Packaging - ***1/2
If you've been paying attention, the clamshell packaging will be no
surprise. It looks good, shows off the figures and accessories nicely, has
great text on the back, and excellent graphics. I do notice on mine that
the sticker on the front of the bubble appears washed out.
Sculpting - Beauregard ***1/2, the rest ****
As you'd expect, the sculpting is once again amazing. I've noticed that
'amazing' is a word that gets over used with this line, but it's hard to find a
better word to describe the ultra attention to detail.
I knocked Beau a little because his figure isn't quite the same level of
detail and perfection as the others. The skin texture, especially on the
head, didn't come out quite as perfect as the others, and the facial expression
doesn't do too much for me. But even he is playing in a whole different
ball park than other lines by other companies.
Now lets talk about the rest of this line. Robin has an amazing
expression, happy and innocent, with excellent work on the uniform and overall
body sculpt. He stands great on his own, doesn't look like he'll have weak
leg issues, and has proper hand sculpts to hold some of his accessories.
I hadn't expected to like Johnny a whole lot. I'm not a big Muppets
Tonight fan, and this character never did much for me. But in the hands of
the right artists, this figure leaps off the shelf.
First there's his expression. With the tilted eyebrow, half open mouth,
and lidded eyes, he has the perfect smarmy expression for just about any pose.
The body is sculpted and articulated for most basic standing poses, and the
hand sculpts fit the character perfectly. And the microphone fits the
right hand just as perfectly. For a character I wasn't really looking
forward to, he quickly leaped to the front of the line.
Then there's Smollet. This is Kermit in his outfit from Muppet Treasure
Island, and while there are a couple minor issues, it's clear that Bill Mancuso
is the man when it comes to sculpting Kermits. Just like Adventure Kermit,
he's managed to capture the essence of frog in plastic form. Every detail is
included in his outfit, right down to the button fly. The kind of fly in
his pants, not one he would eat.
I do have a couple issues with him, as I mentioned. The sculpt and
articulation don't work quite as well together as I'd hoped, and the hair and
hat don't fit together quite as neatly has they have on previous figures.
But overall he's still an amazing looking sculpt.
The scale across these figures seems fairly accurate to me, and Robin fits in
nicely with the other small figures. Beauregard is close to Fozzie in
size, and Kermit matches up with the other Kermits.
Paint - ****
I looked over two complete sets of these figures, including all the Johnny
repaints, and couldn't find a single major problem. There were a couple
minor ones - a rub mark here, a slightly fuzzy line between colors there.
But in general, it is one of the best paint jobs I've seen on a Muppet series so
The two figures with the greatest amount of complicated work are Smollet and
Johnny. Both have excellent small details, great color separation and
consistency, and clean lines.
It's worth talking about the Johnny repaints here. There are three
Johnny figures, all identical except for minor variations on the accessories,
and very different paint ops. All the accessories are a different color,
even the basic stool. Johnny comes painted in three outfits - pinstripe
suit, 'wedding singer' suit, and a one color suit that looks like silk.
The sculpt works great with all three paint schemes, and they've included
important details, like ties and pocket squares that match the style of the
It's not likely that anyone, other than us completist psychos, require all
three Johnny's. But everyone is going to probably have a different
favorite, and having three like this gives you the buyer the opportunity to pick
up the one that floats his or her boat.
For me, the wedding singer, tux style paint scheme works the best. It
looks the most like a lounge singer to me, and the color combination stands out
great with the green skin color.
Articulation - Johnny, Smollet ****; Beauregard, Robin ***1/2
The articulation varies across this series, with Smollet and Johnny having the
most at 16 points.
Johnny really shines in this category due to the ball jointed neck.
This single detail gives him a tremendous number of posing possibilities, and
combined with the ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, elbows, wrists, hips waist
and knees, there's not much you can't do with him. Okay, you can't have
him sit on his stool, but that was never the intention.
