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Attack of the Death Trooper (Star Wars Black Zombie Sandtrooper Custom by Joe Amaro)

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Twelve hours.

Twelve hours was all the time it had taken for nearly the entire crew of the Star Destroyer Vector – all 46,700 personnel – to die.

Ensign Bran Fenrell didn’t know why he’d been spared. He didn’t know why, just a few hours earlier, his bunkmate, Ryas, had drowned in his own blood just a few feet away. Fenrell himself had felt no ill effects, except for the painful knot of nausea that caused him to vomit all over the floor of their quarters as his bunkmate and friend gasped and writhed.

Finally Ryas had let out a slow, lifeless breath, like a deflating balloon, and lay still. Fenrell hadn’t bothered contacting the infirmary because by that point, everyone knew there was nothing that could be done. Whatever had been unleashed upon the Vector, it was invariably fatal.

Fenrell had sat on his bunk for hours, in shock, as the corpse of his fellow ensign putrefied across from him. He knew he’d have to leave eventually, though he had no idea where he would go.

He was considering his limited options when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flicker of movement on the opposite bunk.

He stared. He couldn’t have actually seen that, could he? His nerves were getting to him. But there it was again – he saw it clearly this time. Ryas’s finger had moved.

Fenrell hesitated, then crossed over to the other bunk. Could it be true? Could Ryas still be alive?

He looked over Ryas’s body. The skin of the ensign’s face and hands had turned to a gray-greenish color, with a rough, dried-out texture. It seem to hang loosely, although Ryas had been a bit overweight in life.

There was a slight hiss of air from the body. Was Ryas still breathing? A thought struck Fenrell – could Ryas actually have survived the infection? Could he be getting better? Or was this just the last bit of air escaping from a rotting corpse? Slowly, Fenrell leaned closer over Ryas, turning his head to listen for an intake of breath.

That’s when Ryas bit his ear off.

Fenrell screamed, blood spurting between his fingers as he clutched the ragged remains of his ear. Ryas lunged for him, sinking his teeth into Fenrell’s arm. The thing had terrible strength, and it was all Fenrell could do to tear it away. A chunk of his forearm came away in the monster’s jaws.

Fenrell ran for the door and frantically punched in the code to unlock it. Mercifully, he got the code in one try and the door slid open. As he fled, he glanced back to see the thing chewing with what seemed like deliberate concentration on the flesh of his arm, an almost beatific expression on its face. Torn bits of black uniform, sticky with blood and offal, clung to the thing’s lips.

Clutching his forearm and trying to ignore the desperate throbbing of his missing ear, Fenrell staggered through the door, being sure to lock it behind him. The thing that had been Ryas could have unlocked it from the inside, but Fenrell doubted it would remember how.

He found himself leaning along the corridor wall as he struggled to walk, leaving a long, bloody smear. He came to the end of the corridor and turned the corner…

…and found himself facing a squad of Field Stormtroopers. He recognized them by their yellow pauldrons and the rail detonators that dangled from their hands…

…their green, mutilated hands…

Fenrell managed one last scream, and then they were upon him.

I know zombies are probably kind of uncool at this point – particularly the tendency to insert zombies into any geek franchise you can imagine. But Joe Schreiber’s novel Death Troopers came out three years ago, when the whole zombie thing was a bit closer to its height. I wasn’t even into Star Wars at the time but I still bought it when it came out, primarily because I found zombies in the SW galaxy a more interesting idea than, say, the Marvel universe.

Part of that novelty was because Star Wars doesn’t typically veer into R-rated territory. Fifteen years ago, LucasFilm gave author Daniel Keys Moran a hard time for a scene in his Boba Fett story for Tales of the Bounty Hunters in which a mass murderer is executed by being eaten by animals (the actual killing isn’t even shown). Evidently by 2010 they’d realized there was a market out there for more mature-oriented SW material.

Review > Christmas S.L.U.G. Zombies (JAKKS)

It’s no secret that the 1980s through the early 1990s were an important period for toys. It was a period of immense creativity in toy-making, often in conjunction with hypnotically entertaining television shows that left lasting impressions on the youth of the era (and I’m obviously one of them). What I find interesting lately, though, is the two properties that seem to be seeing a surprising amount of love: M.U.S.C.L.E. (and its spiritual successor, Monster In My Pocket) and Battle Beasts.

Poe’s Review > is at ItsAllTrue? Wha-huh?

