The Walking Dead: Series 5
My favorite line of action figures keeps on truckin’ with it’s 5th wave recently hitting stores. The line has moved somewhat chronologically and this wave seems to be a transition from the prison to post-prison. As usual, the wave is split between Specialty Store exclusives (LCS: Local Comic Shops) and Toys R Us exclusives (TRU). You can find the LCS toys online or at any stores that sells such things, but if you want the TRU figures you’ll have to get to the closest Toys R Us, as their website is infamously untrustworthy. I’ll start the review by looking at the LCS exclusives:
Tyreese & Prison Michonne
We first saw this Tyreese figure when the line was initially announced way back when. We’ve since gotten a “last moment” Tyreese, but it’s good to finally get Tyreese as we’d all like to remember him. I don’t know if an explanation was ever given as to why he wasn’t released in wave 1 or 2, as it doesn’t look like any major changes were made to the figure. Tyreese comes with a shotgun, his hat, and an extra hairpiece (in the comic he did appear without his hat sometimes, unlike TV show Ty, who must have a very sweaty head). He does not come with a hammer though, which is a glaring omission in my mind. There’s nothing particularly spectacular about the figure, but it is a good likeness and a welcome addition on the shelf with the other early survivors. A little minimate hammer might have put him over the edge.
We’ve gotten a lot of Michonne’s, but this is the one that I’ve been most looking forward to. Not being a fan of her brightly colored mismatched socks, I much prefer her in something more down to earth. I like the angry expression on her face, too. I think this is the best Michonne the line has given us thus far.
Riot Gear Glenn & Maggie
The man who wore the riot gear most often now gets a figure. I like the gear, but hopefully this wave marks the end of riot gear figures. We’ve now got Rick, Governor, Glenn, and Michonne. That’s probably enough even though a few other characters donned the protective gear as well (Tyreese, Hershel, Maggie, Andrea, Billy…I think that’s it). Glenn has the same body and accessories as Rick and Gov (only with two full arms). He comes with his hat, which is cool, but doesn’t look quite right with the riot gear. This is our second angry faced Glenn. It looks good enough and fits the outfit, but I don’t generally think as Glenn as an angry guy. It might have been nice to give him a crying face to fit his time in Woodbury. If we get another Glenn down the road, I’d like to see him a little more smiley.
Maggie appears to be representative of the time after the survivors were driven from the prison. She sports the short haircut that she has stuck with since shaving her head in prison. Maggie comes with a long coat, which is cool, but she also has short-sleeved arms so she can coatless, and I think I prefer that look. TV show Maggie is cooler and tougher than comic Maggie, but she’s still an important part of the story and looks to be getting a bigger role in the more recent comics, so she’s a great addition to the crew.
Survivor Morgan, Geek Zombie, & Variant Martinez
The last LCS set is split between two survivors, Morgan and Martinez. So, if you want them both, you’re going to end up with 2 Geek Zombies. This isn’t terrible, because Geek is a pretty nice and generic zombie; a good horde builder. It seems kind of unfair to call him a geek just because he wears glasses, but I think in the source material he also had some kind of Comic Con shirt or something. Geek brings back the intestine-holding hand that was first found on series 2’s One-Eyed Zombie. Geek also has a slight chunk out of his left shoulder. I like him, and don’t mind having a set of twin geeks.
Martinez was one of the Governor’s men from Woodbury who helped the heroes escape in order to discover the location of the prison. Whether he was an evil man serving the Governor or just trying to help some of the good people from Woodbury can be debated, but Rick finished him off just the same. Martinez’s figure comes with his signature do-rag and a big gun for patrolling the walls. He’s probably the last of the Woodbury crew we’ll see and I’m glad we got him.
This is the second Morgan figure, the first being a TRU exclusive in wave 2. Morgan here is a bit more haggard and I guess represents the time when Rick first found him after leaving the prison; back when he was busy feeding visitors to his dead son. This figure looks fine, but it doesn’t seem different enough from what we already have. I would have preferred a new figure.
Traveler Rick Grimes & Business Zombie
It’s business….It’s business time! (Flight of the Conchords, look it up!) The first of the TRU exclusives features Rick on the road and a formally dressed Business Zombie. When you hit the road, you best have a backpack. Luckily, Rick does. He probably could have used some food and water, but all he’s got are a flashlight and a shotgun. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. We’ve seen all of these pieces before. The backpack came with Series 1 Glenn and his bolt cutters were a much better fit than Rick’s gun. The gun doesn’t fit quite right and sticks up too high if stored in the bag. Rick also comes with his stump bandage and an alternate jacket outfit. Those are nice inclusions for an otherwise ordinary Rick. Again, the addition of one accessory might have put this rick over the top: a little telephone would have been awesome. As is, he’s got a nice grim look of determination, but is an otherwise plain Rick to include in your growing Rick army.
