Itchy and Scratchy
Pain O' Meter

Rocket USA has produced a wide range of unique Simpsons (and other license) toys.  Specializing in tin, they've managed to do some rather unusual items, including this Itchy and Scratchy 'Pain O Meter'.

The premise is pretty simple - push a little lever at Scratchy's feet, and he hits the pad, shooting Itchy up into the bell.

The toy is similar to vintage tin toys from the days of your grandpa, only with a decidedly modern twist.  Rocket USA is also producing a very cool pool game and bowling game using these same concepts.

I haven't seen this particular toy at any bricks and mortar stores yet, although I'm sure some specialty stores will carry it.  There are some on-line options though, and I have a great suggestion at the end of the review.


Packaging - ***
FOX limits the creativity that licensees can exhibit in their packaging by having set guidelines, but Rocket USA does a good job within those guidelines.  They manage to capture the feel of both the television show AND the vintage feel of tin toys.  The package isn't particularly sturdy though, but it is completely collector friendly.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Sculpting isn't the right word of course, but the tin shapes are cut out as perfect representations of the characters on the show.  Perhaps it's simply the fact that this is a 2-D representation of 2-D characters, but it really works well for this license.

Paint - **1/2
The color, consistency, and accuracy of the paint operations is excellent.  Since this is lithography, an art well defined in the industry after over 150 years of use in packaging, I'm not surprised.

The only negative is that the paint is very easy to chip or scratch.  The application isn't very thick, so you'll have to be careful, both in picking one out and in handling it after.

Design - ***1/2
The design and engineering of the toy itself, ignoring the license, is great.  The action works smoothly and consistently.  It's not super complicated, but it does what it's advertised to do.

The only negative here revolves not around the toy, but around the characters.  How many times have you seen Scratchy get the better of Itchy?  It doesn't really fit in well with the show, although I'm betting someone with a better memory than mine is going to tell me that this exact scene happened in an I&S short some where along the line.

Value - ***
I paid $13 plus shipping for this, which is a little high.  Yes, tin toys tend to cost more than plastic, for obvious reasons.  But a buck or two cheaper would have been ideal.  It's not a terrible deal, but not at that sweet spot.

Overall - ***
I wish the paint application was a little less prone to damage.  But this is a great little 'show off' toy - that's the type you put on your desk at work, and show off every time somebody new comes by.

Where to Buy - 
I haven't seen these at any bricks and mortar stores, but there are some good choices on-line:

- JGP Toys has this in stock for $13, and they also have the Moe's Tavern Pool Game and the Bowl A Rama set. Great customer service is their standard.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour