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Figures and Speech: New 5-Inch THE WALKING DEAD from McFarlane Toys

Figures and Speech: New 5-Inch THE WALKING DEAD from McFarlane Toys

Welcome to Figures & Speech, Nerdist’s regular column by, for, and about grown-ups who still play with their toys but might want to know more before they buy. From product reviews to informed editorials, these are most definitely the articles that’ll make you want to strike a pose.


WARNING: this feature includes action figures based on The Walking Dead comic, some of which may reveal plot points that are yet to occur on the TV show. Although the storylines differ at times, proceed with caution.

The Walking Dead toy line from McFarlane is at an interesting crossroads right now. For the past few years, McFarlane were all about the 5-inch scale, with Halo and TWD being their primary properties. In order to be carried at mass retail and not break the bank, they made their larger figures only 10 inches rather than the usual 12 or 18, and also created a micro line with LEGO-like construction that would allow for playsets and dioramas. Then, last year, the company decided to go all-in on returning to the 7-inch format that they pioneered and NECA took to the next level. Fans who’d been collecting the 5-inch figures were unimpressed, and worried. The 10-inchers have continued, the construction sets appear to be done (at least for now)…would the main scale be going away completely?

The best answer we have is “not yet.” Comic-based figures are continuing in that scale, and 5-inch TV figures appear to be ongoing as individual Walgreens exclusives. We got sent a box of the latest to check out recently, and here are what we found:

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The newest comic wave includes Negan, Shane, Lydia, and Glenn, all of whom come with severed heads on spikes. The newest TV figures for Walgreens are Rick in his cop uniform and Aaron (Sasha will be the next one).

Let me reiterate before we go any further: the storylines of the comic and the TV show do not mirror each other exactly, but some of these comic-based figures come from much further along in the narrative than the TV episodes have had a chance to get to. Remember how there was a comic-based figure of Carl missing an eye before that happened on the show? There may be something like that with these figures. They appear to spoil at least one major death that has not yet occurred—you’ve been warned!

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Shane is fairly straightforward, in his brown cop uniform, with a rifle and a pistol that fits in his holster. He comes with Oscar’s head on a pole, and as we can see, Oscar in the comics was a white Fred Durst-looking guy.

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Shane also has an alternate zombie head, which doesn’t match his skin tone at all, but maybe faces rot faster, I dunno.
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McFarlane are weird about articulation. They don’t like it to be thorough on 7-inch figures on the theory that it ruins the look. Yet they don’t really even try to hide it on these smaller ones. Check out what a hot mess of moving parts Negan’s crotch is:
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And while we’re on the topic of Negan, there’s a peg in his hand that doesn’t plug into anything, though it makes his grip on Lucille slightly tenable. And check out the elbow ball joint–technically it’s articulation, but the range of movement on it is maybe 15 degrees.
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Anyway, yes, this is Negan as a prisoner, which is the first possible spoiler here. But he still has his signature “vampire” bat.

Also, Ken’s head on a pole.
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It’s only fitting that after Negan, we turn to Glenn, who wields an ax, and has Rosita’s head on a pole.
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Glenn comes with an alternate head for himself, and this being McFarlane Toys, you can probably guess what it is…
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Yes, fans, your most upsetting episode ever is immortalized in plastic.
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We haven’t gotten to Lydia and the Whisperers yet on TV, but that severed head she comes with is  a mighty big spoiler.
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Lydia comes with an alternate Leatherface-like head, which is undoubtedly why Carl finds her attractive. She’s pretty great as a generic horror villain in this look.
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“Fresh heads, fresh heads, bloody bloody fresh heads…”
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“Yeah, we’re not gonna smile for the camera. We aren’t friends.”
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The TV figures, of course, look exactly like who they’re supposed to. Even at this scale, McFarlane excels at likenesses.

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Rick comes all clean-shaven, and wielding a pistol.

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…and an alternate, blood-soaked head.

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While the comic figures are mildly stylized, you can see they still play well with the TV guys.
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Aaaron has a lot of accessories: a removable backpack, headset, rifle, a pistol that does fit into his belt but then can fall out and nearly give you a heart attack searching for such a tiny accessory outside, in the sand…

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He has a megaphone too, and, as you saw in the top photo, an in-jokey “4MC TWD” license plate. I can’t recall seeing that as an actual easter egg on the show, but I won’t swear it wasn’t there.

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The Ross Marquand likeness is particularly good, I think. If not for the obvious joints he could be mistaken for an actual human in some shots.

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While the 7-inchers are more my deal, it’s good to see fans of this scale are still getting reinforcements. Walgreens has been great for toys for the past couple years, and I hope that continues with these. The comic ones will likely prevail more at specialty and comic stores.

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Do you collect the 5-inchers? Are you pleased with this latest round fo offerings? Let’s discuss in comments, or hit me up on Twitter @LYTrules.

Images: LYT for Nerdist

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