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