Sculpting - ***1/2
These guys are clearly designed to fit in with the old Playmates World
of Springfield figures, coming in around that same 5" scale. Character
height does vary a bit, and I'm certainly going to be interested in
seeing how small Maggie is. They have a variant of her planned for wave
2, so we won't have to wait too long.
There's enough detail here
considering the design. Any more, and they wouldn't look like Simpsons
characters. I particularly like the work on James' shirt and lapels,
but all three have little touches that set them apart.
With a simple, fairly
unarticulated design like this, it's very important that the figures
can stand on their own. All three do that just fine,
including Kid Rock who has a rather dynamic pose.
That is a bit unusual for a
figure that's trying to fit in with WoS - remember, most of those
figures were simply standing straight up, due to the logistics of the
electronics. However, that's not true for all of them, and some of the
best looking figures had a slightly more dynamic stance. I'm glad they
went that way with Kid Rock, a character who is all about extreme
As a performer, James Brown is pretty extreme
too, but in this case they toned it down. He's got a bit of movement in
the pose, but it's not radical or excessive.
Of course, Hugh is the most
basic, and yet I like him the best of the three. There's something
about the style and expression that just works perfectly, and this is
one figure I never thought we'd see, perhaps only outranked on the "no
way Fox will do it" scale by Rabbi Krustofski and Maude Flanders.
Paint - ***
Considering the price point - and that pesky style - the paint work
here is fairly clean.
I really like the work on Kid
Rock's facial hair and glasses, as well as Hugh Hefner's eyes and
eyebrows. Most of the lines are clean, and there's very little bleed.
There's a few spots, like the waist band of Rock's pants, but they are
not the norm.
I did knock Brown down for one
issue though - the cuffs of his shirt that are sticking out of the
coat sleeves should match the shirt. They don't, and are just painted
the same color as the coat.
Articulation - **
If you're expecting super articulated figures, then you're looking in
the wrong place. These are designed to look right with the earlier
figures, and they are designed to look right within the context of the
very specific animated style. They do both of those things extremely
well, and the only way to do them is to limit the articulation.
These three have cut necks and
cut shoulders. James Brown and Hugh Hefner also have a cut waist, but
oddly enough, Kid Rock does not. It seems odd to me, since there's no
apparent aesthetic or logistical reason why.
And as I said before, I'd like
to see some added joints that are still possible, even when trying to
keep true to the two tenants I mentioned above. For example, cut wrists
would go a long way to posing the figures with things like the pipe and
the microphones, and wouldn't hurt the design.
Accessories - James Brown **;
Hugh, Kid Rock Bupkis
Like the first three I looked at, these three are pretty short on
extras. That's definitely an area where they part ways with the old
World of Springfield line up.
James does have his microphone and
stand (all done in a single color), and it is held in his hand with a
peg and peg hole. The scale is good, and the rather plain look fits
with the overall style.
But the microphone with Kid Rock
and the pipe with Hugh are permanently attached, making them part of
the figure and not accessories. As I said in my previous
review, if cutting back on extras allowed them to keep the price down,
I'm willing to accept that.
Fun Factor - ***
These aren't really action figures for kids, although I'm sure Fox
still thinks so. Even with the 14+ logo on the front, the suits at the
network probably think 8 year old kids are going to eat them up.
They aren't. But older fans of
the show will love to have them, particularly if they've kept their
beloved World of Springfield figures and play sets. It's pretty rare
that you can add something to a display after 10 years of inactivity.
We have NECA to thank for that.
Value - ***
You should be able to find these for around $12 at Toys R Us, and even
online retailers are in that same ball park, maybe a buck or so more.
Even without a ton of accessories or articulation that's a solid value,
because the Simpsons license isn't cheap. Add in the cost of doing the
celebrities as themselves, and you can see where the price is coming
Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.
Overall - Hugh Hefner ***1/2; Kid Rock,
James Brown ***
while the individual scores don't necessarily warrant it, I upped the
overall on Hugh. He's just so damn cool, and is such a surprising
figure to get, that my overall impression is quite a bit better than
the sum of the parts.
There are a number of very cool new lines coming out this year, as well
as more great Star Wars Black, Masters of the Universe Classics and DC.
But even with all that cool, my
most anticipated series is this one. I can't wait to see what NECA
announces for future releases, and I'm dying with anticipation for wave
2. I'm hopeful that we'll see a good couple dozen figures out of this,
stretched over the next two or three years, and who knows - maybe
through some act of God we'll actually end up with a Maude after that!
It might sound crazy, but if you'd said we'd get more Simpsons figures
like these 10 years after the end of the World of Springfield ended, I would
have told you that was crazy as well. Here's to crazy, and the fine
folks at NECA that are willing to bring the crazy!
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Articulation - **
Accessories - James Brown **1/2; Hugh, Kid Rock Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - Hugh Hefner ***1/2; Kid Rock, James Brown ***
Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:
- Fanboy Collectibles has the set of
6 for $80.
- Big Bad Toy Store
has the set of 6 for $84.
- Things From Another World has the
singles for about $14 each.
- or you can search ebay
for a deal.
I already reviewed the first
three in this wave, and I have a full listing of my past
Simpsons reviews here,
as well as a long feature on the World of Springfield here.
Want to chat about this
review? Try out one of these terrific
forums where I'll be
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