Bart's Treehouse

In the early years of the World of Springfield, we got two playsets for every wave of figures.  However, not all the playsets sold well, and it was decided to back that off to one playset for each wave released.

Wave 12 just hit stores, and right along with it is the one playset - Bart's Treehouse.  As seen in a number of episodes, including Three Men and a Comic Book and Bart the General, his treehouse has always been a haven for Bart and his buddies.

The playset ships with another Bart variation, this time in his outfit (and facial expression) from Bart the General.  With grass in his mouth, and his half lidded eyes, you might think he's stoned, but no, this is how he really looked on the episode.  He's not stoned, but flushed with the euphoria of power.

The set sells for $20 at Target and Electronics Boutique, two of the four places it's already hitting.  Toys R Us and some Gamestops also have them in stock.

Packaging - ***
The new style of packaging is growing on me.  The graphics are decent, and I like the addition of the little circles with head shots of the current wave on the box.  It's still as far from collector friendly as you can get, but they're sturdy and store easily.

Sculpting -Treehouse ***1/2, Bart **1/2
When I first saw the concept drawings for this set last year at the San Diego Comic Con, I was thrilled.  It was the first set we saw where Playmates was stepping out of the ordinary.  Here, rather than a simple two walls, we were getting three PLUS a roof that opens!  On top of that, the tree wrapping around the outside looked great.

Since then, we've seen some much better detailing on all the Simpsons sets.  This one still stands out though for it's unique design.  I really like how they allowed for more creativity and experimentation with this design.  The scale of the set also works well with the larger kid scale, prevalent with the earlier versions.

Bart is a slightly different story.  This is one of those good ideas that didn't quite work so well in reality.  The weed in his mouth looks more like a he's smoking, uh, something, and the half lidded eyes don't look quite like they did on the show.  It's not bad with the helmet on, and even better with the sunglasses, but without either he just looks bizarre.

The arm sculpts don't allow for him to hold much in the way of accessories either.  He can hold the baton, but that's about it.

Paint - ***
The paint ops on Bart were decent, although there's a little bleed and over spray between the colors.  It's not terrible, but I wish the quality was slightly better.

The playset is excellent, however.  The colors of the treehouse, tree and leaves all stand out cleanly and are very consistent.  The stickers look great, although they were a little crooked.

Articulation - ***
Bart only has neck, shoulders and waist, just like you'd expect, but I'm giving the overall set an extra half star for the opening top.  That makes putting the figures in and out far simpler than it would have been without it.

Accessories - ***1/2
There are plenty of accessories for the set, and they are all well chosen. There's the helmet, sunglasses, binoculars, pile of water balloons, baton and desk.

That's quite a few for a WOS playset, and I thought that they were all well done and well selected.  Sure, a reused comic book would have been nice, but I think we've got enough with our past figures to be able to toss one in ourselves.

Talking Feature - ***
If you're looking for a full listing of all the characters and lines in the playset (or any other playset for that matter), check out the WOS Database at Simpsons Collector Sector.

I had no trouble getting the figures to snap on the pegs, and Bart worked particularly well.  That's a good sign, although it still seems to vary too much from one set or one figure to another.

The set gives us lines for a few of the lesser characters, particularly the kids like Nelson, Kearney and Uter.  But there are some weird lines as well for characters like Number One and Luann Van Houten, since these new characters have little other opportunity for talking.  It's unlikely I'd ever display Number One in Bart's Treehouse.

A nice touch though is that you get the combo lines of Bart saying "I can't squeal, it would violate the code of the schoolyard." and Homer saying "And violate the code of the schoolyard? I'd rather Bart die!".

Value - ***
It seems that you can find these for twenty bucks pretty easily these days, and that's a solid value for a talking playset with a figure and several accessories.  This won't be the value of the year, but you certainly won't feel like you were overcharged.

Overall - ***
While the set isn't one of my favorites, it's still a solid entry and gives a great place for the kids.  It's nice to get some more lines for the various kids and bullies, and unlike sets intended for the adults, it doesn't feel crowded with three kids inside.

I'm happy to see the greater creativity with the design, and the only real negative is Bart.  I wish he'd come out a little better, and he's one of my least favorite Bart variants in the entire line.

Where to Buy - 
Target, Gamestop, Toys R Us and Electronics Boutiques are already getting these in.  You can also find them on-line:

- has them for $25, but not in stock till the 10th.

- EBGames has them for $20, and they are already in stock!  Just look under the Action Figures section in the Simpsons Wave 12 area.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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