Family Guy 'Nighttime' Peter and Lois 

Tonight's review covers the latest Family Guy release from Mezco - Nighttime Peter and Lois.  I suppose 'nighttime' was better than 'sadism and masochism', but nobody is going to be fooled once they get their peepers on this set.

The episode this set is based on was called "Let's go to the hop", and I'll commit blasphemy here and admit it's not my favorite.  The overall theme of Peter pretending to be a high schooler didn't do much for me, but this set is based on a classic moment nonetheless.

Here's a couple that clearly knows how to keep their marriage lively.  Mctoys might make a lot of torture/sex figures, but none quite have the realism of this pair, because none of them have a middle aged fat guy wearing leather that doesn't quite fit.

The set has just started shipping, and should hit specialty stores and lots of online retailers.  Expect to pay around $25. 

Packaging - ***1/2
This two pack comes boxed, and you know I like boxes. While this one is a little plain, it has a lot of other redeeming features. It's sturdy, and will hold up to shelf wear well. It shows off the figures and accessories nicely, but is not oversized. It's just big enough to hold the contents, with very little wasted space.

It also stores well, and looks good for the MIBBers. It's fairly collector friendly, and you can remove the figures quite easily and pop them back later. There's even only one twisty tie! And last but not least, the interior insert of the bedroom scene can be removed and used in your display if you're creative enough.

Sculpting - ***
I went back and watched the episode again to check out these outfits for accuracy.  They're definitely accurate, especially in terms of sculpt.

The detail work is good, but these are cartoon characters after all. There's not going to be the kind of detail that you'd see in a reality based line, but Mezco does a nice job with the medium.

Both figures stand on their own, but my Lois does tend to lean to one side slightly. The added leg articulation (more about that later) helps with that.

The hands on the figures are sculpted to hold the accessories, although Peter's look just like the beer can holding versions of the past. That actually works with the banana though. Lois can hold the crop either by the handle or by the small loop that would normally fit around her wrist. At least that's what I assume the loop is for. I have no actual knowledge myself, of course.

Lois does have one issue that almost knocked her down a half star. Her legs and lower torso are all one piece, and the plastic (and paint) have connected at her thighs, below her panties. It looks odd, and is somewhat off putting as well. You can't help but stare at it, and then you just feel dirty. They could have saved us all a lot of unnecessary embarrassment had the legs been separate pieces.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are good, especially Peter. I can't be sure I just didn't get a good set, but the application here is an improvement over what I've seen on past waves.

Peter has some tough areas too, since silver is a color that often covers poorly, and in combination with black can be a real heart breaker. But the small silver work on the zippers, buckles and spikes is great, and overall there is little slop or inconsistency on either figure.

Lois' makeup looks terrific, and both have clean, straight eyes. I'm not sure if there are any eye variations on Peter - I haven't heard of any - but you might want to look over a few just in case.

There is one aspect that I don't think is actually show accurate.  They've made Lois' corset and garter belt a lighter color, which it was in certain frames of the bit.  However, I think that was part of the 'shadowing' of the outfit to make it appear more realistic, and not an actual lighter color.  No biggie though, and it looks good either way.

Articulation - Peter ***; Lois **1/2
Wow - Mezco has done the unheard of, and INCREASED the articulation! Okay, it's not completely unheard of - Playing Mantis increased the articulation on the Peanuts line over time, as did Mattel with the Justice League figures - but it's still pretty rare.

Lois has the ball jointed neck, cut shoulders, and waist joint, just like Lois from wave 1, but she also has cut joints at the gloves on both arms, and cut joints at the top of her boots. Peter has his neck and shoulder joints like earlier Peters, but his waist has gone from a basic cut joint to a ball joint, and he now has cut wrists! These small changes really are a big improvement.

The only reason Lois doesn't make it up to the *** star category is the lack of separation between her legs. Had they given her joints at the underwear line, with each leg a separate piece, that whole situation would have been avoided. And I'd really like to stop talking about it now.

