Spawn Series 7 Sam & Twitch 2-pack review

Good cop, bad cop, red fish, mob hit.

Sam and Twitch - the two good cop characters from the wonderfully dark comic Spawn, from comic writer/artist/multimillionaire Todd McFarlane. From early on in the comicbook's history, both characters served the purpose as a rare contrast to all of the darkness - two good guys on Spawn's side who know of his existence. They also did their duty as contrasting personas of brains and brawn - Twitch, the technological whiz who resembles a stick man, works the neuron cells while Sam, with his big gun and big arms worked the muscle in the gig. Later on the duo got their own comic, still hot on the streets today.

Straight from the pages of America's most popular comic book Spawn, come detectives Sam Burke and Twitch Williams. Since Spawn's arrival in New York, these private detectives have attempted to track down and question his vigilante ways. Even though they have only encountered Spawn a few times, their lives have become intertwined with his existence. An experienced detective, Sam can navigate a crime scene like the back of his hand. Twitch, a sharp shooter, points out Sam's occasional oversights. A powerful team, San and Twitch are a force to be reckoned with.

From Todd's toy empire McFarlane Toys, in the seventh Series of Spawn toys, came the plastic immortalization of the pair. Sam and Twitch feature in the line with The Mangler, Crutch, No-Body, Scourge, and Zombie Spawn. The series was released several years ago (1997) and isn't easy to find, with the most popular figures Zombie Spawn, The Mangler and Sam and Twitch fetching collectors prices on eBay and other collector fares. The others are mostly forgettable, including the laughable Crutch and No-Body.

Sam and Twitch stand at 5 1/2 inches each, both in scale with the earlier figures of the Spawn series. However, compared to the newer figures, both of them are too short to be displayed with the newer Spawn Classics series. The detail on both is good, and they're both sculpted well - excellent representations of their comic selves, and also their anime selves. Twitch is thin, with boring brown pants and shoes overshadowed by his utility vest, covered in detailed pouches above his dark blue jacket and red tie. His face is detailed well; from his thick glasses to his bushy moustache and matching hair. Sam is completely the opposite; his clean-shaven face carries an angry expression above his overweight body. He wears a brown overcoat and green shirt, with an oversized tie and pair of grey pants. Little details like clips and buttons are painted nicely; the figures are very cartoonish and thus the detail isn't as realistic as it is neat and suited to their look.

Their accessories bring them up a notch. Sam and Twitch both have headsets a la the comic, which are nifty and fit on their heads with the use of a peg and a big hole in their ear. The hole isn't really noticeable, but kind of resembles a bullet to the side of their heads, which is fun for play. Both carry a weapon of choice; for Sam, it's the heavy lug of a pistol; for Twitch, it's a machine gun that he holds in both hands. Neither gun is detailed, but is made out of a rough metallic plastic that I've never seen before. It looks impressive on the pistol, but kind of ridiculous on the machine gun. But both figures hold their weapons well, and Sam has an awesome pose holding his gun out front with his violent expression turned towards the law-breaker. Sam also has a jelly donut, which looks kind of tasty; you can see the purple jelly inside. It's very nice. My only complaint is that Twitch needs something to go with him; I let him use the radio-thingy from Felicity Shagwell, but he could do with a similar technological device of his own.

Unfortunately, the articulation doesn't earn points for either Sam or Twitch. Both have swivel joints at the shoulders and neck, and Twitch has leg articulation, but that's it. Not good for a toy in comparison to, say, Kaiyodo, whose toys have between 19 and 33 points of articulation. Both Sam and Twitch also only have a couple of poses, but they can be expressive. Sam looks good holding his cruller and gun, while Twitch can look angry with machine gun ready, or deep in thought, staring at some computer equipment. Still, some more arm and leg articulation would be nice, as would midsection/torso movement (which would be impossible considering Sam's enormous size). But despite the middling articulation, both figures are very durable, a problem with some of today's McToys (which sometimes fall apart in the package). You can drop these guys off buildings and they wont break. Not too shabby, thanks Mr. McFarlane.

What it comes down to with Sam and Twitch is that they are average figures; they aren't full of play, but they have enough interest in them for both the collector and the player. But they don't have a real gimmick, like most McFarlane Toys, which usually includes something monstrous or gory. I really like them, though, since they represent the good in a sea of ugly - in the entire Spawn Toys series, these are basically the only good human characters, and they stand as normal in a huge circus of freaks. Together, they also look very kewl. Though hard to find, checking eBay for loose figures should find some easily and cheaply, but those after the MOC version will be paying slightly more.

There is also a variant of Sam and Twitch, without headsets and with different sculpts: no bulletproof vest on Twitch, and a schlumpy, porcine face on Sam. The colors are also different, with Sam in a colorless shirt, striped red tie, tan coat, and blue pants; and Twitch in an all-brown suit, and a blue tie.

I prefer the original version myself, and I keep these guys displayed with the original Spawn and Violator, of which they look mighty cool. Mine only set me back $10, and they were mint on card at an expensive comicshop. Anyway, I recommend these figures as a good two pack for Spawn collectors and those after two good (alas short) cop figures.

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