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Review of Adam West, Milhouse, Matt Groening
Celebrity Simpsons action figures

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

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Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Introduction

Welcome to part 2 of my look at what is potentially the final wave of Celebrity Simpsons from NECA. The concept was simple - produce 25 celebrity themed figures from the show for the 25th anniversary, using the same style and scale as the old World of Springfield line.  With 5 waves, they've done that and more.  By doing several bands and counting the entire group as one celebrity, as well as adding in new variants of some of the beloved regulars, they've actually given us 34 new figures for the display.

This final wave includes Stan Lee and Bart Simpson (from "I Am Furious (Yellow)"), both reviewed already, as well as Homer, Lenny Kravitz and Tom Petty (from "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"), to be reviewed soon. Tonight I'm covering the other three: Milhouse and Matt Groening (from "My Big Fat Geek Wedding"), and Adam West (from "Mr. Plow").

These are available at a number of online retailers as well as your local Toys R Us for around $13 - $15. With SDCC coming up next week, I have my fingers crossed that NECA might show something new with the Simpsons line, but that might just be wishful thinking.

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Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Packaging - ***1/2
I love the character personalization with these, and there's a bunch of info on the back about each character AND the episode in which they were featured. The bubble/card back style is not in any way, shape or form collector friendly, but it is attractive and well designed.

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Adam West is an actor who has left his finger prints on many geeky animated shows, including Family Guy of course. That means this is not our first animated Adam West figure, although it is intended to look more like him, albeit a Simpsonized version.

When I first saw the Adam West in hand, I thought he looked a little...pudgy.  Then I went back and checked out a number of screen captures, and sure enough, they got it just about right based on his look in the episode. The detailing on the sweater and buttons is perfect, and even the pose is accurate to the show. It's nice to see this figure make it onto the shelf, because the rumor has been that the writers were such big fans they wrote him into the Mr. Plow episode just so they could meet him. Since he's the only character NECA has done from this episode he might seem the odd man out, but he will go great with your old Mr. Plow Homer and Plow King Barney. He stands just a hair over 5 inches tall, and does so great on his own.

Matt Groening and Milhouse both come from "My Big Fat Geek Wedding", although both characters were in these outfits more than once on the show. This is the standard outfit for Matt, and he's appeared on the show several times just like this. The glasses look great, and I think the expression is perfect for the scene and accessories.  The hair seems a smidge short, but it's a minor nit. The hands are sculpted to work perfectly with the accessories (yes, the marker is removable), and he stands great on his own at about 5 inches tall.

Milhouse is dressed as Fallout Boy, a costume he wore in several episodes, but most notable when he went to Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con to meet Matt and get his Bender autographed. The eyes, hair and proportions are all great, and they've chosen an expression of wonder and surprise that works well not only with the Matt figure next to him, but in just about any situation with Milhouse. He's smaller of course, standing about 3 1/2 inches tall to the top of his funky hair. This is slightly smaller than the old WoS kids - check out my last review to see a photo of the NECA Bart with the Playmates Bart to see the welcome difference.

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Paint - ***
The paint quality is decent here, but as with most of the line, there's enough minor issues to bring the score down a bit.

Overall the color choices are accurate and appropriate, but I wasn't sure at first. They had me confused by the brown hair on Matt, since this is how I remember him.  However, after further research, I came to believe this is his look from the actual episode in question. The gray hair is more iconic, but the brown does appear to be accurate as well. This isn't the first animated Groening we've had either - Kid Robot did a version, and went with a hair color somewhere in the middle.

There's some slop around the cut lines and edges, and the occasional bleed from one into another. Fortunately, the very crucial eyes are good on all three, although the left on Milhouse could be a little more centered.

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Articulation - **1/2
This is standard stuff by now, and they've tried to match up with the older line in this category. There's a cut neck and cut shoulders, but they've added a cut waist with characters like Adam or Matt. You aren't going to get any extreme poses, but I was able to get the right look with Matt and Milhouse together, and Adam should go great with his fellow Mr. Plow characters (although they were never actually on screen together).

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Accessories - Adam Bupkis; Matt, Milhouse ***
Sadly, Adam West loses out in this category, as one of the few figures in the entire series to come with absolutely nothing extra.

Milhouse has the one accessory necessary to get a B score here - a piece of paper to be signed. As I recall, it was a Bender doll in the show...but I'm assuming that getting the Futurama licensing would have been prohibitively expensive.

Matt has not one but TWO accessories, although he really needs to keep that pen in his hand to look right. Along with the pen is his own, larger piece of paper, with nothing on it. Again, in the episode he did a Futurama related drawing, but I understand why they left it out here.

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
These aren't the sort of figures that you play with in any traditional sense, but they are terrific fun for fans of the show. Personally, I think I'm going to work up a Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi con custom display, and put Matt, Mark Hamill, Leonard Nimoy, this Comic Book Guy, and a few others in front of it. Now that's what I call fun!  Reading that back to myself sounds so much more pathetic than it sounded in my head.

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Value - ***
These guys will run you $13 - $15, which is on the cheap side these days for collector themed action figures.  In a market where most 6" lines go for $20, it's nice to give the wallet a little break.

Things to Watch Out For -
I had one sticky joint on Milhouse, and this softer rubber could tear.  Be careful freeing up any stuck joints!

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures by NECA

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Overall - ***1/2
I love this line - they did everything right as far as I'm concerned.  Sure, they could have added a joint or two (cut wrists would have been particularly nice), and a few more accessories wouldn't have killed them. But I'm thrilled that we got so many additional characters and variants to add to the display.

Of these three, Matt is my favorite.  They captured the pose and expression perfectly. But you shouldn't ignore Adam either, since he's such an iconic geek idol. I'll wrap up my look at the final three figures in this wave soon...and I'll be sad. But it will be one of those melancholy situations, because it is better to have loved and lost, or in this case, loved and ended, than never to have had the line at all.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Adam Bupkis; Milhouse, Matt ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures 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 just reviewed the first two in this wave - Stan Lee and Bart - last week.

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:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Celebrity Simpsons Adam West, Matt Groening figures 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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