Now some of you will complain that they still aren't articulated enough to deserve three stars, but I've got to give Mezco the props they deserve for listening to people and improving the line.

Accessories - ***
There are three accessories - the crop for Lois, the submissive leather mask for Peter, and the banana. Now, there's more to the banana than meets the eye.

The mask is very well done, and is made from a softer rubber. It slips on and off Peter easily, fits great, and didn't end up too big. I was afraid he'd end up with a melon head, since he pretty much has one already, but somehow they managed to get it to look great on or off.  It also looks just like it did on the show.

The accessories are something that Mezco is wisely taking advantage of in this line. Like the Simpsons, there's a ton of good jokes to be had in the extra goodies, but I was worried that this set is a little light. Of course, the set is based on a single joke in a single episode, so the options are more limited, but I'm hoping it won't be a trend. Let's keep our fingers crossed that wave three has the usual gaggle of cool extras with every figure.

Actually, Mezco made up two accessories for them, because there wasn't anything in the actual scene.  The crop makes perfect sense of course, and the banana...well, banana is the safety word.

Fun Factor - *1/2
I'm not exactly sure how to define 'fun' in relation to this pair. Clearly, they're having fun. It's fun to think about them having fun. Okay, maybe it's sick. But there's clearly fun being had here by someone. Just not kids. And since this really isn't a pair of figures intended for kids, while they don't score well here it won't weigh very heavily in the overall score.

Value - **
The regular individual figures have been going for around $12 at most places, so $25 for the two pack is not particularly surprising. Of course, there's fewer accessories here, and by packing two figures together, there's some cost reduction over single packed figures that's not being passed on. Still, the price isn't out of line considering the cost of the regular figures.

Still, as rotocast figures, there a few bucks too high. $20 is the sweet spot for this set, and if you can find it that cheap, you should jump on it like Rosie on a Krispy Kreme.

Things to watch out for - 
As always, pay special attention to the paint ops when picking yours out. I don't think it will be much of an issue though, as the few I saw on the shelf all looked great.

Also, be particularly careful freeing up some of the smaller joints, like Lois' forearms. Take your time, since breaking the pegs is pretty easy if they are painted tight.

Overall - ***
I'm happy with this line overall, and I'm glad we're getting figures. There's some places where they could improve, but Mezco is obviously listening to the fans and making corrections where they can. With the show back on television, and two strong waves coming up this year, I suspect we could actually see this line go 8 - 10 waves, given proper care and feeding.

I don't have an issue with two variants in every set of 6, but they obviously need to be good variants. Christobel is probably the best variant of Chris that we could get, but Peter in Drag doesn't do much for me. Guess I'm not British enough. And Jasper isn't really a variant, since he is a different character, just like Rufus Griffin.

Other figures in the wave, like the Mayor and Joe, are clearly going to be hot, and the Pope is such a classic joke (and so timely) that I'm sure he'll do well.

Wave 4 has two more variants of course, in fighting Lois and fat Stewie. Another good thing about the variants is that we aren't getting Peter and Stewie in every wave, and I'm betting we see a Meg (Flag Girl?) variant in wave 5 or 6. Wave 4 also includes another critical character in Cleveland, along with two important supporting characters in Tom Tucker and Mr. Weed. How the hell Mort Goldman made it in before his son is beyond me though.

Mezco seems to be putting a lot of thought into the assortments though, and that's not a bad thing at all.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - *1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
I've seen these at Hot Topic so far, and I'm betting they hit other specialty stores soon. Online sponsor options include:

- Killer Toys has the set for just $23.

- CornerStoreComics has it for $23 as well.

- Alter Ego Comics has the set for $24.

- Krypton Collectibles has the excellent price of $20, but is pre-sold out.  Check back though, because once they come in they may have more than they expected, or perhaps some order cancellations.

Related links:
You'll want to check out Mezco's site for some great forums, where you can chat about the various figures.  Also, I have reviews of both wave 1 and wave 2 up at the site. 

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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