Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead
Shaun and Ed

Everybody loves zombies. How couldn't you - they're so cute and cuddly! But zombie hunters don't get nearly the press of say, vampire hunters. I guess it's just not as sexy to bash in the heads of slow moving, mindless creatures with bad personal hygiene.

Then a little movie came along called Shaun of the Dead. Part parody, part real horror movie, more homage than spoof, the film hit a chord with reviewers and fans alike. Not only did it get critical acclaim, but it propelled it's stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to international recognition. It also seems to mean that by law they must have a cameo in every zombie flick made, with one or both having such roles in Diary of the Dead, Land of the Dead, and even Planet Terror.

With Sideshow doing a terrifically successful generic zombie line of sixth scale figures - called "The Dead" - it seemed to make perfect sense for them to pick up the license to add Shaun and Edgar to their stable. Who better to add to your zombie display than a couple recognizable zombie killers?

There is a regular and exclusive version, as usual, with an extra accessory added to the exclusives. They run $60 each, exclusive or not, and I have some suggestions for picking them up at the end of the review. There aren't a lot of these in either version, with only 750 of the regular and 350 of the exclusives, making this one of the lowest sixth scale production runs from Sideshow in quite some time.
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Ed action figure

Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead action figures
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Shaun action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Ed action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Shaun action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Ed action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Shaun action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Ed action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Shaun action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Ed action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead action figures

BTW, the two photos of Ed and Shaun with all their accessories are 'out of the box' shots, with nothing futzed on either outfit.

Oh, and that zombie in the first photo?  Think of that as a preview of a coming attraction.

Packaging - ***
The packages are more old school Sideshow than say, the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars offerings. They use the normal 5th panel box, with velcro closures, and some decent background text on both the film and the specific characters.

You can tell that Sideshow cut some costs on the boxes, because there is almost no personalization to the specific character. There is a small sticker on the top right front panel that shows who is in that specific box, but otherwise the packaging is identical.

There's also no top tray, and instead there are five twisty ties holding them down. I hate twisty ties.

Sculpting - ***
I was pretty much prepared to hammer the sculpt on Shaun after seeing the initial photos posted by proud owners. Thankfully, in person he looks much better than I expected.

That is not to say he's perfect. But he doesn't look like the aborted alien fetus that I thought he was going to resemble.

He does look like Simon Pegg, or perhaps his uglier twin brother. The detail work on the skin and hair is excellent, and the facial hair is a real improvement over some of SS' past attempts.

The shape of the head and nose seem very accurate, but there's something about the eyes and mouth that are throwing things off. The eyes are quite large and wide open, giving him a bit of a Marty Feldman look. And the mouth shows the bottom teeth, something that's pretty odd and unusual in real life, and might be part of the problem I'm having with him.

Finally, there's a sense of flatness to his face, perhaps brought on by the large wide eyes. Still, the detailing on the face make it quite realistic in general, and I can see Shaun in there far better than I expected.

Ed does look like Ed as well, although they didn't back off on the harshness of the prototype sculpt quite as much here as they did with Shaun. The bag lines under his eyes are still too pronounced for this scale, and his eyes look slightly deformed. They tried to capture a very difficult expression here, sort of a befuddled confusion, and they almost got it, but something in the eyes tripped them up.

The mouth is also a bit small and too puckered, even for Ed. I don't mind seeing the upper teeth here, as that's common when someone has their mouth open, but the mouth needed to be a little wider.

The hair sculpt is excellent though, and while the overall head sculpt is not perfect, it certainly is recognizable. I ended up liking both of these head sculpts much better than I anticipated.

The sculpted hands on both figures work fine with the majority of the accessories, and they pose well in a number of different ways as well. Both figures also stand great on their own, as to be expected.

Paint - ***
I think part of the reason the head sculpt looks better than anticipated is because the paint quality is quite good, at least on Shaun. His skin tone matches well between the hands and face, and it's a softer, consistent color and finish. The plastic cast skin tone on the arms does not match as well, unfortunately, and there's still a little more gloss than I'd like, but it's an improvement.

The gloss is used on his eyes, lips and mouth, where you'd expect it, but it's also very subtle and not over done. Shaun's eyes are fairly straight and even, and the catchlight size has greatly diminished. The eyebrows and facial hair are particularly well done, which is a huge improvement for Sideshow.

Shaun does have a little slop, including the teeth and some areas on his shoes. But overall, I was very impressed by his paint ops.

Ed also shows off the improved skin tone and even the improved eyebrows, but he has a few issues that crop up around the eyes and beard.

The eyes aren't quite as straight as Shaun's, although it isn't as bad as to give him the lazy eye. They used the gloss paint on the eyes, lips and mouth again, but missed a big chunk of both the upper and lower lip on mine with the red paint, making his tiny lips even tinier and more puckered.

