Amok Time Day of the Dead Bub

Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time

I love zombies. I'm in the camp that prefers the slow moving versions (if you weren't an Olympic athlete before you died, dying isn't going to turn you into Jackie Joyner-Kersee), but I can appreciate a dead track star as much as the next guy.

In fact, I love them so much, I had my department do a zombie theme for Halloween this year.  We managed to win the company 'group theme' contest as well, and I've included a shot of myself at my desk at the very end of the review. At least I think the photo is from Halloween - sometimes it's hard to tell. Any resemblance to Bub is completely coincidental.

For those not into zombies, Bub is a character from Romero's third zombie flick, Day of the Dead.  In the film, scientists are working to control and teach zombies, and Bub is their test subject.  He actually ends up showing a lot of progress, eventually even learning to use a gun.

While Amok Time has been producing most of their new horror figures in a 12" scale with real clothing, they went to the smaller 7" format for this figure, much like Cult Classics or Now Playing figures.

This figure retails for around $15, and you can pick it up directly from Amok, or from some of my sponsors listed in the Where to Buy section below.

Packaging - ***
I've always loved clamshells, but they've gotten less popular these days due to costs. Amok went with this style though, and it works well.

It shows off the figure well, and it is easy to store for the MOCers. You'll have to have a sharp instrument to release him from the plastic prison, but you'd want one handy anyway.  He might get out of control.

I do wish there were less twisties though, and you have to be EXTREMELY careful taking him out of the package to avoid damaging the hooks where he is attached to the diorama wall.

Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time

Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time
Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time
Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time
Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time
Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time

Sculpting - ***
The general likeness is pretty good, and you can see what they were going for in this reference still. The zombie skin effect has plenty of detail, and the hair, nose and mouth (the most critical aspect of Bub) are all pretty much on target.

The head shape itself is a bit off, at least to my eye.  This sculpted version seems to have a taller, narrower head, while the actor had a rounder face. It's a minor nit, nonetheless.

A bigger nit for me is his very skinny legs and tiny feet. They appear out of scale to his upper body, even for an emaciated zombie.

The primary arm is sculpted to sit up by his head.  I have him holding the head phones in one shot, but I the real pose is intended to be his final salute to Captain Rhodes.  That's a nice touch, although you'll have to explain it to people unfamiliar to the movie.

Bub is sculpted at almost exactly 7" tall, making him an ideal companion for any of the SOTA or NECA zombie figures released previously.  That's also a critical factor, since most folks looking to buy this figure will already have the Land of the Dead or Cult Classics zombies.

The hands can hold the accessories pretty well, or at least as well as a zombie normally holds things.  He also stands on his own, although he can topple over on those itty bitty feet with the slightest touch.  Fortunately, the base includes a peg to help stabilize him.

The chain that attaches to the back wall of the diorama is real metal, and permanently attached to Bub.  It threads through a rubber loop at he back of his collar. Be careful rubbing that metal against the softer rubber too much - it's likely to wear through.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are generally well done, with a nice dirty wash over his clothes and an excellent ashen pallor to his skin. The teeth are a little sloppy, but they have that yellow cast to them, and there's enough color (muted as it might be) to give him some visual pop.

The eyes are bright blue, but one has a bit of a sleepy eye thing going on. I don't think that was intentional, as I don't remember Bub having any weird eyes in the movie.

There's also a bit of unintentional slop at the hair line, teeth and nails. It's not a major problem on a figure with plenty of intentional slop, but holds the figure back from higher marks.

The metal chain has also been painted to give it a rusty, dark look, rather than the bright silver it was originally.  That's a nice effect, but the rubber loop on his collar barely allows the chain to slide through, and tends to rub off the paint quite freely when it does. Right out of the clamshell it looks great, but it's going to end up bright silver in places pretty quickly.

Articulation - **1/2
While this guy isn't super articulated, it turns out it's much better than is obvious in the package.

The neck is a cut joint, which was a bit of a disappointment. Zombies and tilted heads seem to go hand in hand.

