For this Chapter of “The Wall” we turn our attention to a person that your mother would tell you not to stare at. That would be rude. In this case however staring is actually a good thing. The “Zombie” from Cast-A-Way toys (CAT) “Creepy Classic” assortment is actually a very cool looking figure despite the deformities. From the cool “Scooby Doo” color scheme to the highly detailed sculpt and dare I forget to mention the REALLY impressive artwork created for the card backs, I was chomping at the bit to pick these up after having seen pictures of them. So far I’ve scored two with two others lurking in the shadows just outside of my grasp. Perhaps one day I will track those two down and add them to “The Wall” but for now let’s look at why this guy helps me pacify the time yet leaves me wanting more.
Point #1. What it is.
Point #2. Where it came from.
Point #3. The Good.
This figure has a lot of really good things going for it. first and foremost to me is it’s simpleness. At first glance you see a monster that escaped from the “Scooby Doo” universe. The blue hair, light blue skin and jaundice yellow eye balls and teeth give this figure the look of a toy that very well could have been released back in the heyday of Saturday morning cartoon’s. But don’t that subtle glance full you. Upon closer inspection you’ll see that this guy is like an old cowboy… the details of his journey are etched into his face.
When you look closely at this undead dude you’ll see that the amount of detail is remarkable. Line after line that simulates rotting flesh can be seen. The miss matched teeth jut out in such away that you know with only one bite he could easily tear through your skin, muscle and parts of bone as he feeds his need for human flesh. His mismatched eyes also add to the beautiful fact that this guy is indeed ugly to his core. No perfect symmetrical features here kids This guy is bad. He wants to eat you. There is no room for discussion. Once you make eye contact with him, the one eyelid-less globe is penetrating your very soul as your gut screams that you are soon to be an entree for this cannibalistic carnivore. Oh yeah, “You. It’s what’s for dinner.”
The body on this guy is also to die for. Sorry couldn’t help the pun. The CAT body has become my favorite “Re-Mego” 8 inch body on the market today. The swivel biceps along with the easy to change out hands and feet also make for easy customizing. But that’s a whole other story that we’ll save for later. Another aspect that really helps this figure “POP” is that the guys did an excellent job in matching the paint colors of the head to the body. In some other examples out there it’s a little bit of a pet peeve when you see that the tones of the body and head are not consistent. That’s not the case here and I really appreciate this subtle but important detail.
Point #4. The Bad.
While I just praised the CAT body I do have to pick on one part of it, the ankles. In freeing this guy from his shell and taking the pictures I realized that the wheels on this bus have some issues going round and round. More fittingly I should say staying steady.
Again I don’t like pointing too hard a light on one flaw when the rest of the toy impresses me so much. Still, the loose nature of the ankles does make posing this guy a bit of a trick. Without properly situating the rest of him, the angles seems to give way to the upper bodies weight. I do take into account that this figure is intended more for the adult collector than a kid, the looseness still bothers me somewhat. Not nearly enough to turn me away from a CAT body. There is a very strong possibility that this particular figure is unique in this problem. I own a few other CAT figures and a couple of bodies and their ankles aren’t quite so loose.
Point #5. Why I like it.
This is one figure that was a true “score” for my collection. I had seen pictures of previous “Creepy Classics” that CAT had released and thought they were super cool. But in trying to track them down I also saw that they were fetching above top dollar on ebay and the budget just hasn’t allowed for too many of those “big buys” at the moment. I was pretty excited when CAT announced they were doing this second assortment but alas I missed the boat on that release too.
Originally you could only order these guys as a four figure set for $100 through the CAT website (www.castawaytoys.com) and I couldn’t justify dropping a Benjamin at the time. I do believe they were all very well worth $25 a piece however and if they would have been sold individually I would have acquired one of each over time.
In fairness to CAT though I must point out that only 20 of each character were produced so I can understand why the stipulations were made. Still it would be nice to round out the set.
Another big thing for me is the card art. Professional graphic artist Tim Baron was commissioned for this piece and boy, oh boy did he deliver! The style is very retro and similar to what you would have seen back in the 60’s and 70’s when it came to monster magazines and comics. I genuinely love the look and feel of old school Halloween stuff so Tim’s artwork touches me on that level deeply.
You can see more of Tim’s art a his website http://timbaron.com/
Don’t let these ghouls full you. Tim has some mighty impressive chops. If you visit his sight/ online portfolio you’ll see that his abilities can go from ghouls such as this to incredible renderings of real people. Check out his Snoop Dog and you’ll see what I mean. Okay so Snoop isn’t exactly “real” but you get my point.
Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.
Why you should:
If you can find ’em they are wonderful monster toys for your collection. The trick though is indeed finding them. Being a small company their runs are small and seem to be spaced out pretty wide. Still as an 8 inch action figure collector and Halloween decoration junkie I can’t recommend these enough. Plus being such a limited release it’s always fun as a collector to have such unique pieces that you can’t just run out and buy. Even though I do hope CAT as a company and the 8 inch action figure style becomes popular enough that you can actually find these in the big chain stores. Tell your friends, family and even your enemies! Spread the word and grow the market!
Why you shouldn’t:
To the purest these figures may let you down. The only reason I say that is because the heads are made from resin and are not the hollow rubber, rotocasted type that was used by Mego and most of the other “Re-Mego” producers today. CAT does have these type of heads on some of their other figures such as the Phantom and Jessee James but the “Creepy Classics” simply haven’t reached that level of popularity to warrant the cost that comes in making heads of that nature. Other than that though, I can’ give you any reason not to add these to your collection.Well, perhaps if your the really impatient type who can’t handle the hunt. But if that’s the case you should collect something else like, state logo quarters. Oh what fun.
The Cast -A-Way Toys “Creepy Classic” Zombie is a very fun and fun looking toy. The company may be small but the heart that they put into their releases pounds loudly and can be seen in every release they offer the world. If you can track any of these down I say go for it! snatch it up and enojy. Or better yet send it to your old buddy Jimbo so i can add it to “The Wall.” Now, Go Play!
Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at email@example.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com
All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com