Corpse Bride series 2
The Bride 2, Albert, and Mayhew

While the Corpse Bride is unlikely to ever become the cult favorite that Nightmare Before Christmas has become, it's still a decent tale with some truly wonderful character designs. It's these designs that call to collectors, convincing them to pick up the action figures, statues and mini-busts.

Mcfarlane has a second series in their action figure line on the way to stores now. I reviewed three of the figures from this series a couple weeks ago (Victor 2, Mrs. Plum and Mr. Bonejangles), and tonight I'm covering the other three. This includes the Corspe Bride 2, Mayhew, and Albert.

These haven't quite shown up at stores yet, but I'm betting it will be any day at this point. You can expect to pay around $10 - $12 depending on the retailer, and as you might suspect, I have some suggestions of sponsors that carry these at the end of the review.

Packaging - ***
No changes to the package since the review of the first half of this wave, which is obvious of course. But why not state the obvious? I'm Captain Obvious!

The insert is the usual thin paper, but has attractive graphics. It also has plenty of ads inside for other Mcfarlane brands.

Sculpting - ****
These are Mcfarlane Toys - do you expect anything less from the sculpts than perfection? I know I don't, and they didn't let me down with this series.

All three characters look terrific. While we've already gotten two Bride figures before, this new, more dynamic version can look like she's running, dancing, or just standing if you pose her right. And Mayhew and Albert appear just like the figures from the movie. Of course, it helps that they are making figures OF figures, so there's far less translation required, but that doesn't lessen the bang up job they did.

The articulation is limited with all three figures as well, but they did a nice job of meshing the sculpt with the joints that are here, to give the broadest range of realistic poses possible. Both Albert and the Bride have quite a wide range of possibilities, and even with the dumpy Mayhew, the articulation and sculpt work as best together as can be expected.

The scale is great, both internally and with other figures in the line. And plenty of small detail work was included, particularly in the clothing. Overall, it's a great example of the type of work Mcfarlane Toys is capable of.

Paint - ****
Paint ops tend to be more of an issue these days for them. There seems to be a lot of hit and miss work getting out, and when I mentioned it on the Simpsons sets, I heard from folks that had no trouble at all. When I mentioned the great work on the paint for the Hanna-Barbera stuff, I heard from plenty of people that had all kinds of issues. This shows a lack of consistency in the quality coming out of the factory, and is an issue they'll need to address.

My set of series 2 look terrific, even better than the first series if that's possible. The subtle shading and coloring of the characters is great, and looks just like the muted lifeless colors in the film, particularly in the 'real world'.

There's zero slop, bleed or over spray on any of these figures, and there's plenty of small detail and complex work. Again, the most impressive work is in the shading on things like the Bride's dress or Mayhew's jacket, where colors blend smoothly and cleanly.

Now, that doesn't mean that every batch will look this good. If they're having consistency issues, it's a good idea for you to pay extra attention to the ones you're pulling off the peg.

Articulation - Bride  ***; Albert **1/2; Mayhew **
The designs on these figures make uber-articulation impossible, but McToys has done a nice job putting in as much articulation as they can, given the constraints.

The Bride is similar to past versions.  She has that all important ball jointed neck, but the hair and veil restrict it a bit.  She also has ball jointed shoulders,  which work great, pin elbows, a cut right bicep, and cut wrists. This arm articulation gives her most of her general poseability.

There's also a cut joint on the flesh covered left leg, and what appears to be a ball joint on the bony right hip. Since the leg can only move forward and backward under the dress, it's a moot point.  And for you pervs out there, yes, she's nekkid under the skirt.  And yes, that's as truly disturbing as it sounds.

Finally, she has a cut waist.  This comes in very handy, since you can pose her forward toward the slit front of the dress, in a running pose, or to the side in what appears to be a more normal standing pose.  Since the legs are largely hidden, you won't easily notice that she's not pointed in the 'right' direction.

Then there's Albert, also sporting a cool ball jointed neck.  His has a ton of range, but be careful if it's painted stuck.  His jaw is also jointed, and the mouth can open quite wide if you tilt the head back as well.

His shoulders and elbows are only cut joints, with cut wrists.  He doesn't have any leg joints, but MIGHT have a waist cut.  Mine doesn't want to turn too far though, and I'm not going to push it.

Mayhew has the least articulation, which isn't too surprising when you consider the character's design.  He has a cut neck, cut biceps, cut wrists, cut waist, and cuts at the top of the legs where they enter the bulbous body.  He can take a few arm poses, and that's about it.

Accessories - **
After some really amazing accessories in series 1, especially for Victor, the almost complete lack in the second series is a big let down.

Mayhew comes with nothing but the cobblestone base. It's a good thing he has it, since those little tiny feet are never going to support that huge upper body.

Albert has his base as well. Unlike Mayhew, he stands fine without it. The pipe is not an accessory, but permanently attached to the hand.

The Bride has the additional length of train that can be added to her dress, just like the first time around. However, I couldn't get it to attach correctly this time, as the shape of the dress and the shape of the edge of the extra piece aren't quite the same.  On top of it, when it's attached, it tends to lean her backwards too far.  She looks much better leaning forward on the dress front in the running pose.

As I said, this was clearly the one area where this series let me down.

EDIT - thanks to an observant reader who pointed out that perhaps the base with Albert is the same as Wellington's, and the base with Mayhew is the same as with Victoria.  I think he's right, although my first series is currently boxed up and I can't do an exact match comparison.

Fun Factor - **1/2
While the film could easily be watched by kids in the pre-teen category, these aren't really 'toys'. The joints are pretty easy to break, and besides, there's not a whole lot of conflict play that's possible. Still, if you have kids who are big fans of the movie and like to collect cool stuff, they'll enjoy them quite a bit.

Value - **1/2
You should be able to pick these up at a price around $10 each, which is a good price. It's not great, because we've lost some of the cool extras here that we saw with the first series, but it's still solid.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not much. Take some care if your joints are painted tight, since they are pretty easy to damage.

Overall - * **1/2
If you're purely looking for sculpts and paint, these will be a very nice addition to the collection. They really do capture the screen appearance well, and while the articulation is a bit limited by the basic designs, there's still plenty of poses that are possible.

The lack of accessories pulls them down from the possibility of four stars for me. Mayhew and Albert both look terrific, but are certainly B list characters, and I'm surprised we're getting them before characters like Victoria's parents, the Pastor, or even Barkis.

If I could only get one Bride though, this would be the one. I like the slightly more dynamic look to her pose and sculpt, and while she's intended to be running away, you can pose her torso in such a way as to make it appear as though she's merely standing in place. Again, the lack of accessories is the only real disappointment.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - Bride ***; Albert **1/2; Mayhew **
Accessories - **
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy - 
Sponsor choices:

- Killer Toys has the full set of six for $65.

- Clark Toys has the set of six for $60, or the singles for $11.

- Amazing Toyz has the full set for $65, or the singles for around $12 each.

- CornerStoreComics has the set at $70, with the singles around $12 each.

Related Links - 
Corpse Bride action figures include:

- earlier I reviewed the first three figures in this wave - Victor 2, Mrs. Plum and Bonejangles.

- there's series 1 of the action figures, along with the DVD boxed set.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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