Symbiote Studios' SAM & MAX Symbiotes
Steve Purcell's beloved creations get cuter...
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Symbiote Studios produced the super cool Sam & Max statue last year (and still available for purchase) and they're back once more with the beloved creations of Steve Purcell in another rendition of toys they like to call... well, SYMBIOTES, naturally! If you think this is another variation on the vinyl toy craze, you'd be partially right. These are in very much the same vein of collectible as Hasbro's Mighty Muggs, Mezco Mez-Itz, or Shocker Toys' Mallows. But where you'd be mistaken is that the Symbiotes aren't vinyl or plastic but actually made of polyresin.
What makes polyresin different? Well for starters, the material holds paint better than vinyl does and to customizers, that's certainly a huge draw. It's also a material that allows for more detail... something that Sam & Max toys would certainly benefit from.
Now, if you've been among the few that have pre-ordered Sam & Max, fear not as these guys are on their way! Definitely send customer service an email if you're unsure of your order status.
Getting to the toy itself, the packaging box is cute and attractive with Sam & Max in full color illustrated form, but doesn’t offer a new collector any information about "Symbiotes" and what makes them unique. Mighty Muggs at least tells collectors that it’s made of 100% recycled awesome, which of course isn't saying much but it works.
Inside the box is a Styrofoam crate to protect your new Symbiotes already wrapped in plastic. That's a good thing as sometimes foam bits start to cling. Do be careful here as the arms and weapons may not be packed in tightly, and being the size that they are, easy to misplace.
Getting to the sculpts, what can I say? They're cute! I understand that "Symbiotes" usually have a general body type but they're not all conformed to the same mold. Both Sam AND Max are completely different size and different sculpts completely so they are rather unique among themselves, Max of course being of a smaller body but about the same height as Sam from head to toe (sans hat).
And it may not be clear in the photos but there's actually a lot more detail in these figures than one would initially expect. These aren't like Mighty Muggs or Mallows where the details are simply painted on. There's some actual sculpting going on in these figures. It's very subtle but they're there.
Also to note, these don't stand very tall either so they won't take up a lot of space on your shelf but large enough to enjoy. They're a good size that way, especially with all the cool stuff flooding the market these days.
Now, we can't go too much further without talking about the articulation. With vinyl, articulation is pretty easy to do. With polyresin, that's not as much the case. So what did Symbiote Studios do? They went with magnets! Magnets in their arm sockets and arms so your figures can pose their arms. Head still doesn't move but at least the arm does.
One nitpick on the magnets though as I was disappointed to learn that the polarization of the magnets weren't all matching so I had zero luck putting Sam's arms on Max and vice versa. Why would I need to do that? I dunno, I'm a big kid like that I suppose. So, kudos on the magnets, but get it so people can really mess around if they wanted to.
Paint on these suckers are great. I found no issues with either toy. Of course Max is pretty much white but at least his facial features are clean, as are Sams. No complaints here.
With the accessories, each figure comes with two sets of arms and a weapon. Sam comes with a bonus hat that fits snugly on a peg. I'm actually not quite sure why there are two sets of arms because I didn't find them to be particularly different from each other. I suppose one set is better suited with the pistol but the differences weren't that obvious to me at least.
These toys are nicely made and perfect for the Sam & Max fan. It's always good to see characters who never got a lot of merchandise attention finally get their due. These toys are a tad heavier than vinyl so if they feel more fragile, that's why. You might not see these on Symbiote Studios website for sale just yet but they're on their way. Keep your eyes peeled.
Review and Photography by David Yeh
Review Sample provided by Symbiote Studios