Today sees another figure from the Imaginext blind-bag Collectible Figure series undergoing the That Figures Review treatment. And seeing as Halloween is just around the corner, we thought it was the second-best time of year to take a look at Series 3's Zombie.
The SECOND-BEST Time of the Year...?
Now I know you're wondering why Halloween isn't the best time of the year for this figure, but let's take a closer look at the zombie. What kind of zombie would wear a flour sack on his head and brandish a weedwhacker? Did John Merrick return from the grave to cut the lawn? Or is there something else going on here?
The answer is the latter.
Allow me to explain: before donning the iconic hockey mask in Friday 13th Part III, Jason hid his misshapen features behind a sackcloth hood. And at one point in that very same movie he uses a weedwhacker to dispatch one of his victims. Now look again at our zombie. With his hood - even sporting a single eye hole - and gardening implement, it's pretty obvious that this is yet another example of Imaginext's designers tipping their hat to an iconic character, namely Jason Voorhees, as seen in the first Friday the 13th sequel. I'm guessing in the next wave we'll probably get a topiary expert in a striped sweater with a clawed glove...
Anyway, with that cleared up, let's whip off the accessories (sorry, I'm a zombie purist!) and take a look at what's under the hood.
The sculpt is relatively simplistic at first glance but upon further inspection you'll start to notice the ''zombie'' elements. From his ripped pant leg to exposed rib cage (which, rather nicely, is painted bone-white rather than simply left putrid flesh green) there's a lot of cool detail to sell the idea of him as an undead creature. It's a shame they couldn't go a little further with the exposed skeleton, though, as it would've been awesome to have a chunk missing out of his flank or some skeletal detail that was a little less-chunky, but it's still a neat touch.
And then there's the face.
For a kid's toy, that's pretty terrifying.
The sunken, dead eyes, missing nose, deep-set cheeks and ragged mouth (accentuated with a great tampo of broken teeth) look great and there's no mistaking this guy for anything but a zombie.
I have to admit though that I'm a little confused by his ''hair'' strands. They look more like floppy dog ears than a hairline, as they don't extend past his ears. Or are they his ears? Are black, furry ears a sign of zombification from an obscure source that the designers are referencing? If you know the answer, please let me know below!
Articulation is the Imaginext standard - twist neck, double-directional shoulder joints, twist wrists and both hips sharing a single joint. It's enough to get some cool zombie poses from him but as ever, a twist waist or separate hip joints would be nice.
The paint app is pretty solid. The facial detailing is clean and the edges between clothing and body give a clean division but it's a shame his tie isn't painted, as it can get lost against his shirt. My guess is the designers imagined he'd be displayed with his hood (which obscures the tie) but for those of us who prefer to go Standard Zombie, its a slight disappointment to see the lack of a paint app here.
And the accessories are pretty cool. It may seem odd at first to have a zombie sporting both a hood and gardening tool but, as I mentioned above, they're the Imaginext homage to Jason's appearance in the second Friday the 13th movie. Personally I prefer the figure without the accessories if he's supposed to be a zombie but I also appreciate the idea of these tributes. Maybe I should just buy two and display one with his accessories as Jason Voorhees and one without as a zombie...
I'm a big fan of horror movies (particularly the zombie genre) and monster toys, so you can see why, when I saw that Imaginext had included a zombie in their line-up, I had to track him down. And on the whole I'm pleased with my purchase.
If you're a fan of the Jason character then you'll really get a kick out of this figure. Sure, it's not 100% movie accurate and it's not Jason in his more famous ''mask and machete'' outfit but if you're a follower of the franchise then you're sure to like this figure and its recreation of the character in his earlier guise.
As I mentioned above, though, I personally prefer the figure as a straight-up zombie. But as such I do have to admit that there's just a little something missing. Maybe it's because the accountant in me is tallying the fact that I've paid for accessories I'm not using or the completist in me thinks it's a sacrilege to display a figure in an incomplete state but when I see the figure stripped of his gear I find myself wishing there was just a little more to it. Maybe a severed limb would have been a nice accessory (although way too gory for a line intended for kids) or perhaps a broken telephone and a pair of headphones (ala Day of the Dead's Bub) would have worked. It just irks me a little - as a zombie fan - that the figure is more Jason and less undead terror, but that's a very personal hurdle for me to overcome and I'm sure the Zombie will be appreciated by other fans of the horror genre.
Overall, a neat figure with some great detail and paint, marred slightly by accessories that make for a great Jason Voorhees but not so much for a great zombie. Maybe I should track down a shark for him to battle instead...