Army of Darkness
Ash versus Deadite Scout – Collector’s Club Exclusive Bloody Variants
3 3/4 Inch Scale
By: Palisades
$20 (price varies)

Palisades was a great little company that launched into the mainstream right about the time that there was a huge boom in the “collector” market of action figures. When Palisades went out of business, it sort of served as a epitaph to the end of that era. Long before Mattel was doing exclusive Collector’s Clubs, Palisades had their online club. The premise was largely the same, join the club, buy figures that are too niche for retail, get special benefits and a bonus repaint figure for joining.

The core difference would be that with Palisades, you weren’t blind buying a subscription to figures. Palisades offered four different sets, but since we’re knee deep in the 31 Days of Halloween, we’re talking about the Army of Darkness set. If you’re curious, the other sets were two different Muppets packs and a Ren & Stimpy one.

In many ways Palisades was the antithesis of Mattel, they cared about their fan demand to a fault. There’s a reason that Mattel is still in business and Palisades isn’t and it’s not just Barbie. Palisades was also constantly plagued with QC issues, particularly in the Army of Darkness and Micronauts lines. Their Muppet stuff was largely without those same flaws, but even with QC issues, Palisades always cared about their fans. They tried to make things right and maybe someday Sam Beckett will make a leap into that forgotten era and make Palisades still in business… In the meantime we have memories. Bloody variant memories.

Packaging:
These came in a white mailer box (hmm, where have I seen that before?) with a neat little “chain” deco on the outside. The big blank spot in the middle is where you’d normally have your address information. I bought this long after Palisades went belly up, so I imagine these were just leftover stock, hence no mailing address.


Inside that is a nice metal lunchbox/tin. It’s got the Palisades logo embossed on it and it’s pretty sweet.


Open that up and you’ll get a nice letter about how this celebrates the 10 year anniversary of Palisades, as well a personal thank you from the owners. One the other side, all your figures and accessories are tightly packed inside. The Deadite Scout is particularly packed with about 900 twist ties that are so tight you have to cut them, but barely can.

Sculpt/Paint:
Palisades did incredible work. I mean that. Forgetting all the quality control issues, their intent was always to provide top notch toys and you can see that in the designs.


The Army of Darkness Ash never had a particularly strong likeness to Bruce Campbell. This figure is the same as the Holiday Ash, I reviewed a few years ago around Christmas time but obviously in a different deco. Palisades tends to show up in Holiday reviews around here… I don’t know why.


They did release a figure with a better likeness to Campbell, but it was blind boxed and is the rarest figure in the entire Army of Darkness series. D’oh! The paint work here is different than the regular Ash from this series, but not by much. His boots are a bit muddier and he has a splash or two of blood on him. The blood is actually pretty subdued, which is nice because sometimes bloody variants are way over the top. This could easily be your default Ash.


Well that is if he didn’t fall apart at the first touch. Yeah, this review is going to be a bit short. I tried to move Ash’s arm and it crumbled like a mummified penis. I’d love to say that this is a rare once in a lifetime fluke, but the truth is this kind of crap happens to ALL the Army of Darkness figures, particularly the Ashes. I have three Ash figures and they’re all in various modes of broken. The joint wasn’t even stuck on this figure, it just literally fell apart as if it has been made out of Sculpey. This is not an isolated incident.


“I’m the king now bitch!”

Moving on to the Deadite Scout, he’s fantastic. This figure really shows the detail that Palisades was able to get out of their sculpts. The Deadites weren’t exactly popular figures, unfortunately, but it wasn’t because they weren’t a great design. Hell I think there’s more paint applications on this 3 3/4 figure than most MOTUC offerings.


Also included in the tin are two bonus vinyl mini figures. One is the Crittaz chimp, some racist looking chimp thing. He has articulation in the form of cuts at the neck and arms.


The other is this little fat blob with no face. It’s apparently the Sugerfreak figure from the Freakables line. It’s definitely the stuff of nightmares. He has one cut at the arm with the oversized lollipop. These bonus figures are basically garbage/stuff to throw at your kid sister.

Articulation:
I’m not going to bother breaking down the articulation on Ash because what’s the point? He’s loaded down, but you won’t be able to use half of it because it’s going to break anyway. In addition to the broken arm, his other arm constantly falls out of the socket. Maybe this is a mutilated Ash variant and nobody told me.


The Deadite does better because I was actually able to move him around some. His shoulder joints are actually made of clear plastic, which really works well with his skeleton design. They’re nice ball joints as well.


Incredibly, the legs (despite being the size of a twist tie!) have ball joint hips and double jointed knees. Oddly the arms have no elbow joints at all. All in all, the articulation is great on both figures, but only works on one.

Accessories:
You get a handful of accessories, but Ash is missing his boomstick and book. I realize that other figures did come with this stuff, but every Ash should come with the boomstick and this is twice I’ve gotten a Palisades figure without one. The little monkey guy actually has an accessory as well in the form of a small metal dogtag.


Aside from the two stands, you get a plethora of swords, a couple shield, an axe and a pike/ax deal. They’re all realistically covered in blood splatter, to help make this variant worthwhile. Each also have a unique sculpt and nice detail. If nothing else, you could pick this set up for your GI Joes to have some extra weapons. Maybe even use them with your 3 3/4 Prince of Persia figures… I’m kidding of course, nobody bought those Prince of Persia figures.

Value:
I searched all over and couldn’t find the original price for the club, but I’m thinking it was $20-$30. I would be pretty pissed if I’d bought this back then and the figure fell apart. Of course I also could have contacted Palisades and they would have sent me another. Since Palisades is deader than a Deadite, I am not so lucky these days. Thankfully I only paid like $6 on Amazon for this.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 4
Accessories – Swords, Bonus Figures
Quality Control – -900
Value – 2
Overall – 3 out of 10

Yeah, I am pretty disappointed with this set. Everything is designed to be inherently awesome, but at the end of the day, most of it turns to crap because of the quality control. There’s no real reason to track down this set and even if you do, there’s a very high chance that this will fall apart. Even if your Ash doesn’t fall apart at first, if you put him into a toy box or if he falls off your shelf, he’s toast.

If you can get this set for about $6 and you need some extra bloody swords and a Deadite figure, take a gamble. Otherwise I’d go spend your $6 on something else. Thanks for the memories Palisades, even the bad ones!

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