Metalocalypse SDCC07 Promotional Resin Statues
Review by Sanjeev
Wow...what can I say? I write for CDX because, y'know, I like toys. This will be a first for me, though. A review of something that fills me with hate and loathing...
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Folks, I'm a hip hop head, through and through, but I have a few close friends who're devoted metal heads. When they first told me about the Adult Swim show, Metalocalypse, I knew I had to see this! I mean, I loved Spinal Tap (and, of course, the hip hop lampooning, Fear of a Black Hat). Something about subcultures busting on themselves that's just perfect--keeps folks from taking themselves too seriously. Anyway, this show was being done by actual metal fans, and as such, I had a feeling it would be good.
I wasn't disappointed!
The show is about the death metal band, Dethklok (yes, that's right! just based on the name, it's already good!). The band, a mix of US and Scandinavian musicians, happens to be the most popular band in the world, and in fact, the band has so many adherents, that it actually represents the single largest economy in the world! People are literally willing to die for the band. The story simultaneously follows a shadowy organization of extremely powerful individuals who run the government, military, media, and such behind the scenes. This organization is closely watching the band's activities because religious predictions have it that the band will continue to rise in power and eventually bring about the Metal Apocalypse...the "Metalocalypse".
Sounds pretty damn cool, huh? While not the most original plot ever, it definitely has potential. Now, here's the best part: the band is composed of complete idiots! That's right! The meat of the individual episodes focuses on the moronic crap they get themselves into. For example, in one episode, the band decides to write a song based on translated texts from some ancient Finnish book of necronomancy...because, obviously, it's freakin' cool. Of course, when they play the song for the first time in an open concert before the Bay of Danzig, they end up inadvertently summoning a lake troll that decimates the countryside. Classic!
Anyway, if you ARE a metal head or have metal fans in your life, you really need to see this show!
Okay...so obviously I dig the show. This past summer, Shocker Toys made the announcement that they had acquired the license to produce toys from the cartoon. I was freakin' psyched! Apparently, they had them at SDCC07, where Mason and I were...but on the--*ahem*--urging of concerned loved ones, we steered clear of them. Finally, Josh was able to procure the first wave of their figures to give to me for review.
And that's where everything went horribly, horribly wrong.
Now, the first thing Josh said to me when he first gave them to me (before I had a chance to unpack them and take a look at them for myself), was that they looked like they had been painted by retarded, left-handed monkeys. I naturally looked at him a bit sideways (being left-handed), but then he assured me that he meant retarded, left-handed monkeys...forced to paint righty.
You know? I think he was right.
I mean, Josh stated clearly and in no uncertain terms that these were the worst licensed toys he had ever seen. He wanted them out of his house immediately. And now, here they are...in my possession.
Anyway, I'm sorta at a loss. You see, I'm used to covering toys I like. Well, let's see what we can come up with... First of all, Wave 1 consists of Nathan Explosion and William Murderface Murderface Murderface, the lead singer and bassist of Dethklok. These are billed as "action figures" on Shocker's website. I simply refuse to categorize them as such on this website. Each "action figure" is a single, static, poorly molded lump of resin. There's NO action here, folks...besides Josh throwing them at me during lunch that day...
So, let's talk about the sculpt. Now, c'mon, people. This is a cartoon--the characters are pretty basic-looking. Would it have killed ya to sculpt the figures to, y'know, at least sorta look like 'em!? Murderface isn't too terrible, but Nathan is just...off. And the detail of the sculpts are just poor--though I don't know if that's a problem with the sculpt or with the actual molding process. None of the surface details are sharp at all. Everything looks smooth, rounded...and sorta doughy. No good.
The worst part is when you really start to take a close look (which this reviewer does NOT recommend). Not only is there little definition at all in the molding, but there are mold flaws everywhere. Gobs of extra material clumsily left in armits or hairlines. It's truly awful. I can see more love going into a small child's very first sculpture in elementary school art class. And more talent, too.
