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Doctor & Biker

Maximum Zombies
by yo go re

Last year, Art Asylum branched their Minimates out from the safety of licensed properties, creating an original product in Minimates MAX. This year at New York Comic Con, they introduced another expansion, Maximum Zombies.

A plague is sweeping the world. One that turns the dead into ferocious, gnawing creatures who desire only to feast on the living. No one is safe, not even the doctor who tries to stem the tide of death, and not the biker who counts on his brute strength to save him. They are only the beginning, the first of many. Soon, they will be legion.

These are far from the first zombie Minimates - Luke's Toy Store released their Zombie Decal Kit almost two years ago. But this is the first time they've been official offerings, rather than a fan-made product. The figures are sold on a simple blister card with a cardboard banner in the bubble giving the name of the line, and a suitably "horror-ish" pattern on the card. The cross-sell insert is still advertising Marvel Minimates, which is unexpected: why those instead of MAX?

The doctor is dressed to operate. He's wearing a green surgical gown, light green booties and a white facemask. He'd almost look like a normal guy, if not for the torn-away section on his left shoulder, and the blood splatters all over him. Cleverly, one of the bloodstains is a handprint - but rather than being the traditional open-palmed smear, it's designed to match a Minimate hand. Brilliant! We love to see attention to detail like that. His hands are bloody well up past the wrists, and judging by the blotch on his facemask, he's either been coughing up blood, or he tried to take a bite out of a patient without removing the mask. One lens of his glasses is shattered, but the other is intact and allows us to see his blank white eye. The lower portion of his gown is reused from Henry Frankenstein, and his surgical implement of choice is a bloody chainsaw (last seen with the Minimates MAX Smoke Jumpers).

The set includes an extra head, so you can give the doctor multiple looks. He's got the same broken glasses, so we know it's the same guy, he's just not wearing his full-head mask any more, The head they used for him is taken from Back to the Future's Future Doc Brown, which is a mixed bag: yes, it has molded hair, so he looks quite different from before, but it also has holes in the face where Doc Brown's future sunglasses were meant to plug in, and it sits very high on the neck, since the original head had to fit over a large chest cap. He ends up with a very long neck. He's still bleeding from the mouth on this version, and if you'd like a more unique look, take off the "skirt" and just leave him in his green pants: he'll look like he was wearing scrubs to do his rounds, rather than prepped for surgery.

Everybody had the same reaction when they first saw the biker: "oh my god, it's Dog the Bounty Hunter!" The vest, the long blonde hair, the thin beard, the sunglasses... there's no mistaking it! Like the doctor, the biker uses the clawed Minimate hands, to make him look more monstrous. His skin is wrinkled, to suggest decay, and there's a skull and crossbones tattoo on his left arm. He's painted with thick leather bracelets buckled around his wrists and has a fancy little design on his belt buckle. Instead of normal Minimate feet, he's wearing cowboy boots like in the Wolverine Through the Ages set. His pants are dark blue, so it's a little hard to see how high the black boots come up - nearly to his knees! There are three big ugly wounds on his torso: since they line up front and back, we're guessing they're meant to be shotgun blasts?

The biker's alternate look starts with a separate vest that fits over his torso, hiding some of the wounds. The skull and crossbones is repeated on the back, and reveals what gang he's a part of - the Calico Raiders. It's not the toughest name, but Minimates fans will appreciate the reference. Either they named themselves after a story, or this is a world where zombies have existed for a long time! His alternate head is much more dried out, has short grey hair and a large gash running over the right eye. His mouth hangs open, and we can see his top row of teeth.

As revealed at NYCC, Art Asylum has a lot of plans for Maximum Zombies: lots more undead monsters, using a lot more shared and repurposed parts. If they're as good as this inaugural set, they're going to be a lot of creepy fun. And if they all have extra bodyparts like this set, our own Rustin Parr is probably going to be buying doubles of every set, just so he can display them both ways. At last, Luke's zombies will have some friends to play with.

-- 11/09/11

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