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Night of the Living Kev

Clerks InAction Figures
by yo go re

Seven and a half years ago, we reviewed Jay and Silent Bob from the "Clerks InAction figures," and pointed out just why the idea was terrible and would never take off. We weren't exactly wrong, per se, because the line only lasted three years, and the final series never even made it into real stores, but hey, you gotta admit that Kevin Smith met all his goals with the line: he made a figure of his wife, and... well, that's about it. But dozens of figures were made, and this year, a new exclusive joined their ranks.

View Askew and Graphitti Designs stoop to an all time low by producing an exclusive toy featuring the Master of InAction himself, Kevin Smith. The man behind the camera takes center-stage in one the most egotistical, whorish ventures ever seen in modern times.

There he stands regaled in athletic garb. Does he really expect us to believe he's a big sports nut of that he once had serious athletic asperations? Who the fuck is he kidding? With cigarette in hand, Kevin Smith stands tall and is ready for any and all of the nasty chat-room comments this figure is guaranteed to engender. The man who made "inaction" a lifestyle choice is living proof that you don't have to sweat to make millions... you just have to sweat when you walk, fuck, breath and think.

(Yes, it really says "breath," not "breathe." Moving on.)

At some indeterminate point, a "Kevin Smith" InAction Figure was made, and about a dozen variants of that have been made, as well: show exclusives, store exclusives, event exclusives... a veritable rainbow of egotistical, whorish ventures. Our subject today is "Night of the Living Kev," the zombie version.

All the Kevins Smith have the same sculpt, logically: it's a straight up-and-down pose, no sort of dynamic posing like some of the later InAction figures displayed - after all, this is Kevin Smith we're talking about. Southwest booting him from a flight may have been baseless, but he's not out there freerunning around the streets of Red Bank, NJ, either. His arms just hang at his sides - they're separate pieces glued in place, so it wasn't a choice made to get them out of the mold more easily. His right arm is turned so the palm is facing backwards, while the left is a bit more toward the front, with a cigarette between the first two fingers. The details are broad, since this is meant to resemble animated designs, but the things that should be sculpted have been: the edges of his clothes (including the stripes on his sleeves and lapels, the fly on his pants and the rolled tops of his socks), his fingernails, and even a few lines to create some detail in his hair. Nice work, Jon Matthews.

Since the sculpt on all the figures is the same, all the differences come down to paint, as you can see in our little display up above. Even the clothes on this one have a decidedly "zombie-ish" color palette: brown shorts, grey shirt, and puke-green jersey. The T-shirt, by the way, is a team shirt for the Monroeville Zombies - the hockey team seen in Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Don't get the joke? Monroeville Mall is where the original Dawn of the Dead was filmed. Most of the Kevins wear a jersey with #37 on the back (another joke, this one from the original Clerks), and a thematic slogan above that. Ths one gets "Bite Me," and the shirt is torn across the numbers.

It's not just the clothes, though: Kevin is a zombie! His flesh is green (nearly the same green as the accents on his shirt), and there's blood all over his hands. It's splattered on his gut and his back as well, and the details are really crisp - you don't often see blood apps this tight. His glasses (a separate piece glued on) have painted cracks, and his skin has been stripped away on his forehead and his cheek, revealing the bones and teeth beneath. Awesome!

Night of the Living Kev has no joints, not even swivels where his surprisingly scrawny legs poke out of his shorts. He seems to have a tendency to fall forward, which swivels might have helped, but them's the breaks. Not that anything does break when he falls: mine's tumbled several times, and neither his glasses nor his ciggy are any worse for wear. So no, no articulation, but you know that going in and either accept it or don't.

This figure came out earlier this year - in March, weirdly enough. Who releases a zombie toy in March? But he's still available through Previews, so if you want one, you can get your lcs to order him; failing that, you can buy him (and many of the other versions) at Smith's own site. The figure was designed by animator Stephen Silver, who did the designs for Clerks - The Animated Series, but unlike a lot of the later figures, this design actually looks like the person it's supposed to be. Standing 4¾" tall, this figure features zero articulation, zero accessories and zero signs of life.

-- 10/07/10

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