Spawn 31
Nightmare Spawn

It's hard to believe, but the Spawn action figure line has hit series 31. There's not very many lines in the history of action figures that have had that kind of longevity, and there's no immediate end in sight. Oh, sure, there's been some weak series, and some series that were not much more than repaints along the way. There's been unnecessary updates to figures already released, and some pretty dull choices as well. But overall the quality has been there, with some truly shining moments thrown in for good measure.

The theme for this series is "other worlds". It is made up largely of Spawn versions, including Spawn 11, Spawn the Marauder, Necro Cop, and the figure I'm reviewing tonight, Nightmare Spawn. Rounding out the set of six is Lord Covenant (from the Dark Ages book), and the Goddess Llyra (from the Godslayer book, she's the opposing force to the Marauder). The only brick and mortar retailer I've seen them at so far is Toys R Us, although Meijers may end up with them eventually. Expect to pay around $13 each.

Packaging - ***
I like clamshells, I like the interior card art, and I like the quality of the overall package. It shows off the figure fairly well without too much wasted space. However, Mcfarlane Toys will be updating their standard packaging across the various toy lines soon, making the packages even smaller and less wasteful. From the early photos, they appear to be going more in the direction of the clamshells they used for Spawn 30 (Adventures of Spawn). I have no real complaints here, but I'm not leaping for joy either.

Sculpting - ***1/2
It's a Spawn figure - is there any real surprise that the sculpt is beautifully detailed? The skull is covered with sinewy muscle, with an expression indicating your doom is close at hand. The texturing on the body and wings is excellent, and the wings fit nicely into the back of the figure, lining up well with the holes and slots. I had a few more issues getting the legs attached and to stay on once they were there, but with a bit more playing around I was able to get a good fit.

This Spawn is half human, half demon, taking on more of his Hellish continence than usual. The elongated legs, clawed hands, and horned head all harkens to an underworld appearance, rather than a more traditional Spawn look. I really like it, and it adds a very cool version to any Spawn fan's shelf that will stand out nicely from the pack.

He's advertised in a six inch scale, and he does fit in pretty nicely with other Spawn lines and other six inch scaled lines. The wings give him a very impressive look on the shelf, without being too overpowering.

Paint - ***1/2
One of the advantages of this type of dark, moody, evil paint work is that crisp lines and bold colors aren't a problem.  To look realistic, one color needs to blend in smoothly to the next, rather than having a lot of sharp definition.  I can't say it's easier to do (if it were, more companies would be able to pull it off), but it certainly does hide a lot of possible issues when it works right.

There are a few fine details here that do stand out though.  The veins in the wings for example, which are very clean and neat, yet quite realistic.  Unfortunately, this veining is only present on the inside of the wings, not the outside, making them look more plasticy and fake from the rear.

My only real issue with the paint job this time around is in lining up some of the lines and colors.  If you get the sculpt lined up just ring at cut joints (like the waist or bicep), the paint work didn't seem to line up quite as well.  It's not a major nit, but really the only one I had.

Articulation - *
An articulated Spawn figure? Yea, I didn't think so. There's been a couple good ones, but this isn't one for the joint junkies.

He has a cut neck, cut waist, cut biceps and cut wrists. There's no leg articulation, and he's designed for really one and only one pose, even with the cut joints on the arms.

Accessories - **
Spawn's never been a guy to have a lot of accessories, so the lack here isn't particularly surprising. He does come with his nifty flaming base, with a steel rod to suspend him above it. The sculpted flames look excellent, but you will notice that he tends to lean to the right, much like a really ugly version of Elizabeth Hasslebeck. The shot with Bats actually shows the lean - don't confuse this with the second photo in the review that shows how one wing actually tilts down a bit even when he's straight. The more extreme tilt is because neither end of the steel rod fits particularly tightly into their corresponding holes. This is pretty easy to fix though, and in some of the photos you can see the difference. Just take some clear tape, wrap a bit around the ends of the rods, and viola - a much tighter fit.

Obviously, the steel rod won't be bending under the weight of little ol' Spawn, but I do worry a bit about the softer base. Whether it will continue to hold him upright over the long haul (and in all kinds of weather and humidity) is to be seen.

Fun Factor - **
This isn't a toy, it's a statue. A plastic one of course, but a statue nonetheless. If you have an eight year old kid into all things satanic, he'll love it. And I'd advise checking his body for any unusually shaped birth marks, especially any that look like 666.

Value - **1/2
At ten bucks, this guy would get three stars in the current market.  The quality of sculpt and paint put him well above the current crop of mass market stuff, and on par with the specialty market stuff that runs closer to $13 - $15 at most stores.  But at $13, he comes in about average.  You won't feel ripped off, but you're not going to get too excited about the price either.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not much. Take your time inserting the wings, since you could damage the posts or holes if you get a bit impatient, but it's not going to be a major issue.

Overall - ***1/2
Another excellent Spawn figure.  In fact, most of the figures in this line turned out extremely well, although I haven't seen Lyra in person yet.  I wasn't as interested in the others for my collection, but I think the regular Spawn fan will be very happy with the whole line up.

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

Where to Buy -
Like I said, Toys R Us is the only local retailer that has had these so far, but Meijers may get them in. Online options include:

- Amazing Toyz is already out of stock on Nightmare Spawn, but has the others at $12 each. 

- CornerStoreComics still has a few Nightmares available at $13, with the others in stock at $12. 

- and for the U.K. readers, Forbidden Planet has them for around 10 pounds each. 

Related Links -
I've covered a lot of Spawn lines: 

- last up was series 30 of course, and Spawn 29 Zera and Thamuz.

- from Spawn 28, I covered the Mandarin Spawn 2, the Gunslinger from Spawn 27, the entire Spawn 26 wave, several of the Spawn Reborn line, more of Spawn Reborn, and Spawn Mutations, the Tenth Anniversary Spawn and Ripclaw, most of Spawn series 25, Gargoyle Spawn and Santa Spawn from series 24, Skull Splitter from Spawn 22, a couple of the Spawn 19 Samurai Wars, more of the first series of Spawn Reborn and Spawn Mutations, and the Clown from the first series of Spawn Reborn.

- there's also the second 12" version of Mandarin Spawn, and the 12" version of Spawn i.95.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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