Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwhistle, and Maggie Pink Jumpsuit
Celebrity Simpsons series 2

Pete Townshend The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA

You might think that finding series 2 of the cool Celebrity Simpsons figures from NECA at my local Toys R Us would be the best NECA Simpsons news this week. But it wasn't, at least not for me. NECA also announced their third series line up, and it's a killer - three members of R.E.M., Penn and Teller, Bret Hart, Stephen King, and Leonard Nimoy. That's right fellow nerds, we're getting Simpsonized versions of Penn and Teller, Stephen King and Leonard Nimoy in just a couple months! Woo-Hoo!

But let's back up to series 2, at least for this review and one more. Tonight I'm looking at three members of the Who, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and John Entwhistle (wonder what the story is about not getting Moon?) and the Simpsons family variant for this wave, Maggie in her pink jump suit. I'll cover the other four soon, including Britney Spears, Lucy Lawless, Mark Hamill and Tony Hawk.

The Who figures are from the episode "A Tale of Two Springfields", and Maggie wore this outfit in the episode "Dude, Where's My Ranch?".

Like I said, these should be at your local Toys R Us, or at your favorite online retailer. They'll run around $12 - $13, depending on where you pick them up, and some retailers will give you an even better per figure deal if you buy the set of eight.

Packaging - ***1/2`
I like the use of the red rather than the usual yellow, and the prominate 25th anniversary logo is nice.  The best part is that they include info on the character and specific episode on the back, along with a list of the rest of the series. I love that kind of personalization, and it's unusual to see anymore. We end up with the same card back for every figure in a series more often than not, so this sort of character detail is refreshing.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Roger Daltrey The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
Roger Daltrey The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
Pete Townshend The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
John Entwhistle The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
Maggie Pink Jumpsuit Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
Pete Townshend The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
John Entwhistle The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
Maggie Pink Jump Suit Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA
Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA

Sculpting - The Who ***1/2; Maggie **1/2
The first question everyone asks is whether these fit in with Playmates' World of Springfield line from a design and scale perspective. The short and very sweet answer is yes, they look perfect together.

When I first saw Maggie in the package, I had my worries. She's so small! Remember, the kids in WoS were over sized for the most part in comparison to the adults, so I was worried that perhaps Maggie was smaller than the older versions.

Nope, no need to worry. I've included a shot with her with a random WoS Maggie - the New Year's Eve set version - and the scale works fine.

These are done in a 5" scale, and of course they vary by character. As an example Daltrey, who's a little shorter than his band mates, comes in at 4 1/2".

Even though Daltrey had cut his hair short many years before this episode was produced, they went with his long flowing locks for his animated version. That makes sense, since it was the look he was most associated with. The sculpt is excellent, and they provided a body/leg pose that works well for the character.

Townshend is playing the guitar of course, and there's even a pick sculpted into his right hand. Because of the position of the arms, and the joint at the neck and waist, you can actually get several very good stances out of him. Once again, the likeness is great, right down to the small hair sticking up on his head in back.

John Entwhistle matches the show version as well, although he does seem slightly less defined, softer in some way than the other two. Perhaps it's the hair, which is smoother than the others, that gives this overall impression.

Finally, there's itty bitty Maggie. Done up in her pink jumpsuit and sculpted in a trademark dance pose, she's not much more than an accessory. There's a couple issues I have with her overall look. First, the expression on the pre-production figure looked great, much like she did on the show doing the dance. But the final version looks pissed, like she's about to kick your ass. I think it has to do with a slight tilt in the lids over the eyes, which give her a mean look.

Also, there's a weird mold line right down the center of her face. Seems like a really odd place for one to appear, and it certainly messes up her look.

Paint - **1/2
The first series was passable in this category, but things have taken a slight turn for the worse.

