With news about a potential Dredd sequel flying around the net, Ed brings back a column to pass judgement on a 2000 AD toy.
This section may be called SH*T YOU DON’T NEED, but I’m not entirely sure whether this product really fits that assessment. Obviously, it’s based on the iconic Judge Death from 2000 AD’s Judge Dredd, but on first glance, you’d be hard-pushed to tell as its not a 100% faithful representation of the original design. Although, that’s probably a good thing as I can’t imagine many people wanting an evil-looking skeleton sitting on their bed. And what if a parent had a lapse in judgement and thought, “Oh, it’s a cuddly toy based on a comic character. My Geoff loves comics.” It wouldn’t end well for poor Geoff.
I can’t say that the re-design has done much for the lovable ol’ Death, as while he always looked fearsome, he never appeared quite as grotesque as this, with massively extended arms, a greatly over-sized head with a huge gaping mouth, and teeny-weenie little legs. So, to say that he looks a bit strange is a quite an understatement.
With this “slight” change of design (and the fact that its a plush), Death is obviously supposed to appeal to people who like “cutesy” merchandise whilst aiming not to scare the living shit out of anyone. It’s a shame that TADO, the company who designed and created the plush, seemingly went a bit too far, not only by splashing their name in huge letters on Death’s bum, but by putting a skeletal face on the top of his head. Would it have been too much to ask for them to be more subtle with their self-promotion? I understand that we live in a culture where people pay large amounts to wear clothes advertising the designers of said clothes, but to see this spread to other areas like comic book collectibles does annoy me. Not only does he have this idiotic logo branding, but he also has a completely pointless bone sticking out of his head. This and the extra face detract from what people want to see: Judge Death himself. He’s already got a scary skeletal face, so it’s not really necessary to have added another.
Yet there’s something kitsch and likeable about this creepy plush, the “my name isss Death” quote giving it a nice feel of nostalgia for long-time 2000 AD readers. The material looks cheap and it’s probably not very well-made, but it has that sort of tackiness that will provide you and anyone who sees it with amusement. It might not be the greatest compliment ever, but it’s one of those items that, if you were to see it going cheap, it’d probably be worth the price tag. Who knows, if enough people buy it, they might decide to make a sequel!
On that note, DNA Films are currently going over the considerable DVD and Blu-ray sales of Dredd (reviewed here) to see if it’s worth carrying on the franchise. To help out, make sure you follow Make a Dredd Sequel on Facebook and purchase a copy of the film (preferably in HD) as soon as possible.