Packaging - ****
A terrific looking box, sturdy, excellent graphics and text, and it's even
collector friendly, all just for an exclusive. What more could any
collector ask for? And if you pay special attention, you'll notice yours
truly was mentioned on the back of the package!
Sculpting - ****
Did you like the sculpt the first time
around? Then you'll like it this time! In the tradition of most
exclusives, this Swedish Chef is a repaint of the one that came with the Kitchen
The sculpt of the figure is dead on, and one of
my favorite figures in the entire line. With a perfect expression, great
sclae, and hands sculpted to hold a number of accessories, he's a great example
of toy sculpting at it's best.
Paint - ***
If there's anything negative about this figure, it's the paint ops. It's
not that they are messy - they're supposed to be! It's that the effect
they were going for just didn't quite work out as planned.
All the standard colors, like his nose, skin,
shirt stripes, pants, shoes, etc are clean, neat and consistent. There are
slight differences, but the color combination is still very attractive and works
well together. I like the checked pants of the original a little better
than the solid color here, but it's not a big issue.
The gimmick here is that there has been a
'culinary catastrophe', causing the poor Swede to be bathed in mess. It
sounds great on paper, but the paint application doesn't quite pull it off.
I was expecting explosion, and instead this
looks like Chef just has a bad habit of wiping his hands on his apron. The
face has a slightly darker tinting, which looks like maybe they were going for a
slightly sooty appearance, and there are a variety of colors of dirt and food
stuffs on his apron, shirt and tie. There's also a little flour on his
nose and face, and some spray of flour on his pants and shoes. That works
the best out of the various sloppy spots.
The colors and application don't look bad - they
just don't look like I would have liked. Your mileage could vary greatly
on this one, depending on what you were expecting to see. I've included a
shot of the back of the package that shows the original prototype, and that's
what I was really looking forward to in terms of the paint.
Articulation - ***
The Chef isn't the most articulated Muppets figure, but his stocky body type
doesn't really lend itself to a tremendous number of points.
He has neck, ball jointed shoulders, elbows,
wrists, waist and hips. That's actually quite good for a figure like this,
and the arm articulation allows for lots of great poses with the various kitchen
Accessories - ****
Originally, they were hoping to include Lobster Banditos with the Kitchen
playset but found it cost prohibitive. Instead of the fans losing out,
they decided to include them with the exclusive, and that is just another
example of the creative thinking of the Palisades team.
There are three large banditos, and three
revolvers for them. I also count the chef's hat as an accessory since it's
removable, and I'm happy to report that the magnet in this one is just as strong
and tight as the original Chef.
The banditos kick all kinds of serious
butt. The sculpts are great, and each of the three is unique in more than
one way. The claws are different sizes, the hats are all different and
even the moustaches vary. Each can hold his pistol (those are identical)
and the front arms/claws are bendy to allow for posing with the guns.
It's pretty rare that we get such cool, well
done accessories with an exclusive, especially a convention exclusive.
Fans of the Swedish Chef are going to pick this figure up just so they can add
the banditos to their Kitchen play set diorama.
Value - **1/2
At $15, you are getting a decent value. This is the usual price for an
exclusive, and since the regular figures sell for $8 - $9, it's not surprising
to be paying a premium. Sure, I would love to get them for closer to $12,
but I can live with the current price tag.
Overall - ***1/2
Although he's not perfect, he's damn close to
it. I'm not hitting him up hard for the price in the overall score,
considering he's an exclusive, and had the paint application worked a little
better for me he would have been a four star figure.
As exclusive Muppets go, he's up there at the
top of the pile. I like him over less interesting exclusives like the
basic Dr. Teeth repaint or even the Steppin' Out Bunsen and Beaker, but I'm
betting that the Vaudeville Statler and Waldorf are going to take the top seat
come Wizard World in Chicago.
Where to Buy -
Go to the SDCC next week - it starts
Wednesday night, the 16th, and runs through Sunday the 20th. Buy it right
from the Palisades booth! Or join the Palisades
Collectors Club, and you'll have the opportunity to buy it through them.