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Friday, July 10, 2009

Sideshow Collectibles' Premium Format Patient Zero

Sideshow Collectibles does it again. They are one of the most consistent companies out there when it comes to releasing a quality collectible. I know I’ve commented before about their in-house line of unique zombie collectibles appropriately titled The Dead. As a matter-of-fact, Sideshow’s The Dead line made my list of the top 5 zombie toys. If you want to know where they placed, head over to Zombie Command where my article is posted.

What I have lined up for review today is the premiere release of their Premium Format zombie. Patient Zero shares the same name as Sideshow’s initial 12” offering and it has not been disclosed if and how many Premium Format zombies will follow. With an edition size of only 300, Patient Zero was not available to order for very long. And count your blessings if you were fortunate enough to secure one of the only 100 Sideshow exclusive ones. The exclusive edition has a dismembered hand that Patient Zero can carry with him. Because you never know when you’re going to need a snack.

Sideshow’s Premium Format series of collectibles are ¼ scale, painstakingly detailed, and breath-taking to view. So what we have is an 18 inch blood-soaked zombie toy. I use the word “toy” loosely; Patient Zero is a real cloth clothing covered statue.

The pose is dynamic but not overly so. With one arm reaching out for what I would presume to be his next victim, this statue captures just enough movement for a zombie. His foot is also in position to clumsily move him towards the prize. This movement will bring me to my first detail: the front outside of his right shoe is worn and torn with popped stitching. A detail that’s easy to miss given its location but once noticed gives the indication that poor Patient Zero has been lumbering around for quite some time. To add to this assumption are the frayed ends of his pant legs.

They say the clothes make the man and they are certainly an important detail here as well. It’s hard to pull off real clothes on a collectible and the majority of the time they just don’t look right. Buttons are usually too large, the clothes are stiff and don’t necessarily fit like they would on an actual person, and stitching never looks appropriately scaled. I’m happy to say Sideshow manages to work past any of these flaws. Buttons, stitching, type of materials used, belt loops, pockets, folds, tears, frays… all are spot-on. Even the blood stains are realistic looking with deep reds in the center with the color fading as it is absorbed into the shirt material. Another amazing detail is an unnoticeable wire that runs through the bottom and front seams of the shirt. This allows you to adjust the amount of action you want him to display.

The sculpting and paint applications are just as amazing. Wrinkles and folds of skin, exposed inner flesh, stains on teeth, details on his hands, all of them combine to create one of the most realistic collectibles I have seen. Even the base has details in just the right spots with small spatterings of blood where they would have dripped off of his dangling hand. The eyes have a white glaze over them effectively ghosting his baby blues. Patient Zero’s tongue is even contorted behind his imperfectly twisted teeth in such detail you can almost hear his moaning. Moaning because he saw his own price tag of $275.

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