I’m not sure if anyone has heard of this little indie comic series called “The Walking Dead?”
The comic series has been going on for about ten years with over a hundred issues to date. Around issue 100 they decided to bring in a new villain who was destined to shake things up for Rick Grimes and his crew. Enter Negan; the maniacal leader of the “Saviors.” Negan and the saviors are basically running a mafia-like racket where they impose their protection on settlements in exchange for half of their supplies. It’d be very easy to dismiss Negan as a new version of the Governor, but he is both far more interesting and much more entertaining.
He makes his entrance to the comic by bashing the skull in of a fan favorite character using his bat he named “Lucille.” While he makes a pretty villain-like entrance he has developed into an almost anti-hero. He’s still obviously a bad guy to the main cast of the book, but he has some odd sensibilities that make you sit back and think, “is he really all that different from Rick?” Personally I’m a bit tired of following around Rick. I’d be glad to follow around Negan and his swinging helicopter dick of doom.
I actually bought a McFarlane toy. It feels weird saying this because the year is not 1995.
My first thought on this figure (and McFarlane’s Walking Dead line in general) is the scale is terrible for what they are trying to accomplish. He’s roughly at a five-inch scale which means nothing I own is the right size to go along with him. I’ve gotten over that scale issue with S.H. Figuarts before so that isn’t even that big a deal to me. I think NECA has proven that the 7″ scale works pretty well to get the right mix of detail and articulation, especially for movie and television figures. While Negan is still a decent figure, having him in a larger scale would make him work with 90% of my collection, and they would have a larger canvas to showcase some extra detail.
But alas McFarlane will do what McFarlane does and that’s just the way it is. So we have five-inch figures that have decent enough articulation but very strange hip joints. The hips look good standing up. This is also where “looking good” ends for that use of articulation. It doesn’t have a real great range of motion. The further up you move his leg it ends up looking like he has two butts. He also can’t really pull off a sitting pose … even a v-crotch can pull that off!
The only other problem I have with the articulation is that the joints get loose pretty quickly. Maybe the thinking was to use cheap “McFarlane brand” materials for the joints because no one opens them? My experience with McFarlane has always been that the plastic felt cheap, so it is nice to know things have stay consistent!
As far as doing an homage to Negan they did a pretty good job. I like the smiling face but would not mind a switchable angry head like they did with the TV Governor. My Negan does have a wonky eye. Lazy eyes make me sad, but it seems like more and more figures are hitting the shelves with them these days. I lament for the decades prior where eye placement was a quality checkpoint in these toy factories. It’s not just a McFarlane thing; I’ve had NECA, Playmates, Hasbro, and Mattel toys come to me in the last year with some really solid lazy eyes. The writing is on the wall here; I need to learn how to paint.
Negan comes with a couple of accessories: a bat, a knife, and an iron. All three accessories have pretty symbolic meaning to Negan’s character arc in the comics. He can holster his knife but has to choose whether to hold Lucille or the iron. It’s also worth mentioning that his hand is a little too tight to hold the bat correctly. You have to fudge the hand open a little more, but also be careful not to warp the bat in the process! Sorry to say I lost the iron before I even took pictures. I’m so clumsy.
Much like the Negan in the comic, if you want him he does not come cheap. He’s an exclusive to the Skybound Shop online and comes in two flavors: color and black and white. He’ll also run you $25 each plus shipping. It’s a pretty steep price for what you get. If I wasn’t in love with the character in the book this would have been an instant pass, but I NEEDED some Negan for my desk. Sometimes you just have to pay a little extra for those niche (would a Walking Dead character really be niche though? It’s kind of the mainstream now) characters you want to own because those opportunities don’t come around often.
So just as a recap the good is we have a Negan figure to have, hold, and love forever.
The bad — McFarlane!
… on a side note I can’t wait to see McFarlane’s booth at Toy Fair! I get excited about things I don’t like.