When George A. Romero released Night of the Living Dead in 1968, he had no idea he would essentially be creating an entire genre centered out the dead rising from their graves. The film laid the groundwork for the rules of world where the dead rise. A bite is fatal, and causes the victim to become one of the living dead. The only way to stop them is to destroy the brain or burn the body until there is nothing left. Those rules have endured for decades. Though some stories will subvert those expectations, it only works because of the iconic film. And while Night of the Living Dead is considered by many to be the birth of the genre, it’s Romero’s follow up film that cemented his legacy as the “King of the Zombies”.
“When there’s no more room in HELL the dead will walk the EARTH”
Dawn of the Dead made it’s debut in Italy in September 1978, and opened in the U.S. in February 1979. It continues the story of a world unraveling as the dead rise and feast on the living. Two police offers, Roger and Peter, along with helicopter pilot Stephen and news producer Francine escape Philadelphia via a news copter. Looking for safe haven, they happen upon a massive new shopping mall in Monroeville, PA. Romero’s film ties in social commentary, personal drama, dark humor, and stomach churning gore to craft one of the greatest zombie film of all time.
Mezco Toyz has released an all-new figure set as part of their One:12 Collective line up. This set brings together two of the most memorable zombies from the Dawn of the Dead; the Plaid Shirt Zombie and the Stephen “Flyboy” Andrews Zombie. We picked up the set from sponsor Entertainment Earth. Read on to see my photo shoot and review of this set.
One:12 Collective Dawn of the Dead – Plaid Shirt Zombie and Flyboy Zombie 2-Pack by Mezco Toyz
- Incredible head sculpts
- Cloth outfits work great
- Outstanding paint work
- Great articulation
- Tight joints
- Lack of accessories
- Figure can barely stand
The Dawn of the Dead 2-Packs comes in Mezco’s standard One:12 Collective box design, which features a slip cover over a basic window box. The slip cover uses the iconic poster as it’s base for the design on the front, with photos showcasing the included items on the back. The set includes the Flyboy and Plaid Shirt Zombies, a pistol for Flyboy, and figure stands for both figures.
Dawn of the Dead was one of the first 2 horror films I ever remember seeing as a kid (The Thing being the other). Imagery from that film stuck with me for years and became one of my few film obsessions, to the point where I’ve owned at least a dozen variations of the movie on various formats, as I tried to get as many of the different cuts as I could. Anchor Bay’s Ultimate DVD release in 2004 remains the best version, as it compiles all the major cuts into a massive set. Needless to say, I was massively excited when Mezco announced these figures.For the most part, they’re an absolute blast to have in-hand. Mezco took two of the most iconic zombies from the film, and crafted outstanding looking figures.
The Plaid shirt Zombie is really not in the film for more than a few seconds. But it was the first “featured” zombie in the movie, and was heavily used in promotional materials, especially outside the U.S. Found at an abandoned airport, the unnamed Zombie showcased some great makeup effects from Tom Savini’s crew. The figure captures the mangled face, torn shirt and exposed bite wounds on the chest really well. The head sculpt has some great detail work, especially on the gory right side, where the eyeball is barely hanging on. Paint work here is equally great, with a nice splattering effect to mimic skin texture and some vibrant gore paint. The figure has that nice gray blue tone that the zombies from the movie had.
The Flyboy zombie is based on the tragic fate of Stephen Andrews in the film. After attacking the marauders who have broken into the mall, Stephen is attacked by a group of Zombies as he tries to escape in an elevator. Bitten on the leg and neck, Stephen manages to fight off the dead, only to become one a short time later. The figure captures his zombie appearance perfectly. The permanently tilted head sculpt showcases the fatal bite wound in all it’s gruesome glory. The sculpt has a really strong likeness to actor David Emge, with the blank, fixed expression his zombie is known for. Again, paint work is fantastic here, and Mezco really carried the blood effects well on the clothing, and the overall look is top notch.
There is one big issue I ran into with this set. The sculpting on the boots of both characters makes it near impossible to keep them standing. For the shoot, I had to resort to some adhesive putty hidden on the soles of the shoe to keep them in place. When displaying them on a shelf, I highly recommend using the included stands. While not a lot of accessories will come to mind for this release, it does feel a bit bare bones for a high end collectible. Something as simple as a gunshot head sculpt for the Plaid Shirt Zombie, and swap out regular skin color hands and portrait for Stephen would have worked really well here.
As is, this is still a great release for an under appreciated license. Sculpt, paint work, and fabric clothing are all exceptional here. Just keep those figure stands handy. Check out soem select photos below, and the full gallery after that.
Some of the backgrounds featured in pics below are from Extreme-Sets.com. Enter code TOYARK at checkout and get 15% off your order!