The Walking Dead Minimates: Series 4
The 4th series of Walking Dead minimates has hit stores. This wave focuses on the survivors’ prison time and their run in with the residents of Woodbury. As per usual, the assortment is broken into Local Comic and Specialty Store (LCS) exclusives and Toys R Us (TRU) exclusives. The Governor is not a man who likes to wait, so let’s get going. First up, we have the LCS two-packs:
The Governor & Gabe
Perhaps the most anticipated figure in the series so far……..Gabe. Quite a treat, this fellow. Very cool that DST provided the Governor with some goons. In the comics, Gabe was by the Gov’s side at all times during his initial introduction. Essential muscle when you’re cutting off dudes’ hands and committing unspeakable acts against women. Gabe met his demise at a local Walmart when Andrea shot him through the neck, so he never made it to the final battle at the prison. Gabe’s minimate comes packing some serious heat and upon double-checking the reference material, his likeness is pretty spot on.
The most evil man this side of Negan, The Governor has finally been immortalized in plastic block shapes. Not like that pretty-boy TV version, Gov’s minimate captures all of his swarthy glory. He comes with a sidearm and a large knife for hand-cutting, both with holsters attached to his belt. The Governor also comes packed with an extra eye-patch wearing head, which will come in handy later.
Hooded Michonne & Bruce
This new version of Michonne comes with the poncho she wore while she was out wandering the earth. I gotta say that this figure leaves me underwhelmed and I’m still waiting for the definitive Michonne. Under her hood, she’s got an un-sleeved version of the figure we got in series 2. The poncho just doesn’t work for me. It leaves Michonne a little too restricted, the shoulders seem to sit a bit high, and the whole thing looks a little silly to me.
Bruce is the Governor’s right-hand man. He was loyal straight to the end when he was unceremoniously shot in the back of the head by Andrea during the prison attack. His figure has a slightly bulked up torso piece to account for his girth. He’s another nice looking figure to display with the Governor and Gabe.
Prison Lori & Shoulder Zombie, Variant: Alice
The last of the LCS exclusives is Prison Heat Lori with a shirtless zombie. The variant in this series is the Woodbury doctor’s assistant, Alice. If you want both Lori and Alice, you’ll end up with two zombies, but unlike some previous variant-packed zombies, this guy is generic enough that he makes for a pretty good army builder. Again DST does a good job with little details. On this zombie, it’s the little folds of flesh where his shoulder wound ends and the fact that his arm nub is red. Like all of his minimate zombie brethren, Shoulder Zombie comes with another arm in case you need your flesh-eaters to be more symmetrical.
Lori is probably my favorite figure of this wave simply because of her super awesome baby accessory. Baby Judith comes attached to an alternate hand. It’s a simple-looking baby with some tiny closed minimate eyes and a mouth, but it looks great in Lori’s arms.
Alice is a pretty simple figure, but she has a nice braided hairpiece and her lab jacket. She also comes with alternate arms so that she can be displayed in her blue t-shirt. Like Dexter, she’s a figure that I did not expect to see in the line and DST seems to have the mindset that this line will continue for quite awhile, as they continue to hold out some fan favorites like Carl and non-dying Tyreese. I’m glad to get the lesser known characters, but still eagerly awaiting some of the biggies.
Next up are the two-packs exclusive to TRU and their online store. These have historically been more difficult to obtain as the website is flaky and you’ll need a little luck hitting a local store at the right time. It does seem like more are being stocked compared to the first two series, so hopefully if you want these guys, you’ll be able to obtain them without too much of a headache.
Survivor Rick & Gunshot Zombie
If you want zombies, then the TRU two-packs are for you, each one of them comes with an undead ghoul as opposed to the single zombie you get with the LCS wave. This fellow is pretty neat. He’s riddled with gun holes and has a clear torso underneath so if you hold him up to the light you can see right through him. It’s a neat little feature and it looks cooler in person than in the picture.
Survivor Rick is the only figure from this series that exists chronologically after the prison attack. This post-prison Rick is a bit more pessimistic and defeated. He’s unshaven and has long hair. Underneath his jacket and scarf is stained shirt, no one would have cried if he had a perfectly white shirt, but this is another indication that DST pays attention to details with this line.
Riot Gear Governor & Biker Zombie
If you like your Governor with his crazy out on display, DST has included this variant right in the same wave. Gov’s got the same riot gear that Rick had last series, as in the comic he stole it and wore it to the final prison showdown. The only difference is the sleeved stump to indicate the Governor’s battle damage. He also comes with Michonne’s sword. It’s cool that he has it as an accessory, but I much prefer the longer katana that came with Blade and the Hand Ninja in DST’s Marvel line. (You can see that sword in a picture included at the end of the review)
Biker Zombie is kind of a boring fellow. I’m not overly impressed by him. He’s got a weird looking chewed-off hand and flayed right arm. He’s a fine addition to the horde, but he just seems like he’s a mash-up of previous zombies from the series.
Hooded Michonne & Crawling Zombie
DST did something a little bit different with series 4. In the past, there have been 2 shared two packs that could be found at both LCS and TRU. With wave 4, each pack is unique but has repeat figures. I’m a little bit torn on how I feel about this. On one hand we get two more original figures, but on the other, in order to get every figure, you have to get doubles of certain characters. DST eased the pain a little bit by having the repeat figures have alternate looks by including appropriate accessories. In this case, Michonne has new arms not included in her previous looks and an extra hair piece, so you can display one of her with poncho and one without. Michonne’s probably my least favorite figure in this series, so I didn’t really want two of her, but I do prefer her without the silly-looking poncho.
What helps Michonne’s case is the fact that she comes with one of the coolest zombies yet. Crawling zombie comes with a guts piece that substitutes for his legs. Again with the attention to detail, Crawling Zombies has scrapes on his forearms from an afterlife of dragging his bloody body around on the ground.
The Governor & Jaw Zombie
The second repeat figure is The Governor. That’s right, if you want every original figure in this wave, you’re going to end up buying three Governors. The Governor has an extra eye-patch wearing head so his display can be slightly different than the non-damaged Gov. What is disappointing about this figure is that he did not come with an extra arm stump, making an eye-patched Governor with two arms not comic accurate. To remedy this, I simply pulled half of his arm off at the elbow. It’s not a permanent break, as his elbow can be repaired if necessary, but it’s not a part of the minimate body that is supposed to be dismantled. I’m hoping that at some point DST will throw in an extra arm stump with another pack to complete my post-torture plain clothes Governor.
DST tried some new stuff with their zombies for this wave. The holes in Shot Zombie and the guts with Crawling Zombie really worked nicely. Unfortunately, Jaw Zombie doesn’t fare as well. I’m not sure if his jaw is supposed to look unhinged or if he’s just opening his mouth really wide, but either way the end result is just odd looking. The fact that the color in his lower mouth doesn’t quite match the color in his upper mouth further detracts from the effect. While I appreciate the attempt to try something different within the simple minimate design, this one just falls a little flat.
Overall, wave 4 has some big hits and some misses. Lori and Crawling Zombie are the stars, while the Governor would have been more complete with an extra stump thrown in. I love the inclusion of the goons and Alice, who are also really well done. Series 5 has yet to be announced, but hopefully we’ll continue to see the same quality in selection and execution.
(The Prison backdrops in the pictures are available exclusively at Luke’s Toy Store online.)
Previous minimate reviews can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
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Zombie Spring Break ’08