Judge Death Statue – Death Sentence Edition by Pop Shock Collectables
by Pete Wells
This is the second Dredd-themed 1/4 statue from Jerry Macaluso’s Pop Culture Shock Collectables. Macaluso made his name working of special effects for movies such as Darkman, The Indian in the Cupboard and Toxic Avenger 2 before forming a couple of sculpture companies including Plastic Fantastic, a company that makes action figures of porn stars such as Jemma Jameson and the wonderfully named Christy Canyon (not to be confused by our very own Stacey Whittle, who goes by the name Crusty Canyon.)
Dredd was released last year and, although an impressive and imposing piece, had purists such as Senior Citizen Burdis foaming at the mouth thanks to a gazillion links on the chain, seven settings on the lawgiver and a shiny blue suit that would make Christopher Dean blush. Death is a much more authentic piece, though unfortunately the camp blue suit has remained.
The Death Sentence version of the figure came at a price of $375 (though if my missus asks, it was £50) and was limited to 125 pieces which have all been snapped up. There were three extras on the exclusive version – a grinning head that only his mother could love (if he hadn’t killed her), an impaled Judge’s helmet (which they got right this time, Dredd’s was awful) and a gloriously gory impaled ‘Angel Gang member’s head.’ I’ve put that in quotes as it certainly isn’t Pa, Mean, Link, Junior or Fink, maybe it’s their unmentioned, unwritten brother Neville. Whoever he is, he’s frigging cool!
The packaging was crackers! A nice big box with a numbered certificate of authenticity, mine was number 57, fact fans! The pieces were very securely packed and double wrapped in protective foam which had to be removed by a knife and scissors, which was a frigging nightmare. I was terrified that this was going to survive being kicked half way around the world by the neanderthal thugs at Parsehole Force, only to be damaged by the sausage fingers of an excitable nerd. I’ve included a 1/6 Tharg to give you an idea of scale…
The sculpt on the main figure is just incredible, though the pose bears more than a passing resemblance to Gary Leach’s Star Scan of Prog 558. I can certainly forgive this however as we do get a Death who is more in keeping with the comic version than the loosely based on a Bisley version of Dredd that we saw before.
They’ve captured every detail in Death’s emaciated figure absolutely perfectly. The dead eye sockets beneath his grill, the fabric folds, the laces holding together his suit and the straps and buckles on the elbow and knee pads are all superb. His uniform (we’ll get to the colour later) is great. The helmet is perfect and there’s just enough mystery beneath the grill. The detachable pterodactyl is pretty cool, though maybe I’d have chosen a different finish, probably more the the excellent bones on the shoulder pad. His badge and belt are ace, as you can see from that sexy, gratuitous crotch shot below.
There’s power in this figure, despite the skeletal, Pete Wells-type frame. Despite being a virtual skeleton, there’s enough muscle here to do some serious damage. Of the two heads, my favourite is the manic (somewhat inviting) open mouthed version. The detail inside his gob is great, where as the grinning one looks a bit less sharp where the paint coats the teeth.
I’m slightly less keen on the stand. The Sydney De’Ath gravestone is a nice touch I suppose but I wasn’t overly keen on ‘Boyhood of a Superfiend’ as, for me, it was the beginning of the comedy phase of Death’s erm… life. The skulls are quite nice, but the mud looks a bit naff. I think I’d have preferred a Deadworld style sea of skulls instead, this could have contrasted with a nice black suit…
Which brings us on to the paint job, which is fantastic. Everything is nicely weathered and it’s very clean, there’s absolutely with no sign of the paint running on other parts of the figure. There’s a great mix of gloss and matt paints too, for example Death’s nails, teeth and belt buckle have a disguising sheen, where as his pallid skin is pleasingly dull. As mentioned previously, my main problem with the paint job is the colour of suit, which I’d have liked to have been black. The blue they’ve used contrasts nicely with the rest of the figure but is a bit superhero-esque, everything that Death isn’t.
In summary, I’m chuffed with this statue and am really pleased I bought it. It’s a well made, quality piece and I hope we see more. The company teased a Dredd on his Lawmaster which could well be a winner.