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Toxic Toons


Our buddy Drunken Fist stumbles by tonight with a review of a slightly older line that deserves a little more attention - Toxic Toons!  Take it away, DF!

This line is based on the art of Eric Pigors. I must admit that I am far from an expert on his work, although I like it whenever I see it. Mainstream audiences have seen his work, probably without realizing it, in Disney films such as "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast." Heís also done work for bands such as Metallica and the Murderdolls. There are some links at the end of the review for those of you who want to check out more of his work, as Iím sure most of you will after seeing these figures. 






Packaging - ***1/2
The figures are packaged in a large box, with windows on the front, top, and sides. The graphics are very stylized and eye-catching, and very appropriate for the figures themselves. It all meshes perfectly, creating one of the best-looking packages Iíve seen in years. The back of the box lists all of the figures in the line, and has some art featuring each of them, with the tagline "Letís play in the morgue!" The only reason I didnít give this a perfect score is the lack of information on the characters. It would have been nice to have a simple one-line description of each character, if nothing else. Inside the box, the figures are held into the tray with a few twist ties. The package is very collector-friendly, and these figures can easily be reinserted into the box, except for one thing. The stand for Pox the mortician is attached to the back of the inner cardboard tray, so you will have to tear the plastic free if you want to remove it. Other than that, the figures and accessories can be completely removed and then re-inserted into the package later with minimal fuss. 

Sculpting - ****
I really canít find fault with any of these sculpts. They are all quirky, highly stylized, and slightly disturbing, but laced with macabre humor. Pox the mortician is the biggest of the bunch, towering over the others, even Nurse Cery. He clocks in at about ten inches tall. His little hat sits perched atop his skull, while his long beard hangs nearly to his feet. There are little straps and buckles all over, and the texture of his coat is nice and leathery. His hook arms are sculpted to hold his accessories, and they do so surprisingly well. 

Nurse Cery is probably my favorite of the bunch, possibly because of the "Bride of Frankenstein" vibe she gives off. Her hair is just wild, and like Pox, her little nurseís hat is perched right on top of it all. Her eye patch and stitches add some nice details to the head sculpt, and her smirk is just perfect. This head sculpt just has tons of character, no question about it. Her hands are sculpted to hold the jumper cables she comes with, and she has an assortment of medical instruments hanging from her belt. 

The Body Bag Brothers have a very simple sculpt, but it works and I flat-out love it. Itís a pair of corpses in a body bag, with their skulls poking out. Not much explanation necessary, really. 

Corpse Boy has my second favorite head sculpt of the bunch, His brain, eyeballs, nose, and most of his teeth are missing, but we still have a sculpt with plenty of character and charm. This should be revolting, but itís an endearingly cheerful and cute head sculpt all around. Something about the little guyís expression, with his tongue poking playfully out between his remaining teeth, is positively mirthful. The rest of the sculpt remains interesting, with bones poking out of the arm and leg stumps. His ratty shirt is sculpted with plenty of wear and tear, as it should be. Given the design and color scheme of the shirt, he makes me think of an undead version of Calvin from the "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip. Is that wrong? Itís basically a big PVC figure, but itís a great one.

Seedy can best be described as a combination of Slimer and Skeletor. Thatís the first thing I thought when I saw the guy. He has a pudgy little legless body with small, scrawny arms, and a skull for a head. The eyes are taped over with medical tape, and thereís some weird pouch around his head, covering his lower jaw (assuming he has a lower jaw). This is my least favorite sculpt of the bunch, but it still has the same level of quality as the others. I just donít know what the hell itís supposed to be!

Creeps is the little skull-worm hybrid. Like Corpse Boy, he has a cheerful expression that makes this odd little creepball immediately endearing and likeable. Itís amazing how much expressiveness was put into this diminutive sculpt.

