Toy Review: Zombie Hitman Solomon Grundy (Batman The Brave and the Bold)
My first exposure to the Solomon Grundy character was from the Super Friends cartoon, in which he was depicted as a Hulk sort of character with massive bulk and limited intellect. It wasn't until his appearance in The Batman Strikes (a comic series based on the cartoon, The Batman, from a few years back) that I realized that Grundy was supposed to be a swamp zombie. Who knew? In my defense, it's not like he looks or acts much like a zombie. When I think of a "zombie", I don't think of a muscular brute battling superheroes, I think of a skeletal corpse on an insatiable quest for brains.
Anyway, fast forward to last weekend: I was perusing the toy aisle, passing by the Brave and the Bold pegs without a second glance, when my wife (cognizant of my love of zombies) pointed out this "Zombie Hitman". Solomon Grundy... as a zombie hitman? I loved the concept, so I snatched him up. But how is the execution? Read on!
Size: 5.5" tall
Price: $8 at Target
The main thing that sold me on the figure is that this Solomon Grundy, unlike most of his incarnations, actually looks like a zombie. His face is less a Hulk-like brute and more an undead skull. His hands are spindly, showing the hideous tendons right underneath the lifeless skin. Cool stuff.
Grundy looks quite dapper in his suit, but I would have preferred some frayed/ripped detailing to make the suit look more like clothing for the undead. At least his stance is a bit like Stephen from Dawn of the Dead, with awkward inwardly-turned feet.
As with all the other Brave and the Bold figures, Grundy's otherwise nice sculpt is marred by gigantic hexagonal holes in the sides of the arms and legs. The idea is that you can attach the accessories that come with the Brave and the Bold figures in those holes, but the holes just look terrible.
I really dig Grundy's gray/purple/black color scheme, which goes well with his undead theme. But the paint apps are pretty sloppy: the black paint on the tie bleeds into the shirt and the flower is smudged. There are also no washes or sprays, so Grundy is a very flat-looking zombie.
Grundy sports 10 points of articulation: swivel neck, swivel shoulders, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist (which is underneath the jacket), and swivel hips. The hips are hindered by the jacket, but everything else moves pretty well. The wrists are new to the Brave and the Bold line (as far as I know), and a welcome addition. But without ball-socket joints, Grundy's movement is very static and stiff.
Our "Zombie Hitman" comes with a cool and character-appropriate tommy gun, but it's a relatively puny accessory compared with those of other figures in this line.
At $8, Solomon is competitively priced with others of his size. It's not a price that will particularly excite you as a bargain-basement deal, but it won't offend you as being unreasonably inflated, either.
Transforming Solomon Grundy into a zombie hitman is the perfect way to bring him into Batman's world, which is dominated by organized crime. The concept is cool enough to make me want to seek out the Brave and the Bold episodes featuring Grundy to see how he's portrayed in the cartoon. And my collection is sorely lacking in the zombie department, so it's great to add a member of the undead to my collection.
I'm not buying the alleged Snap & Attack "play feature" of combining and attaching accessories via those hexagonal holes, though. I would have much preferred that Mattel ditched that idea in favor of accessories that don't require such a drastic disfigurement (so to speak) to interact with the toy. At least you can attach his gun to his back.
Brave and the Bold figures don't impress me much because of the ugly Snap & Attack holes and flat colorations. But Grundy's undeniably undead sculpt saves him. This isn't a figure that will turn you into a Brave and the Bold convert, but if you're a fan of the cartoon, or animated DC Universe figures in general, Grundy is distinctive enough that you may want to pick him up. I wonder if Grundy has zombie henchmen? An army of zombie gangsters would be pretty sweet!