I always love it when a small company that's doing good work can hold on in this unfriendly market. Better yet, I love it when they can grow. Shocker Toys only has one product - their little Shockinis - but they've got several great licenses and have a few new body types on the way, one of which was made available for the first time at Wizard World Philadelphia.
The body is their new Skeleton Type: it's got the same arms and legs as the regular Shockinis, but its chest and head are new. For this exclusive, the figure is painted with a black bone pattern and sports a Wizard World logo on its chest to become the Undead Scalper.
The figure stands only 3" tall, but has 18 points of articulation: neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. The biceps and thighs stil have those weird gaps that make Shockinis stand out from the rest of the block figures. They exist because the upper arms and legs have balljoints for maximum poseability, but it's still somewhat odd.
The new bodyparts are designed nicely, to sell the look of a skeleton: the torso has a distinct ribcage supported by a spinal column, while the head has a subtler shape that suggests the jawline of a fleshless skull. The arms and legs probably should have been thinner, but then there'd be no way to include as much articulation and still be sure the figures wouldn't break.
The Undead Scalper includes the same selection of accessories as the Shockini Starter Kits: a machine gun, a sword, a staff, a pair of binoculars and some kind of... square... thing. It's a customizable brick, which you can turn into a weird hand or something.
There's also a base that you can use to help him stand. For you Harryhausen fans, you can have the Undead Scalper hold his sword in one hand and his base in the other as a giant shield - the foot peg is the same size as the hand grips. Modular! Buy several and build yourself an undead skeleton army!
The decos that make this skeleton the Undead Scalper are pretty good, but a bit strange at the same time. The body is white, with black paint creating the bones. For the most part, this works the way you'd think it does: eye sockets, lines suggesting the ribs and vertebrae, lines between fingers and toes, etc. But while the shins and forearms follow this patten, using the black paint to show the space between those double bones, the thighs and upper arms just have a big bone painted on them.
On most of the body, there are white bones with black shadows; on the thighs and biceps there are black bones. I don't know how they could have done this differently, but it does stand out a bit. Probably would have been too expensive to put black arms with white paint on the figure. Sadly, only the front of the figure is painted - if your Undead Scalper turns around, you'll just see a flat white surface. But that's okay, because Shockinis are designed to be customized: just paint your own bones on!
The Wizard World Logo is not painted on, but is only a sticker - hopefully it won't peel off. The 50 stickers included with the figure don't all make sense: for instance, the two stickers that show a slightly paunchy gut. A gut? On a skeleton? where are you supposed to put it? Oh well; the Undead Scalper looks good without any additional decals, and you can always use them on a different Shockini.
Shockinis always looks weird in photos and in the package, but once you open them and start playing around, those strange joints just disappear. The Undead Scalper is a nice introduction to the new body type, and a fun little piece. If you're going to a Wizard World convention this year, it's worth stopping by the Shocker Toys booth and picking one (or more) up.
Can you think of a better way to have done the upper arms/legs? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.