Packaging - ***
I love dem clamshells. Here we get some reasonable color combinations too, that just seem to work well with the paint scheme of the figures themselves. The packages look good, and will hold up great. Of course, you'll need a serious weapon to open them, but as long as you're capable of cutting a
bagel without losing a digit, you can handle. Trust me.
One thing that I would have liked to have seen would have been more background info on each character included on the insert. There's more story - but not much - included with the feature, and having that on the inserts would have been
Sculpting - Muffet, Humpty ****; Pete, Gretal, Hansel, Red ***1/2
When it comes to sculpting, no one manages to pull of the truly disgusting
and disturbing quite like Mcfarlane. I'm only talking the technical
aspects of the sculpt here, and have broken out the design and aesthetic
aspects into a separate category.
I suspect that Humpty Dumpty is going to be a big peg warmer for this
series. He's certainly disgusting, but so is fake dog vomit. The
sculpt is quite detailed of course, since this is a Mcfarlane toy after
all. The bugs and worms are a little less detailed than I had expected,
but Dumpty himself has tons of interesting work in the various fat folds and
open wounds. Some folks will argue with the high sculpt score, but it's
not so much the sculpt as the design that I think will cause him to get passed
over by most collectors. More on that in the next section.
My other favorite sculpt of the bunch is Miss Muffet. Both her and
the nasty spider are very nicely done, and I love the work on the spider's
face and eyes. Muffet has small silver spikes on her gloves, and
sculpted laces all the way up the boots, and as you might expect, a great
butt. She is completely clothed in this sculpt, but since all of this
'clothing' is skin tight, it could be easily confused for oddly colored
skin. To avoid this, wrinkles are added at all the right spots, making
it obvious she's not just wearing body paint.
Hansel is the required midget in the series. Some of the sculpting,
particularly on the skulls and bones in the base and the cage itself, is less
detailed than the rest of the line. Visually, he's simply the least
appealing from a sculpt perspective.
Little Red Riding Hood has all the sculpt features of most Mcfarlane
toys. However, her legs look odd when viewed from the front. She
has much larger thighs, and much skinnier ankles, making her legs look
strange. The large spikes sticking out from the boots only enhance the
size of the thighs, making the issue even more pronounced.
I'm also less thrilled with the arm sculpts with Red. Since there is
little articulation in the arms of any of these figures, it's no surprise that
they really only look good in one pose. It's a bigger issue though for
me with Red, because I would have liked to have been able to drop her arms
into a lowered position that would work as well. Unfortunately, due to
the sculpt not working very well with the articulation, that's not really
Gretal has lots of nice texture due to the sculpted stockings. She
also has a ton of cool small details that could have just been painted on, but
were sculpted instead, like the nose and eyebrow piercing, and the strings
across her chest.
Her hands are sculpted to hold the broom, and in that way they were
perfectly. I didn't mention it for Red, but her hands are sculpted to
work exactly with the wolf and knife as well.
Finally, there's Peter. His nekkid flesh has a ton of
texture, open wounds, exposed muscle, and general nastiness. I'm not
sure if there simply too much, or if there's an issue with dull paint ops, but
it simply doesn't pop the way the other figures do. It could also be
that he's so similar to many past figures (I couldn't help thinking about the
Freak when I saw him). Perhaps his coolest sculpt feature is the small
carved pumpkins on his shorts. They could have just been printed on, but
they went the extra mile. His hands are also sculpted to hold both the
axe and the pumpkin top easily.
The scale on this line is 6", with most of them running around 6 -
6.25" tall. They'll fit in well with other 6" scale stuff, and
past Monsters lines.
Design - Muffet ***1/2; Red, Gretal ***; Pete, Humpty **; Hansel *1/2
I normally don't separate design from sculpt for toy reviews. That's more of a statue review situation, but since these are
pseudo statues, and since I didn't want to hurt the sculpting score simply due to some weak design choices, I decided to break it out.
Humpty has a fairly dull design, but I was surprised to find that he wasn't my
least favorite. I do think that most folks will be turned off not just
by his basic disgusting nature, but by his smaller size. I was surprised
how small he actually was compared to the other figures, and I had expected
something with a little more heft.
So while most folks will pass him over, I think Hansel is the real snoozer
here. As I mentioned, he's our required midget in the line, and there's
not much here we haven't seen before. The cage, and his position in it,
is far too similar to Golem from the Infernal Parade line. Just about
every aspect of this design, including the hanging chain, curved pole, and
pulley system reminds you of previous figures, and the combination means he's
too much like a sequel to a mediocre movie.
His sister is slightly better, although we've seen an awful lot of half
nekkid woman as well. The pose is good, although I'm not sure why the
bucket is upside down if she's mopping the floor. While the outfit is
very Victoria's Secret, it's not too S&M, which is definitely a plus.
I've seen some photos where the puddle of blood is not flat, but it's made of
a soft enough plastic that you can get it to flatten out pretty easily.
