Hanna-Barbera Series 2
Magilla Gorilla, Penelope Pitstop and
Tom & Jerry


When I said I'd be reviewing the rest of the Hanna-Barbera series 2 figures this week, I hadn't expected it to be quite so soon in the week.  Things are dry right now though - very dry.  Oh, I have a couple things here waiting to go, including the Sideshow Jabba and Throne, but nothing that I could do quite as quickly as these guys.

So let's check out the final three 'figures' (more like dioramas) in the series.  There's Tom and Jerry again, this time in a classic pose, along with Magilla Gorilla and Penelope Pitstop.  Penelope seems to be the toughest to find right now, although that might be due to the scalper folly that says any female figure in the line is better to grab than any other.

These should be hitting more U.S. Toys R Us stores in the coming weeks.  You can also find them online at the suggested sponsors below.  Expect to pay around $10 - $12 depending on the retailer, and sometimes, depending on the character.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sturdy clamshells, attractive inserts with character specific graphics and text, and a nice arrangement of the figures in the tray.  What more could you ask for?  Oh, well, instructions would be nice, but you'll figure out all three of these by looking at the basic photo on the back of the insert.

Sculpting - Penelope ****; Magilla, T&J ***1/2
Thank goodness these are all done in classic poses, capturing the feel of the old shows perfectly.  Penelope is particularly well done, because the addition of Muttley, perhaps the most famous other character in the Wacky Races, really adds to the appeal of the diorama.

Her set also is the only one with metal pegs on the feet.  Both her and Muttley have this feature, which made me far less fearful of breaking them.  The peg that holds the two tires together is plastic though, and didn't line up particularly well.  I ended up not even using it to hold the stack together.

Penelope's hand is sculpted to hold the wrench, and she can do it fairly well, but I left the included rubber band on just to make it less likely that I'd be picking it up every five seconds.  It's also worth mentioning that Penelope is a lot hotter than either Kate or Shannon from the McToys Lost line.  I'm not sure if that says more about the Mcfarlane design team, or me.

Magilla Gorilla is also in a classic pose, as Mr. Peebles desperately tries to sell him to some poor unsuspecting fool once again.  The hoop around his waist attaches with a peg on one side, but the hoops over his left foot are loose, and can be pulled right over the foot quite easily.  Try not to loose them too fast!  The pegs for both Peebles and the 'for sale' sign are quite large, and I couldn't get either to go flush with the floor.  I'd already broken the pointer, so I wasn't interested in snapping a peg too.

Finally, there's Tom and Jerry.  Of the three designs so far, this is easily my favorite.  Tom is chasing Jerry, pushing the throw rug up off the floor behind him, reaching out with a cartoon style elongated left arm, trying to trap him under the lid for a serving dish.  But Jerry already has the cheese, and you know this won't end well for Tom.  There's even a puff of dust added behind Jerry, giving the base some much needed visual oompf.

These are done in that general 4" scale, and I've included a shot with a Family Guy Peter and WOS Homer to give you a feel for the size.  

All three of these designs are great, but Penelope is the winner for me.  Too bad the rest of the categories couldn't keep her up at that four star score.

Paint - **1/2
While these three don't have quite as bad of paint work as the other four, they are still pretty weak in this category.  Again, lots of stray marks, poor cuts between colors, and slop from one area to the next.  Some of the colors are also inconsistent in coverage and finish, hurting the overall appearance.

In this set of three, Magilla was the best, but I'm betting that which one comes out good is a luck of the draw.  If you are fortunate enough to be able to paw through these on the peg, you might get a full set with adequate paint work.

Articulation - T&J **1/2; Magilla **; Penelope *1/2
Each of the sets has enough articulation to allow some basic posing within the rather restricted confines of the design.

Tom has a cut neck, cut shoulders, cut wrists, cut tail and cut right hip.  That means you can get his body and head in just the right spot, with the left arm holding the lid to the back of Jerry (like on the insert) or above his head.  Add in Jerry's cut shoulders and cut neck, and you get quite a bit more articulation than you'd first expect.

