Packaging - ***
It's serviceable, looks pretty good, and holds up well on the shelf.
It's tough to complain too much, but I think a change would help refresh the
Sculpting - ***
There's two aspects of the sculpting here - the sets and the figures.
Both playsets are extremely
nice. Some folks complain that this aren't the most exciting
locations, particularly the Retirement Castle, but if you look at all the
excellent details that Playmates has included you'll see how you can turn a
hum-drum location into an excellent set.
Still, the Retirement Castle is
the less exciting of the two. While most of the details and stickers
are good, it falls a little short compared to other sets. The
sculpting on the couch and bookshelf is solid, and the addition of the door
knob on the door to the nurse's station and the pen at the window are nice
touches, but it's still no Kitchen or Android's Dungeon.
The Police Station is slightly
more complex, including the opening jail cell. While it would have
been nice to get an actual cell that someone could fit in, by giving us a
working door they've made it extremely easy for you to customize the cell
There are far more details on
the walls of the station as well, including the cool 'Wanted' poster, filing
cabinets, map of Springfield, and other details.
The two figures are both hit
and miss. There still seems to be something off about Eddie, although
he does look far better in person than he did in those early prototype
shots. Jasper looks great, and is one of my favorite sculpts, but he
seems out of scale. I hadn't pictured him this large or foreboding
standing next to the other figures.
I'm going to mention the new
plastic here, for lack of a better spot in the review. Yes, the
plastic is definitely been changed with these latest figures. It was
extremely obvious on the second series of celebrities, and it's very obvious
here as well. While I'm not sure I like it better or worse, it still
is important to note that it's different, and you'll be able to notice it in
the figures on your shelf. Check out the photo of Grampa and Jasper
together in the Retirement Castle to see just what I mean.
One other thing to mention on
the sculpting - both figures have had their hands sculpted to hold their
accessories correctly. With less articulation, this is always an
Paint/Stickers - ***1/2
I had absolutely no paint problems with either the figures or the
sets. All the colors were clean and consistent, and there was no bleed
The stickers were also pretty
good, with several standouts. The sticker of the nurse at the nurse's
station is great, very reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
I also love the El Barto poster in the Police Station, and all the stickers
have good color and quality. I do wish that the stickers in the
Retirement Castle had more text - I know it would have to be mighty small,
but with Lionel's business card we've seen them do it.
There's also an error on one of
the stickers - the white wanted poster in the Police Station names Dolph and
Jimbo as the suspects, but shows a picture of Kearney above the Dolph name.
Articulation - **1/2
The articulation has never been supreme, but I wouldn't expect Playmates to
change it now. Adding any visible joints would just hurt the line at
this point, causing too much inconsistency between the older and newer
Accessories - ***
The accessories are a little light
this time around, although not bad. Both sets come with one major
accessory, and at least two minor ones.
The Police Station comes with a large desk,
which you can actually find room for under the wanted posters. There
are also three accessories for Eddie - a gun, club and cuffs. While
those three are all re-used, at least they make complete sense.
The Retirement Castle comes with the same TV
that the Living Room had, with a new sticker. There is also a potted
plant, and Jasper has his cane. The cane and plant are new, but it's
tough to find room for both the plant and the TV on the set.
Talking Feature - ***
The talking feature is still solid, and if you're looking for complete lines
for these sets I'd direct you to The
Simpsons Collector Sector.
I do think it's important to
note that because Playmates is trying to get lines in for all the characters
that we are seeing some odd matchups - I noticed Disco Stu has a line in the
Retirement Castle for example. Having more unusual characters in the
line along with more obscure locations is going to make it very tough for
Playmates to find sensible lines for each set for each character.