Wednesday, August 22, 2012

REVIEW: SLUG Zombies Series 2 - Macho Mangler

Produced by JAKKS Pacific | Released August 2012

Previous Job: Boxer, Wrestler & Ultimate Tough Guy
Likes: Collecting Stamps
Dislikes: Small Dogs
Favorite Food: Cauliflower Ears

SLUG Zombies Series 2 - Macho Mangler
And we're back with another SLUG Zombies Series 2 Review, where this time around we're taking an up-close look at the pro-wrestler-turned-undead-horror, Macho Mangler.

Sculpt and Design
Macho Mangler is an amalgam of the over-the-top, shouty, larger-than-life characters from the world of pro wrestling. Or he's Hulk Hogan, depending how you look at it.

The character design is pretty simple but what's here works well and has some very clean detailing. The sculpting accuracy in these tiny figures truly has to be seen in person to be appreciated and it continues to impress. He's shirtless (with some very well-defined muscle detail, bite marks and even a jutting fracture), but his pants (which include folds and creases), boots (with laces and oh-so-80s frills) and wrist bands are all present to give him just enough detail to not only give him a fairly solid identity as a pro wrestler but also add some much needed intricacy.

The head sculpt is particularly cool. His facial expression is suitably zombified and his handlebar mustache is a surprisingly subtle piece of sculpting, given that it's pretty much the dominant feature. His bandana also includes a cool knot at the nape of his neck and his long none-more-80s hair covers his back - which also features a prominent spine and exposed ribs. Very cool.

Final Thoughts
Whilst there's nothing wrong with the technical execution of Macho Mangler, I have to admit that he's not one of my favorite figures from this wave. Don't get me wrong: he's still a lot of fun and the intricacy of the sculpt is great but he strikes me as being one of those ideas that sounded great in the concept meeting but when it came to the actual design, there wasn't actually much they could actually do with the character.

Where the designers have been able to inject some additional detail it works well. I love the little frills on his boots (very Ultimate Warrior!) and the mustache looks great but at the end of the day, there's only so much you can do with a guy clad in a pair of tights. 

That totally came out wrong.

It's cool to see a wrestler in the line-up, though, as it's a nice little nod to the MUSCLE Men/Kinnikuman Keshi figures, which paved the way for the SLUG Zombie toys and for all my grumbles about Macho Mangler, I am looking forward to the Series 3 Andre the Giant homage, The Towering Terror.

In summary, an OK concept saved by great sculpting.

Final Score: B

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