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Review of Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures

  NECA
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Introduction

While the World of Springfield figures from Playmates were a huge draw for Simpsons fans, perhaps the most popular collectible for Our Favorite Family has been the small PVC figure. Hundreds of characters, variants, and poses have been produced over the years, both in the U.S. and internationally. Just a few years ago, a company in Australia did a very large set of PVC figures (75 or so?) based on some of the more unusual characters in the show.

It's no surprise then that NECA has taken their larger scale Celebrity figures and shrunk them down to PVC size. These are often marketed as 2" figures, but the actual height of most is closer to 2 3/4".

The first six figures in the first wave are all represented - Coach Homer comes packed with Yao Ming, James Brown with Kid Rock, and Hugh Hefner with Tom Hanks. Me thinks that third set is going to be the most desired.

You can also save a couple bucks if you're buying the full wave by picking them up in a six pack, available at Toys R Us for $25.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Packaging - ***1/2
While these are basic card back and bubble packages, I have to say that I love the level of character personalization. Not only do you have the inner label that's specific to each set, but on the back is a brief synopsis of what episode they're from. I love it! There's also no twisty ties, always a big plus in my book.

I also like how they paired these up, putting the figures that make the most sense together.

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Sculpting - ***1/2
If you've seen the larger figures, you've seen these. The sculpts are pretty much identical, although the arms, legs and heads are in a permanent position. They've also made minor adjustments to the poses (like James Brown) or the arms (like putting Hugh's right hand in his pocket).

The detail and style are appropriate for the show's character designs, and they really do look terrific. This was a brilliant idea on the part of NECA.

These aren't large - each only stands about 2 1/2" - 2 3/4". They are permanently attached to the small black base, which is a very good thing - no trouble getting them to stand, and it provides some consistency across the line.

Along with the LifeSizer feature above, I included a couple scale photos. One shows these with a standard Star Wars figure and one of the larger NECA Celebrity Simpsons action figures. The final one shows three of the recent PVC's available in two packs here in the U.S. or in large boxed sets from down under, in case you were hoping they would fit in together. They won't, as these are much smaller.

Overall, I really do love the look, but I knocked off a bit for some annoying mold lines. Of course, they aren't as obvious in person in this scale as they are in macro photos, but you can still see them with the nekkid eye...and they detract slightly from the overall look.

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Paint - ***
Considering the scale, the paint work isn't atrocious, but there is a bit of slop. The biggest problems are with some of the cut edges between colors, particularly on the  shoes and clothes.

One area that does deserve specific praise is the eyes, eyebrows and mouths. You have to remember the small size - these critical features are very clean, considering.

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Articulation - Bupkis
This is an information only category this time around - just wanted to be sure you realized there are no joints of any kind with these, but rather they are solid PVC figures.

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Fun Factor - ***
While you might think you must have articulation to have fun (and it certainly doesn't hurt), kids have a great time with smaller un-articulated figures as well.

Of course, said kids have to be big Simpsons fans to really enjoy these, and it's more likely that they'll end up decorating the tops of cubicle walls the world over.

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Value - **
PVC figures, even cool ones of Simpsonized famous people, really shouldn't run you $4.50 or more.  That's a hefty per figure price to pay for something only 2" tall and unarticulated. On the plus side, they didn't just cast smaller figures identical to their larger releases - they did do some resculpting to create a unique look.

There are some ways to get them cheaper though - see the Where to Buy section for details.

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Things to Watch Out For -
Zippo.

Overall - ***
I'm a sucker for any Simpsons related merchandise (I have everything from asthma inhalers to bow biters) so picking these up is a no brainer for me. They are also a nice option for collectors that dumped their World of Springfield figures, and don't really want to get back into the larger scale toys. Having these smaller versions means less cost and less space, both key considerations.

Bring on wave 2!

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***

Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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Where to Buy 
You're best bet is your local Toys R Us, where these should be on the pegs. They come in a six pack box that will save you a little money, coming in at about $25.  The two packs are around $9, depending on your geographic location. Perhaps a better way to save money is to buy the case of 24 figures for $58 from Entertainment Earth. However, they are blind bagged inside the box, and there's no rundown on how many of each figure is included. You can always search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just covered the first series of larger figures in two parts, here and here. I have a full listing of my past Simpsons reviews here, as well as a long feature on the World of Springfield here.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Celebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECACelebrity Simpsons mini-figures by NECA

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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