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Series 2

SLUG Zombies
by yo go re

It was two years ago when we first introduced you to Jakks Pacific's SLUG Zombies line and tried to convince you of its glory. Sadly, we didn't do our job well enough, because the line is kaput. But if Shocka can review Xevoz toys a decade after that line was cancelled, we can keep singing the praises of SLUG Zombies even after their demise. This year we're looking at Series 2, and since all four hunters in this series were included with the Christmas series, get ready for a full-on zombie fest!

[Note: in order to best show off the details, the images in this review are at twice actual size. --ed.]

Previous Job: Taxi Driver, Part-Time Fighter & Camp Counselor
Likes: Cut-Off Jeans & Mousse
Dislikes: Long Hair, Fools, & Country Music
Favorite Food: Fresh Carved Cranium

Just so we're all in agreement, this is a zombie version of Mr. T, right? Then why is his name "Mash-Up Mike"? Mister Terror. Misery G. Clubber Hanged. B.A. Cadaverous. I just came up with those off the top of my head, and they're all better than calling him "Mike." He's got Mr. T's distinctive mohawk, and is wearing a bunch of necklaces (which, in keeping with the zombie theme, have bones and a skull hanging from them). He's not wearing a vest, but his shirt does have the sleeves ripped off to create the same feeling. He has a weightlifter's belt, cut-off jean shorts, and tall socks sticking up out of his tennis shoes. There's a wound on his scalp, one on his back, and part of his left leg seems to have been cut away.

Previous Job: Head Chef
Likes: Fresh Meat
Dislikes: Canned Foods & Dumb Waiters
Favorite Food: Large intestine Lasagna

Oh, I get it, "Head Chef." Not as in "heading up all the cooks" but as in "cooking up all the heads." Funny! Stu B' You isn't a parody of any real person (or character), just a fun stylistic zombie. And his name is a pun. He's wearing a slightly floppy toque and a half-apron, but only has one shoe - and even that one is torn away over his toes! There's a bit on his belly, and his jowly cheeks seem to be ripped. He's clutching a wooden spoon in his left hand, and is cradling a big mixing bowl in his right arm. And because that would be boring, the mixing bowl has a human hand and a foot sticking up out of it. Delightfully gross! From the name to the design, he's like a Garbage Pail Kids sticker come to life, which is kind of awesome.

Previous Job: Point Guard for the Graveyard Ghouls
Likes: 3pt Shots, Slam Dunkin' & Ferris Wheels
Dislikes: Dribbling While Eating
Favorite Food: Pasta Prima-Scareya

Jump-Shot Rot is clearly Zombie Michael Jordan, even though the designers made his jersey number 32 instead of 23. What, were they afraid a bald basketball player wearing #23 would be too on-the-nose? Is Michael Jordan known for being ridiculously litigious or something? It's not like he's the only player to ever wear #23. He's palming a basketball and is posed in the knock-kneed, arms-akimbo stance that almost all the SLUG zombies have. There's a wound on his leg, probably because it was at mouth-height at the time. A patch of skin on his head is missing, he's lost several teeth, and both arms look emaciated. And just in case there was any confusion about who this is supposed to be, he's got his tongue hanging out.

Previous Job: Exploring the Unexplored
Likes: Planes, Brains & Automobiles
Dislikes: Hand Drawn Maps & Booby-Traps
Favorite Food: Anything from the Brainforest

Now, why the heck would they call this "Grim Trekker" instead of the most obvious choice, Indiana Bones? Or Illinois Bones, or Michigan or whatever other state you prefer. ["Un-Die-ana Moans" --ed.] Then again, it's not like there's any mistaking who this is. The fedora, the unbuttoned shirt, the purse over his shoulder... all he's missing is a whip! Wait, why doesn't he have a whip? That seems like a pretty big oversight. He is holding a torch though - maybe somebody could throw him the whip in exchange for him throwing them the torch. His face is nearly skeletal, which could be because he's been dead so long, or could be because someone watched Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He's holding the torch weirdly far out to the side - it seems like he should be holding it higher up. Maybe his dim zombie mind still retains enough of a glimmer of intelligence to be afraid of setting himself on fire.

Previous Job: Boxer, Wrestler & Ultimate Tough Guy
Likes: Collecting Stamps
Dislikes: Small Dogs
Favorite Food: Cauliflower Ears

Remember The Towering Terror from Series 3? This is his arch enemy, the Macho Mangler! Despite the name, this zombie is pure Hulk Hogan. He's even in the middle of the "crab" pose! Okay, sure, he's wearing pants instead of trunks, but maybe this is his later "Hollywood" days. The handlebar mustache is unmistakable! He's got long hair, a bandana, and a soul patch that appears to run all the way back to his throat. There are two wounds on his right arm, and another on the right side of his chest. His entire spine is exposed, and his left elbow appears to be bare bone with no skin or muscles. Speaking of which, it would have been cool if, instead of this pseudo-bodybuilder pose, Macho Mangler had been sculpted tearing his skin off, the way the Hulkster would rip off his shirts. But maybe that would have been two hard to get out of the mold in one piece?

