World of Springfield Wave 7

Okay, I'm a WOS junkie.  If you're looking for a bad review of anything WOS, I wouldn't suggest stopping here.  I think my ability to be completely unbiased ended back about figure number 50 or so.

This latest wave has started hitting both Toys R Us stores and Targets.  It's nice to see the figures back at Targets, since they skipped wave 6, and it's even nicer to see them ring up at only $4.99.  There are six figures in the set, as usual - Marge as a policewoman, Lou the cop, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, Hans Moleman, Dolph and Edna Krabappel.  All are packed two each to a case.

Packaging - **1/2
I didn't even bother with a picture.  Why should I?  I think we all know what the packaging looks like by now.  A little update to the look would be nice, but I don't think we're going to see it any time soon.

The packaging is serviceable, and I've always like the graphics on the back.  But overall it's still a dull cardback.

Sculpting - ***1/2
There were several of these figures that I thought I wouldn't be very happy with from various pictures I'd seen.  Marge didn't quite look right, and Edna and Dolph both looked...odd.

I'm happy to say that now that I can see them in person, and put them with the other figures, my concerns over the sculpting are pretty much gone.  Marge looks great, as does Cletus (the best figure in this series), and Hans.

Dolph still has that problem of scale, but Playmates backed themselves into that problem when they oversized characters like Lisa, Bart and Milhouse.

If there's one sculpt I'm not completely satisfied with, it's Lou.  I can't quite put my figure on it, but his head sculpt isn't quite right.  His body and forearms though are well down, and he looks great with Cop Marge and Wiggum.

Paint - ***
I have a feeling that Playmates is cheapening up a bit on the paint ops, although I have no proof.  There are little things here that I haven't seen as much of before, like overspray or sloppy lines.  It's not terrible, but it's not the level of quality you'd like to see.

Articulation - **
I think we all have these points of articulation burned in our brains - neck, shoulders, waist.  Bada bing, bada boom.  Nothing new here, although I wouldn't expect it.  Interestingly, in my readers poll of the Best and Worst of 2001, Playmates is in the lead for worst articulation.

Accessories - ****
Easily the highlight of this wave was the terrific accessory selection.  Sure, we got reuse to, but none of it was downright silly, and most was right on target.

Marge has five accessories - night stick (new), gun (reused), counterfeit jeans (new), clipboard with ticket for Homer (reused), and handcuffs (reused).  The jeans are the perfect accessory, and at least all the rest make sense.  Of course, she also has a gun, and nightstick on her belt, so there seems to be a little redundancy here.

Officer Lou has only four - night stick (new and different that Marge's), gun (reused), donuts in tray (reused) and handcuffs (reused).  Overall, his accessories are the weakest.

Cletus just kicks butt all over the place.  His four accessories include a photo of his lovely wife (reused), his boots (new), a road kill opossum (new) and a jug of moonshine (new).

Dolph has four accessories as well.  The comic book (reused, included sticker), yo-yo (new), water balloon (reused) and Squishy (reused).

Edna has four too.  Can you see a pattern with this wave?  There's the obligatory clipboard (reused), photo frame (reused), pen (new) and can of food (new).  The label on the can of food is priceless - "Chef Lonely Hearts Meals for One".

Finally, Hans has his four accessories.  He can only hold something with his left hand though, so that hurts him a bit.  If you pose him with his hand up by his glasses, it looks (sorta) like he's adjusting them. He has a football (new), cane (new), magnifying glass (reused), and clipboard (reused).

Other than Hans, all the characters can hold accessories in both hands, but not necessarily all their accessories.  We ended up with three clipboards and two picture frames this time, but that's not bad considering we got 25 accessories.

Value - ****
Five bucks each is the same excellent value it was two years ago.  I don't think this will last long though, and at $6 each this score drops by a half point.  

Overall - ***1/2
Cletus is the clear winner of this entire series, but there isn't a poor figure in the bunch.  I'm sure we'll see Edna on the shelves, but for the WOS fan she's a must have.  So are Hans, Dolph and Lou.  Even the one variation we got this wave - Cop Marge - was well done and fits in nicely with the rest of the displays.

If you can only buy one, buy Cletus.  But if you're building the World of Springfield on your shelves, then every one of these buggers is worth the price.

Where to Buy
Target is clearly the place to get these at if you can.  The Target I found them at had put out two cases, so they are clearly getting a fair number this time around.  Seems silly, since this wave missed Christmas.

On-line, there are plenty of options:

- New Force Comics.  It looks like they still have a few Wave 7 Mint On Card sets of figures available in the pre-sell section.  They are $35 a set plus shipping, and they have notified folks that they'll start shipping these on Monday (today!).  In the future, I recommend you pre-order your sets through New Force if you plan on going the on-line route.  You won't find better prices!

- Aisle Sniper also has the figures listed at $35 for a set of six, but they have them still listed as a pre-order.  The advantage here is that you can also order each of the figures individually for $7.

- Action Figure Express has them for $45 plus shipping, but they don't claim to have them in stock yet either. (MROTW Affiliate)

- Toy Bliss has them in stock and shipping, but are charging $8 each, which is pretty steep, particularly when you add in shipping.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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