Family Guy Series 5
Peter as Gary the No Trash Cougar, God,
Tricia Takanawa, Greased Up Deaf Guy, McGriffen, and
The Sales Man

With the collapse of retail options for the manufacturer and collector of specialty lines, the cartoon based lines have been particularly hard hit. Gone is Invader Zim, Adult Swim, and other 'hip' lines. But Mezco has managed to keep two very cool lines alive in Family Guy and South Park.

The fifth series of Family Guy figures are now shipping, and with several con exclusives hitting this summer, it looks like the line still has plenty of life in it. This series includes God (always good if you can get the Big Guy into the line up), Peter dressed as Gary the No Trash Cougar, Brian dressed as McGriffen the crime dog, Tricia Takanawa, the Greased Up Deaf Guy, and Jim Kaplan (or as he's referred to on the package, The Salesman).

FOX's weird split personality (We'll offend you with the show, but not with the merchandise) is evident once again with this series. The Greased Up Deaf Guy has been retconned to just the Greased Up Guy, and God doesn't drink Patriot Ale, but rather Patriot Soda. Uh-huh.

These retail for around $10 - $13 each, depending on the retailer. If you're looking to find these at a brick and mortar store, your only real chance is Hot Topic or Spencers, but I have some excellent recommendations for online stores at the end of the review.

As with most Mezco releases, there are the unfortunate variations and or chase figures. As retail locations dry up, finding these will be much more difficult. In my case, it looks like I'll have to turn to ebay to get at least one of the Salesman variants, since the only Hot Topic in my area isn't going to stock any of them.

And yes, there are three, count them three, Salesman figures. There are also two Tricia figures, but like past waves, these are just simple repaints. One is a purple suit, one is a blue suit.

However, with Jim, the variants are pretty radical. There's the checkered suit version, considered the regular figure. Then there's his Tattoo parlor version, complete in black vest and belly button ring. Finally, there's the 'Paradise' variant, in a solid suit color and blonde hair. All three have different accessories as well, with some sculpting differences (especially with the Tattoo variant - not sure with the Paradise variant since I can't find one!), so the desire for the average collector will be higher than normal. It appears as though the Paradise variant is the hardest to find, at least initially.

Packaging -  ***
These packages follow the past waves, which is no surprise. While they aren't super exciting, at least they've remained consistent, and I can't argue with that. Mezco has done some truly amazing packages with their internal lines, but I doubt the fine folks at FOX are giving them much leeway here.

Sculpting - God ****; McGriffen, Gary, GUDG ***1/2; The Salesman, Tricia ***
The selection of characters for each wave has fallen into a pretty predictable - and smart - pattern at this point. There's always at least one Peter or Stewie variant, so we get Peter dressed up as Gary the No Trash Cougar. There are about a billion possible Peter variations, considering all the five second jokes and flashbacks, but Gary is a classic. He suffers from a large head, since they went with the choice of a removable mask. That's just the physics of things, since they couldn't possibly make Peter's real head too small. The sculpting here is terrific, with a great look on the cougar face, and an interesting and slightly different (from past Peter releases) expression underneath. The mask fits well, the hands are sculpted specifically to hold the accessories, and he stands great on his own.

Next up, they always include one additional variant on a member of the family. We've had Lois and Chris variants, and now we get Brian in his cop outfit. Brian doesn't have nearly the number of possible variants as Stewie or Peter, but this one was an excellent choice. On top of that, they did a wonderful job in the translation. I love his expression, and the hat and glasses are designed to fit the sculpt perfectly. Again, his hands are sculpted to hold his accessories, and he stands fantastic on his own. The arms have been positioned further forward on his body than usual, which actually allows the sculpt and articulation to work better together in this case. The style of the pose is designed to work with the limited articulation to maximize your ability to pose the figure and make him look good, and they really put some thought into it. This is easily my favorite Brian of the series so far.

They broke tradition at this point with the character selection. Normally, we'd see one of the core buddies, but they've run that well dry, at least in terms of original characters. Rather than go with a variant, they wisely filled in the rest of the assortment with some very popular background characters.

God was an excellent choice, and the sculpting here is some of the best of the line. I waffled around a bit as to whether he really deserved the full four stars or not, but the simple fact is that he couldn't be better in this category. The amount of detail is just right, the expression is classic, and the design works well with the articulation. He stands great on his own, and can easily hold his accessories. He and the Pope are going to be very happy together.

The Greased Up Deaf Guy is not one of my favorite C List characters on the show. Generally, the joke falls flat for me, and so I wasn't really expecting much from the figure. He surprised me though, and is one of my favorites of the wave. The expression is right off the show, and the hands and feet are sculpted to allow you to put him in some crazy poses, as long as you use the included stand. I'm a little surprised about FOX's concerns with pointing out that he's deaf - they've allowed the inclusion of some pretty offensive accessories - but the execution of the sculpt was quite impressive. Interestingly, the GUDG's first appearance was in "The Thin White Line", the same episode in which Brian became a cop.

Jim Kaplan aka The Salesman is one of my favorite C listers though, and his con game routine always makes me laugh. The regular version has the huge grin and wild eyes, but something about the size of the head in comparison to the body just seems off to me. The tattoo version also has a pony tail, but I can't comment on the Paradise variant. *grumble* His hands are sculpted to hold accessories, but only the briefcase that comes with the 'standard' version will work. Still, even with the minor sculpt issues of proportion, Kaplan will look great on the shelf with the others.

Tricia Takanawa is on the show almost enough to graduate to B list, but not quite. She is more visually interesting than Diane Simmons, and a good choice to add with the earlier Channel 5 anchor, Tom Tucker. She's a tad bobble headed as well, although it's not too bad. Her greatest weakness is the plastic used for her legs. It's quite soft, and I suspect she'll have wilting issues over time. While I could get her to stand, it never lasted long.

Paint - GUDG ***; everyone else ***1/2
The paint ops for these figures aren't particularly complex, but that doesn't mean that quality should suffer. Thankfully, that's not been an issue for at least the last couple waves.

There's little to no slop or bleed, especially on the eyes. Since the expressions are so critical, the clean applications for the eyes, mouths, eyebrows, etc are crucial to giving the impression of quality at first glance.

Bold colors are consistent and smooth, there's no over use of any wash or dry brushing, and sculpting details are highlighted well. There's still the occasional bad edge between colors, and a little bleed here and there, but nothing major or serious across my entire set.

I did knock down the GUDG slightly here. Paint is used to imply the grease on his body. It appears as though the body was cast in the flesh color, while the pelvis was painted white. That made the pelvis less porous than the rest of the body, so when the grease color was sprayed around, it soaked in more on his body than his underwear. In person, it ended up looking a little weird, and it's this inconsistency that I'm knocking him down for. Because the grease paint soaked into the body, it's less prominent than what we saw in the prototypes, and some folks may like that, or hate it.

On the plus side, I wanted to call out the work on the mask of Peter/Gary. The mouth is done in such a way to appear mottled or inconsistent, rather than straight black. This is on purpose, and looks like a black screen material, just like you'd expect on a mask like this. This is the kind of attention to detail that makes this line stand out.

Articulation - McGriffen ***1/2; Salesman, Gary, GUDG ***; God, Tricia **1/2
No surprise that the articulation varies from figure to figure, dependent on the character design.

McGriffen has great articulation, with a cut neck, cut shoulders (moved forward on the body), cut elbows, cut wrists, cut waist and cut hips.  While these aren't ball joints at the neck and shoulders, the way the cut joints have been designed allows for some terrific poses.

God has no neck joint, due to the sculpting of the beard.  That's a minor loss for such a cool sculpt.  He has ball jointed shoulders, angle cut elbows, cut wrists, and cuts at the top of the legs.  The angle cut elbows are always nice, because they allow a wide range of arm poses (more so than pin joints) and look great as well.

Gary has a cut neck, ball jointed shoulders, angle cut elbows and cut wrists.  He lacks the cut legs or waist, but has the cut neck joint that God is lacking.

The GUDG has some great articulation as well, that works nicely with the wacky body sculpt.  There's an excellent ball jointed neck, which was very important for this particular character.  It has an excellent range of movement as well.  He also has cut shoulders, cut elbows, cut thighs and a V crotch for the hips. Oh, and there's the cut waist as well.  The leg articulation allows for him to pose on his toes (with the help of the base) and the arm and neck articulation allows for wacky upper body poses.

Both the Jim and Tricia have ball jointed necks, but Jim's has a much better range of movement.  Tricia's is restricted somewhat by her hair.  They also both have ball jointed shoulders, angle cut elbows and cut wrists.  Jim has a waist joint, but Tricia has cut joints at the top of both legs, under the dress.

Actually, these joints hurt her score.  They both feel very weak, and are part of the reason she has trouble standing.

Accessories - McGriffen ****; God, Salesman ***1/2; Gary, GUDG, Tricia ***
Mezco has wisely used the accessories as a real selling point for this entire license, adding in goodies that are episode specific and recall some classic moments.

Brian has been given a very nice assortment of accessories, all specific to the episode. The hat is removable, and is held on with a short peg that fits into a small hole in his head. The sunglasses also fit into two small slots on his ears. This arrangement works really well, holding the gear tightly in place, and yet is almost unnoticeable when the hat and/or glasses aren't in place.

He also has a gun and baton, which he can hold in his paws, and the briefcase containing two sacks of coke. The briefcase opens and closes smoothly, and the coke fits nicely inside. Opening it up to find these was a very nice surprise. Yes, very nice indeed.

As I mentioned earlier, GUDG's first appearance was from the very same episode, and he comes with only one accessory. But it's the perfect accessory for this character in this episode - his cage. He was part of a company event called "Catch the greased up deaf guy". As tasteless as it was, it was just as funny.

The four sides of the cage snap together tightly, but it can be disassembled without damage. It fits easily into the grass base, and the base has two pegs for his feet. You'll really need to use these pegs and base, although the cage can be removed.

God has been on the show a number of times, even burning down the Drunken Clam accidentally. He has his magic pouring drink (which was a beer on the show, but is a 'soda' here), always a good way to impress the ladies, his phone, and the golden idol of Peter. The phone is sitting on a cloud base, and the handset can be removed. The idol is solid, although not real gold. I'm sure you wouldn't have guessed that on your own.

Tricia actually has a little reuse, getting the same Channel 5 microphone as Tom Tucker. Of course, she can hold it, and it actually looks better with her, since she's usually the one in the field and not Tom. She also comes with a gun permanently sculpted into an additional left hand. Not sure why they went this route instead of just giving her a gun she could hold, but the hands pop on and off easily enough. Her best accessory is the pigeon though, which comes complete with the note wrapped around its ankle. Believe it or not, it is actually printed on the inside with the note! "It's the episode when Tony sees Angela naked in the shower".

Gary, or Peter as Gary, has his large, well sculpted and painted cougar mask. It fits well and looks good, although it is a tad big. I'm not complaining though, since it was either that or make his head underneath pinhead size.

He also has his gun, and his crushed cup. Both fit in his hands well, and come right out of the episode. Remember, give a larbage, throw out your garbage.

Finally, there's the salesman. Jim has the bag of money (or as he calls it, "Jim's Bank Loan"), the jar of money from Peter, a small jar of handsome cream, a briefcase (which opens), a copy of Peter's volcano insurance, and a picture of a car engine. He sold Peter a car once that had no actual engine, but a picture of an engine under the hood instead.

All of these accessories come from his various cons of Peter. The jar of money actually opens, and you can remove the paper inside if you wish. The briefcase opens and can hold the volcano insurance. It's a very nice assortment of goodies.

The Tattoo version of Kaplan comes with a couple sheets of tattoos, which are stickers and are scaled to be applied to other characters. Oddly, there isn't one of Kermit riding a bicycle. He also has his tattoo equipment. I have no idea what the Paradise variant has. *grumble*

Fun Factor - McGriffen, GUDG **1/2; God, Tricia, Salesman **
I'm upgrading the fun factor on some of these a bit from past waves. First, several of these figures would be fun for kids even if they have no idea about the show. McGriffen is a great figure, with solid articulation and excellent accessories - and what kid wouldn't like a cute dog dressed like a cop? And the cage that comes with the GUDG adds some play value that isn't there for a character like Tricia.

Value - ***
With solid quality all around, nice use of articulation, and excellent show specific accessories, the fact that these are available at $10 many places is a very good value. If you end up closer to $13, you can pull a half star here and go back to a more average value.

Things to watch out for - 
Not a thing really. Oh, sure, you'll want to make sure you watch the paint just in case, but it doesn't look like there's too much inconsistency or cause for concern.

Overall -  Tricia ***; everyone else ***1/2
This was a tough call for me.  All these figures were in the *** - ***1/2 range, but after playing around with them for awhile, the cool factor of the character selection and episode specific accessories pushed them into the higher bracket.  Tricia's leg issues and slightly bobble head appearance was the only thing holding her back from the rest.

Overall, this is easily my favorite wave so far, and a great sign of things to come.  If they can pull off even C list characters this well, this line has an easy 4 or 5 more waves left in it.

And now that Mezco has given us 3 dimensional cartoon versions of the Pope and God, and have Jesus coming in the South Park line, they HAVE to sit down with Comedy Central executives and ask of the can do Muhammad. Oh, I know they'd never allow it, but they could bring a camera along and snap a shot of the suits' faces just after they ask. I'm sure it will be priceless.

And while they're at it, they need to do the Family Guy version of Jesus, so we can act out our own battle of the cartoon Messiahs.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - God ****; McGriffen, Gary, GUDG ***1/2; The Salesman, Tricia ***;
Paint - GUDG ***; everyone else ***1/2
Articulation - McGriffen ***1/2; Salesman, Gary, GUDG ***; God, Tricia **1/2
Accessories - McGriffen ****; God, Salesman ***1/2; Gary, GUDG, Tricia ***
Fun Factor - McGriffen, GUDG **1/2; God, Tricia, Salesman **
Value - ***
Overall -  Tricia ***; everyone else ***1/2

Where to Buy -
The only stores getting these in that I know of is Spencers and Hot Topic, but there are plenty of online options:

- Killer Toys has the full set at $60. There's no guarantee which Salesman or Tricia you'll get.

- CornerStoreComics has the singles for $11 each, or the set for $63. Again there's no guarantee which Salesman or Tricia you'll get.

- and if you're looking to buy some individual figures that you can't fine elsewhere, like the blue suit Tricia, you can find them at the Mezco's Direct Store.

Related Links:
I've been keeping up with this line from the beginning:

- they recently released the series 1.5 family boxed set so you can have the whole family.

- Here's my reviews of wave 1, wave 2, wave 3 and wave 4.

- also, I reviewed both the Peter and Lois two pack, and the Peter and Chicken two pack.

- Finally, there's the review of the large talking Stewie.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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