Paint - **1/2
Hereís where youíll find the major weak point of these figures. The paint apps are all over the place. This level of paint quality is barely acceptable with a mass-market figure, and the only reason I didnít score these lower is because there are actually several figures in each set. The color choices are very effective, with a red and black motif on every figure. And there are some nice little touches here and there, such as the pupils in Poxís eyes each painted a different color. But all the details are very sloppy indeed. This is particularly noticeable in areas like Ceryís midsection, where the silver from her tools are slopped onto the red of her dress. It seems as if some extra attention was paid to the faces, as they tend to be a bit neater. Still, this is sloppy, disappointing work, especially for limited run collector figures like these.

Articulation - Nurse Cery: **Ĺ, Pox: *1/2, Seedy: Ĺ, the rest: nothiní
This is kind of a tricky category. The articulation on these figures is minimal, but theyíre really not the type of designs that work with super-articulation. Still, what little they have works well with the designs, and the sculpts of the two main figures are designed to work with their accessories. Cery has cuts at the shoulders and biceps (where the gloves end), and a ball-jointed head, which is great. The range of movement is restricted by the hair, but itís a very nice thing to have, all the same. Pox has cuts at the neck, right upper arm, and where each hook forearm connects to the larger upper arm. Seedy has a cut at the left shoulder, while poor Creeps, Corpse Boy, and the Body Bag Brothers are left with nothing.

Action Feature - ***
I was surprised to discover that one of these figures has an action feature. The Body Bag Brothers figure is actually a big squeaky toy! The squeak function works very well, and is quite loud. For some reason, this feature just made me love the BBBs that much more!

Accessories - ***
Each set has a good selection of cool and unique accessories, all of which are appropriate to the characters. Nurse Cery comes with a pair of cables attached to a battery, which has the phrase "DIE SCUM" written boldly across its front. Cery must have skipped out on taking that Hippocratic oath. She also includes a large bottle of poison with a removable cork, and you can really count the Body Bag Brothers as an accessory, as well. Cery and the BBBs each come with a stand that is uniquely made to fit around their feet. Pox includes his medical bag, a large saw, and a hangmanís noose, which is apparently made of entrails. Again, it could be argued that Corpse Boy, Seedy, and Creeps are accessories, as well. Pox and Corpse Boy each have a unique stand. 

Fun Factor - ***
Although these are obviously not intended for childrenĖ the package even recommends these for ages 15 and upĖ theyíre extremely fun figures. The quirky design and highly stylized look of the figures give them a striking appearance on the shelf. The macabre humor behind their designs carries through very well, and theyíre just fun to pose and look at. The Body Bag Brothers squeak toy is great, too. In the end, just because these arenít for kids doesnít mean they canít be fun. 

Value - ***1/2
These originally retailed for around $20, but I picked these up on sale online for $9.99 per set. Considering the general excellence of the figures, and all the accessories you get, thatís a damn good bargain. I really feel like I got a great deal with these.

Overall - ***1/2
Iím sorely tempted to give this bunch a perfect score, but those pitifully sloppy paint apps hold them back. Thatís the one major issue with these figures, and itís a shame that Mezco dropped the ball here, when everything else was done to such perfection. Still, these are the coolest figures Iíve gotten in the past few months, and theyíre an instant conversation-starter when somebody sees them. These are currently some of my favorite figures that I own, and I really hope more figures are released for this line in the future. Or more figures based on Pigorsís art, at least. Factor in the current going price for these babies, and you have a fabulous set of figures at a great value. 

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - Nurse Cery: **Ĺ, Pox: *1/2, Seedy: Ĺ, the rest: nothiní
Action Feature - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Related Links - 
Information on this line, as well as a short bio of Pigors, can be found at www.toxictoons.com. But beware, dial-up users, it takes a while to load. For any further information, Google is your friend.

Where to Buy - 
I havenít seen these in any store, but Amazon has them on sale for $9.99 right now. Go scoop Ďem up while you can! EDITOR'S NOTE: I've also seen them on sale recently at some Hot Topic stores.


Figure from the collection of Jason Chiveras.

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