Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toy Fair 2011 : The Zombie Toypocalypse

Shamblers..Roamers..Sleepers..Crawlers..Twitchers These are all derogatory terms for the noble race called Undead Americans. In an effort to change the negative stigma a few bitey Zeds have cast on their brethren, the toy industry has joined forces to present lines of toys and action figures depicting these decaying unfortunates with honor and dignity. THIS is the year of the ZOMBIE TOY! (which is way different than that other year when NECA and Mezco had lines of zombie action figures. Totally different.)

(click the links for stacks of pics on our Flickr!)

McFarlane Toys have been the home for HALO action figures for some time now, but many of us remember then as the creators of Movie Maniacs, a line of 7 inch action figures celebrating the iconic, kill happy folks of film. Now the house that Todd built gets back to its bloody roots with The Walking Dead action figure lines based on both the original Image comic by Robert Kirkman and the AMC TV show. All figures are based on a 5 inch scale. Series 1 is a comic line with 2 humans and 2 zombies.. Rick Grimes, Michonne, Zombie Lurker and Zombie Roamer. The Human characters will have multiple points of articulation and multiple accessories. The Zombies will be less articulated but each will have a gorey play action feature. The Lurker will have removable intestines and popping off his upper torso makes him a Zombie Crawler! He's also got removable parts at the forearms, top of his head at the jaw line and such. The Zombie Roamer has a split open head (when you hit a lever on his back) sending blood and brains spewing out the top of his neck!! Series 2 is straight from the AMC TV show with another 2 humans and 2 zombies...Rick Grimes (sans hat and jacket with likeness of the actor, natch'), Daryl Dixon, Zombie Biter (the one eating the dear as played by FX Master Greg Nicotero ) and Zombie Walker (the one who I keep insisting looks like Zombie Brad Dourif/ the one that comes out of the bus when Rick gets into the city.) Series one hits this September with series 2 following in November. When asked about future waves and multi packs, McFarlane reps smiled, as they know full well that zombies sell, but they need to test the waters with retailers on the 4 figure lineups to kick things off. Strong sales will justify releasing hordes of undead plastic upon an eager public.

Over to NECA whom I'm 80% positive were equally eager to unleash undead plastics, but have settled for Mini Busts instead! Three busts kick off the line with the crawling half-a-female zombie from the pilot episode, the Dourif bus zombie and the deer eating zombie. Full size busts and masks are a possibility in the future.

NOTE: Dread Central is now reporting the TV show will return this July. YAY TV Zombies!

Proving you don't need to have a major TV or movie license to sell awesome zombies, we present to you, EMCE Toys!! The masters of MEGO-esque figures bring a little rot to their lineups with an 8 inch line called War of the Dead, based on the FearWerx online live action series. The line of four include a “Commando” with ultra-detailed SWAT uniform and weapons, a “Cadaver Disposal Technician” with HAZMAT suit, gas mask and complex acid spraying apparatus, a female “Researcher Zombie” with rooted hair, decayed face and a terrible scalp wound, and a “Construction Worker” with weathered and gory clothing, construction boots, safety vest and toolbelt. Not happy with EMCE's own decaying village people? Then we suggest you make your own damn corpse with EMCE's "Make your own Zombie" kit! The pack includes three Mego base bodies, five heads in varying states of decay, plus interchangeable arms, legs, hands and feet, as well as two sets of clothing and a DVD with painting and assembly techniques. For those looking for something a bit more classic and iconic, EMCE complete their Night of the Living Dead series with Barbra (as in "they're coming to get youuuu..") and Zombie Karen (the little girl in the basement). Karen will also make an appearance as a bobble head for Drastic Plastic. All items should be available this fall.

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!! EMCE noted there was one glaring omission from our childhood mini figures of army men, cowboys and indians. ZOMBIES!! To rectify the situation, here comes a “Zombies Vs. Zombie Hunters” amy men set and glow-in-the-dark “Zombie Containment Units” (a toxic waste drum with 1 of 5 glow in the dark zombies in GID slime). On the other end of the spectrum, if you'd like to raise your children properly or just feel as if you are properly trained for the zombie apocalypse yourself, EMCE offers a small array of “Zombie Hunter” toy gun sets. Hit up Fourth Castle Micromedia for further info.

We round out our zombiepalooza with the company that does creepy cool like no other. MEZCO! Among the Living Dead Dolls and iconic screen baddies like Jason and Freddy were a small group of adorable rotting plush you won't be able to say no to. Zombie Creepy Cuddlers attack this September. You'll notice some areas where the plushy doll flesh has been stripped away, revealing corduroy to simulate musculature beneath! It's also worth noting that series 22 of the uber popular Living Dead Dolls seems to have a zombie theme with a tag line stating "When there's no more room in hell, dolls will walk the earth" below teaser art of little glowy eyed doll silhouettes stumbling through a darkened graveyard. Mezco also slipped a character named "Dawn" into their mini figurine line who looks a bit bitey, so keep your eyes peeled for her.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to mention our friends at, whom I covered pre-toy fair at Dread but didn't ahve time to hit up at the big show. The ZOMBIEZOO family of fun loving animals includes Boo the black cat, the natural born leader of the group, and Stich, a pig obsessed with hygiene. Along with their friends, Muck (Monkey), Rob (Rabbit) and Toxic (Snake), original (large) Zombies stand at 12 to 15 inches high, are made of soft fleece and have a lovable “Frankenstein” quality of stitching adorning their bodies and over-sized heads. Zombie minis, replicas of their larger siblings, stand 4-5 inches tall and include a handy clip to attach to backpacks, clothing, etc. All ZOMBIEZOO characters are available online and at specialty retailers. Individual Zombie minis are available without the DVD for $7.00 and as a gift set with all of the minis plus the DVD for $34.99. Large Zombies include the DVD Story book and personality tag, which hang around the neck; suggested retail price is $20.99. The personality tags tell their compelling stories to anyone who is looking for a friend and cuddly character to bring home.

McFarlane Toys Walking Dead Zombie Lurker Dismembered
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