Packaging - ****
Playmates has really raised the bar with their recent packaging, and I can't
wait to see what we might get next year for the regular WOS line.
First the mini's had show trivia and DYN's, along with episode specific
pictures - now Faces of Springfield gives us something a little different.
On the back of each box is a
long and detailed show synopsis, along with some photos that look an awful
lot like the Rocket USA tin signs to me. But the neat feature here is
on the front.
The large picture of each
character, die cut on the front, seems cool enough. But not until I
got one of these in my hands did I realize it's not just part of the box
front, but a separate fifth panel! It opens up to reveal a great
character bio! Also, even though you may throw the package out, you
can cut the front character flap off, and have a neat little character card.
Sculpting - Burns ***1/2,
Smithers ***1/2, Homer **1/2
The sculpts really vary here. Mr. Burns is the standout, and looks
terrific. The style and detail are just right.
Smithers isn't bad, and although he got just as good of a
score as Mr. Burns, the sculpt isn't *quite* as nice. There's nothing
terrible about it, but something just seemed slightly off to me.
Homer is clearly the worst, and the 'screaming zombie' look
simply doesn't fit the pose of the body.
All three suffer from one similar problem: the hand sculpts
don't work well with the accessories. They all are capable of holding
one of the accessories, but only with some effort, and only one of the three
Paint - Burns ***, Homer
***, Smithers **
When it comes to the paint ops on these, I was disappointed. It's
clear that they are hand painted, and unfortunately it shows a little too
Burns isn't terrible, but even he has sloppy lines on the
socks, cuffs, and around his neck and eyes. At least the suit color is
consistent and smooth.
Smithers is the worst, at least from the batch I picked
up. His coat had rub marks on the back, and the coat color wasn't
consistent. I'm also disappointed in the detail on the work badge - I
can read 'Springfield Police Dept' on the 3" version of Wiggum, but
this badge has a square and three lines.
Homer is in between. The ops are somewhat similar to
Burns, with slightly sloppy lines.
Articulation - **1/2
These have the same four points of articulation, just like the WOS figures
and the mini's. Cut joints on wrists, elbows or ankles would have been
nice in this scale.
Accessories - ****
Here's where this series really shines. Every figure has some very
Homer comes with Pinchy the Lobster, an ultra large Gummi DiMilo, and a
huge hoagie. The hoagie is a bit meh, but the clear statue and Pinchy
are both stand outs. Great sculpting really makes a difference on
Mr. Burns also has three accessories, very similar in nature to the WOS
version. There's a wad of money, and Blinky inside a fish bowl.
There's also Bobo, the bear he stole from Maggie. Again, the sculpting
and paint ops are terrific.
Finally, there's Smithers. He comes with three accessories
(actually six if you're being picky), and two are simply outstanding.
First, there's three albums. I think they missed the boat on what
stickers they used - "It's Raining Men" would have fit so much
better - but they're decent.
The other two are fantastic! There's a great Malibu Stacy doll,
along with a nicely scaled computer with nekked Mr. Burns screen
saver. The neatest thing about the picture of Mr. Burns is that they
even pixilated it a little, so it really looks like a computer screen!
Quality - **1/2
I wish these had been solid -
instead, they are hollow plastic, very much like a plastic bank. They
are fairly soft, and you want to make sure you don't leave them in a hot
car. Trust me on that one.
Value - ***1/2
These are selling for $15 at Target, and considering the cool accessories,
size, and exclusivity, that's not a bad price at all.
Overall - Burns ***1/2, Smithers ***, Homer **1/2
Burns is clearly the winner of these three, and around my neck of the
woods the buyers are grabbing him first. I was a bit surprised,
assuming that most folks would grab Smithers right out of the box, but that
doesn't appear to be the case.
I do think Homer may end up hanging around awhile, but the
other two are likely to sell pretty well. If this series does well,
we're likely to see at least one more series, perhaps two.
Where to Buy -
I do believe I've mentioned it once or twice, but these are a Target
exclusive. Check your local Target stores, especially over the next
couple weeks as they do their toy aisle reset, and you should find them.