Mega Beaker!

Whenever a company is successful with a 5"-7" line of action figures, the invariable question arises - can we translate that success to a larger and a smaller line? That question has been asked for the Muppets series, and now it's time to see what answer comes back.

The first Mega Muppet has hit the shelves - Beaker. He stands a whopping 13.5 inches tall, and is really the same as the original smaller muppet. It's as if he was hit by a bizarro "Honey, I shrunk the kids" machine.

Palisades Toys will release the second in this series, Animal, later this year. And to ask the opposite question, they'll be releasing a line of smaller PVC's as well. I suppose you can never have too many Muppets!

Beaker is hitting the specialty stores right now, and retails for $20-$25.

Packaging - ***1/2
The packaging follows the current red curtain card art. The box is a good size - not too tight, but not a lot of waste. Text and graphics are good, and it's even relatively collector friendly, with only a handful of twisties and no destruction

Sculpting - ****
I loved this sculpt the first time around on the small version, and it hasn't gotten worse. There is one issue with such a large version - lack of detail gets emphsized in a larger scale. Fortunately, there was plenty of detail in the small version to avoid that issue.

Sure, the detail in his pens or shoe laces isn't quite as overall awe inspiring as it was in the small scale, but he translates well to the mega size.  The muppet texture is all there, and the detailing in the hair and clothing is great.

Paint - ***1/2
I gave Palisades a knock on the series 3 figures for weaker paint ops than usual, but I didn't have any serious issues with my Mega Beaker.

Even in this scale, there's plenty of paint detail work.  From the shirt to the pens, there were places Palisades could have had issues but didn't.  The broad colors, like the green of the lab coat or the orange/red of the hair are all consistent and even.  There were a few minor stray marks on the white of the shoes and socks, and one small glop of paint on the sleeve, but overall the paint ops were more consistent with the higher quality you expect from Palisades.

Articulation - ***1/2
This Beaker is actually more articulated than his smaller cousin, a nice touch and something you'd expect in this scale.

He has neck, ball jointed shoulders, wrists, waist, elbows feet and hips.  The addition of the hips doesn't add a lot, since the legs are restricted by the coat, but it is two more points than the smaller figure had.

Accessories - Bupkis
The only serious issue with this figure is the utter lack of accessories.  Considering the sheer number of possibilities, and the coolness factor that would have came along with any of the lab equipment done in this scale, it's a shame that nothing was included.

Value - **1/2
Considering the lack of accessories - and the lack of new tooling - the $25 price point seems to be less of a value than the smaller scale figures.

Overall - ***
This figure is bordering on ***1/2 stars, and only the lack of any accessories brings him down that half star.  One of the real selling points for the 9" Faces of Springfield have been the uber-cool accessories, and I think this line would benefit from something similar.

Still, I'm thrilled to have a big honking Beaker!  What, uh, I mean...never mind.

If you're a huge Beaker fan, of a fan of huge Beakers (you know, this sounds bad no matter how I say it), then this figure is a must have.

Where to Buy:
I picked this up at a Media Play for $25.  You should be able to find it at other retailers for $20, a better value than I got. On-line:

- Beans Toys has them in stock and ready to ship for $25 as well.

- Aisle Sniper has them in stock and ready to ship for $25.  They also have series 3 of the regular Muppets.

- Big Bad Toy Store has them for $25 as well - can you see a trend here?

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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