Friday, October 22, 2010

Bif Bang Pow! Celebration, Day V: Twilight Zone action figures, Series III (SDCC Exclusive)

Welcome to Day 5 of our weeklong celebration of Bif Bang Pow!'s considerable efforts to make The Twilight Zone a force to be reckoned with in the collectibles marketplace. So far we've examined four different action figures, and five limited-edition variants of their earlier bobblehead releases, which were also San Diego Comic Con exclusives. Today's spotlight features two more SDCC exclusives, two little plastic beings who are based on... two little plastic beings.

(from "Living Doll")

Talky Tina stands 6 inches tall. The base body is similar to the one used in the adult-sized figures, but it's obviously smaller, which is perfect for figures like this (and Willie, spotlighted below, and maybe a future Anthony Fremont). It has the same points of articulation, and features the same monochromatic paint scheme as the other TZ action figures.

Technically, Tina is perfectly rendered. The outfit is correct, and she certainly looks enough like the real thing. The visible arm and wrist joints actually reinforce the fact that she IS a doll, which works to her benefit. This Talky Tina (Tiny Tina?) is actually MORE articulated than the actual doll!

Interesting note: Tina's white socks are accomplished in two steps: her ankles are painted white, and her feet are molded in white plastic. She can kick off her shoes safely.

Sock it to me!

In "Living Doll," the Talky Tina doll is a static object; her evil is revealed solely through her dialogue. Therefore, she appears completely innocent without the benefit of a sound chip to recite her diabolical lines. Displayed alongside the other TZ figures, she makes some sense on a contextual level, but on her own, Tina's just.... well, a nice little girl. Again, she's incredibly well done... she's just (unfortunately) not creepy enough in this format. I'm normally big on accuracy, but in this case I would've supported a touch of creative license with the face. Just a little subtle menace would've went a long way here.

Talky Tina must be really popular around the Bif Bang Pow! offices. We've already seen her in bobblehead form (in both monochrome and color), we've got her here as an action figure, and we'll see her again next year in a full-size, fully-functioning version, which was first unveiled at SDCC:

This is the only picture I've seen (so far), but this one looks a bit more menacing. I'm told that the life-sized version will indeed contain a sound chip, along with a "safe mode" that will disable the scary stuff and only play Tina's friendly lines of dialogue. Kid safe!

* * *

(from "The Dummy")

Like Talky Tina, Willie uses the smaller child-sized base body and is presented in a black and white color scheme. Of the six initial action figures, Willie is by far the most basic. To pull off a successful Willie, one only needs a sailor outfit and something resembling a ventriloquist's puppet's head. That's it. A simple task, but Bif Bang Pow! manages without a hitch.

Sailor outfit? Check. The white striping is nice, and the scarf is a nice touch. The head sculpt is what really makes this figure. Big fat eyebrows? Check. Willie's head sculpt certainly evokes a ventriloquist's dummy but, beyond that, there's a touch of menace in his expression, which makes all the difference. Tina looks even more innocent standing next to him.

What's to complain about? They may not be as exciting to look at as their taller cohorts, but Talky Tina and Willie are perfect incarnations of their onscreen characters. And if you're collecting the others, you can't pass on these.... can you?

The SDCC color bobbleheads are limited to 504 pieces each (except for the Mystic Seer, which is limited to 1,500 pieces). I don't know if Talky Tina and Willie are similarly limited, but I wouldn't wait around to find out. Click through the links above to order them, now exclusively available through Entertainment Earth.

Okay, now that we've covered all six action figures, I guess a couple of group shots are in order. This is how I have mine displayed:

To honor their creators, however, I convinced them to move in closer for a cozier group shot:

Note that the two most evil characters (The Devil and The Kanamit) appear to be mentoring Willie and Talky Tina. I didn't plan it that way, but it does make sense....

Tomorrow: The 6th and final day of our Bif Bang Pow! celebration. I'll be chatting with Jason Lenzi and Jason Labowitz from Bif Bang Pow!, the guys responsible for all this celebrating. We'll also gaze into the proverbial crystal ball for a hazy look at what the future holds for the line. Don't miss it.


Troy Thomas said...

I've already told my science teacher about the Talky Tina large-scale replicas, and she told me she would go Telly Savalas on it if I brought it in (episode scared the shit out of her), so, good future ahead!

Anonymous said...

Is it "Talky Tina" or "Talking Tina"? When I watched the episode, I always heard, in my ear, the second version. Is there a definitive source that the doll is actually called "Talky Tina"?


Oh, and you'd better be nice to me.