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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Muppets Series 2 action figures
Beaker, Bunsen Honeydew, Animal, Statler, Waldorf

Diamond Select Toys
Date Published: 2016-08-17
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Muppets Statler, Waldorf action figures by DST

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Introduction

I love me some Muppets. So when Diamond Select Toys announced they were bringing them back to the world of action figures, I was excited.  When they announced they would be in a 7" scale, I was excited. When I realized that "7 inch scale" meant the figures would only be 4 - 5" tall, I was far, far less excited.  I made my disappointment known, as I am often wont to do.

I suspect many people have trouble conceptualizing size, because it wasn't until collectors actually had them in hand that I started to hear a lot of complaints about how tiny they are. No duh, right? But the first wave took a lot of flack that I don't think it deserved, considering the sculpt, articulation, and accessories. Yea, they're small, but that shouldn't be much of a surprise. The biggest issue for wave one was the paint quality, which effected some figures more than others.

The second wave has just started to hit, and I'm covering the 'select' versions which are available through online retailers and include ALL the extras.  This wave consists of three sets - Statler and Waldorf, Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, and Animal (with his drum kit). These retail for around $22 - $23, depending on the seller.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Muppets Bunsen Honeydew action figure by DST

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Packaging - ***
The large packages seem wasteful with sets like Bunsen and Beaker, but are clearly necessary for Statler and Waldorf.  Since I'd rather get big accessories than small packages, I'm good with the waste in certain situations.

But man, are there a lot of twisty ties!  You really must have a small pair of wire snips handy to avoid the frustration of getting these out of their confines.

Muppets Statler, Waldorf, Animal, Honeydew, Beaker action figures by DST

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Sculpting - Beaker **1/2; Bunsen ***; Animal, Statler, Waldorf ***1/2
Yes, these are small, and yes, it's not my favorite aspect. But if DST can manage to get a couple play sets produced, and it's because they went with the more manageable size, then all will be forgiven. Let's get scale out of the way right up front - the smaller figures, like Bunsen and Waldorf, are about 4" tall.  Larger figures like Animal, Beaker, and Statler are just under 5".

I suspect there's always going to be one in every series that just doesn't *quite* look right to me. Last time it was Scooter...this time it's Beaker. There's something about the proportions, the size of the head, hands, shape of the body...it just seems off to me. Detailing is not the problem, and I like the texture on his face and hands, as well as the work on the lab coat and shoes. The expression is good, and even the high water pants look great.  But taken as a whole, he just doesn't look quite right to me.  The head does not extend, in case you were wondering, but the hand sculpts do work with a couple of the accessories.

Bunsen is better, with a very recognizable look to him overall. Again, they added a slight texture to the fuzzy face and hands, while the rest of the outfit is smooth.  Proportions look good, and while the glasses on mine are bent downward a bit, that's something you can adjust with a little hot water/cold water treatment.  The glasses are permanently attached of course. His right hand is sculpted in a pointing pose, while the left can hold the clipboard easily.

Animal is another solid figure, with a great expression.  The eyes are wide enough yet lidded enough to work with either the open or closed mouth (the jaw is articulated). The body sculpt and articulation work well together, and smaller details like the real metal chain, look great.

My only nit here is with his height.  Of course, you'll have him sitting down most of the time, so it's not a major issue. But I don't think of Animal as one of the taller Muppets, yet he's almost the full 5". It's a minor nit though, and I suspect I'll be in the minority when it comes to it being an issue.

My favorites are Statler and Waldorf, two figures that look terrific inside or outside the balcony diorama. The body shapes, the proportions, the textures, the small details, the expressions...it's all spot on. My only issue that holds them slightly back are some mold lines and/or assembly lines on both, particularly around the chins. Again,it's a minor nit, and in hand I'm really pleased with this cantankerous couple.

Muppets Beaker action figure by DST

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Paint - Animal ***; Statler, Waldorf, Beaker, Bunsen ***1/2
One of my bigger issues with the first wave was some of the sloppy paint work, a problem that seems to be far less this time around. Of course, I might have gotten lucky with the figures I received, so your mileage may vary.

