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Review of Celebrity Simpsons Action Figures
Stan Lee and Bart Simpson

NECA
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Introduction

It's that time - time to look at what is potentially the final series in the very cool Celebrity Simpsons action figures from NECA. The plan was to do 25 celebrity characters, and by counting a entire musical group as just one 'celebrity' more than once, they managed to produce not 25 but 34 of the coolest celebrities characters, as well as adding in 15 more variations on standard characters. That's a whopping 49 more figures to add to your display, right alongside the World of Springfield!

But that goal is complete now, so whether we'll see them produce more or not is up in the air.  I assume we might get some info at SDCC in a few weeks, but I'm not hopeful. Still, it's been a fantastic run, and it's really beefed up the collection.

This last wave consists of eight figures, which I'm going to break up into three reviews, mostly to drag out my enjoyment of the last series. You're just stuck coming along for the ride.

The wave includes Bart and Stan Lee (from "I Am Furious (Yellow)"), who are reviewed tonight; Homer, Lenny Kravitz and Tom Petty (from "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"); Adam West (from "Mr. Plow"); and Milhouse as Fall Out Boy with Matt Groening (from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding").

These are showing up all over the place, including Toys R Us, in that $13 - $15 range, depending on the retailer. These are tail-enders, and as such I expect the production numbers to be lower than earlier waves, with less initial interest, and then you won't be able to find them to save your life in a year.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Packaging - ***1/2
The now standard red packaging looks great, but of course it's not collector friendly. The huge plus here is the extensive character personalization. There's lots of info on the episode and appearance of the particular character on the back of the card, along with character specific artwork.

Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Sculpting - ***1/2
I really like the look of both of these, although Bart really us just Bart.

Stan Lee has been on the show more than once, but this version and Bart come from the same episode - "I Am Furious (Yellow)". You can even see Stan in the exact sculpted pose in screen shots. They did a great job of capturing his essence in the character design on the show, and it translated nicely into three dimensions. The figure even has the squinty eyes he gets when he smiles!

The glasses were a bit tricky for them though, particularly in this scale. These are in the same 5" scale as the old Playmates World of Springfield figures, and one of the key features is that they fit in perfectly with that line on the shelf. But at this size, making the thin arms on the glasses is risky.  Instead, they've cast them a bit thicker, and made the entire eye wear out of the same, slightly translucent plastic. They darkened the rosy color up in the arms though, making it less noticeable in hand.

I'm digging Bart because my biggest issue with the old series was the wonky scale and size of the kids. Bart (and the other kids released by NECA, like Milhouse, Lisa and Maggie) isn't perfect when it comes to scale, but he's much, much closer. They've cut his height slightly, made the body and legs less pudgy, and produced an overall design that looks much closer to the source material.  I've included a shot with the standard Playmates Bart for reference.

Both Bart and Stan have hands sculpted to work with their accessories, and they stand great on their own.

Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Paint - ***
The paint work on both is solid, but not exceptional.  I didn't see anything that was obtuse, but there's nothing that jumps out as particularly amazing either.

The best feature on Stan is those translucent, rose colored glasses, but they did a nice job with the two tone gray hair as well. Bart has fairly clean eyes and pupils, and while there's a little over spray here and there (like on the socks and shoes), his colors are generally consistent with good cut lines.

One of the things I like better about the NECA figures versus the Playmates releases is the matte paint finish. The WoS figures look more toy-ish next to the NECA figures, due in large part to their overall glossy appearance.

Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Articulation - **1/2
To sort of match the old series, they've kept the articulation to a minimum. Of course that also keeps costs down, a positive side effect for NECA.

I say 'sort of', because these are actually more articulated than the WoS series.  You get the cut neck and cut shoulders of yore, but they added in a cut waist as well. While I'm all for keeping the general aesthetic of the design - in fact, I felt it was necessary - there are figures where an extra cut or two would have been great, and wouldn't have created any design problems. With this pair, I think adding in a cut on each arm for Stan right below the sleeve would have been a huge bonus, but not having it isn't a deal breaker.

Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Accessories - ***
With the overall series, I've been pretty consistent about handing out 3 stars for any figure that gets one accessory. That might be a little generous, but I do love me some Simpsons.

Here, we get episode specific extras.  Stan has the book, from the Comic Book Shop, and Bart has his spiral notebook.  A drawing of Angry Dad on the notebook might have been nice, but again, it's not a huge nit.

Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Fun Factor - Bart ***; Stan Lee ***1/2
In general, these are solid action figures with little chance for breakage during regular play.  For the adult collector, they pose pretty well, and are a fantastic edition to any WoS set up.

Stan gets a slightly higher 'fun' score because he's STAN FREAKIN' LEE.

Value - ***
These will run you around $13 - $15 at most retailers, which is a few bucks cheaper than a lot of the current collector lines from companies like Hasbro, Funko, and NECA themselves. They are a solid value in the current market, and this slightly above average score will effect their Overall positively.

Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Things to Watch Out For -
No issues here.

Overall - Bart ***; Stan Lee ***1/2
Obviously, this isn't the first Bart Simpson figure we've gotten in his standard clothes from NECA.  It's great that they managed to squeeze one in before the end of the series, because I feel the scale and design are more accurate to the show.

It's probably not a surprise, but this isn't the first Stan Lee figure we've gotten either (or will get - there's a high end sixth scale version coming soon), but when you can combine two things this good, it's like PB&J. A simpsonized Stan Lee? It doesn't get much closer to nerd heaven than that.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - Bart ***; Stan Lee ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - Bart ***; Stan Lee ***1/2

Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has these for $15 each.

- Entertainment Earth has a case of 22 for $270, which makes each figure about $12. If you can go in with a couple other folks, that be the way to save a few bucks.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered almost the entire NECA Celebrity run, with the first four figures of wave 4 in part 1, and part 2 (but skipped Homer, Marge and Otto). I covered wave 3 in three parts - here, here and here. I covered series 2 in two parts, here and here, as well as two parts for series 1, here and here.

And you'll want to hit up my full list of all kinds of Simpsons related reviews right here.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Simpsons Celebrity Stan Lee, Bart action figure by NECA

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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