By Zack Smith
Fans of AMC’s zombie sensation "The Walking Dead" are psyched for its return on Sunday, Feb.10 – but we think they’re going to be just as psyched by a new Blu-Ray set that lets you re create the twisted Governor’s “TV” set-up in their home.
In this exclusive first look, gaze upon "The Walking Dead" Third Season Limited Edition Blu-Ray Case– which with a little water, gives you a tank-full of violently decapitated heads, just like The Governor on the show. It’s the coolest/grossest DVD case ever, and we’ve got thoughts from "The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman and Todd McFarlane, whose company McFarlane Toys designed it.
Played by David Morrissey on the AMC series, The Governor is one of the most popular and chilling characters in the comics or on TV, even inspiring the bestselling prose novel "The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor". A man who’s risen to a powerful leadership role in this post-apocalyptic world, he’s brilliant and ruthless, and likes to unwind after a hard day of being creepy by staring into a fish tank full of his victims’ heads, as you do.
The case features five plastic decapitated heads, all horribly decayed, most missing a jaw or other parts. Just add water and it’s fun for the whole family, by which we mean the Addams Family, the Manson Family, or just a family that really needs a visit from Social Services.
The design for the case was made before Season Three of "The Walking Dead" was shot – or Morrissey was even cast as The Governor. “AMC gave us the news that The Governor was going to be in Season Three and was in all the scripts, but they didn’t even know what he was going to look like yet!” says Todd McFarlane. “So we knew we wanted to do something that reflected that, and was cool and creepy and the same time.”
McFarlane and Robert Kirkman worked closely in developing the case. “McFarlane has a very intimate relationship with AMC, so I was approving concepts on this Blu-Ray case before Season Three even aired,” Kirkman says. “So while we were building things on set, Todd and the team at McFarlane Toys were coming in and scanning actors and scanning props. So having them come in and do the fish tank with the severed heads while we were still building it for the show is a pretty cool thing, and I think makes these products much more accurate and cooler for the fans.”
And according to McFarlane, this case will be a truly unique "The Walking Dead" collectible for everyone who purchases it. “We thought it would be fun for the consumer, after buying the case and taking it home, had to get a little interactive, because we’re not supplying the water!” McFarlane says with a laugh. “So you’re going to have to fill up the tanks yourself, and we’ve got little hooks on the heads, so you can arrange them any way you see fit. You can hang them in a certain order, or you can just let them go to the ground and flop around. No one person’s case has to be exactly like the other’s.” (Note to McFarlane: We smell a grand opportunity for a snow globe come the holidays.)
McFarlane adds that the case should have an electronic component, so the tank can light up. “It’s something where it should come across as an art piece, and then you can turn it to the side, and the wood paneling disguises where you can take out the discs.”
The previous "The Walking Dead" season also featured a McFarlane Toys-designed the limited set for Season Two of "The Walking Dead" featuring a flip-top zombie head with a screwdriver through the eye. That case completely sold out and won some “Year’s Best” awards, and McFarlane anticipates a similar reception for the Season Three case: “I’m sure every mom in America will not approve of this, nor will she run out and buy it! But once she gets out of the way, there’ll be tons of people that will enjoy it just for the good clean fun that it is.”
When asked, McFarlane says that he would enjoy drawing a "The Walking Dead" story himself, “time permitting in my schedule.” “It’d be cool – I’ve studied the look of the run of that book, so it might work best if there was an annual or something where different artists could come in and bring their own look to the book,” McFarlane says. “And on the TV end, it might be fun to come in and direct an episode or two.”
And he hopes the show’s continuing popularity means that McFarlane Toys will get to do more recreations of the show’s major and minor characters, along with some of its most memorable zombies. “I was talking to the actor who plays Daryl (Norman Reedus), who is probably the most popular guy on the TV show, and he keeps bugging me for a thing of him on his motorcycle, which I think is a really cool idea. I think I could get away with that as a statue without having to put in a monster, because it would be a fairly uncommon-looking image of him.”
The final price and sale date for the Blu-Ray case aren’t set yet, but it’ll be available online and through most mass retail stores later this year – and of course, "The Walking Dead" returns Sunday, Feb.10 to AMC, and the Image comic continues every month. Visit McFarlane.com and Amctv.com if you want to know more about the toys and the show – and of course keep reading this site for more news from Toy Fair.
So, how about it, "Walking Dead" fans? Ready to have your own Governor-tank in your living room?
Check out Todd McFarlane showing off McFarlane's Michonne statue exclusively for MTV Geek!