Smollet sports the same level of articulation: neck, ball jointed shoulders,
cut biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, ball jointed hips, and knees. I had a
little more trouble getting him to stand than I expected - the center of gravity
was a little off - but he does have the most articulation of any regular release
Then there's Beauregard and Robin. They have fewer points, mostly due
to the basic design of the characters. Robin has neck, ball jointed
shoulders, cut arms at the sleeves, cut legs at the shorts, and waist.
Beau has a ball jointed neck (although with less range of movement than Johnny),
ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, and hips. The
most important pose - with the broom or mop - is easy to produce, and he stands
great on his own. I did notice a little gapping at the hip joints on some
of the Beau's in the case, but it wasn't terrible.
Accessories - ****
It seems like Palisades out does themselves every time in this category.
The quality and variety of the accessories is really amazing. There's that
Lets start with Beauregard this time. He has his hat, with a decent
magnet to hold it on his head. There's also a broom and mop, either of
which he can hold in his hands in a proper pose. Then there's the mop
bucket with ringer - the ringer actually moves realistically, fits on one end of
the bucket and can be removed, and the bucket has a metal handle and rolling
Next up is Robin. He has a huge trunk, that even he can fit in, with a
set of neat stickers to apply to the outside. These stickers fit the
overall 'camp' theme perfectly. He also has a campfire, backpack that fits
nicely on his back, Frog Scout handbook that opens and fits inside the backpack,
package of Trail Mix, and best of all, a stick with half toasted marshmellows.
Smollet has the fewest accessories, but also the only one that has an
accessory that counts as another figure in itself. He comes with Polly
Lobster, who is scaled fairly well, with an excellent sculpt and paint
application, and even one point of articulation at the neck. He also has a
sword and scabbard, and a hat. The hat doesn't fit on the head quite as
well as I'd expected, but the magnet is nice and strong. The sword and
scabbard look great, and there's a peg on the front of his costume to hold the
scabbard, but I couldn't get my sword to fit all the way inside. I suspect
there's some left over spru or plastic inside the scabbard that's blocking it.
Finally, there's the Johnny triplets. They each come with a microphone,
stool, record and sleeve, and photo in a frame. The microphone, stool and
frame are all painted slightly different colors, while the photos are all
different - Sal, Johnny and Johnny's mom - and the album sleeves are all for
different albums. The only accessory that's identical between the three
figures is the album itself.
Do you need three Johnny's? No, probably not, but if you are buying
them, they've at least taken the time to change up the accessories enough to
make it interesting.
Fun Factor - ****
This is slightly qualified four stars - if your kids love Muppets, they'll love
these figures. They have everything a kid could want, including great
sculpts, articulation and accessories.
Value - ***
At about $9, or $10 SRP, these aren't a penny pinchers dream. But they
are a solid value, at a solid price point. I felt no pangs in my wallet
when I paid for the full set.
I also want to point out that people better appreciate what they are getting
for ten bucks, because with the continued decline in the number of retailers,
the prices for high quality specialty figures like this have only one direction
to go. Either the prices will rise, or the figures from companies like
Palisades, Mezco and NECA are going to have to change in quality.
Overall - Beauregard ***1/2; the rest ****
There are two sure signs that a set of action features are stupendous -
one, I can't wait to write the review, and two, it's simply not possible to
take a bad photo of them. This set of Muppets fulfilled both
Not everyone is going to want all three Johnny's, and since two are
repaints, they technically get a half star less each. The problem is,
which ones are the two you don't need? That's going to depend on which
Johnny you prefer, and that's the one that gets four stars.
Let's just keep our fingers crossed that we see this line last at this
level of quality and diversity for another 7 waves!
Where to Buy -
I picked them up at my local Electronics Boutique, but you can also find them at
TRU stores soon. Online options include:
- Southern Island has the set of
four available for $40.
- Killer Toys has the set of four for
$37, or the set of six for $54.95.
Boutique has some of them available as individual figures for $9 each.