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The Walking Dead TV Series 2 - The Zombies
McFarlane Toys

Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys


Fans of the hit show The Walking Dead have just a little more than two weeks to go before its return to AMC. With the mid-season shocker still fresh in our minds, everyone is playing the guessing game as to what the writers have in store for us in the last few episodes of this season.

McFarlane Toys released their first series of action figures based on the comics back in early fall, and their first series based on the television show just a couple weeks ago. This wave includes two humans - Rick and Daryl - as well as two additional zombies. I already covered Rick and Daryl, and tonight I'll finish up this wave with a look at the 'Zombie Walker' and the 'Zombie Biter'.

You might recognize the Walker from the Atlanta street scene, back when Rick took refuge in the tank. In fact, when NECA did their bust of this figure, they called him the 'tank zombie', causing some confusion.

The Biter was feasting on a deer when the group came upon him, and was also done as a bust by NECA. It's interesting that the exact same show based zombies have been done by both companies - it clearly has something to do with how AMC is licensing the undead. NECA has also already done the 'bicycle girl', so I wouldn't be surprised to see that used as one of the zombies in an upcoming wave of the tv based figures as well.

These guys run about $15 at my local Toys R Us, down from the original SRP of $18.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys
Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys
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Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys
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Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys
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Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys
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Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys
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Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys
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Packaging - ***
I like the colors and general style of the bubble/cardback packaging. There's some good info on the back on all four figures in the series, and while it's not collector friendly, I don't expect this style of packaging to be.

It is pretty wasteful though, particularly with these characters. There's nothing behind the logos, making more than half the package empty.  I also would have liked it if the large Walking Dead logo was not glued in place in the tray, since it would make a nice addition to the display.

Sculpting - ***
These are a 5" scale figure, and the comic series and television series are designed to fit together in a display. That's handy, particularly with the zombies.

Considering this scale, the sculpting is actually decent, with some nice detail work on their various wounds. There's lots of texture everywhere too, including the clothing and skin, giving an even greater impression of detail.

Unfortunately, the paint doesn't really do all it can to bring out the sculpts, and I suspect had the work in the next category been a little higher quality, the score in this category would have improved as well.

Because of the limited articulation and action features, the pose you see is pretty much the pose you get. There's a few things you can do with the arms, but that's it. Thankfully, both standard poses look pretty good, with just the right amount of shuffle and moan implied in their stance.

Paint - ***
The paint work isn't horrendous, but it fails to bring out the best in the sculpt.

They went with the 'throw a lot of paint at the figure and let's see what sticks' approach, which does work better on a monster like this than it does on one of the living characters.

There's a ton of blood, covering the front of both figures. The open wounds have lots of blood too, and the skin is treated with varying colors of decay.

The cut lines are sloppy of course, especially around the hair and suit, and the heavy wash used on both the Biter's shirt and the Walker's jacket is a bit too much for me, even in this smaller scale. However, while the paint isn't perfect, it isn't my biggest issue or complaint.

Articulation - Biter **; Walker *1/2
Neither one has as much articulation as the previous comic based undead, largely because of the 'action' features.

The Biter's jaw does move and down, but that means his neck doesn't move at all. He also has decent pin elbows and pin/disc ball shoulders, and the majority of poses come from his arms. He has V cut hips, pin knees and pin ankles, but these joints just get him into a basic standing pose and keep him there.

The Walker is less articulated, with cut shoulders and pin elbows, as well as T hips. With the supposed action feature, the hips don't do anything for you, and the less useful shoulders end up making him a poorer poser than the Biter overall.

Accessories - Biter **; Walker Bupkis
These guys are pretty sparse when it comes to extras, unlike the humans in the series.  The Biter comes with a hunk of venison, bloody and torn. That's it for him, and the Walker doesn't have any extras, probably because of the more expensive action feature.

Action Feature - *
These very well may be the worst action features I've ever seen.

It's not that the concepts are bad - the Biter is supposed to bite, the Walker is supposed to walk. Makes complete sense, right?

Sadly, neither actually works. Push the button on the back of the Biter, and his mouth opens...and doesn't shut back when you release the button. You have to push it closed by hand...no different than if it was just jointed, but you get an ugly button on his back and no neck articulation for your trouble.

The Walker is even worse. He has those silly clear plastic extensions on the bottom of his feet. Turn the knob on back to wind up the mechanism and watch him go...no where. Because all his weight is in his torso, the mechanism can't get him moving. He just rocks side to side, front to back, wobbling his torso around without any forward movement.

Another case of a great idea mangled by poor execution.

Fun Factor - **1/2
These would actually be pretty fun for their sheer zombie-ness if not for the lame action features.

Value - **
Fifteen bucks for these? Sure, it's not as all out insane as the $18 they were trying to get when they first hit stores, but it's still well above what they are worth.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. I suppose you could over turn the walking mechanism and break it, but at least then you'd have an excuse not to use it.

Overall - Biter **; Walker *1/2
When I saw these in the package, I thought they'd be ***, maybe at worst **1/2 star figures. But in the package, you can only judge paint and sculpt, and there's much, much more to an action figure than that.

Out of the package, the ridiculous action features reared their ineffective heads, and the effects of the lack of accessories and poor articulation became much more painfully obvious. While the first two comic zombies weren't bad, these two fail in most respects.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - Biter **; Walker *1/2
Accessories - Biter **; Walker Bupkis
Action Feature - *
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **
Overall - Biter **; Walker *1/2

Where to Buy -
Your first option for these should be your local Toys R Us, but if that comes up dry you can go online with these great sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles has the set of four at under $15 each - $56. That's more like it, but you have to want the full set or have someone you can sell the unwanted figures to.

- Super Power Collectibles has the singles for just under $17 each.

- Entertainment Earth has the single comic based figures for just $15, with a cool two pack of these zombies coming soon for $35. They also have the pre-orders up for the singles and set of wave 1 of the tv based figures.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the comic series or tv series 1 for $55 each, as well as the comic zombie two pack for $34.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've looked at the two humans in this series, as well as the first series of comic based figures. And don't forget that NECA is doing busts, one for this same 'biter', and one for this same 'walker'.

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Walking Dead action figures by McFarlane Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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