That’s right! Rather than rewarding my loyal readers who have been patiently waiting for new reviews here at PGPoA, I have posted my latest review over at IAT! This is mainly just a way to help NoisyDvL5 out. But I think it’s definitely worth a read, particularly because it’s a review of a line I don’t often collect:

PoeGhostal.com Review: G.I. Joe Zombie Viper

The review is important for a couple reasons:

1.) I reveal one of my new contributing photographers – none other than the great Ed Speir IV! Ed will also be doing the photos for my MOTUC reviews moving forward.

2.) I also reveal my big plan for October – and it’s reviews, reviews, reviews in what I’m calling, in honor of my childhood love of WLVI 56’s Creature Double FeatureCreature Feature Month!

Pic of the Day > Z.O.M.B.I.E. by nanoFatato

Z.O.M.B.I.E.

Odds ‘n Ends > MOTUC Sales, Box O Zombies, Toy Hunters

  • Mattel says that the sales of the Wind Raider were “okay,” but evidently not enough to merit a vehicle in 2012 (though they’re not ruling it out for 2013). Like many others, I’m mystified as to why a sellout of a few hours days translates to “okay.” Apparently, if people aren’t fighting the WSOD for the twenty minutes the item is on sale, Mattel isn’t happy. Bizarre. I’d love an explanation of this. It’s like that toy company exec in The Simpsons episode “Grift of the Magi” when he’s watching people riot at a store where his toy, Funzo, has gone on sale: “I’d still sleep a little easier if I saw some trampling.” CORRECTION: The Wind Raider took three days to sell out. But it still sold out. How is does that make the sales “okay”? Did they want people to order more than they had?…don’t answer that.
  • The creepily realistic Steve Jobs 12″ figure is no more.
  • I think I already mentioned this, but there is a very big, very cool Glyos drop coming this Friday.
  • It’s like a box of army men, but zombies! Check out the Box O Zombies, now on sale for $14.99.
  • I’ve got my own review coming, but be sure to check out Michael Crawford’s review of Spy Monkey Creations’ amazing new, factory-produced, Glyos/OSM-compatible accessories.
  • I’m going to try to write up my own review of the new American Pickers-style show Toy Hunters, but Cool and Collected has a great recap–recommended reading!
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Pic of the Day > Zombies-3 by pokermanuel

Zombies-3

Pic of the Day

IRON ZOMBIE – STARK STARING TERROR by zero_g

Pic of the Day

Land of the Dead Action figures: Blade figure by fulcicozzi666

Walking Dead gets a TV show; countdown to figures begins

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I’ve read The Walking Dead up through volume five or six, and I realize I need to catch up, because it’s some of the best comic storytelling out there right now (it even inspired me to write my own zombie-themed novella). Now it appears AMC is teaming up with Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont and Aliens/Terminator producer Gale Ann Hurd to make a TV show based on the comic. For those of you concerned about the amount of gore/strong language, apparently f-bombs get dropped all the time on Mad Men and AMC hosts the annual “Fear Fest” movie marathon around Halloween, so chances are it’ll be almost as gory/violent as it would be on HBO or something. (Also, excessive gore and swearing aren’t necessarily required for something to be good.)

The question is, will we get figures and if so, how long will it take? I figure if Heroes can get a toy line and the Walking Dead is as good as the first season of Heroes (not really a very high bar), then it’s only a matter of time. Who will it be? NECA? Mezco? Will the likes of Bif Bang Pow or Shocker Toys try to swoop in? I doubt we’ll see any movement on that front until we see how the show fares with viewers, but I do think there will be a few companies chomping at the brain for these.

5 Questions With > October Toys

As you know, October Toys was the kind sponsor of our Halloween contest a few months back. After much hounding (i.e., a few emails), I was able to get them to discuss such diverse topics as the history of their company, zombies, and shamwow.

Codename: October Toys
Specialty: Toymakers
Base of Operations: www.octobertoys.com
History: Formed in 2004, October Toys is a purveyor of fine toys and collectibles with an artistic twist. The three creative misfits who own October Toys – George, Ayleen, and Matt – have a lifetime of experience collecting toys and two decades combined experience working in the toy industry. They are currently focusing on expanding their new line of Z.O.M.B.I.E. micro statues and finding a cure for keepitinthepackageitis. They also host and produce the weekly Internet show Toy Break which feature toy news, reviews, and much more!

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