Peter's biggest issue is not his similarity to past figures, although that
is a problem, but the requirement to attach the pumpkin to his leg to keep him
standing. Without it, there's no way he's staying on his own two
feet. Don't go looking for peg holes in his tootsies, because they
That would only be mildly annoying though if the pumpkin and peg worked
well. Unfortunately, the peg isn't long enough or strong enough, and
tends to bend and come apart over time. Peter is going to be leaning,
then sagging, then on his face in no time.
Red's pose is solid, but I simply can't get over how small the wolf is - or
how much we are expected to believe came from within. The wolf is an interesting paradox. On the one hand, he makes for a cool accessory due to the
gory nature and design. On the other hand, he makes for a goofy accessory, due to the size. He's really not much of a wolf, and if all the stuff pouring out of him had actually been inside him, his feet would have never touched the ground. Perhaps had she been dragging a much larger wolf along with his guts, or perhaps if a much larger wolf were suspended, shark style, from a beam...of course, a larger wolf would have meant a larger price tag.
I'm also a bit perplexed by the almost identical design for Red and Gretal.
I swear she could have the exact same torso, and the rest of the body parts
are done in a style almost identical to one another.
Muffet is my definite favorite design of the group, although I still have a
couple issues. This is a surprise to me, since when I first saw the
photos of her, I thought she was silly, if not crude. But there's no arachnid
sex going on here, despite your initial thoughts. Really, you're sick.
The spider has his mandibles wide open, ready to bite her face off.
She's trying to push him off of her, in just the way you would. She's
thrusting up with her pelvis to flip him off of her, and that's exactly what
you'd expect. The way the bowl and stool are included was genius, and
she makes the best looking display piece.
I'm still not completely thrilled though, because I don't get the
mask. The rest of the outfit is too S&M for my tastes as well, but
the mask just doesn't make sense, since she can't see. What was the
point? Is this an attempt to say something about society, something deep
and meaningful that I'm just too dense to get? Or is it just because
we've never gotten this particular kind of mask on a Mctoys chick before?
Paint - Muffet, Red ****; Gretal, Hansel, Humpty ***1/2; Peter ***;
There's little sop here, and it's less a quality issue between figures as a
color and style choice.
There is a few basic problems here and there though. Gretal has some
slightly wonky lips, and Humpty has some bleed around the worms, and some of
the maggots look like white paint was sprayed in the general direction, rather
than carefully applied.
But for the most part, the paint work is what you expect from Mcfarlane.
Gretal has some extremely good detail work in the stockings, small flowers on
her corset, and even the goofy tattoo. I could have done without the tat
here, particularly since it's almost identical to Red, and they're already so
damn close in appearance.
I'm not thrilled with the added dirt on the knees and hands, because it
looks like paint and not dirt to me, but it's a decent attempt.
Speaking of Red, she has some of the best paint ops of the bunch. I
like th goth white skin, since it sets off the deep crimson and black of her
outfit extremely well. The smaller details, especially the silver trim
on her cape, are very clean, and she's a great example of the proper use of
different finishes. Her boots have a nice gloss, while her white skin is
a nice matte.
Little Miss Muffet is also kickin' in the paint category, with tremendously
clean lines, and a nice choice of colors for the spider and costume.
She's one of the few McToys ladies to be completely covered up, except for a
little skin on the arms and face. Of course, as tight as the outfit it,
it leaves little to the imagination.
She also has a nice use of various finishes, especially on the spider,
where the gloss paint brings out the deadly fangs and mouth.
Humpty uses the widest color pallet of the bunch I think, going for lots of
disgusting browns, greens and whites to go along with the usual reds.
He's not a healthy man, and it's generally a good idea to call the doctor when
the maggots start crawling out of your open wounds.
Hansel and Peter have the least exciting paint ops, even if they are still
very technically well done. The palette used on both seems less
extensive, and the paint work actually hurts the sculpt on both. There's
a very heavy use of a wash over the body of Peter, and it's so excessive that
it seems to reduce the detail rather than bring it out. On the flip
side, the plain appearance of the white bones on Hansel's base makes them less
The pumpkin helps save Peter a bit though, since it has some nicely painted
blood effects. He also has great eyes, easily his coolest feature.
Hansel's high point is his cage, which looks like tarnished metal because of
the paint application.
Articulation - Red, Gretal, Muffet, Peter **1/2; Hansel **; Humpty *1/2
These figures are not highly articulated. Hell, they're barely
articulated. The purpose for the articulation is not to give you a bunch
of posing options, but to get them in that one pose and keep them there.
Muffet has quite a bit for this line, with neck, cut forearms and cut
knees. Her spider also has a ball joint on all eight legs, which gives
you some options, but be careful - they tend to fall apart, and I had one that
was painted shut and would have broken had I pushed it.
Peter has neck (although it's almost completely useless due to the hair),
cut shoulders, a cut left bicep, cut wrists, waist, and cut knees. The
arms are the most useful of course, since the legs can only go in one position
and still stand, as long as the pumpkin is attached.
Gretal has neck, cut biceps, cut wrists, waist and one cut thigh. The
wrist articulation is critical for getting her to hold the broom, but most of
the rest of the joints are there just to find the sweet spot and get her to
Red has neck (restricted by the hood), a cut left shoulder, a cut right
bicep, and cut thighs on both legs. Again, you can get the center of
gravity just right and position her hand on the wolf, and you're done.
