When there’s no more room in the toy box…


By Shawn Robare

Well, I can’t help but be in full on Halloween mode right now.  Not only are a lot of stores flinging up their yearly spooky displays, but there are a bunch of toys hitting the pegs that are really getting me in the mood.  Earlier in the year I wrote a bit about the Jakks Pacific line of minifigs called S.L.U.G. Zombies (Scary Little Ugly Guys), as they sort of tie into my love of the OMFG minifigs both in that they share some common influences (namely Monster in My Pocket and M.U.S.C.L.E. minifigs) and as it turns out George Gaspar, the swell dude that’s one half of October Toys, put in a bid for the sculpting job on the Zombies line and even had one of his sculpts make it into the series.

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As far as the line goes, I really love what Jakks is doing by bringing this scale of minifig back into the mainstream.  Though there are a lot of kids buying the heck out of the tiny Squnkies figures, this 1.5″ scale detailed minifig holds a special place in my heart, and I’ve been seriously lacking in toy-buying fodder ever since Hasbro started to curtail their “Heroes” line of figures.  To be honest, I was also waiting for something that wasn’t riffing directly off of a brand I loved as a kid (ala the Transformers, G.I. Joe and Marvel “Heroes” figs), and these S.L.U.G. Zombies really fit the bill.  The first wave of figures hit store shelves back in March, but they were sort of spotty in terms of distribution and it seemed like only a handful of people were actually finding them in the wild.  I was lucky enough to pick up the complete first wave, and was super excited to finally see wave two hit the pegs and in more stores…

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I had heard that Jakks planned on making 100 figures in the Zombies waves of the S.L.U.G. minifigs (I’ve also heard that they’re planning other waves with different themes), but I wasn’t sure how they were going to be releasing them or if this first wave was going to be popular enough to sustain the line long enough for us to see all 100 figures.  I guess it’s doing well enough though, and I relished in the opportunity to pick up a 12-pack coffin set of the second wave.

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Aside from a bunch of new zombie sculpts/concepts, the most interesting factor in wave two is the introduction of some non-zombie figures, the Hunters.  Cast in a more M.U.S.C.L.E.-esque pink/flesh colored rubber, the hunters are pretty darn cool and are infusing some more specific pop culture references into the line.  Whereas the zombies are conceptual for the most part (featuring various sports, occupation, and historic cultural references), the hunters are introducing some more specific character references like the Rambo and Crocodile Dundee figures below…

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Though a lot of these references are mining the nostalgia of the 80s, I do think it’s not so specific that it would mar the enjoyment a kid would get out of playing with and collecting these.  I mean a muscled dude with a rocket launcher should be fun regardless if something identifies him as a Rambo knock-off right?

Well I was all set to write up my thoughts on this second wave last week when all of a sudden I started to hear word on Twitter that folks were already spotting series 3 in stores.  So I went back out on the hunt and secured a couple of the smaller packages with my favorite figures from this new wave (which includes a swell Sean of the Dead minifig hunter as well as my favorite zombie yet, Extra Crispy (aka Colonel Sanders!)

I’ve been having so much fun setting up these little guys on my desk at work, though I’m wondering where I’m going to find the space to display them all if I keep buying them…

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If you’re interested in seeing all 100 proposed figures, Jakks has released this handy checklist poster via the S.L.U.G. Zombies website.  Click on it to blow it up and start checking off the figures you want to collect!

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Oh, and for those wondering, I hear that the special glow-in-the-dark variations of the figures will be available in special tombstone-shaped collector’s cases that are due out in Spetember.  Also, according to Entertainment Earth we can expect a new wave of the zombies to be released each month over the next three months at least

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Rondal – Yeah, best spots are Target for Series 2 and Toys R Us for Series 3…

  • http://www.strangekidsclub.com/ Rondal

    These are blowing my ever-loving mind! I’m having a MIMP flashback – haha. You can bet I’ll be on the hunt for these here in Austin this weekend. And tomorrow is payday? Fogetaboutit! :D

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Hobgoblin238 – Yeah, that’s certainly going to be the thing with these guys, figuring out how to display them. Think I’m going to have to get a bit crafty and build some partitioned shadow boxes or something like these: http://www.instructables.com/id/IKEA-LEGO-Minifig-Case/ I’m thinking my collection is going to double in size over the next three months…

  • Hobgoblin238

    I bought series two and three when I visited Texas last week. Plan on displaying them somehow in my Monster Cafe.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Bat fan – Yeah, been trying to get my hands on some of those cheaply for years…

  • Batfan

    Pretty awesome. Man does that make me miss ‘Monsters In My Pocket’.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Dex – Yeah, with series one I ended up buying the 12-pack and 3 of the 3-packs in order to get 15 of the 16 figures I wanted. With series two I was more or less comfortable with just picking up the coffin 12-pack, though I do kind of want the mailbox zombie (used to run a mailroom.) Series 3 is a bitch though. I wanted the Sean of the Dead minifig (only in a 3-pack, but the 12-pack has the Andre the Giant fig! Uuuggg!

  • http://aeiouwhy.blogspot.com/ Dex (@Dex1138)

    For the first three waves, there have been 16 different figures in each. I’m sure this annoys some collectors because you will get duplicates if you buy the series specific 12 pack and four 3 packs to get all 16. If they hold to this release pattern, there should be 3 more series this year which brings us up to 96. Add two collectors cases, each with two exclusive glowy figs and we’re at 100. If anyone out there is looking to trade some of these, check out my toy trade page at my site aeiouwhy.blogspot.com