A quick note on Jerry: the cheese is actually part of his head sculpt, attached permanently at the left ear.  The hands and head can be posed with the cut joints so that the hands appear to be holding it, but it's really the ear that's keeping the cheese in the air.

Magilla also has a cut neck and cut shoulders, and each of the bananas can turn and slide on the metal rod between his hands.  This allows you some freedom in the exact location of each banana, and just where he is holding them over his head.  He also has a cut waist, but the suspenders make it fairly useless, and Mr. Peebles has a cut neck.

Finally, there's Penelope.  She has a cut neck, cut waist, and cut left arm at the glove.  The right arm might have a cut joint at the top of the glove as well, but mine is stuck solid.  Muttley has a fairly useless cut joint on his top right shoulder.

Accessories - Penelope **1/2; Magilla *1/2; T&J Bupkis
Let's start with Penelope.  I'm assuming the base and anything that attaches to it is part of the overall figure, but the two tires are actually free standing, so they count as accessories.  The wrench is also an accessory, and it fits nicely in her left hand.

Tom and Jerry don't have any extra accessories - even the lid is permanently attached to Tom's left hand.

Magilla gets a slight score for the two loose hoops that can be placed - or removed - from his left leg. 

Action Feature - **
All three of these have the silly little spring doo-dads.  Tom, Jerry and the rug mount on springs; Magilla mounts on one as well; there's a spring inside Muttley where his body meets his legs.  This feature makes them bounce around a bit whenever you move them, but doesn't do much for me.

Fun Factor - **1/2
Kids who are lucky enough to get Boomerang from their local cable provider should know who these guys are, and might like having some statues of them.  I suppose the springs make them a bit more fun that if they were just static statues, but these are predominately designed for adults, nostalgic for that time in their lives when bills weren't due, bosses weren't complaining, and spouses weren't a pain in the neck.

Value - ***
I'm betting Meijers gets these in at ten bucks, but even at $11, they're a solid value.

Things to Watch Out For - 
It's all about the paint, man.  Pick out what you can that has reasonable paint work.

Oh, and be VERY careful getting Magilla out of the package.  Between the thin pointer, the thin loops, and the fact that the two loops on his foot can fall off easily, there's a world of possibilities for problems when you're taking him out of the tray.  I managed to break the pointer, and that was being very careful. 

Overall - ***1/2
It's a pity that the paint ops hold these sets back.  Again, just like with the first four, there are some four star possibilities here, especially with Penelope Pitstop.  But the paint work isn't at the level of quality that you expect from Mcfarlane.

Still, fans of the old shows will enjoy these.  It's nice to see the classics get a solid set of dioramas, and the designs and sculpts on the second series are so much better than the first series, that a comparison isn't even fair.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt -  ****
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - T&J **1/2; Magilla **; Penelope *1/2
Accessories - Penelope **1/2; Magilla *1/2; T&J Bupkis
Action Feature - **
Value -  ***
Fun Factor - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Like I said, you may get lucky and find them at the local TRU or Meijers, and perhaps Kaybee. But the best bet is to order them online:

- Clark Toys is always a good choice for Mcfarlane product. They've already sold out of several of the figures though, and the remaining ones will cost you $12. They have a great price on series 3 though, with the set of four just going for $40, and the deluxe set at $20.

- Time and Space Toys has the figures in stock, but the prices range from $10 to $18, depending on the character. Clearly, some of these will be more popular than others.

- If you're in the U.K., Forbidden Planet has these guys listed at 10 pounds each. 

Related Links - 
So far, I've reviewed all of series 1, the first half of series 2, plus the series 1 deluxe set and the series 2 deluxe set. The other three figures in this series will be getting the review treatment very soon. Mcfarlane's web site also has up a feature on the series.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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