Muppets Mini-busts Series 2

Sideshow Toy has just released the second series of their fantastic Muppets mini-busts.  This series consists of Gonzo, Sam the Eagle, and Statler and Waldorf.  I reviewed the first series back in November, and am happy to say they just keep getting better.

Once again these are a limited edition of 5000, and the price varies by size of the bust.  Gonzo, the smallest, is $50, with Sam, the largest, running $60.  Statler and Waldorf split the difference at $55 each.

Packaging - ***1/2
These are truly some terrific boxes.  They look like they are right from the show, and not only do they hold the busts securely and safely, but you can easily use them for a display if you're so inclinded.  Add to that their collector friendliness, and you have almost perfect packaging.

The only change I'd like to see is the edition number printed on the box as well as the figure - doesn't do much good to have such a great package for the MIBBers if they can't see what the number on their statue is.

Sculpting - ****
Wow!  Not only are all the sculpts extremely detailed and puppet-like, but the poses fit the personalities perfectly.

The textured work of the sculpt does a wonderful job of capturing the look and feel of the actual Muppet.  This is particularly true for Gonzo, where even the small hairs on the back of his head are there.  I'm very impressed with the work, and each series makes me more excited about the next.  That's a great feeling!

Paint - ***1/2
At this price point, you expect solid paint operations, but here they are perfect.  I didn't have any sign of bleed, slop or inconsistent tones.  Everything looks excellent, right down to the pinstripes on Statler's suit.

The only thing knocking this down slightly is the color of Gonzo's beak, which I think diehards will find in error.  That's due to the same restrictions of Henson that Palisades had to deal with I'm sure, but would have been nice to be perfect.

Design - ****
As I mentioned, the facial poses and body poses of all these busts is right on for the characters.  I'm also very happy that all these characters have both arms, something that gives them all a consistency in their look up on the shelf.  While that doesn't really make them 'busts', I think it was a very wise decision.

I'm especially happy with the expressions on Statler and Waldorf, as they appear to be grousing to each other over some aspect of the show.

The design of the column bases remains the same, and I like it quite a bit with this license.  It gives a hoity toity feel to the characters, very much like the theater itself.

Another nice touch is the addition of the sculptors name and signature on the bottom of each.  That further sets them apart as 'real' works of art.

Quality - ****
The busts are all high quality, with good heft and very little likelihood for damage, short of dropping them.  The 'hairs' sticking up from the back of Gonzo's head are made of a soft material rather than sculpted, so that means you are saved from breaking what would have been a sure weak point.

Value - ***
Do I wish they were cheaper?  Of course, but the quality of these busts is so great, along with such wonderful sculpts, that I can't really complain too much about the $50-$60 each.

The usual rate for mini-busts is about $40 these days, and at that price these would have gotten four stars.  Of course, due to the cool puppet texture, you are getting far more detail and great looks than with the average sculpture.

Overall -  ****
The only negative here is the cost.  If you can afford them, you won't be sorry buying them.  It's too bad that they are so expensive though, since it will rule out complete sets for many big Muppet fans.

Where to Buy:
Your best bets are on-line:

- Sideshow sells them directly of course, and you can get the complete series for $187 plus shipping.  Also, right now there is a coupon code of MARCH to get an additional 10% off I believe.  With a suggested retail of $220 for all four, that's a pretty good deal.  You can also pick up all of series 1 from them still.

- Aisle Sniper has them in stock as well, and buying the individual pieces from them will save you about $5 each.  That's useful if you're not looking for the whole set but only particular characters.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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