Muppets Mini-busts Series 5
Miss Piggy, Crazy Harry, Animal and Dr. Teeth

If you're collecting the Muppets mini-busts from Sideshow Toy, you got hit pretty hard at the end of the year.  Series 4 and series 5 came out practically on top of each other, making many a wallet whine. 

This set includes Miss Piggy, Dr. Teeth, Animal and Crazy Harry.  The character selection was pretty important this time, as we needed more of the Electric Mayhem - now we're only missing Floyd - and Miss Piggy was clearly crucial to the overall display.

There's some rumors around that this might be the last series.  The quick rush to get this out by the end of the year fueled that rumor, since that might mean that the license was up and not renewed for 2004.  However, there's no official word from Sideshow on this yet, and I'm sure we'll find out at Toy Fair next month. 

Packaging - ***
If you've picked up any of the other series, you know what it's like.  Sturdy, well designed, with a nice window so you can see the bust.  There are no certificates of authenticity, and I didn't see any of these numbered on the boxes like some of the past series, but otherwise the packaging looks great.

Sculpting - Miss Piggy, Dr. Teeth ***1/2; Crazy Harry ***; Animal **1/2
Miss Piggy and Dr. Teeth are the sculpting highlights of this set. The details and quality of both sculpts is amazing, and both expressions and poses fit the characters well.  They might not be everyone's first choice for pose, but they aren't completely ridiculous either.

The Piggy sculpt is especially attractive.  Now don't give me a hard time if her nose is slightly off or her eyes too close together - I didn't do an on-model comparison.  However, sitting up on the shelf she looks just like I expect her to.

Dr. Teeth follows her lead.  The 'playing a keyboard' hand position is a little awkward, since he doesn't have a keyboard, but it's not a major problem, and the detail work on his texture, especially the jacket, is really eye popping.  If I have one issue, it's that the glasses are tilted in such a way as to give him a sort of sad, woeful look.  It contrasts with the big smile, making him seem a little sad, perhaps tired of the wild life on the road.

Crazy Harry and Animal aren't quite as nice, but for different reasons.  Harry's pose is fine, and the facial expression is appropriately crazy.  The head seems a tad too deep from nose tip to back, although that may just be due to this scale.  The hair is matted down, with none of the wild craziness you'd expect.

Animal suffers from this same toilet head appearance.  There are no wild hairs, and it seems as though Animal is far too 'groomed'.  Proportions are good, but I'm not fond of the chosen pose either.  He's clearly being choked by his chain, pulling it from his neck.  Something with the drumsticks would have been more character appropriate.

Paint - Dr. Teeth ***1/2; Animal ***; Miss Piggy, Crazy Harry **1/2
Wow, another mixed bag.  Dr. Teeth is a stand out again, with great detail and tons of vibrant color.  There's no bleed or slop, and with this wide of a palette used on a single bust, that's pretty amazing. 

Animal isn't bad, but lacks the pop and appeal of the good Doctor.  He has a similar 'wash' look to his textured skin, and while it works okay with his color, it's not as nice as some of the previous busts.

In the paint department, Harry and Piggy are the disappointments.  Harry also has that 'wash' look to his skin, but with his lighter tones it doesn't work nearly as well.  The darker pinkish hue shows through way too much, and makes him look blotchy, especially around the eyes.

Finally, there's Piggy.  The quality of her paint ops is great, and I haven't a thing to complain about in terms of bleed, slop, unevenness or inconsistency.  The skin tone suffers a bit from the same issues as Harry, but it's not as pronounced.

So why the low score for the porcine babe?  Because of that damn yellow hair!  It's just too brightly yellow for me, and I much prefer the more realistic blonde.  Since it's such a major aspect of the figure, it effects the score enormously.


Value - **1/2
These busts are on the high end, even for busts, costing $50 - $60 direct from Sideshow.  Shop around though, as there are some better options, some of which I have listed below.

Overall - Dr. Teeth ***1/2; Piggy, Animal ***; Crazy Harry **1/2
Unfortunately, this series is my least favorite overall that Sideshow has produced.  While both Dr. Teeth and Miss Piggy have their strong points, her yellow hair along with the Animal design and the Harry paint ops make this series a disappointment for me.

Of course, it's tough to skip this set due to the character selection.  Okay, so maybe you're not a big Crazy Harry fan, but Piggy is required, and most folks want to complete the Electric Mayhem.  These busts aren't awful, but they aren't going to be your favorites of the entire line.

Where to Buy - 
Your local comic shop might have these, but most folks have to turn to the net to find them.  Online options include:

- Alter Ego Comics is where I picked them up for just $168 plus shipping.  They arrived in record time as well!

- Sideshow has them of course, along with previous series.  If you're buying all four, you can get the set for 15% off retail, or individually for $50 - $60 each depending on the bust.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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