Packaging - ***
The packaging fulfills the number one requirement - it keeps the bust nice and
safe. It also shows off the bust through a window, rather than being a
solid box like so many used for this type of product.
The graphics and text are a bit dull, but
overall the package does what it needs to.
Sculpting - ***1/2
Not of the sculpts are poor, or badly done. They all are clean and
smooth, with just the right amount of detail.
Some folks will be surprised by this high score
in this category, but I'm not including the selected poses or facial
expressions. I'll cover that in Design, and differentiate between the
better and less appealing in this first set.
Something that will take you by surprise if you
haven't seen these in person is the size. I can tell you that they are
smaller than you'll expect, but until you actually see them it's hard to
explain. In scale, they are very much like World of Springfield figures
cut in half and put on a pedestal. I've included a photo at the end to
give you some idea.
Paint - ***1/2
The paint schemes on the Simpsons characters are not complicated, and they don't
call for a lot of detail, but the work here follows all the requirements - it's
clean, it matches the show, the colors are consistent, and the edges between
colors aren't sloppy.
Design - Marge ***1/2; Homer, Lisa ***; Bart
The entire wave takes a hit in the design category right out of the gate - the pedestal.
This is the same style pedestal that we have under the Muppets torsos, but it
works a little better there. At least with the Muppets, the column base
fits in with the theater theme. Here, they make no sense. It's not
entirely Sideshow's fault though, as they approached FOX with other ideas,
including the Nuclear Power Plant stack, but were shot down. The only
positive about the column is that if you're buying the Muppets, there's some
consistency between the two.
The other major design consideration is the pose
and facial expression of each character. Here's where there's some big
differences. Marge is my clear favorite, and her happy 'surprised'
expression is a nice change from most other Simpsons product. It also fits
her character nicely, and looks great.
Homer and Lisa fall somewhere in the
middle. While both expressions fit the characters, neither is a real
standout. Homer is an angry, pouting version, while Lisa looks
nervous. Neither looks like a zombie though, which is so important with
this license. Because of the big eyes, and simple design of the cartoon,
the characters often come off looking like extras in the Thriller video.
Here they have personality, even if the choices aren't all my favorites.
Bart is the least exciting. He has a
fearful or worried look, and it really doesn't work for him. He also is
missing one hand, while the other three all have both hands. It's not a huge
deal, but I prefer the busts to have consistency in their style, including the
Quality - ***1/2
These busts have the same excellent quality as the other Sideshow/WETA
work. The name of the artist, along with the edition number, is included
on the bottom. The bust feels a little lightweight, but that's because
they aren't very big, not because they are cheap.
Value - **1/2
The value isn't terrible, but at $35 each many collectors might balk. The
Muppets busts are larger, and run between $50 and $60, so the price isn't way
out of line. The smaller size will get them into more collectors budgets,
and also conserve space, because you can believe me when I say the Muppets busts
really take up the shelves!
Overall - ***
I wish the first series hadn't been the entire family - I'm much happier
with what I've seen with characters like Apu, Moe and CBG. Sideshow
probably felt they needed to get these out first, but it might have been prudent
to mix things up a bit, and only release one or two family members now, and then
one in each successive series.
Still, I'm glad I have these, and am really
looking forward to the upcoming assortments. I've included photos of CBG
and the Collector at the end of the review, just to wet your appetite!
Where to Buy -
Odds are pretty good that you'll have to get these on-line, or at comic
shows. I've never seen them on a retailer shelf, although your local comic
ship may pick them up. On-line:
has the set for $35 each. They don't have a packaged deal like the Muppets
line at this point.