Web Series Review: Shelf Life

Shelf Life recently released the first episode of a brand-new web series, promising the masses “This Ain’t No Toy Story…” Its premise: the lives of four action figures who occupy a shelf in a little boy’s bedroom. Will it be an everyday battle of good against evil?

Judging by the trailer, probably not (please note that there’s some adult language in the video below, so make sure everyone watching this at home is age-appropriate):

The cast of characters:
Hero Man (Travis Willingham): the Champion of the Forever Dimension
Hero Lass (Tara Platt): half-sister of Hero Man
Bug Boy (Yuri Lowenthal): foul-mouthed boy in a bug-like suit
Samurai Snake (acted by Bryan Enk, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker): *graaaaaaghhhhh*

shelf 300x222 Web Series Review: Shelf Life

The quartet, inactive, on the shelf.

Our introduction begins with the episode entitled: “Quiet On the Set.” We peer through a window into a boy’s bedroom and see shelf adorned with four action figures: a man, a woman, a buggish-looking male, and a reptile. An off-screen mother calls her son to dinner, which he reluctantly answers. The toys wait for the boy to leave before they can relax from their rigid poses and do whatever the heck it is they want to do. Bug Boy lights up a cigarette and complains loudly about their owner. Hero Man and Hero Lass try to get him to keep his voice down, which starts an argument and brings out some hilarious sore issues.

I wasn’t sure what to expect (apart from it not being a toy story), but the opening theme and credits grabbed my attention immediately. What makes it even better is the way the action figures seem to be real and the world surrounding them is fictional. The characters of Hero Man and Bug Boy promise to present the kind of conflict you savor and hope never ends: the smarmy good guy whose over-confidence annoys and smart-assed villain who is pessimistic to the core. As of now, Hero Lass and Samurai Snake seem to be there to just move the story along, but I’m sure they’ve got equally comical pieces to come.

The first episode is available for your viewing pleasure on the Shelf Life:The Series YouTube channel. Go ahead, take a peek. It’ll be among the best two minutes you’ve ever spent in your life.

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