Scooby Doo!

Equity Marketing, best known for the terrific Burger King kids meal toys they dream up, tried out the Scooby license last year with a large format figure.  They produced three series before they were done, but the figures weren't as well received as they'd hoped.

They've switch the format, bringing the size of the figures down to about 5", and giving them lots of articulation.  So far, it looks like this format will be better received by most collectors.  This also fits the scale of the Mystery Machine they released last year.

So far they've released several figures.  First, there's the Scooby and Shaggy that come with the Mystery Machine - these figures are the same ones they released last year.  This time though, there's a Fred figure included with the vehicle pack.

This same Fred (and Scooby and Shaggy) are also in a five pack of the main characters that's only a KB exclusive.  This is currently the only way to get the two girls.

The first series has also been released, called the Creepy Series.  It includes a 'scared' version of Shaggy and Scooby, and four villains - the 10,000 watt ghost, the Phantom Racer, the big lizard guy and the skeleton guy with the big single eye.  Hey, I haven't seen the last two on the shelf, and I don't think most of the Scooby villains had real names anyway.  I haven't heard of anyone picking those two up yet, so I don't think they've made it to the shelves.

These figures are retailing for around seven bucks each, and a second series, called the Spooky series, is advertised on the cardbacks.

Packaging - ***
The art and style of the cardbacks is pretty good, reminiscent of the show.  However, names of all the figures in a series on the card back would be nice.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpting on these figures tends to vary.  Scooby, Shaggy and the villains were all good, but something seems off about Fred.

If they'd pulled off the Fred sculpt, this would have been close to a perfect ****.  The accessories are also well sculpted, with lots of great detail.

The only other flaw to the sculpting is the fact that the figures can't hold their accessories.  Some aren't really made to be held, like Scooby's sundae, but others, like the Racer's books or Shaggy's sandwich, are pretty much on their own.

Paint - ****
The paint ops on all my figures is excellent, particularly the tough details like the Racers face.
Everyone's eyes are pointed in the right direction, and all the detail lines are clean and crisp.

Technically it's not paint, but I'm giving extra points in this category as well for the nicely colored translucent plastic used for the electrifying ghost.  It looks great, and matches up with the source material really well.

Articulation - ***1/2
These figures have good articulation, particularly in this scale.  Most have neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.  All the joints work well, and the figures can hold a lot of great poses, including various running and screaming poses.

The only thing knocking this down a half star is the quality of some of the joints.  Some of them seem weak, particularly on Shaggy and Scooby.  The new villains were great, so perhaps this is a carry over from the original sculpts on those two figures. I had trouble keeping Shaggy standing, while the other figures including Fred work far better.

Accessories - ***1/2
The accessory selection is very good, and fits the episodes and characters.  There's a little flip book that comes with each figure that explains who the criminal is (remember, there never were any real monsters on Scooby Doo), and why they did what they did.  It's a nice touch, and works pretty well.

Every figure has one accessory - scared Shaggy with his sandwich, Phantom Racer with his hypnosis books, the Ghost with the rope that was wrapped around his body, and scared Scooby with his sundae.

Value - ***
Unfortunately, these are a little too expensive.  With only one accessory, in this scale, these are really $6 figures.  At seven bucks they are slightly overpriced.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm surprisingly pleased with this.  I hadn't picked up any of the first figures due to the scale, but I like these enough to pick up the whole set so far.  If you're a big Scooby fan, I highly recommend them.

Where to Buy
I've only seen the five pack once at a KB, so if you see it and think you're interested, I'd grab it rather than waiting.

The other figures, including the new Mystery Machine, are showing up at Targets first. On-line:

- Comics Infinity has the five figure set with the ladies for $9 plus shipping.

I haven't found any other on-line retailers with the other new figures yet.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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