Hansel, although he's in his cage, has neck, cut forearms, and cut
thighs. That allows you to get him in and out of the cage, and move him
around to fit just right.
Humpty is articulated, surprisingly enough. You can turn his two
little stubby arms. Okay, it's not much, and a turning propeller seems
and obvious miss, but you got to give him a point or so for trying.
Accessories - Red, Muffet ***1/2; Pete; Hansel ***; Gretal **1/2; Humpty *1/2
Little Red Riding Hood gets to be a big winner in this category, in large part due to the detail of the wolf. She comes with her long, deadly knife, which fits nicely in her right hand, the
eviscerated wolf, and a small pool of blood for a slightly larger base for the wolf.
The wolf is not a permanent attachment to Red in any way. He sits there, suspended in the air by the flowing entrails, with the scruff of his neck sticking up, ready for Red's left hand to fit over perfectly. This gives the impression she's holding the wolf up, when in reality her hand is simply resting on his neck.
Mctoys also calls the cloak and hood an accessory, but I couldn't get mine off, and it felt glued on somewhere high on her back.
Little Miss Muffet comes with her own beastie. I'm counting the large spider as an accessory, which boosts her score up there with Red. Of course, without the spider her pose doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I suspect lots of folks won't think it makes much sense even with the spider.
The sculpt and paint work on the spider is excellent, and I already mentioned the articulation in the section above. There are two holes in the spider's legs, designed for two pegs on Muffet's body to attach in place. Muffet also has two holes of her own - NOW STOP THAT! - so that her other accessories, the bowl of curds and whey and the stool, can attach. Pop it all together, and you've got a complete display.
Peter wouldn't be Peter without his pumpkin, and without his wife. The pumpkin attaches to his left knee, and keeps him standing. His wife, or at
least what's left of his wife, is piled high inside, and there's some pretty funny inscriptions on the outside. He can hold the lid of the pumpkin in his left hand, and his axe in the right. The sculpting and paint ops on these accessories is solid, but it would have been nice if Sally, or parts of her, could have been removed from the
Hansel is pretty dependent on his display base accessory, but he also comes with a small bone for his right hand. The cage and candy cane pole work well together, and the real chain sits on the upper pulley's just right. The cage opens easily enough, and you can take Hansel out if you feel sorry for the little guy. You'll have to take the bone apart though, which is possible due to a pin in the center. The base is decorated with a variety of skulls and candy, quite the unusual combination. Unless you're Willy Wonka, I suppose. As a matter of fact, this character might be a perfect addition to your Willy Wonka display when those toys hit later this year.
Gretal doesn't fair quite as well, with her broom and bucket. The bucket attaches
to the base of one foot well enough, and has a nice sturdy feel, but I never did get the two pieces of the broom to fit together tightly. No matter how I turned or prodded, it always had a hell of a gap. I've seen some photos where the puddle of blood she's cleaning up was also rather curled, but mine was fairly flat.
And that leaves us with the big boned Humpty. I almost gave him a bupkis here, since the brick wall he's leaning against is his only accessory, and it's not really an accessory in the traditional sense. But it comes apart, so I broke down and gave him a little extra love for at least that feature. You'd think a guy this fat would avoid climbing up on walls.
Fun Factor - *1/2
These aren't toys for kids - their plastic statues for the twisted mind. You know who you are. Since playing with these isn't the intent, this category won't carry much weight with the final score.
Value - ***
I'm going to assume you end up paying around $11 - $12 each, which is a nice, average value in the current market. You won't feel like you got something for nothing, but you won't feel ripped either. Of course, this line could have been down around $8 since it's a set of completely unlicensed characters...
Things to watch out for -
Some of the joints were painted tight, especially on the spider, and you want
to be careful that you don't break the pegs. Other than that, I didn't
have a single problem.
Overall - Muffet ***1/2; Red, Gretal, Peter ***; Humpty **1/2; Hansel **
This series is a real mixed bag, but I have to admit I liked a couple of
these a lot more than I had expected once I had them in my hands.
Muffet looked goofy to me at first, but she's really grown on me. I
love the big spider, and the battle scene actually works. I'm still torn on
the outfit though.
Red and Gretal are both hot, no doubt about that, but making their own
poses a little different would have helped. It's odd to have them in the
same series and looking so similar. Gretal also had broom issues, and
those funky skinny ankles on Red continue to bug me.
Peter suffers from being a little too much like previous characters,
although he might look good displayed with some of his cousins from past
lines. Humpty is, well, Humpty. You're either going to love his
grossness or be put off by it. I'm actually neither, and found him a tad
boring. And boring was the key word for Hansel, who really didn't do
much for me. Perhaps if we had a gruesome witch to go with him, he'd
make a nice addition to her display, but on his own he doesn't pack much
Mcfarlane fans should be happy though, particularly since their getting
three females in this group, and they're the best of the wave. I'm also
happy that these leave most of the S&M attributes of other recent
'twisted' waves behind for more gruesome and gross.
BTW, if you'd like a shot at getting this whole set for free, just head
over to this month's giveaway, linked off the main page, for a shot at them!