Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Creepy Toy Review – S.L.U.G. Zombies Series 3 By JAKKS Pacific

So now we’re up the third series of Scary Little Ugly Guys. From what I’ve seen they seem to be doing well at retail. There are a lot of toy lines that sort of stagnate a bit. The same pegs at stores have the same figures arranged in the same way every time you go in. But the SLUG Zombies always seem to have moved. Whether it’s the 3-packs on the pegs or the 12-pack coffins on the shelves, these little toys appear to be doing all right.
That’s a good thing because they’re pretty awesome.
I don’t know what exactly it is about minifigures that’s so appealing. Certainly in today’s expensive toy market it feels pretty good to be getting a dozen figures for ten bucks. Granted, they’re tiny, unpainted, and unarticulated; but they’re extremely well done for what they are. Another thing that makes the SLUGs so appealing is you can actually buy them all. There are no blind boxes or anything and they’re not hard to track down. Artificial collectability is another problem plaguing today’s toy market, with limited runs and variants making completion of a line difficult if not impossible. But one trip to Target or Toys R Us can get you pretty much every SLUG that’s currently available. You’re going to end up with some doubles, but that’s better than having holes in your collection.
Another neat thing is the fact that we are three series in and the figures still feel fresh. The mixture of original zombies with parody and/or homage characters works well and I think JAKKS can get a whole lot of mileage out of this line as long as it continues to be successful. I suppose the next major step might be some sort of playsets or even vehicles. I could picture a little city playset with a few moving parts or some Road Warrior-style vehicles.
First Glance: The first two series of SLUG Zombies were somewhat familiar to me, as JAKKS showed all or most of them at Toy Fair earlier this year. But the third series was all-new stuff. And still all very fun.
Sculpt: Obviously this is a different format from my regular toy reviews, as there’s no paint or articulation to discuss. But I am going to run down each figure briefly.
Extra Crispy
To me this zombie Colonel Sanders with his bucket of – presumably – rotten fried chicken is one of the top offerings of the line so far. This guy is so immediately recognizable and iconic. And for reasons I can’t quite explain he just seems like a natural fit as a zombie.
Johnny Two-Guns
I feel like this is supposed to be a recognizable character, but I just can’t figure out who. I guess he could just be an amalgamation of Blaxploitation archetypes. Of course, I’m not even positive he’s supposed to be black. I mean, he is pink. But he kind of looks black. His favorite quote is, “I can shoot down zombies just by yelling BANG!” which is pretty hilarious but also makes me wish he looked like Diamond Dallas Page.
The Towering Terror
Another one that treads the line of being offensive. Andre the Giant is one of the most beloved professional wrestlers of all time and I’m not sure a zombie Andre is okay. But I’m going to try and look at it more as a tribute to one of the greats. And I do like that they establish a feud with Macho Mangler from the last series in his bio.
Tragic Magic
This is another case where I feel like they missed the mark with the name. “David Slain”, “Chris Mangled”, or “David Rotterfield” would have been better; just off the top of my head. But the figure looks good and that’s what really matters because honestly I’m not going to remember any of these guys’ names anyway.
Double-Barrel Carol
She’s notable for being the first female survivor. Carol looks like a sort of punky hipster girl. One of the “Dislikes” listed in her bio is mini-golf. That seems awfully specific and kind of odd and makes me feel like it’s a reference I should get. If anybody picks up on a character that Carol might be, let me know.
Singer Mortis
This is obviously Elvis. I suppose some might consider this even more offensive than the Andre one above, but not me. The King is certainly one of the greatest entertainers of all time, but I don’t have any particular attachment to him because I’m not seventy years old or a greaser. I do love that he is holding his disembodied hand which is, in turn, holding his microphone. Oh, and his name is kind of terrible. I’m sure there’s an Elvis song that could have been altered. “Jailhouse Rot”, maybe?
Squeamy Sashimi
I almost wish this guy was a survivor. I like the idea of a sushi chef slicing up zombies and flipping the little pieces all over the place like at Benihana’s.
The Deadlifter
This guy is all-around pretty funny. From the punny name to the visual gag he works very well. I could see this concept working in the background of any of your finer horror comedies.
Basehit Bones
Meh. I hate baseball. I guess it’s funny enough that he’s using his leg as a bat, but I just don’t care. The name falls kind of flat, as well.
Zero Hero
I'm glad to have Black Lantern Superman, here. But that name sucks kryptonite.
Louie Fingers
I guess a Mafia guy was a given. The name isn't as horrible as some. I'm assuming he smashes peoples hands with that big hammer. And then eats them, of course.
Jeet Kun Dead
I guess the fact that this Bruce Lee knockoff's name made me laugh means I'm an idiot. And fairly insensitive.

