Packaging - ***
The packages look great - just don't try to free the figures without
some series tools.
To be fair, it's just the
playset that is encased in a practically impenetrable tomb. The figures
are in standard bubble and cardback packages, with classic show
graphics and decent text. Since I'm combining the score for the figures
and the playset, the overall is a bit better than if I was going just
off the playset.
Why? Because you'll need to get
through twisties, and bands, and screws (yep, have that screwdriver
handy!) to free the set.
Sculpting - Playset
***1/2; Lois, Peter, Stewie ***
Since Mezco produced several
waves of Family Guy figures during the 00's, there's bound to be
comparisons made. I've included a shot with the two Peter's together to
give you some idea of the difference in style and scale.
Personally, as much as I like
the Mezco figures (and I really do), I like the Playmates versions
slightly better. I think the slightly rounder head and squatter body
match up better with the actual
although that's always tricky
- even the cartoon look varies from scene to scene. However, while I
like the figure better from the waist up, the Mezco version matches the
show better from the waist down, where the curve of the legs is a bit
Peter's arms tend to stick out a
bit on the sides, but that's due to the design of the ball jointed
shoulders, which give a bit more range of movement than the standard
cut joints but create a bit of a visual issue.
Peter comes in at just over 4
tall. I've also included some shots of he and Stewie with the World of
Springfield figures, since compatibility between the two lines is a big
plus. My WoS figures are all boxed up right now, so I had to borrow a
couple from a friend (thanks, Chris!) along with a playset.
think Peter is scaled to Homer, who wasn't the largest of the WoS line.
CBG and Barney, for example, were much larger than Homer, but I think
putting Peter more in line with the Simpson's patriarch makes sense.
Stewie is huge compared to the
adults, but that's no surprise - all the WoS kids were too. A big part
of that has to do with the electronics, since the feet have to be large
enough to allow the connections
to be the same size. He stands about 2 3/4" tall.
His head has that classic
football shape, and the left hand is sculpted in a pointing gesture.
While he's big compared to the adults, he looks great with Bart.
Lois is well done overall, and
the facial features are properly
proportioned. They body proportions look good too, but there is
something off about the nose. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it
doesn't quite capture the shape on screen. She's just a little shorter
than Peter at about 4 1/2".
They playset itself has plenty
of sculpted detail. The entertainment center is right were you'd expect
it from the show, and the pictures of the kids on the wall look great.
The landing even has enough space to allow Stewie to stand on a step.
There's only the back wall this
time, no side wall, and I don't know if that's the design we'll see
with all the sets or not. If so, it is a change that will be a positive
for some folks (let's face it, that side wall always restricted what
you could do with a set), and a negative for others (the side wall also
added some very cool dimension to certain sets, like the Android's
This set is larger than the old
WoS sets, coming in at 7 1/2 inches tall, 4 1/4 inches deep, and 9 1/2
Paint - Peter ***; Lois, Stewie
One of the areas that plagues most mass market companies is paint ops.
Getting them clean is a constant source of difficulty.
Here, Peter is the clear winner.
Most of the cut lines are fairly clean, and his eyes look terrific -
straight, and sharp.
Stewie has great eyes, but the
cut lines around his jumper are fairly fuzzy and weak.
falls in the middle. She has one eye that is a bit lazy, and there's
something about how the whites are painted that makes one appear
slightly larger than the other (it's not). The costume, lips and hair
are good, but there's some fuzzy cut lines on the shoes as well.
also a glossy look to the skin tone, especially on Peter, that I'm not
so sure about. It may grow on me, but for now I'm not a big fan.
Articulation - Peter, Lois ***;
For the most part, these figures are more articulated than the Mezco
versions, and they are certainly more articulated than the old WoS
and Peter have cut neck joints, while Lois has a ball neck - but it
only allows for a little tilt action. Lois and Peter have ball
shoulders, they have cut elbows at the sleeves, and
Peter has a cut waist as well.
The on screen design of these
figures limits just how much articulation they can have, and Playmates
has done a pretty good job here. It will be interesting to see if the
cut elbows remain consistent with the adults, or whether other joints
come and go depending on the designs.