The shoulders are ball jointed however, and the joints are well hidden yet have a pretty good range of movement.  The only other arm articulation is cut wrists.

There's also a cut waist AND ab crunch chest. He can tilt forward quite a ways, but can't go backward beyond straight up.

There is no articulation in the legs, so you best like the sculpted stiff legged pose.

Accessories - ***1/2
Bub's best feature is his accessories, of which there are plenty.

The wall/floor diorama pops together easy enough, and look terrific.  His chain is permanently attached to the wall (unless you pop it loose like I did) on his left side, but there is a clip on the end of the chain that can be removed from the wall on his right side. In other words, the chain is permanently attached to the wall on Bub's left, but can be unclipped from the wall on his right. However, the clip is too large to thread easily through the rubber loop on his collar, so technically he's not supposed to come free from the backdrop, or at least I don't think so.  I did pop the round hook free accidentally on Bub's left side, but I'm not sure it's supposed to do that. Proceed at your own peril.

There's one foot peg on the base for his right foot, although you don't really need it to keep him standing.

He also has his tape recorder with attached head phones.  This was part of his 'training' in the film. The sculpt and paint isn't super detailed, but you'll know what they are.

Likewise, the tiny razor might be tough to pick out at first, but once you know what it is, you'll recognize it.  He can't really hold it particularly well, but that's not much of a surprise.

There is a second right arm, primarily intended for the gun. The included gun is an excellent sculpt, with nice detail and scale. He can hold it fairly well, in that sort of sloppy "I'm a dead guy" sort of way.

Finally, there's his bucket of chow.  The sculpt is fairly nice if a bit lacking in fine detail, but my biggest complaint is that the handle is part of the overall sculpt, not a separate piece.

Fun Factor - **1/2
If you're raising Pugsley Addams, he's going to love this guy. Personally, I've always thought zombies were some of the coolest monsters out there, and the concept of Bub, a controlled, trained zombie, is a fascinating one. He's not exactly articulated, but there's enough for kids to pair him up against their good guys in this scale.

Value - ***
Fifteen bucks isn't cheap for an action figure, but it does seem to be the going rate these days for not only specialty market stuff, but some mass market stuff as well.

However, I'm bumping this figure up a half star over an average **1/2 star score, because of all the accessories.  While many figures are in this price range, very few of them come with this many extras, particularly the well done diorama base. For a small company, Amok has managed to produce a good looking licensed figure at a market appropriate price.

Things To Watch Out For
As I mentioned a couple times, it's very easy to pop the loop of plastic free from the backdrop where the chain attaches to the wall.  I don't think you're supposed to do this, so take extra care removing him from the package.

Also, the chain runs through a rubber loop on the back of his collar, and regularly moving this back and forth through the loop is likely to tear it.

Overall - ***
Bub has a few issues, which is not surprising since Amok Time hasn't had a lot of experience in this area. The pluses - the great diorama base, nice additional accessories, scene specific touches, and paying attention to the scale so the figure fits in with other zombies - greatly outweigh these growing pains.

I don't know that Bub would be the only zombie I'd put on my shelf, but if you're like me, and have been amassing a collection of 7" scale zombies from various lines, Bub is going to fit in extremely well with the horde.

As a side note, Amok Time has already announced another zombie in this scale for early 2009 - Dr. Tongue! He's also from the Day of the Dead, and looks like he'll make a great addition.

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

Where to Buy -
There are several options with my sponsors:

- Time and Space Toys has him at $15 right now.

- CornerStoreComics has him as well as most of the rest of the Amok Time releases.

- you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
There's been a number of zombies in this 6" - 7" scale:

- there's the Cult Classics Hare Krishna zombie, the plaid shirt zombie and Shaun from Shaun of the Dead, the Flyboy zombie, as well as the Shaun/Ed two pack.

- Mezco did the Attack of the Living Dead figures.

- and don't forget the Land of the Dead figures from SOTA.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  Converting to a five star system for comparison is: 3.75

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Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time
Day of the Dead Bub action figure by Amok Time

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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