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 Shaun of the Dead Toy Review

NECA CULT CLASSICS SHAUN OF THE DEAD ACTION FIGURE

As a toy collector I can personally say there are few surprises when it comes to what franchises and characters are incarcerated in plastic for our posing pleasure. Every character no matter how minor in a Star Wars movie will at some point be released as an action figure – it’s a given. Hell, it’s inevitable. There are however franchises and characters that we all wish we could sit upon our shelves. Heroes and villains from movies that are so cool in concept we all know they’d make an ideal toy. Sadly most of our toy wishes go totally unfulfilled, but sometimes, just sometimes nerd wishes do come true.

2004 brought us the cult smash-hit Shaun of the Dead, a self-proclaimed romantic comedy… with zombies (rom-zom-com for short). The film stars Simon Pegg as a young (29 for Christ’s sake) appliance salesman trying to balance a dissatisfied girlfriend, slobby life-long best friend and step-dad troubles with an imminent zombie apocalypse. Curteousy of NECA’s Cult Classics action figure line now you too can relive those ginger-haired record-tossing, cricket-bat-smashing, aim-for-the-head adventures with your very own Shaun action figure reviewed here today on The Nerd’s Word.

Here’s the plan.

We take Pete’s car, drive over to Mom’s, we go in, take care of Phillip, have a look at the figure’s packaging, sculpt, paintwork, articulation, accessories and rate it overall. Then we grab Mom, go to Liz’s, pick her up, go to the Winchester and have a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over.

No…? I guess I’ll just head into the review then...

PACKAGING - ****

Shaun comes housed in a plastic clamshell. Scissors should negotiate his release quite easily, although he is displayed in such a way that MIB (mint in box, not Men in Black) collectors should be very happy with the figure and all accessories clearly visible. An attractive paper insert displays the film poster and a sticker on the front, unique to each figure in this line, lists details about the toy itself. Overall a very attractive piece.

Just don’t crush the clamshell in frustration over the twisty-ties that hold the figure in place.

SCULPT - ****

This is a solid sculpt, with Simon Pegg’s likeliness captured almost perfectly. He does appear a little older than he does on-screen but that’s about the only downside I can nitpick in this category with his hair, both on his head and facial being pretty much spot on. His clothing (generic shirt and tie salesman garb) has sculpted folds and appears realistically whilst his pose allows him to stand without the excellent included base which I’ll talk about in more detail later. Something that I really liked about Shaun was the fact the fat part of his tie is a separate piece to his body. Made of a more flimsy material it makes for a more convincing appearance so kudos to NECA for that little touch.

Other cool details include Shaun’s name badge, the hairs and veins on his arms and the watch on his left hand. His shoes are also very well done.

PAINT - ****

I have a few issues with the paint on my Shaun. Whilst the general consistency and cuts between colours is good, they appear to have dabbed on the flesh colour a little heavily on Shaun’s face which makes it appear very shiny. Not overbearingly so, but enough to mention as a slight niggle. Shaun’s eyes are clean, as is the work on his facial hair.

Another minor paint woe is his regular left and extra hand (holding the flowers for his Mom) have a flesh colour inconsistency to the rest of his arm. This looks rather odd, but is forgiveable if you take a closer look at Shaun to see something that will surely please any fan of the film.

He has red on him.

Yes, Shaun’s left breast pocket has the same red ink stain we see mentioned so many times in the movie. I noticed this detail on early prototype shots of Shaun and am happy to report it wasn’t left out of the final product. Fantastic.

ARTICULATION - **

This is an area toy enthusiasts are getting used to seeing their figures score lower and lower in as time goes by and action figures begin to lose the “action” part of their name altogether. Shaun has no articulation beneath his waist. What he does have is a ball-jointed head and set of arms, cut biceps and a cut left wrist where his hand can be changed. His waist is also cut and allows for some natural and very unnatural poses.

This allows the bare minimum of posing with Shaun. I pretty much got more than I expected with the ball-jointed neck, but anyone wishing for Shaun to celebrate a successful cricket bat zombie-whack-to-the-head by doing the splits is going to be left disappointed.

The range of movement with the ball joints is really quite good though, so it isn’t entirely a loss.

ACCESSORIES - *****

Shaun comes with a variety of excellent, iconic accessories that fans will recognise straight out of the film. The most predominant of these is his base, which I have the most to talk about.

Shaun’s base consists of a broken piece of concrete upon which is his flame-emblazoned record box. Within which are a stack of records that Cult Classics fans are sure to love the front of. Surrounding the box are several pieces of cutlery and broken records each with their own meticulously detailed label. The box is attached to the base, but the hinged lid means it can be closed.

Paint application on the base is excellent and two pegs are sculpted on to allow Shaun to stand. Unfortunately these pegs are placed a little far apart and whilst you can fit the feet over them with a little effort, there’s no need. Shaun can stand just fine on one peg or even on his own.

Other accessories include Shaun’s trusty cricket bat, sculpted with some very nice nicks to the wood, his extra hand is holding the flowers he bought for his Mom and a separate record halfway out of it’s slipcase ready to hurl at the undead.

The paint application on the accessories is good, although there was some green slop from the flowers on the fingers of Shaun’s extra hand. It’s barely visible though, and the other great accessories more than make up for it.

OVERALL - *****

I picked up Shaun for £8.99 online, which is great value. Such an excellent sculpt, great paint and accessories are rarely found at this price point, and he’d still be great value even if you added a few pounds on to that fee.

Fans of the film are going to be very pleased with NECA’s initial foray into Shaun of the Dead. With a Winchester boxed set due out soon featuring a bloodied up, rifle-wielding Shaun and Ed (alive or undead, both have been shown), as well as a 12” talking Shaun hitting stores any time now it looks like NECA is far from finished with this license… and the toy world is all the better because of it.

WHERE TO BUY

  • Forbidden Planet have Shaun up on their website for £9.99.
  • Play.com have Shaun available for £8.99 with delivery.
  • Amazon’s MidcoToys list Shaun at the slightly more pricey £11.99.

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Buy Shaun of the Dead Toy Review now at Play.com
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