Topless Toy Chest: McFarlane’s Walking Dead Zombie Fishtank
Technically, I know, this isn’t officially sold as a toy. It’s a collectible case for the Season 3 Blu-ray.
It is. nonetheless, the coolest toy I got for Christmas so far. (Admittedly, I haven’t opened the NECA Keaton Batman yet. Personal circumstances being what they were, opening the gifts wasn’t our #1 priority.) It is also the most McFarlane-y McFarlane Toy in a long time, if you count it as one. And if you ever bought any of his toys back in the glory days, you should definitely count it.
Amazon sells this for around $80. The discs alone are $45. That means you’re basically paying $35 for the container, which is a fair price for what is essentially a 12″ scale figure accessory. Imagine what Sideshow would charge for something similar, and sigh in relief. Honestly, compared to most high-end company toy prices, $80 for the toy alone seems fair. How much is that NECA Predator trophy wall, again?
When you open the box, the disc set is the first thing you see. The rest is heavily packed in thick styrofoam, and will likely survive even the most brutal and Ace Ventura-like of UPS men.
Opening the disc set reveals a thick booklet that, I kid you not, has ads for pretty much every other kind of Walking Dead merchandise there is. Robert Kirkman is more of a goddamn marketing genius than George Lucas, I swear to God – Lucas has a whole universe to Hawk, while Kirkman basically has about five marketable characters besides generic zombies, yet there is probably as much Walking Dead crap out there in stores now as there is Star Wars stuff.
The white sheet of paper is about how to put the batteries in, and the first thing in the package that actually tells you what kind are needed – four AAAs. I looked on the outside of the box, but saw nothing telling me this.
It’s kinda creepy even like this, with the heads wrapped like meat in a freezer. The discs slide into a slot in the back of the cabinet.
And now we come to the heads. They have posts in the back that are fastened with springs to give them a bit of bounce, and the other end of the post has a lip on it that fits neatly over a notch inside the tub – there are three such notches in the bottom tub and two in the top, though you can reverse those if you want to have the three-tub on top instead. The upper two are a touch closer together than they should be, but it’s workable.
These things are basically 12″-18″ scale, depending how big you think these zombies were in life, and can work as props for other figures in similar sizes.
In fact, I’m pretty sure these are all 2-up versions of figures from the regular toy line. These aren’t just generic zombies – they’re scene-specific zombies that you’ll remember, though not from the actual fishtank scene. The top two, for example, are Michonne’s pets. In other words, think of this whole set as a homage/tribute rather than a show-accurate prop replica.
Oh, did I mention each tank comes with bonus bits o’ peeled skin to scatter in the tank? Indeed.
Here’s a look at the size. Consider that Jason is 19″ tall.
And now a look with the lights. As you can see, you don’t have to keep the heads on their “lip,” but you risk the post becoming quite visible otherwise, as with Pet #1 in the upper tank. At this point I have still not opened the bags o’ bits.
And here it is with water, which really makes it pop – the bubbles caught in the folds of the skull pump things up a notch. Notice that the skin bits float in the upper tank, and not in the lower – I don’t know why that is. The lights go on and off when you press down on the “3” in “Season 3” on the nameplate.
Here’s an angled look just so you can see the pinholes where the light comes through. It’s fairly water-safe – both tubs have Tupperware-like lids to seal it in – but I wouldn’t test it by turning the thing upside-down. It should be safe on your shelf, though.
I love this thing. It may not be an action figure per se, but it definitely counts as a toy, and a reminder of when McFarlane use to do fucked-up just for the sake of it. And even though it’s not scene-accurate, it’s a callback to what I still consider one of the show’s best moments.
Fishtank heads, fishtank heads, they’ll eat you up, yum!