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Review of Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz, Homer Simpson
Celebrity Simpsons action figures

NECA
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Introduction

The time has come - I'm wrapping up my look at the final series of Celebrity Simpsons from NECA.  They accomplished what they set out to do, producing more than 25 celebrity themed action figures based on the long running show. Twenty five was the number planned, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the show, but by getting creative and calling an entire band just one celebrity and adding in a few variants of regular characters, they managed to actually give us 34 new figures that fit in perfectly with your World of Springfield display.

This final wave consisted of Stan Lee and Bart Simpson (from "I Am Furious (Yellow)"); Milhouse and Matt Groening (from "My Big Fat Geek Wedding"); Adam West (from "Mr. Plow"); and tonight's trio of Homer, Tom Petty, and Lenny Kravitz, all from "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation".

Heavy on the music cameos, the episode is well regarded.  Adding two more great musicians to the shelf is always a good thing, especially in Simpsons form.  You can pick these guys up for around $13 - $15 each, depending on the retailer, and they've been showing up at Toys R Us as well.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Packaging - ***1/2
I really like the bright red card backs, and the inclusion of not just character information but episode information on the back is a big, big plus.  They aren't collector friendly of course, so they won't last - I bought one or two just to keep carded, because I wanted to have at least a couple examples of the package saved for future display.

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Sculpting - ***1/2
All three of these look great, just like they did on the show.  While I'm more of a fan musically of Petty than Kravitz, I think they nailed the Lenny look a little better. The hair, beard and eyebrows add some detail to the face, and the earrings and other jewelry give him even more flair.

Don't get me wrong - Tom looks great too, but he's a bit more basic.  The smooth hair and fewer sculpted details on the body make him a little boring. The colors make up for it somewhat, but more on that in the next section.

Homer is wearing the same outfit as Lenny - if you haven't watched the episode, you really should - although it's not quite the same fit. The left hand is sculpted in a specific pose, and he can also use it to hold the glasses.

These are in a 5" scale, fit in perfectly with the older Playmates World of Springfield figures, and all three stand terrific on their own.

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Paint - ***
Paint has been the one Achilles heel for this line, but these last three aren't too bad. Most of the colors are clean and consistent, and the majority of cut lines and edges are reasonably sharp. There's a bit of slop here and there, like around Homer's 'tie', or Lenny's sleeves, but considering the price point and style it's not a deal breaker.

All three of them have a singular issue that pulls the score down, however.  It's those pupils!  Homer's are the best, Tom's the worst, but all three are at least a little (to a lot) off center and googly. Homer merely looks stoned...Tom looks like someone hit him upside the head with a shovel.

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Articulation - **1/2
There's no surprise here - they've stuck with the basic four points all along. There's a cut neck, cut shoulders and a cut waist.  That's one more joint than the old Playmates figures had, and much of it is dictated by the character designs.

It's also enough articulation to get the guitar into Tom's hands properly and get a good pose out of him.

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Accessories - ***
I've been a little easy on this line in this particular category.  Normally, only one accessory wouldn't get you three stars, but I'm being a big softie here, due in large part to my love of the license.

Each of these guys has that one extra you expect.  Tom has his guitar, which comes separate in the package but fits neatly in his hands. Lenny has his funky glasses, which fit on his face, although it's a bit of a tight fit over the hair.  And since Homer matches Lenny, he comes with the same glasses, in a slightly larger size. Including lens in both pairs of glasses was a nice touch as well.

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
For the super fan of the show and WoS, these are a lot of fun. Adding in more characters, especially celebrity characters, to an existing display has been a joy. It gave new life to an old collection, and it reminded me just how much I still love the show, warts and all.

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Value - ***
You can pick these up at a price point well below most other 'collector' lines these days, and I have to say it's much appreciated.  And I don't expect to see it again any time soon.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction figures by NECA

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Overall - ***
NECA deserves a ton of credit with these figures.  Producing almost 3 dozen characters in any series is not easy these days, and doing it for a license that was considered played out years ago is nothing short of Herculean. Any other company would have wanted to stamp these with their own style, and set them apart from everything that came before out of pride and a desire to stand out. Instead, NECA was smart enough to put such foolishness aside and provide fans with figures that fit in with the previous World of Springfield line. For that, I'm very thankful.

None of these three were, on their own, must have figures for me. None of them have that certain 'wow' factor of a Matt Groening or Stan Lee that would bump them up a bit in the Overall. But in the larger context of the entire line, I'm a believer in the concept of 'the more, the merrier'. Putting Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz, and Weird Al all on the shelf together makes the world a slightly better place.

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

Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction 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 reviewed the rest of this wave in two parts - Stan Lee and Bart here, Adam West, Matt Groening, and Milhouse here.

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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Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz Simpsons acction 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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