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Days Gone Bye box set

Walking Dead
by yo go re

Trapped in a coma for months, Deputy Rick Grimes awoke to find that civilization had fallen to pieces in the face of an overwhelming zombie outbreak. Reuniting with his best friend Shane and finding an ally in the resourceful Glenn, Rick must adapt to the new way of the world: survival by any means necessary.

Last year's SDCC Walking Dead Minimates set offered four new figures. This year's is all re-releases, starting with Series 1's Rick Grimes. He's looking pretty badass, with his deputy's uniform, his big hat, and his giant bag of guns.

His uniform includes a short jacket with fur trim around the collar, and star emblems on the shoulders. The badge on his chest is sculpted, and so's the name tag on the other side. His belt has a working holster on one side and a small loop on the other - those hold his revolver and his axe, respectively. The big bag of guns slips over his right shoulder, and the set includes two rifles and two shotguns that can all be stored inside there.

Although Art Asylum's WD license is specifically for the comics, not the TV show, the badge on Rick's hat tells the opposite story: in the comics, the badge has always been shield-shaped; on the TV show, it's a seven-pointed star. The toy's mold matches the latter, which seems like it would be stepping on somebody's toes.

If you want a Rick more suited to Atlanta's decidedly non-frigid climes, you can remove his coat. And his arms. And then replace his arms with different arms, ones that have short sleeves and bare arms. The shirt is detailed very well: it's painted with a badge and his Grimes name tag, a row of buttons, two pockets on the chest, and a white undershirt. The set also includes a second piece of hair for him, so he can ditch the (possibly infringing) hat and get some sun in his eyes. You can also make out the details on his belt better - in addition to the two weapon-holdy spots, there are several pouches to be found.

The thing that sets the figures in this set apart from their original releases is that, like the Halloween ComicFest Dale and Female zombie, they're all done in greyscale (although, as is evident when you remove their limbs, they were molded in pink). That's why they can just get away with reusing the Series 1 "Burnt Zombie" paint masks - torn shirt, drooping pants, severe skin problems, everything.

This set is allegedly based on the first tpb, Days Gone Bye (no, that's not a typo), the zombie that this Minimate is based on didn't appear until issue #21, which is collected in Volume 4. Eh, the important thing is that we got another b&w zombie, doubling the ranks.

To add a little variety to the display, the zombie comes with a replacement for his torn-off right arm. Oddly, rather than matching the wounds seen on the ruined arm, the complete one gets the same apps as the left arm. Well, at least you can't see them both at the same time. He also gets the "pile-o-guts" accessory/base which can be plugged into the waist in lieu of his legs, leaving him a helpless mass laying on the ground. It's a good look for him!

Next we have Glenn, as he was first encountered running around in Atlanta. He's wearing... well, blue jeans, but really grey jeans because these figures are all in black and white. He's got a pale T-shirt on under hus unbottoned, long-sleeved shirt, and is wearing what is, in the comics, a New York Yankees cap, but for the toy has no sort of logo at all - so now the only question is, do I draw one on, paint one on, decoupage one on, or just look for an appropriately sized sticker?

His face looks perfectly like Tony Moore's art for the comic (less so like Charlie Adlard's art), right down to the tiny bit of stubble on his chin. Do you think it was intentional that Moore, when designing the characters, made Glenn look like an older Short Round? Same hat, same kind of shirt(s)... slightly more competent, granted, but still.

Glenn's got some really nice accessories. There's a pistol and the holster that it fits into. The holster is attached to a thin piece that fits around the waist peg. He's also got a backpack that can slip off over the shoulder joints if you remove the arms. The zipper's undone just a bit, leaving a gap so you can stow his bolt cutters. A slot on the side holds a removable flashlight, making this overall a very cool set of gear.

And finally, we have the High Priest of the D-Bag Tribe, Shane. It's fine to take care of your comatose best friend's family when the world goes to hell, and there's no shame in falling in love with his wife. But when said friend shows up again, you don't get to try to kill him. Dick move, Shane. You deserved what you got.

Like his (former) best friend Rick, Shane is wearing the remnants of his police uniform. He's already forsworn his button-down shirt, leaving just his white T-shirt beneath his heavy, fleece-lined coat. The badge and nametag are sculpted elements, as are the pockets. He's wearing the same hat as Glenn, but his is black and says POLICE in white letters. A holster hangs slack at his waist, and he's got a pistol that fits in there. He's also armed with a rifle, for taking out walkers at a greater distance.

Neither Glenn nor Shane have extra hair if you want them to take off their caps. But at least with Shane, you can make him a little more "summer-ready" by removing his coat and putting on the included bare arms. Remember, you can always tell Shane's arms apart from Rick's by their fine, non-coma-atrophied muscletone by the fact that they've got white sleeves instead of grey ones. And you can tell their coat sleeves apart because Shane has eagles instead of stars; some sort of difference in rank, maybe?

The Walking Dead Minimates "Days Gone Bye" set is an excellent exclusive. It's all figures we've seen before, just given a new, fun colorscheme. You don't need this set to complete your collection, but it's a really cool addition.

-- 09/10/14

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