Wednesday, September 19, 2012

REVIEW: SLUG Zombies Series 1 - Officer RIP

Produced by JAKKS Pacific | Released March 2012

Previous Job: New Jersey Police Dept.
Likes: Guts & Ammo
Dislikes: Donuts - They're overrated!
Favorite Food: Boobery Pancakes with Scrambled Legs

SLUG Zombies Series 1...?
Yes, we're taking a brief break from our Reviews of Series 2 (which we'll be completing soon to move onto Series 3) but before we do so, there are a couple of gaps in the Series 1 line-up we wanted to plug. It should be noted before continuing however that the following Review features a figure supplied by JAKKS Pacific for the purpose of Review, at no expense to That Figures.

Officer RIP
Officer RIP is one of the four figures released as a 3-pack exclusive (along with the shared figures Neil Armgone and Brain Eatin' Brandon) in the line-up's first wave of toys.

Sculpt & Design
Officer RIP is, as his name suggests, a police officer-turned-zombie, a concept that gives a lot of scope for the designers to work with, something they've taken full advantage of.

What's really cool about this figure is that - prior to his zombification - Officer RIP had (has?) a real sense of the ''neighborhood cop.'' I'm reminded more of a character from Mayberry or some other anachronistic setting, as if he'd be more likely to be riding in Car 54 than patrolling a modern city. If I can get all analytical for a moment, it's a very cool juxtaposition of the traditional, comfortable concept of the local, friendly cop and the undead horror he's become. I like that idea a lot.

As you'd expect, all his pre-conversion accessories and details are present and correct, from his badge and cap to his tie, pistol and cuffs. But this is where JAKKS Pacific's designers really went to town, taking these existing elements and adding a zombie twist. His uniform is torn, exposing his ribs, his once-friendly face is now a mask of slack-jawed, undead horror and - in a fantastically grisly bit of gallows humor - the handcuff at his belt features... a hand.

What's of particular note is how zombified Officer RIP is. Some figures feature the occasional bite or missing shoe but here the flesh from his exposed left leg and foot has been stripped completely (ditto at the ribs), which adds a real sense of him being a reanimated corpse. It's actually kind of ghoulish and gross, but in the kind of way kids will gleefully lap up.

Officer RIP's pose is pretty neat, with the de rigeur (mortis ha!) claw-like hands and twisted posture. Despite his somewhat ungainly stance, he's surprisingly well-balanced and I experienced no issues getting him to stand, even though one foot is shod and the other is bare.

Final Thoughts
Officer RIP is an example of a strong concept being worked to its maximum potential. Whilst the idea of a zombie cop may not sound that exciting or innovative, the designers have struck the right note by making him less a bad-ass law enforcer and more the local, friendly cop, who's then undergone a transformation into a gruesome, ghoulish nightmare. Which is a great idea.

But what really makes Officer RIP are the details. I love the way his clothes are ripped, the way he's been half-gnawed and the way his leg and ribs are exposed. But the sight-gag of the handcuffs is a stroke of brilliance and adds a really dark bit of humor to the figure, something parents - if they actually see it - will probably find too gory. Which is all the more reason why it's awesome.

Strong concept + fantastic sculpt = great figure.

Final Score: A-

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