The four that do not come in the 12-pack are (ones). I bought one 3-pack so I could get Riled-Up Riley, who is Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. He’s pretty great and is a dead-on Simon Pegg (for this scale and style of figure, anyway).
Color: The zombies are a sickly green hue and the humans are almost the same pink as the old MUSCLE figures that this line is so reminiscent of. The colors work well and I’m curious to see if JAKKS expands on them. Not only could we get the color-coded werewolves and vampires I mentioned last time, they could also throw in some glow-in-the-dark “irradiated” zombies or maybe some clear ghosts. Because translucence and glowing are the two very best features any toy could have.
Side Note: I am a genius. An all-new checklist poster I just found on the website shows what look like three more series of SLUGs, including some glow-in-the-dark variants. Woo-hoo! Check it out below.
Packaging: There are two types of SLUG Zombie packaging so far – coffins and blister cards. The coffins each have twelve specific figures in them and the blister cards have three random figures. I originally thought buying the coffin got you all of the figures, but it doesn’t. There are sixteen figures in each series, so you’re going to have to buy a few blister packs if you want them. This is where I get a little irritated, as it means collecting a whole set is going to require you to buy not only doubles but to pay the extra that blister packs cost. The coffin of twelve is $9.99 and the three packs are $3.99, so it’s less than a dollar a figure for the big one and $1.33 apiece for the smaller packs.
The coffin itself is cardboard with a window in the front to show one of the figures so you know what you’re getting. I have to give JAKKS credit for that one. Some other toy companies might have had some nice, full-color depictions on the front and just let you assume you were getting fully decoed figures.
Once you get the coffin open, there is a plastic tray inside with the various figures arranged on it:
This kind of amuses me for some reason. I like the way they just kind of stacked the guys up to make the space work. They’re not just jumbled in there, but they aren’t exactly organized and separated either.
Overall: I’m still thrilled to be getting these little figures. I have thirty-nine of them now and fatigue hasn’t set in. I’m going to be more than happy to fork over more money as long as JAKKS keeps cranking them out.

4 out of 5

These are available at Target and Toys R Us now. I haven’t seen them at Walmart, so I’m going to assume they took a pass on them. I don’t quite get why, as they seem to have no problem carrying the Creepy Crawlers and Doctor Dreadful sets; which are far more gross than the SLUGs in my opinion. It could simply be a result of their constantly-shrinking action figure aisle.

Phantom Troublemaker vs. 31 Days of Halloween

If you’re new here or haven’t been keeping up, this is where I give my thoughts on SyFy’s “31 days of Halloween” programming. Obviously I haven’t seen everything I’ll be talking about, but that’s kind of what the internet is all about – talking out of your ass. 

Each day I will cover the schedule from the time my post goes live (usually 11 AM) through the following 24 hours. On Fridays I will cover the whole weekend, which is a huge pain in the ass but also kind of fun.

Enjoy!

