Review : Taxi Driver Zombie Ghostbusters Select (Diamond Select Toys) Wave/Series : Series 5 Released : June 2017
Pros : Awesome sculpt. The steering wheel works well considering this guy is seen on screen driving a taxi Cons : The Taxi Ghost is almost impossible to stand without assistance - i.e. a stand of sorts
If you have read our Library Ghost review, you will already be aware that the initial plan for the Ghostbusters Select line was for Diamond to do the entire rooftop diorama in 12 pieces. This was soon expanded to 15 when the logistics were worked out - and based on the figures we knew about prior to this decision, it seems the Library Ghost and the Taxi Driver Zombie were potentially two of the three figures added at the later stage to increase the series to 15 figures.
The Taxi Driver Zombie arrives in the standard oversized Select packaging with wrap around spine and name card. The card back design, starting with a black base and transitioning through to an eerie green, has been consistent through all 5 series to date and will make for an awesome MIB collection.
While many refered to this as the Taxi Ghost (I have been calling him this too) the name card confirms him as the Taxi Driver Zombie.
The side art of the figure shows the Zombie from the movie and sat as he appears behind the wheel of his New York Taxi.
On the card back we get a bit of a bio about the Zombie and even here it states he is actually a "Ghost" rather than an "actual zombified human" and explains that he most likely escaped from the Ghostbusters containment unit when it was shut down by Walter Peck. A very nice image of the Zombie figure sits to the side of this bio and beneath that an image of the rooftop diorama.
In the also available box we get a head shot of the Terror Dog and the Library Ghost.
Out of the box and we get the Zombie offset to the right of the insert, strapped in by wire ties. To the side of his head sits a Steering Wheel accessory, and next to this again is a panel from the rooftop diorama that seems to be decorated with a Green Man design. Beneath this tray we get a further two pieces of the diorama
This is one of the better zombie sculpts I have seen in figure form with the guys at Gentle Giant capturing the look of the Taxi Zombie in all his flesh rotting glory. There is a clear human shaped and defined skull under there, with scraps of flesh and muscle applied over the top. He even gets a slightly wonky and unsettling grin with crooked and broken teeth.
All of this is painted in shades of rotting brown with a darker tone as the base and then dry brushed bone colouring on top. The most impressive part of the head are his eyes which glare out menacingly from sunken eye sockets - a red hint in each pupil.
His hat is a flat black and from the back of the head is a shock of dark hair. Neither of these have any extra paint applications other than the base black colour.
In the movie we only really got to see the head and shoulders of the Taxi Zombie as he turned to face his fare, That means there will be an element of artistic licence in the body sculpt. It is made up of a white ripped shirt over which is a ripped jacket. The shirt is sculpted open at the chest so more of the bones and skeleton can be seen here and again on a rip in the arm of the jacket.
The jacket is grey in tone and has some weathering applied. While the shirt is not quite bright white, it is potentially too bright for a Zombie who we are led to believe has just manifested direct from the grave.
The trousers are painted a flat blue and have similar tears and rips as the rest of the outfit. The two trouser legs are ripped and ragged with a bony leg protruding from each. His right foot is clad in a black shoe with the sole ripped and the toes exposed. The left foot is simply a bone foot.
I am going to start at the feet with articulation and let you know that this figure is extremely difficult to stand. There are a combination of factors at play including some floppy ankle joints and similarly floppy hips. These, coupled with the need for a wide stance and that tiny left foot which offers no balance, means he is not the most stable and even if you get him stood up the joints will slide and overbalance him over time. As you will see from the images we had to drop him onto a Protech stand for our images - and that still didn't keep him upright for long. I suspect for longer term display a waist type clip stand will be required.
The legs are articulated fully with double jointed knees - and these are a lot stiffer than the hips and ankles. There is also a thigh swivel, but this adds no real value.
There is no torso joint, but there is a rotating waist that moves quite a way round. The arms are ball jointed shoulders with rotating elbows and a pegged rotating hand.
The head is ball jointed but pops off with the least movement. Being a zombie this may be intentional - especially when you see the ball joint underneath is painted and decorated like the rest of the bony body. If this is a deliberate feature I would have expected the packaging and promotional blurb to say as much.
Artistic licence has also been taken with the Zombie's accessory. In the movie he is obviously only seen driving his Taxi. The figure appears to go beyond the movie to suggest he can and did leave the Taxi at some point, even taking the steering wheel with him.
I don't know much about New York Cabs of the 1980's but the wheel accessory certainly seems to be reasonably accurate. It is made up of a larger steering wheel in black with ribbed grip and a smaller sub wheel in silver. These both sit on a central hub with shift sticks either side. The hub is sheared off as though ripped out of the cab. The colouring is simply either black or silver - but is applied neatly.
The steering wheel fits well in the hands of the Zombie and he can shuffle around looking like he has just pulled this out of his cab.
The Zombie comes with three parts of the rooftop diorama. The smallest is the Green Man inspired panel which is packed alongside the figure. There are then two larger pieces. All three pieces will eventually connect to make up the roof of the doorway on the rooftop. They are all cast in that hard styrene plastic and are painted grey with a hint of weathering.
Watch out in the pack for the instructions on how to build the rooftop - this is included in each of the Series 5 figures. Make sure you also find and keep safe the little baggie of white clips. These are ONLY included in the Zombie and you need these to affix the screen which you will get in the Terror Dog pack. Not sure why they aren't packed together?
On looks and execution of a sculpt, there is little to fault with the Taxi Driver Zombie. He looks brilliant and the sculpt is matched with a decent paint job. While not 100% screen accurate, I do like the steering wheel accessory and can just imagine seeing him walking New York after the end of the movie with steering wheel still in hand.
The issue with him is stability and considering the whole body was open to interpretation it seems an odd choice to give him such a small skeletal left foot - or at the very least include a stand to keep him upright.
The stability issue can be rectified and I would recommend looking for a Kaiser type stand to clip around his waist. With that in mind I am happy to only penalise one point and award the Taxi Driver Zombie a 4 out of 5.
Checkout the Diamond Select figures available at Toys in the Attic