Animal was the weakest of the bunch, and that's due entirely to the work on his lower teeth. The white is pretty much slopped on, with little regard for edges. The work on the eyes is much better though, and even the edges on the shirt are fairly clean.

The rest all look quite good considering the smaller scale.  The eyes are generally straight and even, the pupils are in the right ball park in terms of size, and the skin colors are even and consistent.  There's no stray marks, edges are sharp, and even the shirt patterns on Bunsen and Beaker are quite good. There's still the occasional slip (i.e. Statler's right pupil is a bit big and Waldorf's left pupil is slightly misshapen), but these are a huge improvement over the first wave.

Muppets Statler action figure by DST

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Articulation - Beaker **1/2; Bunsen ***; Statler, Waldorf ***1/2; Animal ****
For their size, these are surprisingly well articulated. Some of the figure designs limit what they can do, but DST has found some creative ways to get the most out of each character.

Animal, like Kermit, was no problem. He's got those long skinny legs and arms, and they allow for plenty of useful joints.  They don't feel weak or soft, and he can stand upright even with the thin limbs. Along with the ball neck, ball shoulders and hips, cut biceps, hinge elbows, rotating hinge wrists, rotating hinge knees, and hinge ankles, he as a hinge jaw that allows for a wide open or closed mouth.

Beaker is on the opposite end of the spectrum. He has a cut neck, with ball shoulders and rotating hinge elbows and wrists, but these are very restricted by the lab coat design. He has hip and knee joints as well, but again, these are largely restricted by the coat.  His most useful joint is the ankle, where the rotating hinge actually has a little rocker movement as well.

Bunsen is similar, but his ball jointed neck works quite a bit better than Beaker's simple cut. Hips, knees, and wrists are all tied up by the lab coat, but the ankles, shoulders and elbows work better than expected.

Statler and Waldorf land in the middle, with enough articulation to take some great arm poses, and the ability to actually sit in their chairs with a little effort. The joint design is similar to Bunsen's, but with less restriction due to the outfit.  Statler has T hips, while Waldorf has V style.

Muppets Animal action figure by DST

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Accessories - Bunsen, Beaker ***; Animal ***1/2; Statler, Waldorf ****
Let's start with Bunsen Honeydew and his right hand assistant, Beaker.  You're getting two figures here, and I'm not counting one as an accessory to the other - that would be a dishonor to the hard work and great risks of Beaker. They do come with several pieces of critical lab equipment, including several test tubes in a test tube holder (all one piece), a beaker (the actual kind, not the kind with orange hair), a mortar and pestle (one piece), a clipboard with drawing, a round bottom beaker on a ring stand and clamp (one piece), and an older style desk phone (one piece). They really need some sort of lab table to put all these goodies on, and I swapped in a piece from one of the MiWorld sets to substitute in the photo. Beaker and Bunsen each have a small black oval display base as well, although they don't need it to stand on their own.

Animal is a Muppet by himself, but he does come with a terrific accessory - his drum kit!  There's the base of course, including a moving pedal. You won't see it in my photo because I placed it behind the drum of course, but it's there! He also has the bass, a snare, two toms of different sizes, two cymbals, and a hi-hat. The stands are a little wobbly, but I was able to keep them standing with a little poster tack on the bottom.  He also has his drumsticks, as well as a small black stool to sit on. I particularly love the brightly colored Dr. Teeth logo on the front of the bass.

And then there is Statler and Waldorf.  You're getting two figures here, so getting great accessories as well is a huge plus.  They each have their own large chair to sit in - which they can do with a little effort - and three large pieces that can be assembled into the balcony! This diorama looks great, and can be used with the chairs or merely with the figures standing. In my photos, they are actually seated, but you can go either way.  There's no hanger holes on the back, but I'm sure the more creative can find a way to mount it on the wall as well.

Muppets Waldorf action figures by DST

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Fun Factor - ****
I upped the fun factor a bit with this series.  The articulation worked well on the majority of the figures, and the increased display options with Animal, Statler, and Waldorf make these great for both collectors and kids.

