Packaging - ***
The set comes in an attractive box, very similar to the final WOS packaging,
most likely due to the tight control FOX has over such things. They
did add some interesting text, including the round bubble that points out
that the demon has never been sculpted before.
Another nice touch is a series of shots right from the actual episode on
the back of the package, showing the use of the torture device.
But if you hate twisties, than the 7 or 8 that are here won't make you a
Sculpting - ***
Translating 2 dimensional figures into 3 dimensions is far harder than folks
often realize. These characters morph and shift scale and proportions
from one scene to the next, and can look entirely different from one angle
in 2-D than another, making it tough to capture them to everyone's
McToys has done an fine job here though, with a few minor nits.
Most people will like the demon, particularly since he's a new
character. Unfortunately, these figures won't be sitting right in the
WOS display, as they are in a 4" scale. That inch is a huge
difference, and they come closer to Star Wars scale than they do WOS scale.
I can understand the scale change if they plan on doing new sculpts of
already created characters, like a Flanders or an Apu in normal
outfits. If they did them WOS scale, and you already have a WOS
version, why buy a new one? At least by altering the scale, they might
suck you in.
However, I haven't seen any plans where they will be doing any characters
in 'normal' outfits any time soon. The first series of regular figures
appears to all be manimals from the THOH episode, and from the plans I've
seen, episode specific characters are the main idea. If that's the
case, I think it would have been smart to go WOS scale to attract more of
the old school folks.
Either way though, it's not a major issue. I'm a little more
disappointed in the issue with scale between Homer and the demon, because
the demon is much smaller in relation than I remember him. This kind
of character to character scale issues drove me nuts with the WOS line, and
I was really hoping we wouldn't see the issue here. It's not bad
enough in this particular set to lose a lot of points, but I'm also hoping
it isn't an indication of bigger issues to come.
My other issue here is the mold and assembly lines on the figures.
This is not something we're used to seeing on Mcfarlane product, and it's
quite evident on both Homer and the Demon. Had it just been Homer, I
could have chalked it up to the playset action feature, but with mold lines
running around the Demon's head and torso, I'm afraid it's a bigger issue.
One of the highlights of the sculpt is Homer's hair. Rather than
sculpting it as bumps on his head, it's done separately and attached.
This adds a nice new detail to the figures, and helps set them apart from
their earlier cousins.
While the scale between figures is a little off, the internal proportions
of each figure are extremely good. Homer's head to body ratio is spot
on, much better than the WOS counterpart. This is the kind of thing
that will make the non-playset figures coming out in series one really stand
Paint - ***
I'm not quite as happy with the paint as I am with the sculpt, and there are
more issues than I normally expect from McToys.
One of the additions to these figures is the use of black highlight lines
around edges. Of course, in the cartoon there are black edges to any
part of the figure. In the earlier WOS figures, there were none.
Here, they've added them back in, attempting to capture the feel of the
It's very hit or miss though. Had they not been serving expresso
shooters at the plant the day mine was painted, it might have worked out
better. The thickness of the lines varies quite a bit, especially on
Homer, and there are lines just about everywhere - eyes, mouth, collar,
sleeves, pants, cuffs, etc. etc. etc. Like a wash or drybrush
technique gone wild, too many lines end up becoming too obvious, and don't
blend in the way they should ideally. Also, those that were done with
a heavier hand, like around the eyes on my Homer, end up looking out of
place. Those done very thin, with a light touch, look great.
There's also a little more inconsistency here than I'm accustomed to from
McToys. The blue of the Demon or the yellow of Homer for example,
aren't quite as consistent over the full course of area covered as I'd
Articulation - **
The Simpsons and articulation are two words that just don't go together, it
The Demon has a cut neck, and semi-ball jointed shoulders. That
makes these less articulated than WOS, something that I thought was hard to
Homer's articulation doesn't really count, since he's simply designed to
work with the action of the playset. His shoulders have cut joints, but the
rubber restraining strap keeps them pretty much in one place. Both
legs and his jaw move as part of the overall action feature.
Accessories - **
There's a whole bunch of tiny donuts, all on the single strand running up to
his mouth. There's a couple colors of pink, and of course,
chocolate. The other donuts on the other stacks are not loose.
That's about it for accessories, and while it would have been nice to get
the smaller second demon as well, at this price point I can cut them some
Playset Action Feature - ***
The Ironic Punishment set has the feature portrayed in the episode.
Homer is force fed donuts after selling his soul for a donut. Of
course, the irony is that this isn't any sort of punishment for Homer.
The crank on the back of the set turns, pushing up the donuts in the
stack in front of Homer's face. At the same time, his upper jaw (and
head) tilt back to open his mouth, and his feet dangle in glee. As you
turn the crank, the donuts fall into his mouth, and drop out the bottom into
a chute, ending in a small tray in back.
The concept is fantastic, but the execution isn't entirely smooth.
The handle on my crank doesn't want to consistently turn the rod, spinning
uselessly much of the time. It takes a lot of patience and effort to
get the donuts up the pole, and the timing is iffy at best. I managed
to get about two thirds of the stack into his mouth on one try, and that was
enough tries for me.
While it was frustrating to get it to work smoothly, I have to give them
extra props for coming up with a creative and imaginative action feature.
Fun Factor - **
The action feature on the set was the key to the fun, and unfortunately,
kids will just find it frustrating. The set works well enough for
adults, but it's just not smooth enough for the under 10 set. Still, I
won't hit them too hard on this in the overall, since the set (and all
Simpsons action figures) aren't really intended for kids, no matter what FOX
Value - ***
At $20 (and under if you shop around), this set is a better than average
value. You're getting a decent size set, with a cool new figure, and a
good if not flawless action feature. Mcfarlane tends to beat other
companies on price, and this set is no exception.
Things to watch out for -
When unpacking the sets, be very careful with the thin rods that hold
all the donuts. These are very easy to break - I speak from
experience. Also, you can lose one of those donuts in about 3 seconds
if you're not watching.