Wheaty Wheat and DYZ Plastic's ZLIKS by Andrew Bell
The newest creatures from Andrew Bell's head are ZLIKS. These subterranean worm-like creatures are known to travel in packs, based on the packaging I'd say they like to travel in groups of three. Like most of Bell's work, these cute creatures have a bit of a morbid side to them. And just like all of Wheaty Wheat's toys, the quality is great. Because the company lives up to its reputation to produce high quality toys; these were dropped a bit later than expected in order to make sure everything was just right. But the end product was worth the wait.
Each set of ZLIKS has two bodies, three heads, and three bases. The bodiless head looks like it is just barely poking out of the ground, so it works visually without the body. Each head can be swapped around so you can mix and match the different faces on the different bodies. When you pop off the head, the peg that holds it is painted to look like meat with a bone in the middle. Not detailed, instead cartoony enough to fit the style of the toy but still give you the idea that you just lopped the ZLIK's head off. The eyes are loose spheres inside the socket. They aren't so loose that they fall out, but they can be swiveled around to let the little worm look in all directions and if eyelids are painted on the eye you can change his attitude. This is something I haven't seen in a vinyl toy before and it really is the coolest feature of the toys. You can also pop out the eyes and switch them around. But I had a really hard time getting them out (which is good, I suppose). The bodies have arms that swivel, not a lot of maneuverability but enough for a little more character. Each ZLIK has his own base as well. These are pretty cool but were the only problem I really had with the toys. The bases are made to look like the ZLIK just popped up out of the ground. The sculpt is nice, but the plastic used is too shiny. I think they would have looked a bit better matte. Also, while the ZLIKS look nice on them, they take up a lot of self space. Especially if you have more than one colorway. But that being said, they do a nice job of grounding the toy and giving you a bit more of a diorama rather than just a tailless worm sitting on your shelf.
The sculpt on the toys is great. Sticking to Bell's style they are very clean and simple in form. The seams where the heads attach are tight and the undercut on the mouth ridge is really smooth. Also, it's worth mentioning again that the eyes are just the right size for the sockets. I found it very hilarious that the taller body has butt cheeks. I wasn't expecting that and if you have a Groob, you can compare their tooshies. (Is that too much?) The paint application is also very tight. The Natural colorway has great details with vines painted on all sides and the two bodies have a creature painted on their back. To make up for the lost body the lonely head has a dragonfly on the back of his noggin. Also, the Natural set has mouths painted on the faces. This turns the mouth ridge that's sculpted into a turtle neck like fold. The mouths add to the toys' character, but I like them better with out it. But that's just for the Natural colorway. (Most of the pictures shown). There are 8 more colorways for you to choose from. They break down like this: There are 600 of the Natural, Oil (gray), and Psycho (white/bloody). There are 200 Die in the Dark (glow), the It's Too Late (all black oil), and the Wandering Sky (blue Natural) colorways. If you were lucky to enough to snag a Natural Sepia tone at SDCC you have 1 of 100. Octane3 has an exclusive 100 Ice Variants for sale, and the rarest of the group is DeadZebra's Black Psycho colorway totaling 66. Of all the colorways, my favorite would have to be the Oil. I love gray toned vinyl. But the glowing Psycho variant is also very sweet.
The packaging of the toys is pretty nice. The box is made to look like an opening in the forest with trees around the edges and top. The back has a little story about the ZLIKS and shots of the three main colorways. You can cut the box apart to make a diorama and that's pretty sweet too.
Overall, I think the extra wait was worth it for these toys. I really like the different colorways (more with this line than many) and the rotating eyes are really new and make these stand out even more in your collection. These make a great addition to your collection if you're into artist's toys with a fun feeling to them. They look right at home with Groob, Mr. Bunny, and Tribes of Monsterism. The rarer colorways are going fast, so don't sleep on those.
Win a set!
How would you like to have your very own set of It's Too Late ZLIKS? All you have to do is shoot an email to entry AT millionaireplayboy.com with ZLIK in the subject and we'll randomly choose a winner on Aug 25th. Good luck!!
Wheaty Wheat has lots of great toys and more on the way. Check out their site for info on upcoming projects and a cool shop with some rare items.
Andrew Bell's site is full of Creatures in my Head goodness.
We put all our Designer Toy Coverage in one handy page for your reading pleasure. It's worth a read.
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