Packaging - **1/2
Word on the street is that we'll see a packaging change in 2003. Woo
Sculpting - ***1/2
For a wave made up predominately of variants, that's a pretty good
sculpting score. But they've done an excellent job on several counts
with this wave.
First, all of these are new
sculpts. I've included some comparison pictures so you can clearly
see the differences. For example, Sunday Best Lisa has a much longer
lip and nose, stretching her face out a bit. It's a drastic
improvement over the previous sculpt.
Likewise, Grampa Simpson is
completely different, and I think even Prison Bob, the closest head sculpt
to the original, has been changed slightly. It appears to me that
his eyes have been adjusted slightly, and it works well.
Rod and Todd are great for
two reasons - first, they look just like they do on the show, although the
'zombie' effect is a bit obvious here; second, they are far better in
scale than most of the kids. Check out the shot with Bart, and you
can see how much better they're scale is than his.
Disco Stu is a solid sculpt,
although for the figure that most people were most anticipating, I think
he's one of my lesser favorites of the wave. Don't get me wrong -
he's good. It's just that with only his one arm in his disco pose,
and his legs forced to be straight for the voice chip, he doesn't look
like the wild and crazy Disco Stu you'd expect.
My favorite of the series is
Busted Krusty. He looks exactly like he did when they were shooting
his mug shot, and with variants I love it when they sculpt unique and show
specific faces. Sure, this isn't the usual Krusty, but it's not
supposed to be. He fits in great with Prison Bob and all the cops
we've been treated to so far.
One last note on the
sculpting - all the figures have hands sculpted specifically to hold their
accessories. Always an important touch!
Paint - ***
I didn't have too many paint issues this wave, with the exception of Disco
Stu. Everyone's lines were clean and neat, the colors were
consistent, and there was no glopping or slop.
However, Stu had two problems
for me. First, his glasses were very poorly done, with sloppy lines
and even some spots on the frames missing paint.
Second, which is even more
noticeable, was the extreme color difference between his chest and
neck. With that open shirt and flowing chest hair, it's pretty
obvious that the yellow on his chest is a completely different shade than
that of his head.
I'll mention it again,
although I'm not saying it's a bad thing - the non-shiny plastic is
extremely obvious in this wave. Just check out the picture of the
two Lisa's to see what I mean.
Articulation - **
Neck, waist, shoulders.
Accessories - ***
I think we sometimes take for granted all the extremely cool
accessories we are treated to with this line of figures.
There's very little reuse
this time around, and everyone has something cool and unique. Sunday
Best Lisa comes with her chocolate Easter bunny, tithe basket for church,
and removable hat, all new.
Prison Bob comes with his
rake, knife, nuclear bomb and detonator, also all new. Busted Krusty
has a ton as well, with a new gun, bag of money, handcuffs (the only
reuse), and the number 4 sign for around his neck. Yes, you can get
it to fit by removing one side of the lanyard from the sign. Look on
the back and you can see which end is the correct end to pull.
Sunday Best Grampa has some
reuse, the bible, but that's it. He also comes with a jar of pomade,
bottle of aspirin, and stick of beef jerky.
Rod and Todd have the least
exciting, and only two accessories. There's the Good Samaritan game board, and a photo of their late mom. The photo frame is a reuse of
course, but the game board is all new.
Disco Stu also has three new
accessories, and one of them is simply too cool. There's his album
and the chart showing disco record sales, both new. But the piece
duh resistor is his disco ball. Now if there was just
someplace to hang it!
Playmates could have cheaped
out all over the place here, reusing other square backgrounds for things
like the chart, or giving Krusty the same gun as the police. But
they resisted the urge, and we're definitely luckier for it.
Talking Feature - ***
If you're looking for all the lines, head over at the Simpsons
Collector Sector. I will reiterate that these new, less often
featured characters are going to have a tougher and tougher time finding
places to talk, and lines to say.
Value - ***
Six bucks is what you want to pay, and try to avoid the higher $7-$8 the
specialty shops will charge you.
Overall - ***1/2
I like this wave quite a bit better than wave 8, and while Disco Stu is a
little disappointing, collectors should be happy to get their first Krusty
and Grampa variants, along with a great Lisa. Rod and Todd go nicely
alongside their dad, but now Maude is an absolute must!
Where to Buy -
I found these at Target, where you'll get the best prices.
On-line, there are plenty of
Force Comics. Rick has the
best prices around, but you need to pre-order. On these you're out of luck (and if you ordered them from him, he is hoping
to start shipping next week), but he has pre-orders up for wave 10 and
beyond right now.