Ah Dale. The Walking Dead’s original old curmudgeon back in the good old days when Rick had a trusty razor, Carl was still useless and Shane, not Daryl, was the show’s resident bad boy.
I’m glad to see McFarlane Toys revisiting some of the characters from the earlier seasons now that they’ve gotten close to perfecting the likenesses and articulation.
Series 8 of McFarlane Toys’ The Walking Dead TV line is a solid lineup with mostly new characters and few variants. This may be the first time this year I was excited to see a figure of an old man. Let’s see if my excitement was warranted.
Packaging: McFarlane Toys doesn’t believe in wasting space with the packaging making for the most streamlined figures on the pegs. It’s just as well since the packaging is fairly basic beyond the previous TV season theme and the figures in the set.
McFarlane Toys used to at least have a picture of the included accessories, but they’ve cut that as well. I suppose you can clearly see what you’re getting, but a description of what’s there would be nice.
Likeness: From the floral shirt, slightly protruding belly and baggy pants, this is about as good a likeness you’ll get of Dale. In lesser hands Jeffrey DeMunn’s likeness could have gotten lost and simply just been “generic old guy,” but McFarlane sculptors did an exceptional job capturing Dale in figure form. The sculptor nailed Dale’s questioning Rick’s latest decision expression.
Paint: This is one of the better painted Walking Dead figures I’ve picked up. None of the head sculpt details were coated over by excessive paint — a common problem with earlier waves — while the rest of the figure is immaculately done.
I especially like the sweat/dirt on the wifebeater and the intricate pattern work done on the shirt. Dale’s hat and cargo pants have some nice weathering as well. In a nice bit of attention to detail, Dale’s wedding ring is painted on.
The only area that is lacking is Dale’s beard as the white paint apps aren’t applied as heavy as they should be giving Dale a brown and grey bearded appearance.
Articulation: The Walking Dead figures seriously need waist articulation. It’s such a necessary point of movement that I’m surprised it hasn’t been added yet. Dale doesn’t suffer as much from its omission as other figures though since he normally battled walkers from a distance.
- elbow hinge
- wrist hinge
I wish the elbows had a deeper range of movement so Dale could be posed holding his binoculars or lining up a walker in the sights of his rifle. Dale can handle a regular sitting position well, but it comes at the expense of the pockets jutting out awkwardly.
Accessories: Dale is loaded with accessories even if they’re not as useful as I’d like.
While it’s almost as essential to his character as his wifebeater and floral shirt, Dale’s hat is removable. The inside portion of the hat has a groove to allow a snug fit, but if you don’t use that prepare for a slight breeze to knock the hat off.
He’s also got a pair of binoculars, the better to spot approaching walkers from the top of his RV. Never in my life have I considered the possibility of wanting an RV for my figures. First time for everything I suppose.
Dale comes with a repainted version of the rifle that came with the McFarlane Toys The Walking Dead TV Series 4 Andrea Action Figure. Similar to Andrea, who I’ll be reviewing soon, Dale had some significant issues actually holding the rifle.
Between the hard plastic used on the rifle and the hands, I’m worried I’ll break the fingers forcing the rifle in. In one attempt, the hand peg came off. Fortunately it plugged back in, but that’s another potential break point.
Hopefully McFarlane Toys considers this with future accessories. I also wish the shoulder strap did a better job staying on Dale’s shoulder. It slides down to his elbow with little effort.
Easily the best accessory is Dale’s folding picnic chair. It tends to slide in unless you lock the back portion, which will then allow for Dale to sit for hours.
Worth it? This line would be in the pricing sweet spot at $11 or $12. The $15 price tag is a little steeper than I’d like, but Dale balances the expense with all of his essential accessories and a tremendous likeness.
Rating: 9 out of 10
With just a dab of white on the beard and the ability to hold all of his accessories, Dale would merit a 10. He’s still one of the better Walking Dead figures this year. Since Dale is likely to get just one figure, it was important for McFarlane Toys to get it right and they did.
Where to get it? It’s nice to see a widely distributed line that Toys R Us is the best option. You can also get lucky and find him at Gamestop, but their figure assortment widely varies from store to store.
Want to spare the gas? Grab him from affiliate partner Amazon.com here: McFarlane Toys The Walking Dead TV Series 8 Dale Horvath Action Figure