South Park Series 2
Timmy, Kenny and Tweek
South Park remains as irreverent and hilarious as it always was. I just had to get that out there for those that stopped watching once it was no longer 'cool', and like to make claims that it's no longer a funny show. It's still funny.
Whether or not it's a show that can still support merchandise may very well be a completely different story. But Mirage is willing to keep plugging away, and have released their second set of South Park action figures. I reviewed the first series when they came out, so it's only right that I follow up with a review of the second set.
The first set was all kids - Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Butters. Yep, no Kenny. The second series fixes that issue by bringing us Kenny, along with Timmy, Towelie and Tweek. The third series is announced as Mr. Garrison, Chef, Mr. Mackey and Wendy. A wave four has been announced and may include Shelly, Big Gay Al, Officer Barbrady and Cartman's mom.
There has also been one exclusive so far, Mr. Hankey. You can still pick him up at
Toyzz.com for around $12. Keep an eye on it, as they often have great sales or coupons. They also have a bunch of the plush figures in stock, including ones like the cow or the gay dog.
My local Hot Topic swore they didn't get any Towelies, so my review of him will have to come later. For tonight it's just Kenny,
Timmah, and Tweek.
These just hit this week at Hot Topic stores for $13, but I suspect the on-line retailers and handful of bricks and mortar stores will get them in very soon as well.
Packaging - **1/2
Remember the first series packaging? Then you know what this looks like. It's basic but cute, and has a nice use of the show graphics. The bubbles on a couple of these figures are very large though - especially Timmy and Kenny - and they are likely to have separation issues due to the weight.
Sculpting - Tweek ***; Timmy, Kenny **1/2
Man, these things are huge. And Timmy is Godzilla! I can't imaging how big characters like Chef and Mr. Garrison are going to be, if they plan on keeping them close to some semblance of scale.
If you didn't pick up the first series, you don't know these are hollow, although you might assume. They aren't dog chew toy hollow, but are fairly thick and heavy. That's good, since it helps give a better impression of quality.
The style of the show isn't particularly tough to do, but it still seems more difficult to capture as perfectly as I'd like. One issue across the entire series is the neck. The ball joint means there is no neck on these figures, and the head sits directly in the body. That means they have no chin, and for some of the figures it's not a major issue, but for others like Timmy, who clearly have a chin on the show, it throws his appearance off quite a bit.
And while there's not a lot of detail to the cartoon renderings, there's even less on these figures. More lines for hair and facial wrinkles and definition would have been great, similar to the lines in Tweeks face. Lines like that, either through sculpt or paint, in places like Timmy or Tweek's hair would have brought them closer to the look of the source material.
Of these three, Tweek is the best sculpt. They've given him the perfect expression, looking extremely wired, even down to the mis-buttoned shirt. The sculpted wrinkles on his face look good, and the hair is actually inset into the head rather than just plopped on top. There's still something a little off about the hair, especially around the front hair line, that I can't quite put my finger on, but overall he's a solid looking attempt.
Timmy lacks his chin, which means he has an odd look to his head. The extremely
oval appearance doesn't work as well when it sits directly down in his body. The hair sculpt is good in front, and they even added the trademark tuft of hair on the left side. The back of the hair seems off though, with the hairline running much lower on his neck, and no sign of the hair stubble around his ears and neck. While that would have been impossible to do with the sculpt - I'll bring it up again in the pain section - the hair wasn't really sculpted to
accommodate it either. There are two really nice features to Timmy's sculpt though - his expression, which looks perfect, and the inclusion of the 'buttons' on the bottom of his shoes.
Kenny is...well, Kenny. He looks pretty standard, but there's nothing to really wow you. He does appear slightly different than the prototypes, especially in terms of the look of the hole in the front of his hood. For such a basic character, it seems like very version ends up looking a little different. This one isn't bad, but there's something slightly off about the depth of the hole, and the size of the darker brown section around the front. I haven't compared it directly to the show yet, but it seems a touch off in size and length.
