Rick Grimes is from Kentucky. He's also a stand-up dad and will not hesitate to chop a zombie's head in twain (all like this intrepid toy blogger), so we expected quite a lot from his action figure avatar. Thankfully, McFarlane Toys gets most of it right in their first series of The Walking Dead action figures based on the Image comic book. Join us as we take a look at the main character as he beats some undead bastards back into the ground!
First off, the figure itself is smaller than we were expecting. These are in the same scale as McFarlane's Halo figures rather than any of their larger Spawn and Movie Maniac lines, which is something to keep in mind when look at a sculpt of this size. Rick's sculpt is based primarily on the art of Tony Moore. While Charlie Adlard has been the artist on the series for quite a while, Moore's original issues featured Rick in his full police uniform and cowboy hat. However, there is an added touch of realism to this sculpt that makes it almost a mash of the two artists styles. We were surprised when seeing this figure in package as the head now seems to vary somewhat from the one we had seen previously at Toy Fair and in general press releases. We're not sure if we like it better or not but we do think it's a good representation of the character. He standing with his hip cocked in a kind of gunfighter pose which we also like, but it seems to achieve this effect his left leg has been made a little longer than his right. It's not a dealbreaker, but does become noticeable if trying to make him stand with his legs together...although we really can't think of a reason why we'd need to. The detailing of his gunbelt, badge and uniform are all there and the sculpt features incredibly tight lines that McFarlane is known for. The bandages on his right hand have also been sculpted on, so no lazy paint app wraps here.
The paintwork on the figure is very, very well done. There is a slight texturing to Rick's coat that has been highlighted by the paint wash to give the look of actual leather. Every bit of this smaller figure has been given an attention to detail that McFarlane Toys manages to accomplish with most of their releases. Our one question is the choice to give Rick brown hair. In the comics, his hair is lighter which helps to differentiate him in the graytone world of the book. We assume this is a way to draw fans of the TV show into the toy aisle before the actual TV series figures are released, but that seems like an odd ploy. Also our one gripe is that Rick's pupils have been painted so he's looking to his left. This looks fairly kick-ass when having him standing on a shelf, but when playing around with the figure, he's forced to spin in left circles in order to find anything to shoot at. Regardless, for a figure this size, we're very pleased with what we've seen from the paint applications.
Articulation and McFarlane Toys are generally two subjects that don't go together. For years, the company has been known for making "plastic statues" more than action figures, but thanks to Halo and their smaller Sports lines, that's all changed. Rick Grimes features a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows. swivel/hinge wrists, swivel waist, hinged hips, ball-joint thighs, hinged knees, and ball-joint ankles. That rivals most other collector lines on the market for sure. also, the hinges used in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists are all ratcheting so there's no worry that he's gonna be dropping his rifles anytime soon. The wrists manage to look a little out of place due to the placement of the hinge. Perhaps recessing them farther into the cuff of his jacket would solve the problem, but as is these are a minor annoyance and are far more noticeable when the figure's not cradling a weapon.
Rick comes packaged with an armament. He comes packaged with four shotguns (one featuring a sweet pistol grip), a trusty hatchet, a pistol (looks to be a .45, but might be a little small), and a big ol' bag to carry it all around in. Actually, that's incorrect. the pistol and hatchet are stowed in holsters on the gunbelt around his waist and they help make the figure look the part of a man out to find his family and kill whatever undead hordes get in his way! The weapons are all constructed from a rigid plastic so there's no worry about them being bent and rubbery straight out of the package. However, don't swallow them! It'll only end in pain!
After seeing the unarticulated two-ups of The Walking Dead figures, we knew they'd look good, but were sad that the articulation wasn't there. Now that we've got what we want, we're willing to live with the few problems that entails now that Rick can be posed doing what he does best: acting crazy and talking to his dead wife on the phone killing zombies! You'll be able to find these figures at online retailers and comic book stores soon and for more info, be sure to check out McFarlane Toys' official website.
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Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your McFarlane Toys and The Walking Dead coverage!