Accessories - ***
Everyone comes with a couple of goodies, although some are a bit better
don't know if you want to consider Lois an accessory or not, but I
don't. Instead, I'm happy to count the two additional accessories that
the playset comes with as hers...sort of.
That would be the
television stand and television, which you can place wherever you'd
like. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point we get a second living
room set to go
with this one that includes the couch.
with Rupert, who is sculpted to sit on his own. That works great, since
Stewie's hands would clearly be too small to hold him. There's also a
sippy cup, and Playmates loves to add cups and mugs and glasses for all
Speaking of which, Peter comes
with a frosty
mug of beer, as well as a moonshine jug. Both fit in his hands nicely,
and can be used in any number of drunken poses.
Sound Feature - ****
This is where the series really shines. Playmates took some lessons
from the old interactive sets and improved the overall design.
The living room only has two
connections, not three. While that might seem negative at first, you
have to remember that people often complained about the three
connections on the WoS sets, since there was rarely enough room to fit
three characters comfortable at one time. With this living room you can
have two characters on the connections with plenty of room to move one
or two more around to places of your choice.
The connections themselves have
improved as well. On the old sets, the figures snapped into place on
plastic pegs, and if they didn't snap on correctly or tightly enough,
they might not speak.
That shouldn't be an issue now.
Playmates has made the connectors much shorter, and used two strong
magnets to hold the foot in place on the base. Putting on and taking
off figures is much simpler, and I didn't have a single issue with a
figure connecting properly.
Each of these three figures
speaks when attached to the base, but if you attach a figure with no
lines, the doorbell rings. The list of sayings are:
Peter - "Uh oh..."; "Hey, I'm on
vacation!"; "In your face!": "Oh, ho...oh that is a train wreck"
Lois - "You gotta push back a
little, you gotta get a little
rough!"; "You want a fight, you got one!"; "Clean up this mess!"; "My
daughter needs a make over like there's no freakin' tomorrow"
Stewie - "How delightful!"; "You
know what else is gross? *farts*";
"You clever, clever shrew!"; "Excellent - the mind control device is
As you can see, each has four
sayings on the
set. I'm not 100% sure that's it for these since they play in random
order, but I'm betting it is. The set plays around 40 lines, once you
add in the other figures.
All of the lines are sharp, loud
and clear. As I review the rest of wave 1, I'll point out what those
figures say with this set as well.
Fun Factor - ***
It's the playsets that make these fun - these make for terrific cubicle
toys. Let's be honest, Family Guy is not deep satire, but a whole bunch
of punchy one liners strung together by manatees. It works for me, but
there are plenty who aren't as amused.
Value - ***
Considering that the figures had hit around $7 each at retail back in
2004, the ten dollar price point isn't too surprising. Also considering
that most other figures in this scale are running a couple bucks more
and lack any electronic feature, and you start to get a feel that the
value is pretty good.
Likewise, the old playsets were
already $20 - $25, depending on the retailer. If these are around $30,
that's not too much of an increase considering that regular action
figures can run $18 at mass market these days.
Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!
Overall - Playset
***1/2; Figures ***
As a big fan of Family Guy and the World of Springfield, these figures
fulfill two desires. First, I get a wide range of action figures that
talk based on the show. Second, these figures are in rough scale with
the WoS releases of years gone by, allowing me to mingle the two
universes on the display shelf.
not sure this series has the legs that the Simpsons did, simply because
the fans don't seem quite as ravenous when it comes to collectibles
based on the property. Then again, the same was true of the Simpsons
for many years, but that changed - perhaps that will alter with Family
Guy as well, and perhaps these figures are just the trigger to create
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - Playset ***1/2; Lois, Peter, Stewie ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - Peter, Lois ***; Stewie **1/2
Accessories - ***
Sound Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - Playset ***1/2; Figures ***
Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:
- Big Bad Toy Store
has the set of 6 for $63, and the playset for $33.
Earth has the wave 1 case of 12 figures, evenly packed, for
$130. They also have the living
room playset for $34, and just the set of six
wave 1 figures for $65.
- or you can search
ebay for a deal.