As a fan of The Walking Dead, it took McFarlane Toys going back to the proverbial drawing board on its figure line to get me hooked. With those changes made, I’m all-in and happily sold on yet another figure line to find space for in my collection.
Today, I’m looking at Gareth, the sinister leader of the sanctuary Terminus and one of the few non-walker villain characters we’ve gotten thus far in the line. No Sanctuary, which prominently featured Gareth, was one of the series’ best episodes and a big fan favorite so while Gareth didn’t last long, he’s remained a part of TWD lore. Let’s see if Gareth will make for a tasty addition to the collection.
Packaging: It took me a second from my casual observer status of the line, but once I started picking them up, I like the subtle packaging changes from each wave. Gareth, being an inhabitant of Terminus, gets the ominous location as the backdrop for his packaging.
This is one of the better likenesses I’ve seen in the line so far. Ever since the Michonne/Merle wave, the sculpts have been some of the best of any figure line and Gareth is still a standout with an excellent representation of actor Andrew J. West.
Gareth was more of a smooth talking, reassuring character so I would have preferred he have more of a smirk, but that’s my only even slight quibble. The attention to detail on the likeness is so precise, MT even sculpted the shirt sleeve peering past the jacket cuffs and left one side of the shirt hanging out from the pants.
The detail work on the clothing is terrific with all the pockets and buttons sculpted nicely and the sculpt folds on the shirts looking different than the jacket to convey they’re made of different material.
In the inside of the right side of the jacket, Gareth has a holster for the gun and a non-removable Walkie Talkie. While Gareth wasn’t on the show long fans would definitely be able to recognize him thanks to this quality likeness.
Paint: In collecting Walking Dead figures, the most important part of the figure is the headsculpt paint. Even at the 5″ scale, sloppy paint applications whether too much, missed applications or incorrect shadings can ruin an otherwise excellent looking figure.
MT does an outstanding job with the paint shading and weathering of outfits without making it look sloppy with paint washes just for the sake of doing it. The paint job provides the perfect amount of coverage to further bring out the sculpt details and it’s something I’d love to see companies like Hasbro and Mattel do more often.
Now for the nitpicks. Both the jacket and green outer shirt seem just a bit darker than the TV versions to the point you need fairly decent light to be able to appreciate the different colors.
Gareth sported a bit more stubble than the figure version. Having too little is preferable to giving the figure a beard, but you’ll notice it when referencing the actor.
Scale: Gareth is average height for an adult male. His figure is similarly not oversized or noticeably smaller. That should be a given, but that isn’t always adhered to in lines of this smaller scale so the attention to keeping a consistent scale is appreciated.
Articulation: MT has steadily been improving the articulation scheme over the last few waves, but a few issues hold it back from being just about perfect.
Gareth has a ball neck, ball-jointed shoulders, elbow, wrist, waist, hinge hips and knee articulation. As usual, I’d like for better range of motion with the elbows so they could move up tighter. Ditto for the hips, which make sitting poses odd.
Accessories: McFarlane Toys packs in plenty of accessories for TWD figures. Gareth comes with a gun, two candles in a nod to the Terminus candle room and a pile of bones…or Gareth’s dinner, whichever you prefer.
Gareth can hold the pistol well and the pistol fits snugly in the holster, which isn’t necessarily the case with every figure in this line.
Worth it? You can actually get Gareth now for under $8. While that price isn’t the best for McFarlane Toys, that’s a perfect sweet spot price for a well done figure.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Gareth is one of the sinister villains of the show. He’s not The Governor and without more Terminus members, isn’t all that essential. Still, this is a really well-done figure and one that makes for a solid addition for all Walking Dead fans.
Where to get it? Amazon has the best price at under $8 McFarlane Toys The Walking Dead TV Series 7 Gareth Action Figure
You can also probably still find a few at Target or Gamestop at clearance prices.