Zombies have enjoyed unbridled popularity for the last few years, thanks most recently to The Walking Dead comic and TV series. Everyone loves this juggernaut of media, and merchandising is rampant. In my zombie display, you won’t see any TWD figures. Instead, you’ll find an eclectic mix of undead cuties guaranteed to make you smile. In this picture, you see a Marvel Legends Simon Garth, Goon Zombie, Accoutrements zombie finger puppets, LEGO zombies, S.L.U.G. Zombies painted by Charles “MonsterForge” Marsh, UltraForce Ghoul, wind-up zombies from a board game, a Mezco zombie, a knock-off Hummel that we painted to look like a zombie, a Tales from the Crypt zombie, a custom zombie Wonder Woman, GI Joe Toxo Zombie, Mighty Max zombie playset, and Character Building blind-packed zombies. Let’s look at a few of these pieces.
- ToyBiz Marvel Legends Simon Garth Zombie figure: This guy is incredible. He came in a set with other Marvel Monsters: Werewolf by Night, the Frankenstein Monster, and Dracula. This is a cool set, but by far the best pieces are Frankie and ol’ Simon Garth here. Like other Marvel Legends, he’s articulated well and has a lot of icky detail. To me, he’s a consummate zombie toy. Sure, the Walking Dead McFarlane figures are hyper-detailed, but this guy has personality. Plus, he’s standing on his own face. That takes moxie, kid. If you ever run across this set, or even this fella loose, I highly recommend picking him up. He represents the best era of Marvel horror, and he’s part of one of the last sets ToyBiz put out before handing Marvel Legends over to Hasbro.
- Mezco Toys The Goon Zombie (build-a-figure): I love Eric Powell’s The Goon comic. It’s funny, it’s vulgar, it’s violent, and sometimes it breaks your heart. (Yeah, Powell’s deep like that.) And Powell’s art is beautiful. Several years ago, Mezco made toys based on the popular comic, and this zombie was the build-a-figure. He’s also the only one that survived the last few purges, and rightly so. He embodies everything I love about the Goon. He’s weird looking, but kinda cute and colorful, and he has accessories, like an ax that goes in his skull, and a knife/eyeball that pops out of his head. He doesn’t have much in the way of articulation–you can kinda turn his left arm around and his head turns, but really, it’s not about poseability with this guy. It’s more about looking at the sculpting achievements and yanking the knife out of his eye to creep out the kiddies or the random grandma that happens through your office. Fun, right?
- Accoutrements Zombie Finger Puppets: I love stupid, random toys, and Accoutrements is always happy to oblige. I bought one of these in one of those educational, everything is ridiculously expensive but also rad toy stores. It was about the only thing we could afford, and I was like a little kid when I got it out to the car. (I also bought finger tentacles because, hey, that’s a thing people need in their lives, right?) Once I got him home and realized he was part of a set, I ordered all of them. I also put them on this glass hand because it’s not practical for me to walk around with these suckers on my hands all the time. So they’re simple, but they have details like entrails, popped out eyes, bony hands, and one’s even holding a brain! Do you know what the best part is? They glow in the dark! Yes, these undead finger puppets are not only cute and cuddly, but they alert you to their presence in a darkened room by glowing. I’m guessing these are Romero zombies, and it’s the toxic waste what turned ’em. I think everyone should own a set of these guys for Halloween fun all year round.
- Character Building Micro Figures Series 1 Zombie: I’m a sucker for blind packed mini-figures. Many a trip to the Target or Toys ‘R’ Us is slowed by my dear husband fondling packages or my looking up codes to find out which ones hold the objects of my desire. You may be familiar with Character Building for their Doctor Who blind packed mini-figures and playsets, but they do a lot more. This particular zombie is from a series that included a knight, an astronaut, and a construction worker, among other things. Clearly the zombie is the star of this series. Look at him! He’s kicking it casual style in jeans and sneakers, and he’s ever so happy to be a zombie. But wouldn’t you be, too, if you were this cute? As much as I love my LEGO zombie, I think this guy gives him a run for his money. One reason is that you can totally pose him “Thriller” dance style. I have so many because I had one, and then Mr. Geeky V found a bunch of them at Walgreens on clearance. And you’re not going to not buy as many zombies as you can, especially at slashed prices, right? Character Building has recently come out with Monsters vs. Zombies blind packs, and they are fantastic. If you ever run across them, and you have an extra Fly or skeleton or Frankenstein, let me know. I am interested, for sure. (Incidentally, some of the same monsters can be found stateside in a Scooby Doo blind pack. I managed to snag a Frankenstein, but I’d love to have the MvZ one because it glows in the dark.)
So there you have it. Zombie toys. They’re not all gory and terrifying (I’m looking at you, Penny from The Walking Dead McFarlane Toys set).