sturdy plastic.

Each leg is also only jointed at the body. While some folks would have liked more joints in each leg, it's those joints that often cause the weak legs in other figures. I think going with only the ball joint at each body point was the best idea.

The neck and uh, butt half (what's that called?) also have a ball joint with the main body. The range is somewhat limited, but you can get a few poses out of them.

The final joint is where each antenna attaches to the head. I really can't say that I'm disappointed with the number of joints, simply because I don't think they could have provided any more that would have added value to the figure.

Accessories - Bupkis
Ouch. Okay, so there isn't much you could probably give this guys that really fits in with that episode (a can of Raid?) but without any accessories, you really get slammed on the next category as well...

Value - **
The SRP is $30 for these, as much as the usual sixth scale Sideshow figure. That's only a mediocre value, considering that the bugs use identical bodies, have no accessories, and are slightly smaller than the a 12" figure. Of course, the unique mold costs, and a run of only 5000 each causes the higher price. Still, if you're going to pick these up you should do your best to find the cheapest price.

Overall - **1/2
I normally don't give Sideshow product this low of a score, so it's important to note that it comes from the lack of accessories versus the high price point. While they look great, you're not getting a lot of bang for the buck.

What that means is if you can manage to find them for $50-$55, add another half star to the overall score. The other consideration is just how much of an Outer Limits nut you are. If you're a big fan of the show, or of B-movie style monsters such as these, you can add to the overall score as well. They look cool, but for the casual fan they are a simply too expensive.

Where to Buy - 
Media Play may end up with them, as they've carried most of the previous ones. On-line:

- Sideshow has them available individually (Regent and Prisoner) for $30, or as a set for $60.

- Aislesniper has them at $55 for the pair, and they have them available for shipment right now.

Keep scrolling down for more photos!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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