The beard work is better than I expected, but there is some errant brown up on his one earlobe, and for some reason they made the stubble slightly more glossy than the skin itself. That gives him a weird look, especially around the chin. And for my final nit, his hair line is not as clean and on the sculpt edge as it should be, particularly around the sideburns.

Articulation - **1/2
I didn't mention it in the sculpt, but the body itself causes a huge visual issue here, far beyond it's ability to hold a pose or not.

This is the old Sideshow body, and the gangly, disproportionate issues are all too obvious in just a shirt and pants. I don't mind the joints showing, but the long arms, skinny chest and legs, and weird waistline, all make it almost impossible for them to make Shaun look reasonably good.

He has all the joints you expect from the Sideshow Buck body, but he also has trouble taking a natural, fluid pose.  The theoretically ball jointed neck is a perfect example of a join that's there, but just doesn't work well at all. Thankfully, the new body that is coming soon should rid them of these problems moving forward.

Ed has the same Sideshow body of course, and has the same issues with finding a natural stance. His body image is further goofed up with the oddly shaped fat suit, but more on that when we get to the Outfit section.

Accessories - Shaun regular ***; Shaun exclusive and both Ed's ***1/2
While both figures come with a nice number of accessories, there's a fair amount of re-use.

Both have an extra set of hands, but the hands are identical between figures. These are also hands we've seen with other past figures, rather than specific sculpts for any particular pose here. Swapping them is pretty much the same pain in the neck it's always been. Again, based on what we've seen with the new smaller Hobbit body, I expect this to be simpler in the future.

Both figures also come with a pool cue, which they used as a weapon. The cue sculpt and paint are good, and they are about the right size, but I'm a bit disappointed that neither has any blood on it. In fact, none of the weapons have any blood on them, as do neither of the figures with one minor exception, and that's not even blood. More on that in the Outfit section.

To round out the shared accessories, both figures also come with two vinyl albums. The albums themselves are all identical black pieces of plastic, but the covers are different. Shaun comes with The Rock Flowers and Violet Storm, while Ed has Sadie and Desperate Straights. The covers are decent enough, but the albums themselves are woefully cheap looking, with no detailing at all. The smaller albums that we got with the old Muppets Johnny Fiama figure looked much more realistic.

The regular Shaun only has one unique accessory - his cricket bat. The sculpt and paint here are excellent though, making it THE accessory you'll be posing him with.

The exclusive Shaun adds one more unique accessory in the flowers he was supposed to give his mom. While I think the sculpt of the flowers themselves is a bit weak, the use of the plastic wrapped around the outside with the bow was a very nice touch.  If you go to your local craft store, you can pick up a bouquet of fake flowers in this scale and wrap them in the plastic with the bow - voila! A much better looking accessory.

Ed actually comes with three unique accessories, on top of the already mentioned albums, hands and pool cue. He has his most recognizable weapon, the flat shovel, which is sculpted and scaled well but still lacks any blood. He also has a nicely done cel phone, complete with blue screen on the inside, and a pack of smokes. The detailing on the cel phone is quite nice, and the cig pack seems to be made of paper over plastic, rather than the usual cardboard.

The exclusive Ed adds in a fourth unique accessory - his ice cream cone. Another great addition right out of the film, the sculpting and paint are quite realistic. They even managed to get the look of the waffle cone about right!

Oh, these have the usual display stands with logo emblazoned on the base.  Don't need them, don't use them.

Outfit - Shaun **; Ed *1/2
I thought the sculpts were going to be my big let down - they weren't. Unfortunately, the outfits stepped in to take their place.

Of course, part of this issue is the Sideshow body, and how poorly single layers of clothes look draped over it. Still, some of the outfit issues have nothing to do with the attractiveness (or lack there of) of the underlying body.

Like Shaun's shirt. The collar is too large, and the pockets are MUCH too large. They'd be too big on a pair of pants, let alone the front of a shirt. They are so wide, they go almost all the way from armpit to center seam, and they are so tall they take up the entire visible lower half of the shirt.

I did get a better look when I untucked the shirt on one side, and poofed out the shirt all around the belt.  I couldn't get a completely realistic appearance (the shirt is held in place with one of those crotch elastic bands), but it was an improvement.

Combine the weak shirt with the huge, goofy tie and poorly tailored pants, and you have a very dorky looking figure. You can shift the pants down further on the body, making them a little less high waisted, but then they'll be too long of course, bunching up around the ankles. The belt is fine, the watch acceptable (though lacking in detail), and the shoes are great. Yep, the loafer sculpt is easily the highlight of Shaun's outfit, even if his feet are a bit on the large side.

