Halloween Stewie, Cleveland, Brian and Quagmire
Family Guy Series 1
Crazy Interactive World - Playmates Toys

Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys

A couple weeks ago, I checked out the first half of the first series of new interactive action figures from Playmates - Family Guy! Done in a similar style and scale to the old World of Springfield line, these are just starting to show up as part of the new fall reset.

Tonight I'm covering the final four figures in the first wave - Brian, Cleveland, Quagmire and Halloween Stewie. Since the interactive sound feature with the playsets is such a crucial aspect to these toys, I'll be including some discussion on their lines that are part of the only environment released so far - the family living room. Other sets are planned, including the Drunken Clam, and I bet we see quite a few waves announced at SDCC this week.

I haven't seen these at any major retailers yet (I'm expecting Toys R Us first), but since online retailers have them at around $10 - $11 each for the figures and $32 - $34 for the playset, I'm betting that's about what we'll see at the brick and mortar stores as well.
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys
Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys

Packaging - ***
The figures come on fairly small cards, with less waste than some other current lines. There's no twisties, but there are rubber bands keeping the figure and accessories in place in the trays.

Sculpting - Quagmire, Stewie, Brian ***1/2; Cleveland ***
One of the key aspects of these figures is their fit with the earlier WoS line. If you were a fan of those toys - and of course you were - then the ability to display the various denizens of Springfield with the wacky folks from Quahog is a huge selling point. Personally, I think they've done a great job getting the scale about right, or at least as right as it ever was with WoS. Sure, the smaller figures are oversized, but so were Lisa, Bart and the rest of the WoS kids, so they've remained consistent.

Quagmire is complete with his Bob Hope nose and Jay Leno chin, grinning his perverted grin. The shape of the head is good, and the sculpted pose, with slightly hunched shoulders and thumbs up hand, works for me.

Brian is pretty basic, and looks just like he does on screen. Of course it helps that the character design is pretty simplistic as well, but as I've said many times, getting simple cartoon designs right in 3 dimensions can be much harder than the most detailed of realistic sculpts.

Case in point - Cleveland. Here's one that doesn't work as well for me, and the overall shape of the head seems off. The mustache seems a little small, and the shape of the lips and the exaggerated chin don't look right to me. All these are the most minor of issues individually, but together they throw off the likeness enough to be noticeable.

Then there's the first variant, Halloween Stewie. We got a regular Stewie in this wave as well, and I'd suspect that if Playmates follows the same pattern they did with WoS, we'll end up with a Peter or Stewie variant almost every release.

I'm loving this one, largely because it's one we did not get from Mezco. I also love the episode, making it a personal favorite. The sculpting on the duck costume is great, and the expression is perfect for the outfit. While part of that is the painted eyebrows, you should also note that the mouth is sculpted differently from the figure in his traditional garb.

Paint - Quagmire, Stewie ***;  Brian, Cleveland **1/2
It's likely that the most problematic area for Playmates - if they can keep the gremlins away from the electronics - is the paint ops. Getting quality work at this price point is going to be tough.

Most of these are reasonable, but there are some fuzzy cut lines and slop at the edges on a couple. Cleveland and Brian are the worst, and Cleveland has a problem unique to him. There are some inconsistencies in the blue pants, with bright shiny spots and matte, dull spots mixed in.

The highlight is the painted eyes and expressions of course, and they chose looks that work well with each character.

Articulation - Quagmire, Cleveland ***; Brian, Stewie **1/2
Quagmire's packaging claims he has a double ball jointed neck for 'giggity giggity' action. While I'm not sure I want to be doing that with Quagmire, he does have a ball joint at both the top of his neck where it enters the head, and at the base where it enters the collar. This gives you a lot of options when posing the head, and both joints work quite well.

He also has cut shoulders, but no other cut arm joints. Without the extra cuts that some of the other figures have, the double ball just pulls him even with them.

Cleveland might not have the double ball neck, but he does have a cut neck, cut shoulders, cut waist AND cut arms at the sleeves. This appears to be the standard articulation for the larger figures in this line.

Stewie and Brian have the basic articulation of the smaller figures - cut neck and cut shoulders. Considering the smaller size of the figures and the general design of the characters, that's probably all you could hope for, although cut wrists wouldn't have been out of reach.

Accessories - Brian ***; the rest **1/2
One of the aspects of the World of Springfield that made it such a great series were the cool, unique, show specific accessories. There were plenty of re-used ones as well (how many clipboards did we end up with?), but when they added in something that was really specific to that character and a particular key episode, it was all the better.

It took awhile for that to start happening though, and the first couple waves had some pretty standard, basic extras. That's what we're seeing here as well.