Business Zombie is cool. She has the shoulder stump first found on Dreadlock Zombie and the skirt that came with Series 1’s Female Zombie. As usual with the minimate zombies she comes with an alternate arm if you want her to be slightly less gruesome. Nice to get some girl zombies in this wave, my zombie horde has been a bit of a sausage fest.
Riot Gear Michonne & Hitchhiker Zombie
Our second Michonne of the series and our second Riot Gear figure; this should be our last riot gear, but there are many more Michonne’s in our future (wave 6 will have a Constable’s Assistant and Evening Gown Michonne). Michonne’s time in the riot gear was pretty brief, she used it during her ill-fated attack of the Governor’s men after his initial attack. I don’t feel that this figure was necessary, but I’m guessing Michonne is character that sells pretty well, which is why she’s so heavily represented. The best thing about this figure is the alternate torso and arms, even though I think they look better on Prison Michonne’s legs.
Hitchhiker Zombie is another fairly generic zombie, which I actually consider a good thing. The horde needs plenty of generic, but good-looking zombies. He’s got a vest and some hip damage, but is otherwise not terribly disfigured compared to his comrades.
Abraham Ford & Military Zombie
Shortly after the prison debacle, the survivors come into contact with another group consisting of military tough guy Abraham, dorky self-proclaimed genius Eugene, and sultry Rosita. The 3 of them have become fan favorites and recently showed up on TV, so it seems like a good time to get their minimates out as well. This wave takes care of Abraham and Eugene, and recent pictures for Chicago’s C2E2 revealed that Rosita will be part of series 6. Abraham comes with a big gun and a big knife, as well as a pistol and holster to hold them in. He looks good, but I wish there was some way to make him seem just a little bit bigger than the other WD minimates. DST typically saves its bulked up pieces for characters who are HUGE, like The Hulk or Mumm-Ra the Everliving, so it makes sense that ordinary civilians wouldn’t be that big, but all the same, it seems like Abraham should be bigger than Maggie somehow.
I really dig Military Zombie. He’s another fairly generic zombie, but there’s something about his face with the bloody eyes and ripped up mouth that I really like. He also includes the intestines originally found on Guts Zombie, which is another nice piece to get again.
Eugene Porter & Emaciated Zombie
Finally, we have Eugene. Badass, machine gun wielding, gruff Eugene….wait? what? I don’t know who this clown is, but he certainly does not scream Eugene to me. Eugene’s trademarks are his mullet and his portly physique. This figure features neither. I think an additional torso cover with a gut would have been appropriate here and I’m really disappointed that his hair barely registers as a greasy mullet. It also seems that an obvious accessory for Eugene would be his radio, an essential part of the group’s voyage to Washington DC, but instead he comes packed with a machine gun. Doesn’t make sense to me. Eugene is a great character in the book and I was really looking forward to seeing him in minimate form, but this guy is just not a good representation. DST has consistently hit it out of the park with this line, but Eugene is first flop. Hopefully this line will last long enough for him to get revisited at some point.
Luckily, Eugene’s package-mate is one of the cooler looking zombies. Emaciated Zombie has a frightening face and special skinny rotting arms that look pretty cool. She doesn’t make up for the disappointment that is Eugene, but she’s still a strong figure.
The Walking Dead minimates remain my favorite line of action figures out currently, but I have to say that this wave was probably the weakest so far. It’s not a terrible series, but between some underwhelming character variants (Survivor Morgan, Riot Gear Glenn and Michonne, Traveler Rick), missing accessories (Tyreese’s hammer, Rick’s phone, Eugene’s radio) and the disappointing Eugene figure, I find myself less excited than I was for previous figures. Wave 6 will feature more Michonne and Rick, but will also give us Carl, who might make it great all by himself. So, I’m still excited and anxiously waiting for my next hit.
Previous Walking Dead minimate reviews: Series 1, TRU 1, Series 2, Series 3, TRU 3, Series 4, SDCC Exclusive, Amazon Exclusive, Hershel’s Farm 4-pack