Simpsons All Star Voices Series 1

I'm sure you've seen the cool photos of the new Simpsons School Bus by now, but there's excellent product hitting the shelves right now that we don't have to wait for!

The first series of 'celebrity' figures is out!  Simpsons fans have long wanted these figures, particularly those voiced by the late Phil Hartman.  They're finally here, as part of a new series called All-Star Voices.

This first set includes the Phil Hartman character Troy McClure, the Danny DeVito character Herb Powell, and the Joe Montegna character Fat Tony.  Several more series are planned, and the Colonel Homer/ Lurleen Lumpkin TRU exclusive set later this year is considered part of the All-Star Voices line up.

I picked these up at a local Super Wal-mart, and from all the reports, there hitting across the country.  Get over there now!  But don't buy into any hype about these being produced in fewer numbers than regular waves - there are only six figures per case, but with only three characters instead of six, you're getting the same number of figures per character as any release.

Packaging - ****
It's certainly not collector friendly, but that's the only fault I have with the new package designs.  I'm hoping that all the new waves go to this look, with the large character picture to the left.  It looks terrific, and still has the great text and graphics on the back.  If they switch all the series to this look, it will definitely be a case of improving the style.

Sculpting - ***1/2
It can be tough taking a two dimensional character and putting it into a 3-D world, but they do a consistently good job with the Simpsons line.

I think Herb Powell is the best sculpt of the three, but he's really the easiest as well, just being a Homer clone.  It's nice for the customizers to get a thinner suit body though.

Fat Tony comes next, and the only thing hurting his sculpt is the fact that his bags are there, but have no color.  I have no doubt that shadowing them would have been extremely difficult to do well, but you expect it when you look at him, so it detracts somewhat.

My least favorite of the three - although I think it's still a decent sculpt - is Troy McClure. While they did an excellent job on the facial features, there's something about the hair that just doesn't quite look right to me.  Rather than being parted on the left, it looks like a flat top hair style, and from a front on angle doesn't quite look right.  But as I said, the work on the eyes, nose and grin is absolutely excellent.

Another plus to the sculpts is the work on the hands.  All three figures are designed to hold the majority of their accessories, and Fat Tony even has the fingers of his right hand spaced to hold the cigar.

Paint - ***
Most of the time, I get figures with great paint ops.  I have heard plenty of other folks complain about sloppy overspray before.

This is the first time I've really seen it, and it's poor Troy again with the problem.  Overspray from his hair dots his face in quite a few places.  It's easy enough to clean up, but it shouldn't be a problem in the first place.

The other reason they lost a point here is on Fat Tony.  The sculptors clearly gave him a gold chain on his right arm, but it's not painted, and so it blends in with his body.

The rest of the paint work on these figures is great, especially the clothing.  There was no bleeding or inconsistency on any of the body work.

Articulation - **1/2
Is there any way I could surprise you on this category?  I didn't think so.  Neck, shoulders, and waist once again.

I just like to go on record though as saying that at this point, I wouldn't want any additional articulation.  I want the figures to blend all together nicely in the World of Springfield, and if they added new elbow joints, for example, it would cause a break in the continuity between figures.

Accessories - ****
There's a nice mix of new accessories here with the expected re-use.  Fortunately, the re-use makes sense.

Fat Tony has a bat (re-used), gun (re-used), bundle of money (re-used) and cigar (new).  The cigar fits nicely in between the fingers of his left hand.

Herb Powell has a great cell phone (new), brief case (new), clipboard (all time number one re-used), and 'drawing board' with plans for the baby translator (new).

Troy McClure has only one new accessory, although all of his make sense.  He has the obligatory clipboard (re-used), microphone (re-used), videos (re-used, but they have terrific stickers!), and phone (new).  The phone hand set comes off the base, and a string acts as the cord between them.

Value - ***1/2
Still just under $6 at Wal-mart (barely), these are an excellent value.  They've lost a little luster from the days of $5 each, although I'm hoping we see that price still at Target, as we did with Series 7.

Overall - ***1/2
These three figures are a fantastic start to the All-Star Voices series.  Current plans are for the next wave to contain Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz, Al Brooks as Hank Scorpio, Jackie Mason as Rabbi Krustofski, and wave 3 to contain Phil Hartman as Lyle Lanley, Al Brooks as Brad Goodman, and either Patrick Stewart as Number One or possibly a Jon Lovitz character.  It looks like they've got another winner on their hands!

Where to Buy - Your current best bet is Wal-mart, where they are showing up across the country right now.  Target and Toys R Us are sure to have these as well eventually.  The set of three will only cost you $18 and some change from Wal-mart.  On-line:

- You should be pre-ordering through New Force Comics if you can.  It's too late to pre-order the Celebs there now, but they may end up with some extras when they get their shipment in later this month.  Check them out for pre-ordering wave 8 figures and playsets right now!  Rick has excellent pricing, and great customer service.

- Comics Infinity has them up for pre-order at $25 plus shipping.  Go to their Simpsons page.

- You can still pre-order at Aisle Sniper.  Price there is $27, plus shipping.

- a new site, Beans Toys, has them for pre-order as well, at $26 plus shipping.

- Entertainment Earth actually has the best pre-order deal right now, if you have someone that will go in with you on a case, or if you want two of each figure.  They are selling cases at $40, plus shipping, which is two complete sets of three. (MROTW affiliate)

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour