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Review of Simpsons wave 1 - Lego mini-figures

Lego
Date Published:
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Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Introduction

Last week I covered the first eight of the sixteen Simpsons Lego mini-figures. This week I'm going to hit up the final eight, including Scratchy, Marge, Lisa, Bart, Grampa, Mr. Burns, Chief Wiggum and Krusty.

These come individually bagged, and yes, they are blind packs. You can spend way too much time in the aisle feeling them up - that's what I did - and you can manage to find a set without too many duplicates. I managed to get my sixteen with one extra Flanders, three extra Apu's, and an extra Mr. Burns, proving that the feel test isn't perfect.

When I first found these, I asked around to see if Lego was still putting the little 'bumps' on the bottom of the package, with a different combo for each character. The initial word was no, that they'd stopped that, but after my last review I was pointed to this handy guide by a reader.

I've seen these now at Meijer, Toys R Us and Target, and they range in price from $3 to $4 each. The only other announced product so far is the Simpsons house set, which is available as an exclusive through the Lego stores or the Lego online site.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Packaging - *
The little bags are cute enough, and show off the range of characters. They're sturdy too, making the excessive handling that they go through possible without damage.

Why all that handling? Because they are blind bagged. Paying $4 each for a little mini-figure isn't bad enough - you'll end up paying quite a bit more by the time you've tried to find a full set. If you haven't guessed by now, I hate blind packaging, and consider it one of the lowest marketing gimmicks ever devised.

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Sculpting - ****
While the basic block figure doesn't allow for much in the way of 'sculpting', the heads on these give them all the personality and recognizability they need.

I'm quite impressed with how close these come to the look on the show, even with characters that don't fit the style quite as well, like Scratchy. Some of the characters really do need a fatter body (Wiggum just doesn't look right with his trim physique), but they have managed to get the most out of the standard bodies and unique head sculpts.

And in case you have no idea how small these are, keep in mind that the adults are only about 2" tall. And that's the adults!

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Paint - ****
While most of the details are tampo (pad printing) work, they are still very, very clean and neat. Areas that aren't tampo printing are just as sharp, and I'm once again impressed with the quality of the eyes. All the colors are accurate too, and very bright and consistent. Unlike the first eight I checked out, these didn't have a single issue.

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Articulation - ***
These are Lego figures, so I'm pretty sure you know the drill. There's the cut wrists, cut neck, cut shoulders, cut waist, and hinge hips for all the adults. The kids, who are slightly shorter, lack the hinge hips.

That's plenty for these to be a lot of fun, and that's the whole point, right? If the Lego movie proved anything, it's that this is all the articulation you need to save the world.

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Accessories - ***
These guys don't come with a ton of extras, but one or two each is reasonable.

Marge has two - a box of donuts, and her large purse. Both fit in her hands nicely. Mr. Burns has a rod of uranium, as well as a fish bowl with Blinky painted on the side, making him appear as though he's in the bowl itself.

Chief Wiggum also has two - a bullhorn and a baton - but he's the only other figure to be so outfitted. Everyone else has just one extra: Lisa has her sax; Scratchy has his ax; Krusty has a pie; and Bart has his skateboard. While the skateboard might only count as one, it's certainly a much more complex accessory than most.

They all have a small black Lego base as well, although they stand great on their own.

It's also worth noting that you can put accessories like Mr. Burns fishbowl, Krusty's pie, and Apu's cup (from last review) in their hands. One side of the hand sticks up farther from the wrist, and can operate just like a post on a standard Lego brick, holding any of these other accessories.

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Fun Factor - ****
Seriously, you have to ask? These are Lego for God's sake - they invented fun!

The possibilities of combining these with other sets and other lines is endless. Mr. Burns ruling over Mordor, Homer hanging out on the Death Star, Chief Wiggum riding in a patrol car...endless possibilities I tell ya!

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Value - **
I'm docking the value score this time around because there's simply no way you can pick the entire set up for retail, unless you're really, really good with your fingers. Pay $3 - $4 each, and I'd up this another half star, making it an average value. But since you'll end up buying more than the 16 just to get the 16 (or pay a premium on ebay to avoid the search), the value drops.

Things to Watch Out For -
People are going to give you very, very weird looks when you're squishing the bags in the toy aisle. Try not to laugh maniacally when you find the one you've been desperately searching for, as this can be a tad off-putting to a normal person.

Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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Overall - ***1/2
If not for the evil of blind packaging, these would be an easy four star set. I love Lego, I love Simpsons, and the combination is one of those rare times when two things really are better together. Or at least just as good.

The saddest part is that we have not yet heard any additional announcements on more mini-figures or more sets. I can't imagine that these aren't selling like mad, making it pretty obvious that the demand is there. There's no reason Lego couldn't rival the Playmates World of Springfield series for variety and quantity - how cool would that be?

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - *
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy
Your best bet is your local mass market retailers, like Meijer (where they are just $3 each) or Target or Toys R Us (where they are higher at $4 each). You can search ebay for singles or sets and avoid the hunt as well.

The only other announced set so far is the Simpsons house, which is exclusive to the Lego stores or the online store.

Related Links -
I covered the first half of this set of 16 last week, and I've covered a ton of other Simpsons products over the years. Recent items include the mini-figures from NECA, as well as the first series of NECA's larger figures in two parts, here and here. I have a full listing of my past Simpsons reviews here, as well as a long feature on the World of Springfield here.

You should also check out this handy guide that can help in finding the figures you're still missing.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Lego Simpsons mini-figures wave 1

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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