Gearing Up for The Walking Dead
If you’re like me, these past few weeks have been torture. No, I’m not really concerned about the state of international affairs or impending blizzards. Instead, I’ve spent sleepless nights panicked about what’s next on the horizon for Rick Grimes and his group, now that Terminus and Washington, D.C. have failed to yield hope. Of course, I’m talking about The Walking Dead; what else is there in the world to care so much about?
The nine weeks since the mid-season break have been almost unbearable. I couldn’t even properly enjoy the holidays for worrying over how Daryl is going to face a world without Beth. It’s just so unfair. Finally, February 8, a day I truly believe should be a national holiday, draws near. Hallelujah! We only have a few more days to get through until we get some long-awaited answers as to what the future holds for our favorite zombie apocalypse survivors. Until then, there is quite a bit of Walking Dead merchandise available online to see us through, so I’ll share some of my favorites.
For Your Viewing Pleasure/Horror
What?! You haven’t seen The Walking Dead? Are you kidding me? Have you been living under a rock for the past four years? I actually envy you, because you now have the treat of viewing a marathon of the first four seasons in one sitting. I know that’s a lot of hours, but believe me, you will do it.
You can purchase a set of Seasons 1-4 ($103.99) on DVD from Amazon.com. I challenge you to leave the couch before the final credits roll. Amazon Instant Video carries all of the Season 5 episodes to date, so you can get caught up before Sunday.
Calling Comic Book Fans
For die-hard fans, it’s well-known that the show is based on the series of comic books by Robert Kirkman. If you’re interested in that background, you can order the Complete Compendium ($140) of all 126 issues at Shop.TheWalkingDead.com. I understand that the plot of the comics differs in some ways from the television series. In particular, the comic books do not feature the character of Daryl Dixon, but maybe they’re worth a read anyway.
If you’re more into reading than comics, you can also get the series in mass market paperback form, beginning with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor ($7.99 at Barnes & Noble).
Wear Your Heart (Not Your Brains) on Your Sleeve
My favorite items let you proclaim your love for your favorite character to the world. I’ve been sporting this Mrs. Daryl Dixon t-shirt ($16.97, BikerOrNot.com) since I fell head over heels for him around Season 2. A man who is equal parts emotionally wounded and fearlessly badass, and unquestionably loyal to his friends - who could resist? Not to mention those arms.
Maybe you’d prefer a Rick Grimes sheriff's bathrobe ($70, ThinkGeek.com), a Michonne zombie slayer tank top ($24, CafePress.com), or one of many available items featuring another character. I can’t imagine why you would, but hey, that’s your choice.
If you ever doubted the show’s popularity, you have only to visit Etsy.com for proof. The site features over 12,000 handmade items from hundreds of sellers catering to Walking Dead fans. Whether you’re looking for crossbow earrings ($24) or a TWD-themed charm bracelet ($11.46), chances are you can find it on Etsy.
My personal favorite is this zombie apocalypse partners necklace set. What better way to show your love than to mark your special someone as the one you’ve chosen to face the apocalypse with? That has to be the highest honor a person can bestow, so choose carefully and pick someone with mad skills. And you can’t have Daryl, he’s claimed.
Of course, the ultimate in fan gear would have to be the show’s collectibles, and there are literally thousands out there to choose from. These Funko POP! figures ($10, Bed, Bath & Beyond) are everywhere now; or if you want something more realistic, try the licensed McFarlane collectible figure series, like this set featuring Penny, the Governor's daughter with a selection of gruesome body parts.
If it’s not enough to watch the show, and you’re craving a taste of the actual experience, you can enact your own walker battles and test your skills by playing The Walking Dead board game ($37, Overstock.com) or themed versions of TWD Risk and TWD Monopoly.
Zombie Survival Gear
If you’re like me, you learned long ago from the show to accept that at some point in time, a real zombie outbreak is going to occur. Don’t worry, there is plenty of gear and weaponry available out there to ensure that you have the necessary skills to survive when that time comes. If I were you I’d be sure to have one of these zombie survival kits ($99.95, Ebay.com) and a few of these Ka-Bar "Zomstro" zombie choppers ($130, Thinkgeek.com) on hand, just in case. It would just be irresponsible to face the future unprepared.
Well, that should be everything we need to gear up for the long-awaited return of Season 5, or an inevitable walker attack sometime in the future. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make sure my medication is refilled before Sunday night, because I literally have panic attacks whenever anyone comes close to killing Daryl. I’ll leave you with this one last item that perfectly expresses my sentiments about the show.