There's poor definition and cut lines just about every where. Facial hair is sloppy, and even the eyes are weak. For example, the whites on Pete's eyes bleed into the yellow face, his mustache is poorly painted, and there's even a bit of a stray pupil. Daltrey is even worse, with the red stripes on his shirt missing more often than hitting the sculpted lines, and a more serious googly eye. Maggie exhibits the same sloppy edges over her entire costume.

NECA has had issues in the past with the factories they contract for production around the quality of the paint work, but this was a situation that had improved over the last two or three years. Hopefully we're not seeing a return to shoddy paint ops.

Articulation - **1/2
All these figures sport the same articulation, which we can probably expect with the majority of the upcoming releases. There's a cut neck, cut shoulders, and cut waist.

While this isn't a ton, it's still sufficient. My priority is that this line ties in with the World of Springfield, and by not adding articulation that WoS lacked, they've met that goal.

Accessories - The Who **; Maggie Bupkis
I'm cutting them some slack here, at least when it comes to the Who. While Roger Daltrey has a true accessory - his microphone - neither guitar is really an extra. Both are glued to the figure, making them a permanent fixture.

An interesting note on Daltrey's microphone - although they've already produced other musical figures with mics, this is not a re-use.  They've altered the sculpt, making it unique for the time being. Bravo!

The guitars are not glued to the hands, so you can use them for multiple poses. They are also manufactured as a separate piece, and easily could have - and maybe should have - been accessories.  I know it's a reach, but as I said, I'm cutting them some slack.

Maggie gets none of that, since she gets none when it comes to extras. I think you could argue that Maggie should have been an accessory to Britney Spears, since the whole outfit/dance routine tied in. And I think that argument would be very valid.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
I was a little tougher on them in this category with the first wave. But this is a category where things can change the longer you have the figures, or the longer the line runs on. While they aren't super articulated, like the original WoS figures, they are still a lot of fun for the big Simpsons fan.

Value - The Who ***1/2; Maggie *
These figures are just $12 each right now at Toys R Us. It's been awhile since I bought a $12 action figure that wasn't less than 4" tall!  While these don't have a ton of accessories, the licensing costs are likely to be quite high. Combine that with what I'm betting is a low production run, and I'm pretty surprised at the current price point.

With one exception - Maggie. Let's be honest, you're paying $12 for what amounts to a glorified PVC figure. Thankfully, it didn't look like she was heavily packed (Coach Homer, as predicted, remains the peg warmer from wave 1) so hopefully she won't cause any bottle necking on the release of wave 3.

Things to Watch Out For -
When you're picking them out on the shelf, be sure to look for the best possible paint work. 

I also noticed that a couple joints were paint stuck, particularly Maggie's neck. Loosen them up carefully to avoid tearing any joints.

Overall - The Who ***; Maggie **
I love this line, and simply can't wait for the third series to hit pegs.  Most of what we've seen so far shows an upward trend: the first wave had 6 figures, the next two have 8; the first two waves included variants on the family members, the third does not; and the variety of celebrities in each wave continues to expand. With characters like Hamill, Nimoy, King and Penn and Teller, we're really getting a fantastic expansion to the characters brought to us years ago by Playmates.

I'd really like to be handing out ***1/2 and even **** star reviews for some of these figures, but the paint work is holding it back. I can live with and understand the situation with articulation and accessories - no problems there. Bit NECA needs to get the slop under control.

Even with that issue, this is one of the very few mass market toy lines that makes me still head over to Toys R Us on a regular basis. With the terrific announcement of wave 3, I can't wait to see who they follow up with in wave 4!

Score Recap:
Packaging - The Who ***1/2; Maggie **1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - The Who **; Maggie Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - The Who ***1/2; Maggie *
Overall - The Who ***; Maggie **

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has the set for $100 with free shipping, or the singles for $14.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the set at $100, or the singles at $12 - $14, depending on the character.

- Fanboy Collectibles has the set of 8 for $100 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
In the last couple weeks, I've looked at the new Smpsons Lego mini-figures in two parts, here and here. Other 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.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Roger Daltrey The Who Celebrity Simpsons action figure by NECA

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

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