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Walking Dead Series 3 - Merle and Michonne
McFarlane Toys

Merle Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys


The latest wave of figures based on the hit television show the Walking Dead has hit shelves, and includes 5 different figures. There's two humans, Michonne and Merle, and three zombies, the Autopsy Zombie and both 'pet' zombies that Michonne brought with her.

These are not exactly the same as the previous waves - they've upped the articulation, and from what I can see, improved the sculpt and paint work. It's all good.

These figures run around $15 - $18, depending on the retailer. I picked them up at Toys R Us, where they are about $16 each.

Packaging - ***1/2
The packaging has changed as well, going from square to rectangular and having graphics that are more show-centric.

I like both changes. The rectangular card makes the figures look larger (they're not), and the new graphics really pop.

There's a couple annoying twisties, but at least they're well hidden for the MOCers. Of course, the change in style may annoy some MOCers, who usually like their displayed cardbacks to exhibit consistency.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Michonne Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
Michonne Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
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Michonne Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
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Merle Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
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Michonne Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
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Merle Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
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Michonne Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
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Merle Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys
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Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys

Sculpting - ***1/2
The first place that I noticed a real improvement is in this category. Both likenesses are far, far better than the previous, especially Shane and Daryl. I feel bad for Daryl on the shelf - his bad boy brother Merle is much better looking. Or at least, his portrait is much more accurate.

Michonne is great too, particularly when you consider the scale. You can nit pick some of the features on both figures under the eye of the macro lens, but remember - these figures are only 5" tall. Scale has  not changed, and these fit in perfectly with the previous waves.

The hands are sculpted to work with the weapons as well, and both figures stand great on their own. There is a good use of texture with some of the different pieces of clothing, and each figure has at least one outstanding costume feature. For Michonne, it's her cool high top boots, and for Merle it's his deadly right hand complete with attached bayonette.

One area where Merle does much better than Michonne is the hair. His sculpt is excellent, and the wash paint job looks very realistic. Michonne's hair is a solid color with no variation, and the Tootsie Roll-ish-ness of her hair is obvious even with the human eye.

Here's the big difference between this wave and previous waves - if you popped the heads off these two and showed only them to a Walking Dead fan with no explanation, they'd still instantly know who they were.

Paint - ***
Like with the sculpt, it's important for readers to keep in mind the scale of these figures when considering the paint. The camera lens shows off issues that the human eye won't pick up on, but it's important to see those issues as well to get the full appreciation.

Most of the cut lines are fairly clean, and neither figure exhibits the 'throw paint at it to make it sloppy realistic' look. There's some wash to give them a sweaty or dirty appearance, but it's not over done.

The eyes are a little weak, especially on Michonne, and while most of the cut lines are good, there's still a little slop here and there. Some of the colors - especially the skin tones - aren't always consistent in finish, but overall this paint job, like the sculpt, is an improvement over past figures.

Articulation - ***1/2
One of my major beefs with the previous waves, especially the living, was the terrible articulation. They've made a huge improvement in this category.

Both have ball jointed necks, pin/disc style ball jointed shoulders, elbow, wrists and ankles, pin knees, and a waist joint. The hips on both are a weird sort of ball that doesn't have quite the same range of movement of a pin/disc style, but is less obvious and ugly.

All these joints work well, and these two are much, much more poseable than the past living human figures. As much as I've ragged on McToys over the last couple waves, I have to give them props for listening to the fans and collectors and making real improvements.

Accessories - ***
Both figures come with three extras, and all are fairly well done.

Michonne has her katana, as well as a scabbard that fits over her head and arm to rest on her back. It looks good, and while the sword seems a smidge small (in volume, not length), it fits nicely in her hands or the case.

She also has her poncho, which is removable. It fits tightly around her neck and doesn't fall off easily, but isn't difficult to put on or take off.

Merle has his handgun, which fits perfectly in a holster on the front of his belt, and a small knife. It looks like it could fit in a sheath on his belt under the shirt, but the shirt is too stiff to push out of the way.

Along with the handgun, Merle has an automatic rifle, with a sling that allows him to carry it on his back. With the replaced left hand, it's a bit tough for him to use it, but it looks good on his back.

Fun Factor - ***
With the increased articulation, the play value improves a bit, especially over the previous living characters. The accessories work well too, and there's enough zombies for them to fight at this point.

Value - **
While I'm still not jumping up and down over the value, these do get a better score than the last series due to the greater number of good extras. If you can get them for $15 or less, add another half star here.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***
I almost went another half star this time - there's that much improvement over previous waves. That doesn't happen very often, and McFarlane deserves some real credit for upping their game with this very critical license.

The price is still a killer, but with the improved quality in several categories, it has become much less of an issue.

I also picked up one of the two pet zombies, but since I couldn't find the other (or the Autopsy Zombie) yet, I figured I'd wait on reviewing them. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish them up in the next couple weeks.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store is pretty cheap at just $15 each.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $15 as well.

- Urban Collector has the figures for $20 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Walking Dead stuff includes the RV and Well Zombies, Shane and the Bicycle Girl, Walking Dead figures series 1, the two humans in series 2, 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'. And if you like the RV Zombie, Mcfarlane also did a cool blu-ray case using his head

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Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys


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

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