If you missed our review of the first series of McFarlane Toys‘ WB 100 Movie Maniacs, you need to know that these are not at all like the previous Movie Maniacs figures. Indeed, they aren’t action figures at all. So long as you know that and don’t expect 7-inch poseable characters, these 6-inch scale pre-posed mini statues with diorama backdrops look great. They may not all be from movies, or necessarily maniacs — though the Series 2 selections of Gandalf, Alan Garner, and Sloth might have felt reasonably at home as characters in the original toy line.
McFarlane’s next series will be based on Sony’s Jumanji sequels, which seems a bigger risk. They’re not yet iconic characters, at least two of the actors have been toys many times before, and they’d really work better as action figures. But The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings, and even The Hangover are movies most people know and respect, and the characters represented here are shown in their most unforgettable scenes. A Jumanji Robin Williams statue would be more in line with these.
The Hangover figure offers the biggest and best departure for this series so far. Rather than a separate curved cardboard backdrop in plastic brackets, it features a folded cardboard wall that plugs right into the figure’s base, with an appropriately styled upper bracket. This helps it take up much less space on the shelf and integrates the elements better.
From a distance, it looks like Alan is leaning against the wall. Obviously, it wouldn’t hold him, and indeed, there’s maybe a milimeter or two between his hand and the cardboard. Take the backdrop away, however, and you get a figure in classic “Talk to the hand” pose. Clearly, we are not above taking advantage of that…
Gandalf comes with the Balrog in the backdrop, clearly ready to turn and tell it that it shall not pass. The only thing curious here is that his base depicts green grass, which doesn’t quite seem like the Mines of Moria. Artistic license, etc. Like the rest, he’s permanently attached to the base, though on this series, it feels like a connection that wouldn’t be too hard to break if somebody really wanted that.
Sloth, rather than depicting a backdrop from the movie, has a treasure-map backdrop, albeit one that seems heavily notated. It’s an odd choice, since each figure comes with a bonus “mystery item,” and the treasure map would have worked well for that. Instead, Sloth comes with a Goonies mini poster. Gandalf, however, comes with a Middle-earth map. Go figure. (Alan comes with a sticker of the baby harness.)
Perhaps there’s a rights issue over using Goonies stills. Who knows. There’s certainly a joke to be made that McFarlane Toys found a way to get a Superman variant in each wave. It was Bugs Bunny in the first one and now Sloth. When can we get Christopher Reeve?
Sloth looks like a perfect laser scan, like the production sample real-scan studios display out front to show how accurate they are. The anatomy on the pose looks great, the sculpting spot-on — it’s like they froze Sloth in time and miniaturized him. The silver paint on the base to try to look like rusty metal doesn’t quite work, and looks more like someone spilled mercury, but it’s easy enough to paint over if one so desires. Scans are almost never this good on articulated figures. The base, which includes the movie logo, allows a bit more artistic interpretation.
The collector cards in series one came un-numbered to reviewers. For this series, they’re numbered zero, which I must assume is true for all review copies (giving just me the only “0” seems unlikely). Each figure in Wave 2 has a slightly different numbered run, based on the perceived relative popularity of each — Gandalf at 14,500, Alan at 13,000, and Sloth as 11,750. Plus however many zeroes went to reviewers.
Gandalf is quite the challenge to take on, since so many other toy com panies already have. For another to be worthwhile, the Ian McKellen likeness had better be spot-on. And it is — the beard may look a bit spaghetti-like in close-up, but remember these figures are quite small.
The way his outer robe hangs over his arms looks a bit like an action figure being posed, but the bottom of the robe is darkened like it got wet, which is a really nice effect. If anyone still has NECA’s 18-inch Balrog figure, this Gandalf likely displays well with it.
You Shall Pass…Muster
Alan’s likeness up close really captures Zach Galifianakis, but the color seems a bit high-contrast — his hair and eyebrows are darker, and his cheeks look like they have blush. A little contrast reduction might have made it perfect.
The baby’s glasses are a separate piece, but not translucent like Ted Lasso’s were. The details on Alan’s shirt are intricate — what looks like specks of dirt turns out, on closer inspection, to be birds in his tee design. If you’re reading this on a laptop or desktop, these images are significantly blown up, and in some cases only reveal their full details at that size.
These figures retail around $24.99, the standard price for most 6-inch figures, but $5 more than McFarlane DC figures. It’s an awkward comparison, since, again, these aren’t action figures by any reasonable definition. But it’s a decent price for something around this size with a good likeness and backdrop. A skilled printer could certainly make their own backdrops to fit in the plastic braces, but if more figures do it right like Alan and make the backdrop part of the base piece, that won’t be necessary.
Many collectors will leave these in the box. If you open them, take care cutting open the plastic sleeves the collector cards are in, and have scissors handy to free the figures from form-fitting plastic pieces that hold them in display-ready position. Gandalf also has a couple of stretchy bands protecting his hat and staff.
As before, don’t expect these to scale with many other McFarlanes. Well, except 1966 Batman. Sloth may look a little short, but remember he’s crouching. Gandalf might be a tad tall, but the hat helps. In actuality, McKellen is 4 inches taller than Galifianakis, and Adam West was 3 inches taller than McKellen.
Check out more images in the gallery below.