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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Amok Time's Return of the Living Dead - TARMAN ZOMBIE

    "The Easter eggs have hatched"...

    The Return of the Living Dead Tarman action figure is available now from Amok Time priced at $21.99.

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    Not all zombies are created the same. Just like the unique human beings these once-living creatures were, each walking undead shares its own physical traits and appearances. Some are gifted with speed and smarts, the effects of turning only visible in their sickly skin tone and poor hygiene. Yet others stupidly shamble slowly after brains in the advance stages of decay; some missing arms, those more unfortunate, their legs. The "Tarman" is an extreme example of what happens when your entire body is immersed in Trioxin, a top secret substance created by our military. Not only does Trioxin have a nasty tendency of reanimating the dead, but the caustic chemical can transform human flesh into a slimey, soupy mess.

    Amok Time proudly presents the first-ever action figure pulled from 1985's cult classic horror comedy, The Return of the Living Dead. While many brain-starved undead populate this fan-favorite film, the Tarman is undeniably the most memorable - and gruesome - zombie of the bunch. Sporting some of the coolest practical horror SFX put on screen, the Tarman has oozed his way into popular culture with the now zombie-defining catch phrase "BRAINS!". Despite the Tarman's lasting horror legacy, it has been slow going for this cool collectible; a prototype for the figure first shown way back in 2009. Retailer support just isn't what it used to be, especially with niche items like this. Thankfully, the toy gods have smiled upon the Tarman allowing this anticipated action figure to see the light of day. Just released January 15th, the Tarman is available directly from Amok Time and at many fine retailers priced at a SRP of $21.99.

    Packaging for the Tarman is of the clamshell variety, a durable blister that attracts with a clear view of the figure inside. In fact, the actual Tarman action figure does 90% of the selling, the toy taking up most of the front window real estate. Photos of the figure set against an eye-catching purple and green background are used to great effect on the sides and back, the images and creepy color scheme enhancing the overall look of the packaging. Text is kept to a minimum, with a blurb on the back stating how this is the first-ever ROTLD action figure and the movie's title on the front. Oddly, there is no mention of the zombie's credited name on the front, though you can find it on the back. Regardless, it's a wild looking zombie from Return of the Living Dead, that much is very clear.

    Sculpt and paint-wise, the Tarman is every bit as gruesome as his on-screen counterpart. Great care was taken in translating the zombie's dripping tar-like decay in plastic. What's especially nice is how well the oozing pieces work with the creature's skeletal structure underneath. Aside from the obvious differences in texture - smooth cascading layers of flesh against a more sharply sculpted bone - Amok Time used paint to great effect. Glossy black contrasts nicely against a more muted bone brown giving the Tarman a realistic "wet" look. I should note here that the plastic construction for the Tarman is high quality stuff. While the dripping bits may look flimsy and delicate, everything is of a nice tough and durable material.

    Of particular note is the Tarman's brilliant head sculpt, the "soul" of the character. Part of why the Tarman had such a big impact on screen was its very animated face. With its huge buggy eyes and perpetual toothy grin, the Tarman was like a crazy caricature of a zombie. With a ball-jointed head and slightly opening mouth, the expressions you can achieve with this figure are picture perfect.

    Speaking of articulation, there isn't a whole lot, but what you'll find - like the head - is very useful for display. In addition to the ball-jointed head and opening mouth, fans will find two fully articulated ball-jointed shoulders. This allows for some varied arm positioning - from lowered down ready to spring, to raised in the air for an attack. I do wish Amok Time had added a cut waist for some side-to-side movement, and some cut wrists would have been nice for better holding the brain (he can, just not cupped and facing up), but what is here works well enough for striking some classic zombie poses.

    To further help your display, Amok Time has included a great themed base. You heard correctly, an actual display base. When was the last time you saw one of those included with an action figure? The piece, which ships in two easy-to-assemble parts, depicts the rundown basement of the medical supply warehouse, complete with a can of Trioxin. Well, technically it's not the whole can, but rather a look inside, a mummified corpse peering out. The floor of the base features some nice crumbling stone and wood debris, a discarded metal pipe and a bloody spot for placing the included bitten brain. As I previously mentioned, the Tarman can also hold the brain in his right hand.

    Lastly, two pegs allow you to firmly attach the Tarman figure. However, the Tarman stands just fine all on his own, so the base is not necessary. It's a great looking little diorama though, adding value to the figure and adding some extra visual punch for display.

    First "Bub" from Day of the Dead and now the "Tarman" from Return of the Living Dead. Who would have ever thought? Amok Time's passionate love letter to the zombie genre and its fans has been a slow time coming, but heck if it hasn't been worth the wait. Thanks to their persistence, horror hounds can now own a slice of monster movie magic. Two severed thumbs way up. "More BRAINS!"

    Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor

    Review Sample Courtesy of Amok Time

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Re: Amok Time's Return of the Living Dead - TARMAN ZOMBIE

    Loving that last pic!

    Now, McFarlane, do you understand why I can't buy any of your Walking Dead zombies? (even though I really wanted to when they were first announced and before I knew they would be in that useless puny scale)

    Can't wait to get my Tarman!

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