Wind Up Bender

One of the funniest cartoons on television, heck, one of the funniest shows on television right now is Futurama.  Well written, witty and reminiscent of the Simpsons of 5 or 6 years ago, Futurama could be a major hit.  Could be if Fox would stop relegating it to such an awful time slot.

We are starting to see some merchandise.  Earlier, I reviewed the diecast set from Rocket USA at the Comic Book Galaxy.  Now I've picked up the tin wind up toy of your favorite robot, Bender.  He is also produced by Rocket USA (although the action figures that should be out later in the spring will be coming from Moore Action Collectibles) and costs about $25 depending on where you find it.  Plenty of on-line stores are selling it, but the only retail outlets I've seen carry it are the Sam Goody family - Media Play, Sam Goody and Suncoast Video - and Tower Records.

Packaging - ****
I wish all boxes and artwork were this good.  Not only is the box perfect for the MIB collector - everything can easily be removed without damage - it manages to capture the flavor of the show AND the flavor of the old style tin toys of the 50's and 60's.

Sculpting - ***1/2
It's Bender!  He makes a surprisingly good looking walking toy.  Sculpting isn't really the right word here of course - it's more design.  But they've done a terrific job giving you Bender as you'd expect him.

Walking Action - ***
Bender winds up with a removable key, just like the old toys.  It feels like the action and springs are strong, and he walks and swings his arms well.

Accessories - ***1/2
Bender has two accessories - his required cigar, and a bottle of Olde Fortan.  The cigar fits perfectly into a hole in his mouth, and if you prefer not to see this hole simply spin his antennae and his mouth moves around to the other side where there is no hole!

The small bottle looks pretty good, and fits perfectly into his hand.

Paint - ***
The paint application was uniform and clean.  You should be careful picking out the eyes, because some seemed off center.  But since the stores haven't gotten many of these, your opportunity to be picky is pretty much lost.

Value - *1/2
Unfortunately, as nice as this is it isn't a $25 toy.  Ten bucks tops, and the only reason it's selling well is the overall lack of Futurama merchandise.

Overall - **1/2
If he hadn't been so expensive, his score would have been much better.  I also noticed one other thing - Playmates has spoiled me.  I want Bender to talk, and I'm disappointed that the action figure license has gone to MAC instead of Playmates.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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