Oh, here's the single worst part. If you notice in the image above, I have the figure of Nathan standing on a CD case...at an angle. Well, guess what. The figure cannot stand on its own. Again, I can't be sure if this is a flaw with the sculpt or the molding process (or with this particular piece...or ALL the Nathan figures). The feet appear fine on the figure--they're just angled too far down at the ankles, causing the figure to fall backwards. To take these photographs, I had to prop up the back side of the CD case with some coins. Way to go, Shocker. Your "action figure" can't even stand.
Let's move on. Next, we have the aforementioned monkey-painting.
Seriously, the paint achieves new kinds of low. The paint scheme selected here is supposed to depict the characters' concert make-up (seen at the end of the opening theme song), which is obviously meant to make them appear dead--their skin pallid and necrotized. The painters have succeeded in pulling off a look more akin to poop smears on their face. I mean, really...what the hell were these guys thinking? Wasn't there someone at some point along the design process who said, "Hey, waitaminute guys--I think we may be f#@king this up"?
Again, if you look at the details (which I must reiterate that I **DON'T** recommend!), you can see how the borders of colors run sloppily into each other, complementing the lack of definition in the sculpt with a miserable lack of care and neatness.
And just imagine: all this bootleg-level quality can be yours for the low, low price of $20 a whack.
All right, seriously, I don't think I can go much further with this review. I'm starting to make myself angry again. Anyway, y'all get the point about these figures. Lemme at least leave you with something postitive about Metalocalypse:
***UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE ***UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE ***
Dateline: 31 January 2008
Well, here's a...*ahem*...shocker!
CDX has recently been contacted by Geoff Beckett, President of Shocker Toys, wishing to enlighten us as to the nature of these items. Much like on the boards erechoveraker linked below in the comments, Beckett tells us that "they are promotional samples for San Diego Comic Con limited to 500pcs each hand painted in 20days and manufactured in 20 days before the show. Some of them were spot on and some were not but again they were hand painted samples made in 20 days for the fact that there was no adult swim presence at SDCC and [Shocker] wanted to make something the fans could walk away with." He goes on to say that "they are resin samples as well not toys not meant to be toys or played with as such" and that they have yet to receive a single complaint from anyone who bought them in person at the show.
Beckett had earlier stated that the set reviewed here comprises "a 1,000pc resin statue made for san diego comic con". So...500? 1000? Either way, it seems apparent that a true Wave 1 is under development at Shocker that will ostensibly not suck. Beckett emphasizes that the set above "has no collectablity nor is playable" and that this article "is misrepresenting the line as [Shocker] tried to do the fans a solid and get something they could grab at SDCC for promotional purposes."
Okay, grammar notwithstanding, I think we get the point.
Whether or not this helps fans sleep better at night, all we know is that when these items were provided to Josh, they were given as "figures" with no contextual data to the otherwise. At the time of the original publication of this article (21 December 2007), Shocker's own website listed them as "figures", and made no mention of any distinction between these and their actual Wave 1 figures supposedly in development. Incidentally, the page has now been updated to reflect the use of the new language (i.e., "exclusives")...and yet right under the "Metalocalypse Wave 1: 5.5" action figures!" heading, unpainted versions of the resin statues above are still shown with no images of any other figures or characters.
At any rate, while I haven't changed the content of the review above, I changed the title to reflect the true nature of these statues.
So...is this a case of Shocker Toys furiously back-pedaling and changing their tune in the face of outraged fans, or is it simply a case of miscommunication...horrendous, horrendous miscommuncation...? Honestly, I'm not particularly interested in exploring the answer to that question. All I know is this: I'm a Metalocalypse fan. I'm a toy fan. I would like some good toys of Dethklok.
For better or for worse, Shocker Toys has promised superior Metalocalypse product in the future. That, alone, makes me hopeful and I will look forward to telling it like it is when they finally come out. Stay tuned!
|Posted 21 December, 2007 - 02:54 by Sanjeev|