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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Dead: Specimens

Sideshow Collectibles brings us yet another addition to their in-house zombie line, The Dead. For better pics and to see the specs, check out the product listing at Sideshow Collectibles (The Dead: Specimens Legendary Scale Bust Set). This collection of zombie busts is sold as a set and their details are amazing. Don't forget to check out my review of their Premium Format Patient Zero as well!

The origin of the virus is yet unknown as humanity struggles to contain the Dead. Without answers, the hordes multiply rapidly. Few attempts to kill them have succeeded, but scientists have gathered a small number of specimens for testing and training. The answer seems to lay with the head, the brain of the once reanimated corpse. These specimens seem to offer a cure, and when they find one, you must Be Ready.

The first specimen to discuss is #090 “Probe”. This subject is helping science by allowing us to stick probes through his skull and into his brain. These probes are remove-able allowing you to play “mad scientist” and conduct your own experiments. There is a stream of blood that runs down his head from each puncture. You can almost imagine that something has been accomplished through this experimentation by the look on the subject’s face. He is almost in a hypnotic state and his eyes are extremely bloodshot as if one of our probes did a bit too much damage.

Common yet still appreciated painting details are apparent such as the gloss vs. matte paint applications. His eyes have a glossy sheen making them appear very lifelike. Open wounds and blood also have a glossy, wet appearance. Again, while this is a common technique used by most companies, it is still effective and makes a difference. My favorite detail with this particular piece is the pale, almost translucent skin. You can faintly see blue veins running throughout his head. It is not necessarily just the fact they are there, but also where they are and how many are visible. Combine this with the other exquisite and life-like features of the skin and you are left with a truly creepy collectible. The wrinkles, pores, and general facial structure are frighteningly realistic.

Our next specimen is #419 “Lobotomy”. The same exquisite detail is present with Lobotomy as well. Again, the facial expression is perfect for the experimentation being done. With his brain exposed, the crooked-mouthed lobotomy looks somewhat complacent. In fact, I feel that this specimen is very reminiscent of “Bub” from Romero’s Day of the Dead. While our first specimen to me looked more ominous and scary, this guy seems a bit more sad and playful. Pores, wrinkles, and effective use of facial muscles and structure make this guy every bit as realistic as probe.

Looking to play more “mad scientist” games? Fear not as Lobotomy has a removable scalp. The top of his head detaches to reveal the infected brain underneath. Sideshow, sparing no attention to detail, even has the inside of the removed cranium sculpted and painted to look like the inside of a skull. If you decide to display your zombie head whole, this top section is held into place with hidden magnets. Yes, the brain is coated with the same shimmering gloss as the blood, eyes, and other exposed wounds.

Finally, we have specimen #187 "Bullet". It doesn't take a genius to figure out how this specimen received his nickname. Apparently, experimentation with over for this particular subject. I would have to say this specimen is the least lifelike of the trio. That's not to say it isn't an astounding piece. Every gruesome, gory detail is to par with his two friends'. I think, maybe, it is the hair. While not horrible looking, I find it distracting when compared with the other two. In Sideshow's defense, the hair is textured and is painted with various shades. The wounds, wrinkles, skin textures, and paint applications combine to make yet another amazing bust. I particularly like his glazed over eye. I dare you to buy this and not stick your finger in his eye socket.

These guys are available as a set for $224.99 and the edition size is a very limited 200 pieces. While not exactly kid-friendly, they will turn some heads this holiday season.

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