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The Walking Dead mini-busts
Deer Eating Zombies

Walking Dead mini-bust by NECA


I don't know about you, but I'm dying for the second season of The Walking Dead. After a great first season (all six episodes, anyway) and terrific ratings, you'd think all would be sunny in TV land. Sadly, that's not the case, and with rumors of budget cuts and Frank Darabont leaving the show, what should have been a sure thing is a bit more worrisome.

Even with the problems, I'm hopeful that AMC will get it together and give us another great season. There hasn't been much in the way of product announcements yet, although McFarlane is supposed to be doing smaller scale action figures, and Moore is doing busts based on the comic. I don't know about you, but I'd like something a bit more...substantial.

While I was at SDCC last week, I noticed that NECA was producing a series of mini-busts, starting with the Deer Eating Zombie. While the box doesn't say so, this was an SDCC exclusive, with a limited run of 1200. Also announced is the Park Girl Zombie, and the Tank Zombie.

The SDCC version was $50, so I'm assuming that's the price we'll see on the rest of the line. I couldn't find any pre-orders for these on any of my sponsors though, so I can't guarantee it.
Walking Dead mini-bust by NECA
Walking Dead mini-bust by NECA
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Walking Dead mini-bust by NECA
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Walking Dead mini-bust by NECA
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Walking Dead mini-bust by NECA
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Packaging - ***
It's a pretty standard box, and as you'd expect, it's relatively collector friendly. The inner trays are Styrofoam, and not the dense sort, but rather the kind that tends to fall apart and end up all over the carpet.

One of the nice touches is the inclusion of the Certificate of Authenticity, signed by the head of special effects on the show, Greg Nicotero.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpt fulfills zombie rule number 1 - it's really disgusting. The lifelike wounds and decay are quite extensive, but the eyes are bright and malevolent.

The gaping wounds in the forehead almost look like their oozing all over you, while the rotted mouth shows off the different textures of the skin, gums, tongue and even bone around the chin.

These busts run about 7 1/2" tall, but are larger scale than something like the Gentle Giant busts, since they are almost entirely head with only a little bit of body.

I'm not quite convinced that this is exactly what the deer eating zombie looked like - unlike the other two that were on display at SDCC, this one isn't as recognizable. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, since both the girl from the park and the guy from the tank looked pretty much dead on.

My big issue here is that the detail on the bust doesn't wrap around. While I understand that this is a bit more of what a true 'bust' in the classic sense of the art would be, I still wish they'd taken the work on the shirt all the way around.

Paint - ***
The paint work isn't quite as good as the sculpt, at least not on this particular zombie. I thought that both of the other releases had a slightly more realistic appearance to the rotted skin and blood.

For example, the ears are almost a skin tone, while the rest of the face is very gray from decay. It's a very weird contrast that just doesn't work for me. In other areas, there's simply not enough contrast between the various rotted areas, hiding some of the inherent detail in the sculpt.

Still, the eyes are extremely good, and I love the yellow, hungry look. They pupils aren't quite even, but with a zombie that actually works. They've used some nice matte versus gloss finishes to make it appear as though the blood and slime are wet, always a nice touch.

Value - ***1/2
A $50 bust in this scale is pretty rare - one that's an SDCC exclusive, limited to just 1200 busts, is even rarer. This bust was one of the better deals I saw at the Con this year.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***
I hadn't planned on picking these up, but when I saw the set of three together, I knew that when the other two came out I'd be kicking myself for not having the full set. On his own, I wouldn't have picked up this zombie, but combined with the next two (and hopefully quite a few more), he's going to make for a great Walking Dead display. The completist in me just couldn't say no.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
This guy was an SDCC exclusive so ebay is your best bet now. I'm having a little trouble finding any place to pre-order the other two...

Related Links -
Other zombie goodies include:

- the Symbiote Studios cookie jar.

- Amok Time did the Night of the Living Dead zombie in sixth scale.

- Peril Unlimited has done a few, including Betty the cheerleader, and their army builder Ash.

- and don't forget Sideshow's line of The Dead, including the security guard and the priest.

- odd ball sixth scale zombies include the figures from the Dust series.

- for smaller figures, there's the GITD Flesh Eating ZombiesShaun of the Dead 2 pack, the Cult Classics 3 Flyboy Zombie from Night of the Living Dead, Earl, from Mezco's line Attack of the Living Dead, the Marvel Legends monster boxed set that included the zombie from Tales of the Zombie, and the Land of the Dead figures.

Discussion:
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Walking Dead mini-bust by NECA


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

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