Woeful Wrestling Figures : Undead and loving it.

Now this is a nice novelty. Normally I review something from toyboxes of the past but this time I’ve got a pair of toys so hot and fresh out of the oven I have to wear gloves to hold them. I speak of course of the new kids on campus, WWE Zombie figures.

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Zombies infesting media are inevitable these days. TV, movies and videogames are at most risk of succumbing to the clawing hands of the undead horde but every so often, WWE does love to fire up Photoshop every Halloween and show us what Superstars would look like if they took a sudden turn for the dead. Even WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 gave us the terrifying zombie Finlay and Santino Marella costumes and now it seems that the normally grounded WWE toyline gets a dose of the T-Virus and abandon all creativity, zombified some basic figures and slapped them in suitably horror themed packaging. This comes just weeks after I was bemoaning the lack of wacky gimmick lines in recent times so I can only surmise that Mattel are listening to everything I say and using that to form future plans. You’re welcome.

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So out of the first wave of WWE’s Zombie horde mode two toys struck me as potential purchases. The rest I’m rather indifferent towards to, especially with their higher than average price points for what essentially amounts to repainted basic figures but these two, these two seemed worth the asking price and I’m still pretty sure I got my money’s worth.

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First to come shambling from the crypt is what should be the jewel in the crown of this line, an actual, factual, honest to God ZombieTaker figure! At long last, Taker gets a toy befitting his gimmick and while I adore that notion, I can’t help but feel a twinge of disappointment.

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There’s been so many different incarnations of The Deadman that would lend themselves perfectly to this line it seems a little uninspired that we get a figure based on 2010 era Undertaker. Personally, I’d have preferred something based on the original mortician Taker or better yet, Ministry Taker. Those had fun outfits and character traits that would’ve added a little extra pizzaz to this instead of one of my least favourite eras of Undertaker. Heck, even BikerTaker would’ve been fun if only so I could call him “Booger Undead”.

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Minor personal disappointment aside, the figure I do have is still pretty good, the grey skin tone with a hint of green to finish the effect of putrescence work wonders with this mold as does the horrible flayed forearms that add a shock of morbid red to the overall look. These skinless extremities are topped off with terrifying white, boney clawed fingers desperate to tear the living flesh off the bones of his victims.

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The lack of accessories is another bug bear of mine but again, the few accoutrements that are packaged with ZombieTaker are outstandingly well thought out. Bundled in with Taker are a pair of translucent purple flames that can be wrapped around Taker’s arms to give the effect of dark, supernatural energy escaping Undertaker’s disintegrating body. These play into the fun and make for a striking display on a shelf or desk.

ZombieTaker is all well and good but the real star of this first wave is the Zombified remains of Triple H, here re-imagined as “The Skull King” according to the back of his packet. This figure just looks so bad ass its unreal. I have the feeling you should be reading this while blasting Motorhead really loudly.

Just LOOK at this thing. Taking inspiration from Trips’ famous WrestleMania skull masks and using them as a jumping off point for a really horrid looking Zombie. With the flesh ripped from his face and chest leaving his bone white, eyeless skull and deep red muscle tissue to pop against the green of his putrid skin that creates a natural (or perhaps Supernatural) helmet and cowl look, completed by his bundled crown accessory. Everything about this figure just oozes menace. He looks like he’s burst forth from a classic album cover, a thrash metal anthem full of songs about an undead warrior king slaying whole armies and sitting on a throne made from their bones, his body bearing thousands of battle scars.

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Those battle scars also make for a very cheeky easter egg at Triple H’s expense as among the wounds is a very nasty and very painful looking torn quad muscle. Triple H famously suffered two such injuries in the ring at various points so someone involved in the design process was clearly having a laugh at the C.O.O.’s expense.

Those little touches raise these two figures beyond mere novelties and almost could be characters in their own right. If Mattel and WWE intend on continuing with these types of side figures I’d love to see what else can be cooked up and just who else would lend their visages well to this type of gimmick line, especially from the WWE legends alumni. If such a thing were to come to pass I certainly would look on with great interest.

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Hurrah for imagination!

Thanks for reading.
Martin Dixon ( @BunnySuicida )

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