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Review of Daryl Dixon - Walking Dead mini-bust

Gentle Giant
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Introduction

Gentle Giant continues their award winning line of mini-busts for the Walking Dead with the release of a fan favorite - Daryl Dixon. A creation of the show, this bad boy character has won over pretty much every fan, becoming one of the most liked, if not THE most liked, character on the show.

It was a smart move on their part to get him into the bust mix up early on, and they've done him in two versions. There's the regular release, and a special Web Direct version that you could only get through the Gentle Giant website. I'm looking at the Web Direct exclusive, but the only difference is one additional accessory.

The edition size is pretty big at 4500, but I'm betting it's actually warranted this time around. I also believe that edition size includes both the regular and Web Direct release - there isn't a separate numbering for the Web Direct.

This guy has just started shipping, and he can cost you any where from $60 to $90, depending on the retailer. That's a serious swing in price, so you'll want to shop around. Remember, I have the Where to Buy section at the end of sponsors, and whenever possible, please send them your business. Without them, I couldn't keep the site running.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Packaging - ***1/2
I like the prison background on these recent boxes, and it gives it a somber color and feel. Inside is the usual Styrofoam trays, and the bust (all one piece with the exception of the extra accessory) is very safe.

The slightly higher score here is due largely to the cool baseball card style Certificate of Authenticity. Gentle Giant hit on this design fairly early on with the Star Wars license, and it's been a winner ever since.

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Sculpting - ***
Let's start from the neck down, where the work is easily four star stuff.

While here isn't a ton of texture on the clothes or skin, you still get a feeling that each is a distinct material.  The use of different sized wrinkles and folds helps here, making the vest seem thicker and more substantial than the shirt. Subtle touches like that add a lot of visual realism to an all resin bust like this.

Except it's not quite all resin. They've gone with  a mixed media approach to the crossbow, including metal and string. It's a smart move, because it makes the overall bow less fragile, and adds another dimension of realism.

Now let's talk neck up, where things get a little dicey. It's not awful, but it's a little dicey.

The hair style matches up with last season more than this year, which is perfectly fine. The detail work in the strands is good, and the texturing of the eyebrows and Van Dyke is good as well.

I like the eyes and nose, where they've really captured the look of Norman Reedus, the actor that portrays Daryl. They've gone with his trademark squint too, which is a great look for him.

When you get to the jawline and neck, things get a little off. In comparison to the size and shape of the head and shoulders, the jaw and neck seem too thin. The actor's head is a bit more square - here, it's very much a triangle. From certain angles, it works, but from others it's really off putting.

These are done in a rough sixth scale, and the overall bust stands just over 7" tall.

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Paint - ***
In photos, the paint doesn't look too bad. There's a dirty wash used over most of the skin to give him the grubby look, and the edges - especially the hairline - are quite clean.

In person though, the skin color doesn't blend well. The hands are much dirtier than the arms, and there isn't a smooth transition. Instead, it looks like he washed his arms and stopped at the wrists. It's solid B work, but it's not quite up to the level we know they can reach.

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Accessories - ***
Here's an oddity - a mini-bust with an accessory! Any score in this category is a positive thing, since it's so rare to get an extra.

It's only the Web Direct version that comes with the string of zombie ears, Daryl's trophy from his little side trip looking for Sophia. The string is elastic, so that it can fit over his head, and the ears are strung on it through their center. It's a neat extra, but probably not worth spending huge money just to get it.

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Value - **1/2
This was a hard one to call, since the prices on this bust vary widely depending on the retailer, even more so than usual.

If you pick it up for $60 - and I have one retailer below selling it at that price - you can add another half star here. That's certainly a better than average value these days.

If you end up paying $80 or more, and some retailers are at that price point, you can take another half star off. I ended up splitting it down the middle, assuming most folks would end up paying around $70, which seems like an average value, all things considered.

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***
I saw a recent interview with Reedus in which he talked about being scanned for the toys. He said they kept getting a weird shadow across the left side of his face that they couldn't figure out - turns out, he has a metal eye socket as a result of a car accident. It has nothing to do with the bust, but I thought it was interesting.

As to the bust, it's solid work, and most fans will be happy with him on the shelf. He's certainly an improvement over Rick, but I don't think he's quite as nice as Michonne overall. It's a step in the right direction though, and I think the mixed media approach worked particularly well here.

Another zombie should be here any day, and I'm hoping we see this line continue strong through 2014, since it's really the best collectibles being produced for the show right now. I have my fingers crossed for the ThreeZero sixth scale figures, but only time will tell.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Accessories - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is at just $60 for the regular.

- is at $70.

- has him at $75.

- Entertainment Earth is at $85.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Gentle Giant has already released several busts, including Michonne, Rick and the Well Walker so far.  Mcfarlane also did a cool blu-ray case using his head, as well as the third season blu-ray case.

And if you're looking for something in the sixth scale market, check out Threezero's zombies, Michonne's Pets.

Also from McFarlane is the smaller action figures: Carl and SWAT Zombie, the Governor and AndreaMerle and Michonne, 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.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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Walking Dead Daryl Dixon mini-bust from Gentle Giant

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

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