Angry Zim and Goofy Gir 

When Invader Zim was initially on television, I missed out.  That happens occasionally.  But when it came out on DVD, I had kids about the right age to watch, and I figured it couldn't be any worse than Spongebob (which ain't all that bad).  So I picked up the DVD's for them, and I was hooked.

So when Palisades released their first series of figures about six months ago, I was on them like hair on a bear.  I was a bit rough in my review of the first release, the Hot Topic exclusives, because they were so expensive and lacked the uber-cool accessories I was looking for.  But Palisades redeemed themselves with the first series of regular release figures, and now Zim is my favorite cartoon line currently being produced.

Wizard has themselves a pretty nifty exclusive right now - Angry Zim and Goofy Gir.  It seems to me that Zim is always angry, but this particular expression fits just fine.  Come to think of it, Gir is goofy all the time as well, but that description fits this new expression just as well as any.

You can get them directly from Wizard for $20 for the pair, online or through a coupon in a recent issue of the magazine.

Wizard actually did a rather bizarre thing with this exclusive.  They offered the first 200 through Ebay about 6 weeks ago, and then offered the rest through the magazine and online store just recently.  There's only 1500 being sold in total, so it's a fairly short run exclusive.

Packaging - ***1/2
One of the nice things about many exclusives - Wizard exclusives in particular - is that the come in nice, compact, sturdy boxes.  That's the case here, where we get the usually spiffy graphics, including some photos of the upcoming wave 2.

The box could be a little more collector friendly, but if you're careful you can reuse it to store your figures later.

Sculpting - ****
If you've bought previous Zim and Gir figures, then you know what these look like from the neck down.  The bodies are reused of course, and there's no surprised there.  And yes, Gir's head still opens up to hold burritos or donuts, etc.

However, both heads have new sculpting features, making them 'redecos', rather than simple repaints.

Gir has one oddly sized eye, while the other is the normal size.  This is reflected on the show, and matches up with his goofy personality nicely.  I was pretty surprised to see that he had a whole new left eye, and it's a nice touch to make the exclusive have greater value for the money.

Zim has a very different expression than his past two versions.  He's not yet gone ballistic, but he's heading that way fast.  The sculpted mouth and exposed teeth, along with the new furrowed brow and thin eyes, makes him my second favorite of the bunch.  He's mighty cool, but nothing can beat the insane expression on the HT Exclusive from series 1.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are very good, with little to no bleed or slop, and extremely well done small details on both faces.

Gir has a new mouth as part of the paint work, with his tongue sticking out.  It fits the rest of the expression perfectly.

Zim has his translucent red eyes again, giving his eyes greater depth and realism.  I've said it before but it's worth reiterating - going with this material was a stroke of genius.

Articulation - Zim **1/2; Gir **
Neither of these figures is super articulated, but that's largely due to the character designs.

Gir has a ball jointed neck and shoulders, with a cut joint high on the arm, and that's about it.  Something for the legs might have been nice, but in reality it wouldn't have given you any additional posing.

Zim has neck, ball jointed shoulders, waist, and cut joints at the top of the gloves.  It's limited yes, but for this style of character works out pretty well.

Accessories - **1/2
Unfortunately, the one area that the wave 1 figures excelled in is one that this exclusive does not - the accessories.

Here each figure has a small black stand, which is just a nicety for Zim (he stands fine without it) but is a necessity for Gir.

And then there's the view screens, four more of the buggers.  They come with three rods and three connectors as well, but no stickers for the screens.  I'm pretty sure I have enough screens at this point though, and don't need to add any more to the display.

Fun Factor - ***
These figures would be fun for slightly older kids, those who are young enough to be fans of the show, but old enough to handle the slightly delicate nature of the arms and antennae.

Value - **
At $20 for the pair, these are at least $5 too high.  Throw in shipping, and you're going to feel the pinch.  It's been an issue for the entire series so far, but at least with the regular release figures you get a ton of accessories to offset the high costs. Here, the rather lack luster accessories do little to massage your hurting wallet.

Things to watch out for - 
The only care you should take is in working the joints loose, especially the cut joints on Zim's arms.  I noticed they had a tendency to be painted tight, and these are very easy joints to break when twisting.

Overall -  ***
I'm very happy with this set because of the expressions on both Zim and Gir.  Unfortunately, the high price and boring accessories kept them from hitting a higher score.  Still, they're both must haves if your a big fan of the show, and look terrific with their cousins.

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

Where to Buy - 
This is a Wizard exclusive. Therefore, getting it from the Wizard online store is your best bet, or you can pick it up at one of the Wizard World shows (I'm betting).  There are only 1500 in total being produced though, so it's likely to be a tough exclusive to come by fairly soon.

Related Links:
I've reviewed the previous waves of course:

- Here's my review of the regular release wave 1, and the Hot Topic exclusive wave 1 figures.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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