South Park series 5
Tweek and Mephesto

One of the only cartoon shows that has consistently delivered for me is South Park. Sure, the Simpsons has its ups and downs, and Family Guy stumbles on occasion. American Dad tends to stumble a whole lot more, but I know I'll be laughing every time a new South Park episode is aired. Mezco just released the fifth - yes, fifth! - wave of action figures based on the show, including Mephesto (with Kevin of course), Damian, Tweek and Hippie Exterminator Cartman.

I've split this into two reviews, one here covering Tweek and Mephesto, while the other one (at QSE) covers Damian and Cartman. These are showing up at some Hot Topic locations (but not mine), and may show up at Spencers as well. Expect to pay around $12 each for them, although you can get them at a slightly better price if you buy the full set online. Check my recommendations at the end of the review for some online shops that carry them.

Packaging - ***
The clamshells are oversized, especially for Tweek, but I do like the general graphics and the embossed logo on the front. There's not much personalization here, but they get the job done in a fairly clean and simply way. MOCers may find the size annoying for storage and display, but Openers won't be particularly fazed.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I'm extremely happy with both of these sculpts. They capture the characters well, with very few nits to pick. 

Mephesto's scale is good (about 6 Inches tall) when compared to the other adults and kids in the series, and the sculpted left hand works well with the cane. They've added a number of smaller details on this guy, including even a sculpted ass. These sculpt details break up the painted on details nicely, and add some dimension to what would otherwise be a very flat looking figure.

Tweek is a tough character to capture, what with the wild hair and even wilder expression. They've done an admirable job, although he does seem a smidge large to me. Perhaps it's just all the hair that's throwing me, but it's a very minor nit nonetheless. He fits in pretty well with the other kids, which is the most important aspect of his size. Both his hands are sculpted with the standard fist/thumb appearance, which does mean he can't hold his coffee cup particularly well.

Paint - Mephesto ***1/2; Tweek ***
Tweek doesn't have a lot of paint ops, but what he does have are clean and well cut. There's almost no slop or bleed on mine, and the whites of the eyes are even quite clean. There's still the occasional stray mark here or there, and the figure is largely made up of just a few colors, but the work is clean and neat. I went with the open mouth expression, because it seems to me to be more Tweekish.

While Tweek might not have a lot of detail, Mephesto has about as much as you can get in the simplified design of this show. The flower pattern shirt looks great, and his face is much more wrinkled and expressive. Sculpted details are given extra depth with a little paint, and he's second only to the Cartman in this series for the overall amount of small paint details.

Articulation - **1/2
This line has never been super articulated, but these figures are a bit less articulated than some of the previous figures.

They both have ball jointed necks, which work quite well and give the poses a lot of personality, and they have cut shoulders. Tweek has a cut waist, but Mephesto has a ball waist - sort of. It doesn't allow for much tilting side to side, but it does allow him to lean forward and backward quite a bit. Neither has cut wrists or cut elbows however, making these less poseable than some past figures in the line.

Accessories - Mephesto ***; Tweek **1/2
Mephesto comes with two accessories: his cane and Kevin. The cane (little legs and all) is designed to fit into his left hand, and there's a peg on the cane that inserts into a hole in his palm. This works fine, and the cane is nicely scaled to work correctly with the height of the character. Kevin is even better, with a good sculpt and nice paint work. The matching shirt looks great, and the stubby thick hairs are very well done, but he's a completely unarticulated and hollow figure. Neck articulation would have gone a long way to make this accessory fantastic, but it would have also meant extra cost in manufacturing.

Tweek has two underpants gnomes, and a cup of coffee. While the cup is certainly a trademark accessory for him, and it's properly scaled, he can't actually hold it, making it a pretty worthless pack in. On the other hand, both gnomes look terrific, especially the one smoking the pipe. These are much smaller (and much more in scale) than the ones that came with the old Mirage figures. Again, the paint is a step up here, especially when comparing these to some past Mezco South Park series.

Fun Factor - Mephesto ***; Tweek **1/2
Nah, they aren't really toys. But they sure look like toys, and they are sturdy enough to be toys Kids could actually play with these if they were so inclined, and if you take them into work, expect to find them posed in various lewd and disgusting ways whenever you return to your desk. Hey, at least your co-workers will have fun.

Value - Mephesto **1/2; Tweek ** 
At $12 - $13, these are a pretty average value on the current market. I knocked Tweek down a hair though, since the accessories (especially the cup) don't really do much to justify that cost for a small figure. Past kids have had more accessories, especially extra arms and hands, and Tweek really needed one to hold his cup.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Don't forget that these come in two facial expressions, one with some sort of open mouth, and one with some sort of closed mouth. I went with the open mouth on both of these, and like it better than the closed, especially for Tweek. However, your mileage will clearly vary.

Overall - Mephesto ***1/2; Tweek ***
While Tweek isn't my all time favorite character, I have to admit that the Mezco version looks great. I do wish he could hold onto the coffee cup better, but the addition of the underpants gnomes makes everything else okay in my book.

Mephesto is one of my favorite of the adult figures so far, and adds a lot of color and character to the overall display. He comes in second in this series for me, with Hippie Exterminator Cartman being my favorite. Yes, I'm as surprised by that as you are, because I didn't particularly like the episode, but the character is really a cool looking variant. Damian comes in third, with Tweek being the weakest of this set for me. However, Tweek is still an above average figure, and South Park fans will probably be happy with the entire wave.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt -  ***1/2
Paint - Mephesto ***1/2; Tweek ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Mephesto ***; Tweek **1/2
Fun Factor - Mephesto ***; Tweek **1/2
Value -  Mephesto **1/2; Tweek **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Hot Topic is supposed to have these in, but if your store is like mine, it isn't happening. Online options include: 

- Amazing Toyz only has them in stock in sets of four for $45 at this point. 

- CornerStoreComics has the sets at $45 as well, but has some singles for $11 - $13 depending on the character. 

- YouBuyNow has pre-orders up for the next series (Nurse Gollum, Mr. Slave, Starvin' Marvin and Ming Lee Cartman) for just $13 each. 

- Circle Red doesn't have series 5 listed, but if you're looking for series 4 they have a good price at all four figures for $35.

Related Links -
Don't forget to check out my review of the other half of this series over at Quick Stop.

And I've had a fair share of other SP reviews so far: - I reviewed series 1 of course, which has the very cool Cartman figure, along with series 2, series 3, and series 4

- and let's not forget that - Mirage did series 1, series 2 (I reviewed Towelie separately), and series 3 of their figures before packing it in. They also did an exclusive Mr. Hanky.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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