Wednesday, July 18 2018 16:05

Hands-On: DC Collectibles Artists Alley Collection Hot Topic Zombie Variants!

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One of the highlights of my visit to the 115th North American International Toy Fair this past February was a meeting at the DC Collectibles booth. If you haven't seen what they're doing, the folks at DC are offering up some stellar toys and collectibles "direct from the source" - meaning their in-house team. First-announced back in May of 2017, the DC Collectibles Artists Alley collection was on-display at Toy Fair and this summer they're finally hitting the streets. These PVC figures are inspired by the Artists Alley experience of a comic convention, in which fans can ask their favorite artists to craft reimaginings of popular characters infused with their own unique style. Among the figures in the first wave, the DC Trinity - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as designed by artist Chris Uminga and sculpted by Joe Menna. At Toy Fair, I was presented with an early sample - one of just 300 exclusive Batman figures created just for the event. Now they're available to the masses, but just like their comic counterparts, the Artists Alley collection is being offered in variant form, with wave one available now in Standard Edition, Black & White Variants and the Hot Topic-Exclusive Zombie Variants - the latter of which I received for review here at Rock Father HQ. Let's take a look...

DC Artists Alley  Zombie Variants

The first thing to note is that these are packaged very nicely. Each 6¾" figure comes in a colorful box that opens up to reveal an art card and the figure itself, protected behind a clear plastic window. For those who keep their collections boxed, this is a "best of both worlds" scenario in that the figure can be viewed without opening. The flap has a magnetic closure to keep it nice and tight. Of course, we open everything here, so let's see these outside the box!

DC Collectibles Artists Alley Chris Uminga Zombie Variants

They just look cool. Really, it's almost needless to say much else about these. They capture Uminga's "cute and creepy" style, and the paint apps are top-notch. They look like they've stepped off of a sketch card and into the real world, and they're very unique.

DC Collectibles Artists Alley Chris Uminga Zombie Variant - Superman

DC Collectibles Artists Alley Chris Uminga Zombie Variant Batman DC Collectibles Artists Alley Chris Uminga Zombie Variant Wonder Woman

What's particularly interesting is how these sculpts lend themselves to different paint styles, much in the same way that different inkers and colorists can completely change the feel of an artist's pencilled work. We're already seeing it with the three variant sets on these, and for Comic-Con this year, Entertainment Earth is featuring an additional trio of Batman variants that bring these to life in even more ways. With these zombie variants, there's a lot of crossover appeal between different fandoms, bridging comics, horror and collectibles. I've decided that my set has a purpose - they won't be displayed every day, but will become a part of my Halloween display here in the office - a fun way to bring some superhero flair into the mix. 

Bonus: A look at the 2018 Toy Fair Edition Batman. 

DC Collectibles Artists Alley Toy Fair 2018 Batman by Chris Uminga  DC Collectibles Artists Alley Toy Fair 2018 Batman by Chris Uminga

DC Collectibles Artists Alley Toy Fair 2018 Batman by Chris Uminga

DC Comics Artists Alley Collection Zombie Variants are available exclusively at Hot Topic. Other editions are available from DC Collectibles and Entertainment Earth, both affiliate partners of this site. These figures were photographed using the Ready Setz Urban Playset.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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