I also want to mention the name tag, and the one place where there's some blood on these figures. The name tag is nicely done, with readable text even on close inspection. The plastic cover mirrors reality quite well. It's glued to the shirt though, so you'll have to do some tearing to get it free for the shirt swap out I know you're going to do.

The one dab of blood is on the bottom right (your left looking at him) edge of one of his pockets, and that's not even blood, that's his broken red pen. This is right out of the film, and a nice touch. But it won't be tough for you to do the same to the new shirt I now you're going to swap in.

Shaun also has socks, but you won't notice them since you'll have the pants all bunched up around the feet trying to get that waist to look right.

As bad as Shaun's outfit is, I think Ed's is worse. Why? Because not only does it have some general issues, it's also less screen accurate.

The t-shirt from the film has somehow turned into a turtle neck here. I only took one shot of him with the neck out (with all the accessories), and then I folded it down inside his shirt. It still doesn't look right, but at least he has a neck now.

The color of the shirt is also way off, and I'm color blind. Hell, you could be Stevie Wonder and realize that the letter on the classic "I Got Wood" logo is far too dark as well, although at least the trees look the right shade.

The pants are decent, and you can adjust them a bit to get them to where you want them. He's wearing these white, high socks, which look completely out of place. In fact, I don't remember him wearing socks at all, but if he was, they had to be the very short ankle length style.

The watch is more detailed than Shaun's but not screen accurate (he was even wearing a digital, and this one is the wrong color AND analog), and while that might seem minor, it's the kind of detail people expect when spending $60 on a figure.

The shoe sculpt is extremely nice, but not particularly accurate either. He had on Nike's, and these are a tad more generic, even lacking the trademark symbol. Then again, it's probably because of that symbol that Sideshow had to do them in a more generic fashion, and I can cut them some slack here.

But when you get to the fat suit, there is no slack to be cut. Instead of having a beer belly, he has a beer chest. And upper back. The padding has been done in reverse of the way it should - it is thickest up at the top of the fat suit, and then tapers off as it goes down his belly. It should have been fattest at the belly section of the suit, tapering up to the top at his chest. And what's up with the hunk of fat at the back of his neck? Maybe this was supposed to make his whole back look bigger by pushing out the shirt, but instead the shirt naturally follows the body contour inward, giving him a hunchback.  Ugh.

Fun Factor - ***
While they might not be perfect representations of the characters, they are actually pretty good toys. Oh, too expensive for anyone to actually play with, but it's nice to know that nothing is going to break when you're handling it, and you could actually battle a zombie or two without damaging them.

Value - **
At $60, these are relatively expensive. They have the accessories to back it up, and I'd even say they have the sculpts to back it up. But the outfits and old body are something you'd find on a $20 Zizzle figure, and that's not acceptable at this price point.

Things to Watch Out For - 
There aren't too many issues here that you can watch out for in advance, but I did have the ribbon come loose around my bouquet of flowers.  A dab of glue fixed that right up.

Overall - Shaun **1/2; Ed **
There are a couple good looking figures lurking under the surface here, but you're only going to see their true potential if you sink some more money and time into them. Swap these heads out on to TrueType or similar bodies, re-do Ed's padding on his fat suit, get some new pants and a shirt for Shaun, and clean up a few minor issues like Ed's socks or Shaun's flowers, and you'll have a much better pair of figures. By that time they'll have cost you closer to a $100 a piece though.

Ed was almost saved the lower score by his accessories, but in the end they just weren't enough to convince me to raise him another half star to meet Shaun.

The killer here is really the outfits and the old body. Thankfully, we shouldn't be seeing this old body a whole lot more, and once it's gone I think there will be a lot of happy collectors. Let's hope Sideshow makes it easy for us to swap the old heads and hands on to the new bodies to upgrade many of their past figures ourselves.

However, there's not much excuse for the shoddy costuming. With the quality of the releases that Sideshow has produced this year, it's unfortunate to see one slip in this far below their usual standard.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Shaun regular ***; Shaun exclusive and both Ed's ***1/2
Outfit - Shaun **; Ed *1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - Shaun **1/2; Ed **

Where to Buy -
All four - the regular Shaun, the exclusive Shaun, the the regular Ed and the the exclusive Ed - are on wait list with Sideshow. Because of the very low production runs, I don't expect that we'll see the figures last very long anywhere:

- Dark Shadow Collectibles has the regular versions for $54 each.

- if you're in the UK, Forbidden Planet has them for 33 GBP.Related Links -
Other Shaun figures I've covered include the 7" NECA figure and their Winchester two pack.

- or search ebay with MyAuctionLinks.

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Sideshow Collectibles Shaun of the Dead Shaun action figure

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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