Cult Classics 6 S-mart Ash and Krishna Zombie

Cult Classics series 6 has been dribbling out to brick and mortar retailers for a few weeks now. And by dribbling out, I don't mean a case here a case there, I mean some of the figures in the assortment shipped first, instead of the full assortment.

My local stores had the Lost Boys pair first, Michael and David. Then the S-Mart Ash started hitting. I still haven't seen the Krishna Zombie anywhere, but I had already bought the set from an online dealer, and they got the complete set at once.

NECA is doing the same thing with the Cult Classics Hall of Fame line, where Leatherface and Myers came out separately, and yet I haven't seen any sign of the Shaun of the Dead Ed figure. I'm not sure what the plan is behind this kind of distribution, but if you're only interested in one figure, the wait can be a killer.

But as I said, by ordering online, I received the full set at one time. Tonight I'm covering the very classic S-mart Ash, and the very cool Krishna Zombie from Dawn of the Dead. I'll hit up the two Lost Boys on Tuesday at Quick Stop.

These run around $12 - $14 each, depending on the retailer. If you buy the full set online, you'll get the best price.

Packaging - ***
I'll always be a fan of the clamshells, and these look good and are extremely sturdy. The graphics are decent, and they show of the figures nicely, but I do wish there was some extra text on the interior card. A couple of these figures could really use some instructions, at least as a courtesy. I'm pretty sure I put Ash's cart together properly, but the cross beams can actually go a couple different ways.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Both of these really do look great, but I had enough issues with them to hold them back just slightly from the perfect scores.

Ash looks excellent in person, although under the more extreme eye of the macro lens, you can start to see a few issues in the head sculpt. This is a younger Bruce of course, and the detail work in the hair, clothing and hair is quite impressive. The sculpted pose works pretty well with the accessories, but he's really designed for one pose and one pose only. He stands on his own prett well, and the hand sculpts work well with the rifle.

The Krishna Zombie will be recognized by any fans of the original Dawn of the Dead. Unfortunately, no one else is going to have any idea who this is, and are unlikely to even think it's a zombie. More likely, they'll wonder why you have a weirdly colored Hare Krishna figure on your shelf. The reason for that is because there isn't any dead or rotting flesh to be seen, or even any obvious injury. The feet and legs look a bit zombified, but the rest of the sculpt looks pretty normal. The broken neck look has to be done by way of the articulation, not the sculpt, and I'll talk about how that doesn't work particularly well in the Articulation section.

However, that's not really the fault of the sculptor. This character (other than the neck) wasn't as obvious of a zombie in the film. Of course, a little blood or clothing damage would have gone a long way here, but that's not present.

The sculpting detail is terrific though, from the texturing of the clothing to the tambourine at his side. The face is very realistic, and even the glasses are reasonably well sized. They're still a *smidge* big for the scale, but they're closer than most we've seen with 6" figures.

While Ash stands on his own, the zombie does not. You'll need the included base to keep him upright. The hands are sculpted in zombie gestures, and look pretty good.

Paint - ***
The paint work on the Zombie is solid, although I do wish there was some blood here. He's just too clean to be a mindless brain eater. The small details are very clean though, like the cymbals on the tambourine, or the print on his scarf. The eyes, lips and teeth are extremely well done, and it looks like NECA has solved the more serious issues they were having this last year in this category.

Ash also has very clean work, but has an aesthetic issue that bothers me. The face is well down, including the cuts and the skin tone, and all the small details on the badge and tags is excellent. The metallic like appearance of the glove is improved by the paint, which is what good paint should do.

My personal issue is with the amount of dark wash used on the blue smock. It's very heavy, and while it's designed to bring out the detail, it ends up being much too obvious and unrealistic. If you don't mind it though, you can add another half star to this category.

Articulation - **
These figures aren't designed for posing. There's just enough articulation to get one solid pose, but even there I had a couple issues.

