Thursday, February 28, 2013

REVIEW: SLUG Zombies Series 2 - Flesh Eatin' Phil

Produced by JAKKS Pacific | Released 2012

SLUG Zombies Series 2
As we continue our round-up of the last figures from Series 2 you may be thinking we're simply mopping-up the leftovers or that the figures we haven't covered yet are some of the weaker or less-impressive sculpts. But in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Still not convinced? Then check out Flesh Eatin' Phil.

Flesh Eatin' Phil was provided to us, gratis, by JAKKS Pacific for the purpose of this Review.

Flesh Eatin' Phil
Flesh Eatin' Phil was released as part of a three-figure pack, alongside the Macho Mangler and fellow pack-exclusive figure, Buck Wilde, making the three-pack in question a pretty good score. Not only do you get two exclusive figures (and so only one duplicate if you're already in possession of the 12-figure pack) but they're also all pretty unique figures.
I'm not sure if it's an in-house rule or just something the designers at JAKKS Pacific throw in for fun but it seems every wave of SLUG Zombies features at least one ''boxed'' zombie, one that - rather than standing (or suffling) - is in some way emerging from a box or other such container. Not sure what I mean? Then check out Cleopatra Comin'Atcha and Jon B. Gone. And now, of course, there's Flesh Eatin' Phil.
The concept is really very cool and works as a superb companion piece to Series 1's mail carrier, Piece Mail Pete. Who infected who is open to debate but the two sharing a mail theme works neatly and certainly suggests a connection to me.
Although we don't see much of Phil himself, the sculpt work is pretty good, although there's not a huge amount to suggest he's a zombie any more than simply a mad man in a box (no, not him. You're thinking of  a Mad Man WITH a Box.) Where the sculpt compensates though is with the excellent detail work on the mail box itself. The ajar front door, rivet work and even USPS logo on the back are all really cool touches that do a great job selling the figure's concept.
And yes, you could argue that a guy stuck in a mail box isn't that menacing but have you ever seen The Walking Dead? It's always the Lurkers that you have to watch out for...!

Final Thoughts
Flesh Eatin' Phil is a great example of what happens when the designers at JAKKS Pacific really go for it and think outside the box (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of that metaphor.) Although Phil himself has a pretty average sculpt (although for a line of this quality ''pretty average'' is praise when compared to a most other figures of this scale) the superb execution of a great concept - namely the ''emerging from a mail box'' idea - really make Flesh Eatin' Phil something special.

Not only is there a superb, chunky feel to the figure (thanks to the mail box, which also means it stands unaided with ease) but the concept is such a strong one that as a stand-alone piece he works well. But combine him with your other SLUG Zombies (especially mail worker Piece Mail Pete) and he becomes even cooler. It's a shame we haven't seen more ''zombie diorama'' pieces, as if they were all as cool as Phil it would be an awesome way to expand the line's scope. 

Add to that the fact that Flesh Eatin' Phil is part of a 3-figure pack that contains a second exclusive figure in the form of Zombie Hunter Buck Wilde and a pretty decent representation of a pro-wrestling icon and it's a win-win. Erm... -win.

Another great, fun SLUG Zombie that shows the line is as much about great concepts as it is awesome sculpt work.

Final Score: A-

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