Drinking seems to be the theme for most of these characters, and with the Drunken Clam playset right around the corner, that probably makes sense. Cleveland has a frosty beer mug, Quagmire has an empty martini glass, and Brian has a full coffee cup. That's all that Cleveland and Quagmire end up with, but Brian gets an extra half star for also coming with a bone. I said Brian, not Quagmire.

Stewie is a very episode specific variant, and he gets a very episode specific accessory - his Jack-o-lantern candy bag, filled to the brim with goodies. The theft of this bag was a key aspect of that particular episode. He can actually hold it, or it can rest on the ground next to him.

Sound Feature - ****
While it's cool to have a little plastic version of these characters on your shelf, it's really the sound feature with the interactive playsets that sells them.

We only have the Living Room so far, so I added these four to that set to check out their lines. They are:

Quagmire - "Giggity, Giggity...Giggity, Goo!"; "Does this look like a Q to you?"; "Ooohwagawagawa"; Or something like that - that third saying is pretty much just him making lewd noises. And those giggity's go on forever!

Stewie - "Quack, Quack!"; "I got bit by a vampire, I'm a vampire duck"; "Now listen very closely, cuz here's how it's going to go down!"; "How delightful!"

Cleveland - "Oh yea, that's nice"; "I gotta stop taking my baths during Peter's shenanigans"; "We good, Brian, we good"

Brian - "Uh, sorry, I don't do dog shows, it's not my thing"; "How could I ever become involved in this filthy, degrading business?"; "Don't make me beg"; and his trademark barking.

These are the ones I heard, but since they play in random order, it is possible that I'm missing one.

It's worth noting that this variant Stewie has new lines specific to the episode he is from, and not just the same lines as the standard Stewie in this wave.

In the previous review, I discussed how well designed the new sets are, and how they have fixed a number of issues that the previous World of Springfield sets exhibited. One thing I neglected to mention was the speaker placement - it's right out on the top of the floor, so that the spoken lines are quite loud and clear.

Fun Factor - ***
Teens who enjoy the show would find these funny, but it's really the adult fans who are probably going to be the biggest buyers. Family Guy is even less a kid's show than the Simpsons, and I suspect most of the Quagmires will end up hanging out in cubicles across the country, generating sexual harrassment lawsuits.

Value - ***
Many figures in a 6 - 7" scale are in the $15 or more price range right now. While these are a little smaller, coming in around a 5" scale (very similar to WoS), they also talk with the playsets. Clearly the days of sub-ten buck figures are behind us for awhile, but these are close.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - Quagmire, Stewie ***1/2; Brian, Cleveland ***
I'm loving this line already. It's rare these days that I get excited about a new line coming out, but here's one that I will be collecting complete, with the hopes that we can see at least 10 waves hit stores.

Cleveland isn't my favorite, but then again, he wasn't my favorite on the show either. Having one version is good enough for me, and if that's all we ever get, I'll be fine with that.

While I'm on the subject of Cleveland, can I just say how astounded I am - and not in a good way - that the Cleveland Show was nominated for an Emmy for best animated show, and Family Guy and American Dad were skipped? Of all the bizarro choices, that has to take the cake. Even Bob's Burgers is a better choice than the Cleveland Show. Speaking of which, where's my Bob's Burgers figures?

Quagmire is great, and he needs to be, since he's such a critical character. We'll be getting a ton of Brian figures, I'm sure, but there are only a couple more Quagmire variants that really are necessary, so getting a great standard version was important.

But the winner in this set for me is the variant Stewie. Normally, variants wouldn't be as exciting as a Quagmire, for example, but since we never got this Stewie from Mezco, and since it turned out so well, it's a great harbinger of what's to come from this series.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Quagmire, Stewie, Brian ***1/2; Cleveland ***
Paint - Quagmire, Stewie ***;  Brian, Cleveland **1/2
Articulation - Quagmire, Cleveland ***; Brian, Stewie **1/2
Accessories - Brian ***; the rest **1/2
Sound Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - Quagmire, Stewie ***1/2; Brian, Cleveland ***

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.

- Entertainment 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.

Related Links -
It's been awhile since I reviewed any Family Guy merchandise:

- a couple years ago, we had the Blue Harvest bobble heads.

- I reviewed most of the Mezco series, including wave 1, wave 2, wave 3, wave 4, wave 5, wave 6, wave 7, and wave 8.

- there's the boxed sets, including the Peter and Lois two pack, series 1.5 family boxed set, and the Peter and Chicken two pack.

- Finally, there's the review of the large talking Stewie, and the deluxe Evil Monkey.

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Family Guy action figures by Playmates Toys

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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