Muppets Statler, Waldorf action figures by DST

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Value - Bunsen, Beaker, Animal **; Statler, Waldorf ***
While Bunsen and Beaker have some nice accessories, they really needed a small table to round things out.  At the $23 price point they're pushing it, much like the figures in wave 1. Animal clearly has the far superior accessories...but he's but one muppet, not two, making him a pretty similar value to the rest of the releases.

Ah, but then there's Statler and Waldorf, where they clearly blew the budget.  Getting two Muppets AND a huge diorama? Yep, that's a better than average value right there.

Muppets Animal action figure by DST

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.  Even the drum set is pretty sturdy, as long as you don't get too crazy with the thin stands.

Muppets Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker action figures by DST

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Overall - Beaker, Bunsen ***; Animal ***1/2; Statler, Waldorf ****
Beaker and Bunsen are decent figures, with solid articulation and a reasonable number of accessories.  They aren't going to poof your knickers, but they are a good addition to the display, and if DST could manage a lab play set, they'd look terrific within its confines.

Animal is terrific, a great figure with a great accessory set.  He might be on the tall side, but sitting down he looks just fine.  His lower teeth are sloppy which holds him back, at least for me, from that perfect score, but he's still one of my favorites so far.

And then there's Statler and Waldorf.  You could make a technical argument that based on each individual category score, they should be closer to 3 1/2 than 4 stars overall. And you'd be right, ignoring of course that each category has its own weight and those weights vary from review to review.  It would also be ignoring that special somethin' somethin', that spot where toy becomes art and a certain emotional reaction comes into play. That's dear old Statler and Waldorf, personal favorites of mine, done up right even in this smaller scale.  If they could do this nice a job with every set, I'd be in Muppet heaven.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - Beaker **1/2; Bunsen ***; Animal, Statler, Waldorf ***1/2
Paint - Animal ***; Statler, Waldorf, Beaker, Bunsen ***1/2
Articulation - Beaker **1/2; Bunsen ***; Statler, Waldorf ***1/2; Animal ****
Accessories - Bunsen, Beaker ***; Animal ***1/2; Statler, Waldorf ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - Bunsen, Beaker, Animal **; Statler, Waldorf ***
Overall - Beaker, Bunsen ***; Animal ***1/2; Statler, Waldorf ****

Muppets Animal action figure by DST

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the set of three for $66, or the individual sets for $23.

- Entertainment Earth has the set of three for $68.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I covered wave 1 a few months ago when they hit, which includes Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Scooter. I've covered lots of Muppety goodness over the years, but much of it was in the beginning, back in the early aughts. The last Muppet review I did was the Rainbow Connection Kermit, and that was 11 years ago. Before that, we had Uncle Deadly, Frog Scout Leader Kermit, Palisades wave 7, Cabin Boy Gonzo and Rizzo, Super Grover, Palisades' wave 9, Sweetums, the Backstage Playset, Mini-Muppets series 3, the retailer exclusive versions of Animal, Super Beaker, Palisades' wave 8, exclusive Tuxedo Gonzo, Mega Camilla, Ghost of Sam Arrow, Adventure Kermit, Mega Gonzo, Sideshow's Muppets busts series 4, Palisadies' wave 6, Pigs in Space Playset, Mini-Muppets Christmas Carol set, Palisades' series 5, Mini-Muppets wave 1 & 2, Vaudeville Statler and Waldorf, Koozebane Kermit, Sideshow's Busts series 3, Palisades' wave 4, Mega Animal, Super Scooter, Kitchen Playset, Sideshow's mini-busts series 2, Mega Beaker, Palisades' wave 3, Crash Helmet Gonzo, Electric Mayhem play set, Palisades' wave 2, Sideshow mini-busts series 1, Invisible Spray Fozzie, Tuxedo Kermit and Vanishing Cream Beaker, Muppets Labs Play Set, Palisades' wave 1, and Miss Piggy. *whew*

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

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Muppets Animal action figure by DST

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

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