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Furnace – Danny Trejo, Michael Pare, Tom Sizemore… Ja Rule… and… Paul Wall? 2006 was Ja Rule’s big year, clearly. This is a movie about a bunch of prisoners who are supposed to reopen an abandoned wing of a prison, but get killed by a ghost instead. Or maybe they get buttsexed. I’m not sure.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 2
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Bone Eater – I could make some lame joke here about the title “Bone Eater”, but I won’t. Because Native American burial grounds are no laughing matter, and neither are the giant killer bone monsters that come out of them. That can only be defeated with a magic tomahawk.
Halloween score – 3
Quality score – 2
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – House of Bones – I am a dude. I am genetically predisposed to chuckle and think of Paul Rudd’s character’s video “Boner Jams ‘99” from The 40-Year-Old Virgin any time I hear or see the word “bone”. And this is a whole entire house of bones.
Holy cow, I just realized I watched this one last year and it was okay. It stars Corin Nemec and the delicious Charisma Carpenter as paranormal investigators who get more than they bargained for (or whatever).
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 3
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Jeepers Creepers 2 – I originally found this sequel to be as good as the first one. I suppose I still do, but they’re both tainted by the circumstances surrounding the director.
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 3
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – One Missed Call – I’m assuming this is the American remake. I wrote about this the other day, but now I can’t remember which one was better. I promise I’m not trying to be all snobby here – believe me, I hate foreign films and subtitles and stuff – but I think me and the missus generally prefer the Japanese versions of movies. This might be the one case where we liked the American one more, which is doubly surprising given that it’s a Takashi Miike movie. Hey, they can’t all be Gozu.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 3 (?)
9:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Thir13en Ghosts – Silly fucking title aside, I like this movie a whole lot. I like all of the Ghost House movies that I’ve seen. Tony Shaloub, Mathew Lillard, and Shannon Elizabeth combined with beautiful sets and snazzy effects make for a fun hour and a half.
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 4
11:00 PM – 1:30 AM – SAW III – Man, these all run together so much. I think this is one of the ones I don’t like. I know I liked the first one and the second one is my favorite. I think this might be the one where they stumbled. Oh, and these movies may be gory as shit and released around Halloween, but I don’t find them particularly Halloweeny.
Halloween score – 3
Quality score – 3

FRIDAY

1:30 AM – 3:30 AM – SAW IV – I find it weird that part three needs 2.5 hours and this one only needs 2. If this is the one where they have to stand on blocks of ice I think I liked it. I’m not sure. I’ve got a box set of the first four or five movies and I think I need to watch them again.
Halloween score – 3
Quality score – 3
3:30 AM – 5:30 AM – SAW V – I don’t remember what happened in this one, but I know the last one I watched was pretty good. I think it was SAW 3D (not that I saw it in 3D) and it was the one where Carey Elwes came back.
Halloween score – 3
Quality score – 3
5:30 AM – 6:00 AM – Scare Tactics – I’M BRIAN FELOWS.


Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 2
6:00 AM – 8:00 AM – Paid Programming – I wonder if I could get somebody to sponsor me doing a series of posts about one of the infomercial products. Not the Pos-T-Vac, but the total Gym or the Hoveround or something.
Halloween score – 1
Quality score – 5
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer – Finally! A movie I can heartily endorse! This is a rad flick with a great cast, an awesome story, and tons of heart. Watch it. Fuck that - go buy it. Now.
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 4
10:00 AM – 12:00 AM – Jeepers Creepers 2 – SyFy – c’mon you guys – you just showed this yesterday. Stop it. Really.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 3
Come back tomorrow for a list of my favorite vampire movies. It’ll be great!
-Phantom

2 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure Johnny Two-Guns is based off of Chuck Norris:

    http://www.top10thingsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/chucknorrisjokes.jpg

    These guys look pretty cool though, and the value for price is a lot better than a single Marvel Legend or DC Classic figure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. That's pretty obvious. I just felt like that hair looked like an afro. But yeah - that's Chuck.

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