Previous Job: Gladiator
Likes: Swords & Sandals
Dislikes: Cats
Favorite Food: Steamed Carrots with Mashed Meniscus

It took me a minute to figure out why Maximus Cadaverous' "dislikes" was cats: he's a gladiator; he probably had to fight lions! This zombie is as much based on Maximus Decimus Meridus (aka Russell Crowe) as Woody the Wrecker was on Tallahasssee. His jaw appears to be dislocated, but he doesn't appear to otherwise be very injured. There's a hole in the left side of his breastplate, but the body beneath looks intact - it must be the small scrape on his right shoulder that did him in. And that's despite the fact that he has Maximus' soldier armor on that side, rather than the bare shoulder his arena armor provided! Oh look, there are some bites on his elbows, as well. He's holding his gladius (gladiator sword, of course) in his left hand, and has it pointed at his own head. That doesn't seem safe, Max. Point that thing somewhere else.

Previous Job: Hooligan
Likes: Seltzer Water
Dislikes: Bright Lights
Favorite Food: "All You Can Eat" Dungenees Abs

Teddy Terror is a character that didn't make much sense when Series 2 first came out. The only clue to his inspiration was his previous job as a "hooligan" - in other words, a Stooge. Without the knowledge of what was coming in Series 3 and 4, there was no way anyone could reasonably be expected to recognize that this was supposed to be Zombie Curly. He's just a chubby guy wearing a striped jacket and a bow tie. He's not even bald! It's just a close-cropped hairdo. The weird expression on his face is pure Curly though. There appear to be two bites taken out of his left leg, and his eyes are completely sunken. I appreciate the fact that they felt the need to have Teddy standing knock-kneed, but how fun would it have been if he was laying on his side doing the "Curly run"?

Previous Job: King Of The Courtyard
Likes: Having a Killer Backhand
Dislikes: Sweaty Headbands, Tennis Elbow, & Holes in his Racquet
Favorite Food: Fresh-Served Cerebellum

If Andrew Agony is, as suggested by his name, a parody of Andre Agassi, does that mean he became a zombie in the early '90s, or is he wearing a wig? The standard SLUG Zombies zombie pose actually works out pretty well for a tennis player - he looks ready to receive a serve. The bite on his left leg is probably what infected him. His clothes are tattered, suggesting that maybe he has been a zombie since the '90s! It's a really cool little touch that they have him clutching a brain in his left hand instead of a tennis ball - it retroactively makes us wish that Jump-Shot Rot had a brain or a skull or a head instead of a basketball. I think the goal with Andrew Agony's racket was to make it look like broken strings, but since it's a solid surface inside, it ends up looking like a broken mirror or something.

Previous Job: Mad Scientist
Likes: Viruses, Monkeys & Mutations
Dislikes: Modern Medicine
Favorite Food: Spine Souffle

This guy's name is "Dr. Outbreak," which may tell us his role in the story, but is still a kind of lazy name (and we once reviewed a toy named "Dr. Mezitstein" [who, come to think of it, was also responsible for a zombie outbreak - maybe the SLUG Zombies are suffering the effects of AfterLife?]). He ends up looking like a hodgepodge of pop culture scientists: the goggles on the forehead say "Dr. Horrible," the haircut says "Beakman," and the bowtie says "Bill Nye." The only thing missing is a dose of Mr. Wizard - if he didn't have buttons down the front of his shirt, we could pretend he was wearing a blue sweater. He's clutching a beaker and a test tube, and from the state of his pants, it looks like whatever he was mixing blew up. He doesn't seem to have any visible wounds, though, so we're left to assume he was mixing... zombie juice? He's one of the four zombies available exclusively in the coffin 12-pack, along with Jump-Shot Rot, Maximus Cadaverous, and Teddy Terror.

Previous Job: Queen of Egypt
Likes: Crusin' The Nile... In Style
Dislikes: Being Told What To Do By Her Mummy
Favorite Food: Caesar Salad

The final zombie in the coffin is Cleopatra Commin'atcha. Yes, it's spelt with two M's for some reason. At least there's no question about who this zombie is (or how she died). Cleopatra's cartouche was spelt [hillside/lion-reed-lasso-stool-vulture-hand/mouth-vulture-loaf/egg], which transliterates to "Qliopadra" (the loaf/egg stack is identified with Isis and signifies a female proper name) but is somehow translated more commonly as "Qlwpdrt." She was Greek - a Ptolemy - and was the only member of her family to bother learning Egyptian. This zombie is bursting out of what is presumably meant to be her sarcophagus, but the fact that it's so round and stands upright makes it look more like a canopic jar. There are two large cracks down the front, as well as the remnant of a (stone?) arm that is not part of her body. There's real effort going into dragging her body out of this container! One arm is pushing against the tomb, and the other is raised in the air. Her face is decayed, and her hair is swinging back and forth as she moves.

Now, this is not the entire zombie lineup of SLUG Zombies Series 2. Just as with Series 3, there were 16 figures: 12 available in three-packs and 12 available in the coffin-shaped multipack, with an overlap of eight figures between them; that means there are four figures in the coffin that you can't get carded, and four figures carded that you can't get in the coffin. Since, again, I got all the humans in the Christmas set, I'm just missing two zombies: Mr. Jangles, the lab monkey, and Flesh Eatin' Phil, the zombie who lives in a mailbox (you know, in case you have extras lying around that you wanted to send to a good home). It's a shame that Jakks Pacific's Scary Little Ugly Guys line didn't take off the way it should have, but the zombies we got are a lot of fun.

-- 10/15/14

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