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Specimen 459

Zombie Lab
by yo go re

Now the apocalypse can truly begin!

We don't need to make up a bio for Zombie 459, because he's the star of the Zombie Lab story - a recently deceased human was injected with Serum Z34 as part of an experiment to cure zombism. Two hours after injection, the zombie virus' activity level was decreasing, and human reflexes had begun to return. The doctors in charge of Lab 51 had been working for more than two years to find their vaccine, and it seemed like at last success was on the horizon... then Specimen 459 turned on them, fooling them into freeing him and allowing him to lead the zombie uprising. Whoopsie-doodle!

(And yes, despite the fact that the other zombie we've reviewed so far was "Specimen" 425 and the two exclusive variants of this one call him "Specimen" 459, this toy is identified on the packaging as "Zombie" 459. Probably just an oversight.)

For someone who's only been dead less than a day, Zombimen 459 sure is looking like a corpse that's been mummifying in a wall for years. His head is bald, his cheeks are sunken, his nose is gone, and if he still has eyes, they've decayed to the point where they're the same color as his flesh. So are his teeth, and the interior of his mouth.

Yes, 459 is not what you would call a "colorful" action figure: the only clothes he wears are the tattered remains of pants, and they're just a slightly darker brown than all his exposed skin. There's blood smeared on the body, but even that blends in, leaving us with a very muddy, indistinct toy.

And it's a shame, too, because the sculpt is really good. The skin is dry and puckered, suiting a dead body, and he has exposed ribs and a massive cut on the left side of his chest - it can either stand alone as a wound, or you can slot one of the bladed weapons other figures come with in there, like they just struck ineffectually at him. There's also a deep hole in his right thigh, perfect for stabbing!

Since the Zombie Labs figures are built on Boss Fight Studio's highly articulated character kit system, the movement is good. Even though he's a new sculpt, Specimbie 459 has a balljointed head and neck; swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; a balljointed torso; balljointed hips; double-hinge knees; and swivel/hinge ankles. His hands are molded in a "clawing" pose, but all the balljoints are the real fun: they let you twist and tip him in weird ways, because the undead don't care about comfort. Some people have had trouble with the hinges, but the ones on my sample seem fine.

459's accessories are the same 425 had, and will seemingly be standard for the zombies in this line: a human arm for consumption, an alternate stomach with exposed guts, and an alternate stomach that terminates in a little bit of spinal column, rather than attaching to a pelvis. The "entrails" stomach works quite well for Specimen 459, since he doesn't have any kind of shirt or other torso-covering to get in the way of it. There's also the display base, which features a little bit of cracked pavement with a... half-sized manhole cover, maybe? Some round element to break up the monotony. There's also the standard art card, featuring 459 making his way through Lab 51 and makin' some new friends.

Zombie 459 has a wonderful sculpt and an important role in the Zombie Lab story, but boy, do those muted colors do him no favors!

-- 10/26/18

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