Paint - *1/2
My biggest complaint with this series is the paint ops. There's very little detail work, and surprisingly enough, that's where there's the fewest issues. Spots like the eyeballs, eyebrows, or the buttons on Tweek's jacket are great, but there are major issues at the edges of all the main colors. Between the gloves (or hands) and the shirt, shirts and paints, pants and shoes...all these areas show very poor definition between the colors, with lots of bleed and slop. The paint ops on most of the accessories are weak as well, and at this price point and this simplicity, that's unacceptable.
Articulation - **
There's one point on most of the figures - neck. That lets them at least look around a bit, but shoulder and wrist joints could have been possible.
Timmy slightly better here because the wheels on his chair roll freely. Hey, it's not much, but it's something. But not something big enough to boost his score. Be careful freeing up the wheels though, as mine were painted stuck to the grey hubs. I managed to break off a front hub twisting to hard.
Accessories - Timmy ***; Kenny **1/2; Tweek **
Again this time around, the one area that there's some real flashes of coolness for this series is in the accessories. Timmy is particularly good, but only Tweek is really a disappointment.
Kenny falls in the middle. He comes with two rats, sculpted in a slightly rougher style than the previous accessories. Of course, it's the exact same rat, with two different paint jobs, so that holds him back from a better score.
Tweek is disappointing because his two accessories are re-uses. He comes with two Underpants Gnomes, repaints of the Gnome that came with Butters. Having the Gnome with Butters made very little sense, so at least putting them in with Tweek is reasonable. And two is always better than one. But at the end of the day, they are just repainted accessories we already have.
Timmy has two very cool accessories though, and both make perfect sense. One is his wheelchair, sculpted in the bare bones and basic style of the show, with lots of solid colors. The wheels roll, and he sits in it just fine.
The second is his pet turkey, Gobbles. Gobbles is, well, challenged. Considering the IQ of the average turkey, that means he's in some serious shape. His head hangs down, resting on the ground, just like in the show. This actually works to his advantage, since his tiny feet would never hold up is body without using the head as a 'third leg'. The neck is also articulated, allowing you to position the head just right. It's the single coolest accessory of the two series so far, and really boosts the overall impression of the Timmy figure.
Even the accessories that are cool still suffer from the same paint application problems as the figures themselves.
Fun Factor - **1/2
Do kids enjoy South Park? Kids that are older than 13, anyway? And not twisted? I didn't think so. As toys, these won't do much, although the Timmy has a slight advantage in this category due to Gobbles and the chair.
Value - Timmy **1/2; Kenny, Tweek *1/2
These are $13 still. Of course, when the first series came out a year ago, very few action figures were over $12. Now that seems to be the norm, especially for collector oriented lines such as this.
Even with median prices rising, figures like Kenny and Tweek truly aren't worth $13. Drop this closer to ten, and you've got an average value. While they are big, they are also hollow, with only one point of articulation, and some re-use of accessories.
However, Timmy is not only big, but has a big chair to go along with him. And how many times have you gotten a mentally challenged turkey for a toy? He might be no great shakes as a value, but he's closer to average in today's market.
Overall - Timmy **1/2; Tweek, Kenny **;
This was really a tough set for me to review. I REALLY want to like these figures - I love the show, and want Mirage to
succeed with this line so we see series 3 and 4. The paint issues are what really held them back from being another half star higher though. In good conscience, I simply couldn't give figures like these **1/2 or *** in the case of Timmy, with such sloppy paint work.
Improve the paint application, and these could have been another half star or
I think the sculpts are better this time around than with the first series, as there's no major stinker like
Cartman. They still have some issues in that area, but there not terrible. I can't help but think they'll end up on clearance though, with the exception of Timmy. He's good enough, and a popular fan favorite, so he'll probably move off the pegs pretty easily, just as Cartman did.
Where to Buy -
Hot Topic stores got them this week, and I'm betting Sam Goody, Media Play and a few other bricks and mortar stores get them soon. On-line:
- CornerStoreComics has this set up for pre-order for $50 for all four, or each figure individually for $13. They also have pre-orders up for both series 3 and series 4 for just $50 a set.
- Killer Toys has them up for pre-order at $50 for the set of four.
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