Tuesday, August 28, 2012

REVIEW: SLUG Zombies Series 2 - Grim Trekker

Produced by JAKKS Pacific | Released August 2012

Previous Job: Exploring the Unexplored
Likes: Planes, Brains and Automobiles
Dislikes: Hand Drawn Maps & Booby Traps
Favorite Food: Anything from the Brainforest

SLUG Zombies Series 2 - Grim Trekker
Grim Trekker is the latest SLUG Zombie to fall under the That Figures Review Microscope (if you'll excuse that mixed metaphor), so let's not waste any more time with idle chatter and jump straight to the figure.

Sculpt and Design
Many figures in the SLUG Zombie line-up pay homage to (or are parodies of, depending how you look at it) celebrities, movie icons and other famous types and it doesn't take a genius to figure out who Grim Trekker is modeled on (but for the hard of thinking, here's a hint: ''Montana Smith.'')

The character homage gives JAKKS Pacific a lot of material to work with and I'm pleased to report that they've done the concept justice. As with the other figures, the detail and execution - from a functional perspective - is incredibly accurate but that's not the reason why this sculpt works so well. Rather, it's the conceptual details that are present that really elevate the figure. 

In a very smart move, the designers have eschewed the one element you would expect with this parody (the bullwhip) to instead concentrate on creating detail on this nameless pulp-hero explorer/adventurer-turned-zombie and, as a result, you get a real sense of a back-story for the character's time before he was turned into one of the walking dead. I like that a lot.

The execution of the sculpt is superb. Grim Trekker has that same hyperreal sense of exaggerated proportions, with long, twisted limbs and huge, gripping hands but what's particularly cool is just how emaciated he looks. This is an incredibly skinny, corpse-like figure and whilst normally I'm a fan of chunkier, more solid characters, the skinny look actually works to the figure's advantage and when combined with the awkward bend of his arms, loose-looking pants and turned-in toes, there's no mistaking the fact that this guy is a zombie.

Add to this the character details - such as his banded hat, side-slung satchel, torn attire, sunken cheeks, incredibly detailed belt and the very cool torch (complete with flame) - and the result is a fun, detailed and generally rather awesome-looking figure.

Final Thoughts
If you're a fan of the source material then you'll really dig this homage. There's really nothing I can criticize about the sculpt and pose, both of which work well together to create a zombified version of everybody's favorite archaeologist. The detail is both well thought out and executed, with a level of precision that continues to prove just how well produced these figures are.

A fun parody with neat sculpting and a great look.

Final Score: A-

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