Both have ball jointed necks, and you know I love that. In fact, you can pop off the heads of most CC figures pretty easily. I didn't pop off either of these, so I can guarantee that they'll come off easily, but that's usually the case.

The Ash neck works better than the zombie though, and that's a bit of an issue. This zombie should have his head tilted weirdly to one side - that's how you can tell he's not quite right. Getting the head tilted far enough though is very hard to do, and once you do, I found that the neck joint started to loosen up too much, not making it easy for the head to stay put. It also seems to me that his head was tilted to his left in the movie, but if you do that here, you'll risk breaking or damaging the earring.

Both figures have NECA shoulders, but these look much better than some past attempts. That's because the clothing on both is designed to cover up the shoulder joint a bit, making it look much better.

Both have cut wrist joints, and Ash adds a cut waist and cut elbows. The Krishna Zombie only has cut joints at the top of each leg.

Accessories - Ash ***1/2; Zombie ***;
Both figures come with a nice assortment of goodies, which is always big on my list.

Ash has his lever action rifle, with the lever down as though he's chambering a round. The metal hand is sculpted correctly to hold the lever properly too, but the photo on the package is actually incorrect.

The rifle has the tag attached though, which makes it nearly impossible to put the gun in the holster attached to his body. It's unlikely you'd pose him that way but it would have been nice to have the option.

He also comes with his 'blue light special' cart, complete with the light and wheels that actually turn. To top it all off, there's the S-mart water bottle.

The Zombie doesn't do quite as well, but he has some decent goodies that make sense. There's the small display stand, which you'll need to keep him standing. There's his glasses, which I mentioned before, but which look pretty good in place. They're still a little big, but it's livable.

In the film, he was knocked down to flail around in the boxes in the storage room, and three of those boxes are included here. That's a smart accessory, since it's very scene and character specific. The boxes are well made, from actual box-like paper with clear tape. I like this much better than sculpted boxes, but only because it was so well done.

Fun Factor - **
Eh, these aren't for kids. They aren't going to know who Ash is, and the zombie doesn't look enough like a zombie to interest them. Only fans of the film will enjoy these, and even then, there's not a lot of 'fun' to be had.

Value - **1/2
I'm grading these at Hot Topic prices, since that's how most folks are going to be buying them. Hot Topic of course over charges, and is one of the more expensive brick and mortar specialty market stores. However, even at that price, these are getting an average score. That's because of the additional accessories that NECA is including here, adding quite a bit of value to the figures.

If you get these for closer to twelve bucks, you can add at least another half star here, and maybe even a full star. Considering what you're getting for ten bucks at mass market retailers these days, these would be a great deal at $10, easily ***1/2 stars.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not much.  That earring is easy to damage if you tilt the head all the way, but otherwise it's fairly sturdy.

Overall - Ash ***1/2; Zombie ***
S-Mart Ash is a clear winner, with a solid sculpt, decent paint, and excellent accessories. I would have preferred not as much black wash, but that's my only real issue.

The zombie isn't quite as exciting, largely because he doesn't look a whole lot like a zombie. Had the neck worked a bit better, and there had been some blood some place (screen accurate or not), he would have picked up another half star.

That being said, he's still a nice edition to your growing zombie army. A few years ago, you couldn't kill to get a zombie figure. Now, you're tripping all over them. And I couldn't be happier with the situation!

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

Where to Buy -
While you might eventually be able to find the full set at Hot Topic or Suncoast, I'd suggest going for an online option:

- CornerStoreComics has them for $12 each or the set for $46.

- Amazing Toyz has the singles at $12 each as well, but the set of 4 is $55.

Related Links -
There's been plenty of Cult Classic reviews:

- last was series 5, including Lector and Jigsaw, series 4, series 3 broken into two reviews of McClane and Bubba Ho-tep, and Flyboy and the Endoskeleton in another. Finally, there's also reviews of series 1 and series 2

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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