Sunday, October 11, 2015

31 Days of Toy Terror Returns: Big Daddy from Now Playing Presents Land of the Dead by SOTA Toys

What makes zombies so terrifying to so many? Is it that they look like us? Perhaps it is because of their resemblance to our families and our friends that we fear them so much. Perhaps it's that while "dead" and reduced to the most basic function of survival, eating, sometimes they show a small spark of life that reminds us that they're not all that different from us...

   Back in the mid-2000s, everybody who was anybody was doing a toyline that encompassed a wide range of disparate characters. McFarlane had Movie Maniacs, NECA had Cult Classics, N2 Toys had Hardened, and SOTA had Now Playing. Now Playing had some of the most obscure licenses such as Darkman, Dog Soldiers, and The Toxic Crusader but in 2006 they released a series of figures under the Now Playing banner based on the previous year's Land of the Dead, the long awaited fourth film in George Romero's Living Dead series. Played by Eugene Clark, Big Daddy is a zombie who seems to be more intelligent than the rest and capable of some degree of strategy. He becomes a leader to the zombies and guides them against the luxurious Fiddler's Green housing complex. Ready for a closer look at Big Daddy? Then join me after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 7 1/4 inches tal

Articulation: Swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel wrists, a hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Jack hammer, Steyr AUG assault rifle, 2 swappable right hands (pistol grip and G-grip), victim's left arm and head.

Original Retail Price: $11-$16 dollars

 The Positives:

*Big Daddy is a nice looking figure. He's a pretty basic looking zombie but everything about him works. The headsculpt is excellent and does a pretty fine job of capturing the film version of the character. He's wearing some mechanics overalls which look appropriately baggy and worn.

 * Since Big Daddy is portrayed as being more intelligent than your average zombie, he comes with a few tools he uses in fighting against the living: A jackhammer and a Steyr AUG assault rifle. Both of these weapons can fit in Big Daddy's right hand and they're both really impressive. Crisp, sharp sculpts and nice paint applications make them definitely feel like very high quality pieces. It's not often that zombies come with accessories like this.
* A more standard accessory for a zombie figure is bits and pieces of one of their victims. The three figures in this line (Big Daddy, the Butcher, and Machete) all come with pieces to a victim. It's not really a Build-a-Figure, as they don't snap together, but you can "scatter about" the entire corpse of a victim. Big Daddy comes with a left arm and a smashed head. Everything is suitably icky here.

The Negatives:

*The overall paint isn't bad at all, but take a closer look at Big Daddy's name tag. Something is off, isn't it? Here's a hint: It doesn't say "Big Daddy." It says "Big Dadd." I even checked movie stills to make sure this wasn't something the film did but it's not. This guy's name tag is screwed up.

 * I'm not expecting the most articulation from a zombie but Big Daddy is woefully under-articulated. His head and shoulders have a decent range of movement, but everything else is static. A ball jointed waist or some elbow joints would have been excellent in giving this figure a little more life. Err... I mean death.
 *Since you really don't hold an assault rifle the same way you hold a jackhammer, Big Daddy came with two right hands that can be swapped out. Well, that's the point, anyways. After a few attempts, I decided that trying to swap the hands was just going to lead to a broken joint, so I stopped.
  While it was cool that SOTA released some Land of the Dead figures under their Now Playing banner, these were definitely not the greatest zombie figures. They're good zombie figures, but not great ones. I like the look of Big Daddy, and the weapons are fantastic, but there are definitely some problems here. The name tag being off really irks me for some reason, as does the fact that his hands just cannot safely swap out. Overall, I'm giving him a Good. He looks great as part of a giant zombie scene (that's how mine is displayed) but on his own he's somewhat underwhelming.

Want more zombies? I've reviewed a few:

Imaginext: Collectible Figures Series 3 by Fisher-Price (2014)

 Lego: Monster Fighters (2012)
The Zombies

Garbage Pail Kids Really Big Mystery Minis by Funko (2015)
Dead Ted 

The Real Ghostbusters: Monsters by Kenner (1989)
The Zombie Monster 

Tales from the Cryptkeeper by Ace Novelty (1994)
The Cryptkeeper (Robed)

Spawn Series 28: Regenerated by McFarlane Toys (2005)
Grave Digger 2

Batman: Arkham City by DC Collectibles (2011)
Solomon Grundy 

Justice League Imaginext by Fisher-Price
Solomon Grundy 

Evil Dead II by NECA
Deadite Ash

OTMF! by October Toys
Hot Pink AP Zombie Pheyden
Lucky Green Zombie Pheyden
Winter Blues Zombie Pheyden

Plastic Army Men by Various
Zombie Playset by Boley
Zombies at War by Brilliant Novelty Co./ Spherewerx

S.L.U.G. Zombies by Jakks Pacific
Series 4-Gangeren Gene, Ferocious Frankie, and Johnson

Assemblage Zombie 

Z.O.M.B.I.E.S. by October Toys
Series 1- "Flesh"
Series 1- Red Edition 

Resident Evil 10th Anniversary Collection by NECA
Crimson Head 

 Video Game Superstars Presents: Capcom's Resident Evil by Toy Biz (1998)
Chris Redfield & Cerberus
Forest Speyer & Maggot Zombie

Video Game Superstars Presents: Capcom's Resident Evil 2 by Toy Biz
Claire Redfield & Zombie Cop
Hunk & Zombie  


  1. I only saw Land of the Dead a few weeks ago. Really enjoyed it! This is quite the cool figure, niggles aside, and if I see one, I'll grab him for sure.

    1. He doesn't seem to be too expensive on the aftermarket. Shop around and you should find a good deal. He's the best figure in the series.


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