Michonne is part of the third series of McFarlane’s TV series-based Walking Dead line, and, to be perfectly frank, while I have been keeping an eye on the line, she’s the first figure I’ve felt is worth picking up. The majority of the figures up to this point have been pretty typically “McFarlane,” meaning they’re basically statues with a few points of articulation thrown in that serve no real purpose because they’re really only meant to be posed one certain way. Figures of that sort were great for their time in the mid-’90s, but in this “post-Marvel Legends” world we now live in, those “statues” aren’t going to cut it anymore where action figures are concerned. That’s why I was so pleased to see this Michonne hanging on the pegs at my local Toys R Us. She’s a dramatic departure from what came before because she looks to be a proper action figure. She’s not relegated to just one pose and she looked like she’d be a pretty fun figure to play around with. And I’m happy to report my hunch was right on the money.
The packaging caught my eye immediately as I wandered through the aisles at Toys R Us. When I first saw it, I thought it was the start of a brand new series, but upon closer inspection, it does indicate she’s part of series three. The packaging is slimmer and is more in line with what one would expect from a ‘traditional” action figure offering — and that alone is a big departure from what I’ve come to expect from McFarlane. Even the Halo series is packaged in such a way to make them somewhat unique on the pegs, so I was surprised, and pleased, to see the Walking Dead line head in this direction.
Right out of the package she feels pretty solid. I had no QC issues with stuck or rubbery joints, and everything moved as it was intended to. She comes packaged wearing her hood and cloak, which is made of a softer rubbery material. It fits well and looks good, and it doesn’t hinder her articulation that much, but if you want her in full-on zombie fightin’ mode, then it’s best to remove it.
From the back the detail of the hood holds up, although mine has some weird rubber “bump” in the lower middle that compromises the reality of the cloak, but being that it’s made of a softer material, that is easily remedied with an Exacto knife. Otherwise the paint looks great and it’s weathered in such a way to really make it look convincing and real.
When the cloak is off this figure really shines and all the great detail of her sculpt comes out. It’s a great likeness to Danai Gurira who plays Michonne on the show. There is so much detail and so many great paint apps packed into this figure. For a mass-market retail figure, I really have to admit that this is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. The sculpt is just superb and the paint job really does a lot to make it shine. When looking at the figure, the only real “flaw” I notice is that mine has something odd going on with her left hip, but I’m not sure if that’s just mine or if it’s a common issue.
Whoever sculpted this figure really did a good job in representing the female form. Of all the female action figures I’ve seen at retail over the years, this is definitely the most realistic and the most successful at capturing the look and shape of a female character. All the way around her sculpt is simply fantastic.
In addition to the hood and cloak, she also comes with her signature sword and a scabbard for it. It can hang comfortable over her shoulder, as pictured above, and it looks very natural when doing so, something I was very pleased to see. The detail work in both the sword and scabbard are excellent.
The sword has a nice, big handle and her articulation actually allows her to hold the sword with both hands — and it actually looks natural and not forced. That alone was worth the price of the figure. Speaking of her articulation, her upper body is chock full of useful points of articulation that allow her to be posed in just about any pose you can think of. Even her head has a decent range of motion and isn’t hindered by her dreadlocks at all.
Where her articulation falls apart, however, is in her lower body. Everything from the waist down is merely OK, articulation-wise. Her legs have a very limited range of motion and cannot move forward very far at all. In fact, what you see in the above picture is basically as good as it gets for leg poses that will still allow her to stand. She has knee joints and rocker ankles too, but you can only do do much with those if her leg movement is hindered at the hip, which is the case, unfortunately. The good news is, she doesn’t do a whole lot of crouching on the show, so we can still get plenty of screen-accurate poses out of her.
In terms of scale, she is definitely in that weird McFarlane 5″ or so scale that they use for their Halo figures. The zombies in these pics are from the 3A Toys 1/12 scale Action Portable line, so they’re in a 6-inch scale. As you can see, she isn’t horribly out of scale with these figures, but it definitely isn’t perfect, either. I debated picking up her two pet zombies that are also available, but they didn’t look to be as good as Michonne in terms of being “true” action figures. They look to suffer from the ol’ McFarlane statue syndrome, and seeing as how I already own a couple dozen 3A Zombs, I figured my bases were covered zombie-wise. I may still pick up her pets just to have some zombies that are more in line with Michonne in terms of design because the 3A Zombs do look a little goofy in comparison.
She’s a good bit smaller than the average 6-inch scale figure, and I was surprised to see she’s even smaller than Character Options’ Doctor Who figures. Not much smaller, but I’m having a hard time picturing Michonne being smaller than Amy Pond. Doesn’t seem… right. But that may just be my bias toward the character speaking.
This figure is hitting Toys R Us stores and all the usual online stores right now, and prices tend to fall between $14-$17 depending on where you go. I highly recommend this figure because she’s a ton of fun to pose and play around with, and, honestly, I want to encourage McFarlane to continue down this path and to keep giving us figures of this quality. I’m very happy with my purchase and I want more, but aside from her wave-mate Merle, I’m not going to go back and pick up any of the others because I want a full Walking Dead crew that are all as good as Michonne here. If that means I’ll never complete my crew, then I’ll just be happy to have her on my shelf.