WOS Treehouse of Horror 3

Playmates has hooked up with Toys R Us once again to give us the third exclusive Treehouse of Horror playset.

Similar to the first series, this one doesn't have a particular theme.  We have four figures from different THOH episodes, plus the playset, of course.

The playset is called the 'Ironic Punishment' playset, based on the Ironic Punishment Division of Hell that Homer ended up in.

There are four figures - Evil Willie (better known to most as Krueger Willie), Donut Head Homer, Witch Marge, and Hugo, Bart's 'evil' twin.

These are a Toys R Us exclusive, and retail for $35.  They are *just* hitting, so you can expect to see them at your local store over the next two to three weeks.  Checking regularly is the best bet!

Packaging - ***
The packaging is no surprise to folks that have picked up the previous two.  The playset is in pieces in the back half, with the figures in the front.

Technically, it's collector friendly, or at least more so than past sets.  If you wanted to be careful, you could take it apart and return it to it's home at a later date without destroying the package, but it takes a little effort.

Sculpting - ****
My favorite aspect of this entire set is the sculpting.  Donut Head Homer is just perfect, and the Witch Marge and Hugo are both extremely well executed.  I suspect Donut Head Homer will also leap to the front of the pack in terms of weight - he's one solid figure.

True, Willie isn't as exciting, but it's not the fault of the sculpt. His pose is great, the hat is sculpted to fit over his eyebrows, and his hands are sculpted perfectly to hold the rake.

That's an important note on all the figures - unlike some past releases, they can all hold their appropriate accessories

The sculpting of the playset itself is great.  The detail on the stalactites is great, and the little gremlin/devil character sculpted onto the back wall looks great.

This playset is larger than usual as well - it's about a quarter inch taller, 3/4" deeper, and 1/2" wider.  Those are eyeball estimates too, since I didn't get the old measuring tape out.  Suffice to say it's slightly bigger, and I hope we see that trend.  There's plenty of room to use all three pegs.

Paint - **
While the sculpting is the best part of this set, the paint ops are the worst.  I had trouble with the paint ops on every figure at some level.

Donut Head Homer has an important change from the prototype - his arms are the appropriate yellow.  However, there's a bit of slop around his detail areas, like the watch and tie.

Witch Marge looks pretty good at first, but on closer inspection, you can see a splotchyness to the black.  That's a color that can be tough to get consistent, and they missed the mark slightly here.  Most important however, and very much on the plus side, is her slightly green tinge.  People would have been very disappointed had she simply been yellow.

Hugo has some issues with his red shirt - the left sleeve on mine was clearly lighter than the rest of the shirt, and you could see some of the yellow showing through.

Willie is the best for paint quality, but loses big points for not having the stripes on his sweater.  Some might see it as a minor point, but most people will be disappointed by their absence.

Articulation - **1/2
The articulation is the same as always - neck, shoulders, waist - but the sculpting really helps here.

They sculpted the hands and arms on Marge, Homer and Willie just right to hold the accessories and have the perfect pose, making the articulation less necessary than usual.

Accessories - ***
There's always a debate on what could have been selected as accessories for these sets, but they went with the fairly obvious and appropriate.

Marge gets her broom, Willie his rake and hat, Homer his donut, and Hugo...well, Hugo gets squat.  There's also the cool tub of 'hot dog meat', with human parts visible on the top.

While the accessories are all well done, I was a bit perplexed by Homer's donut.  First, it's yellow - I don't remember it being yellow.  Also, it looks very little like a donut, and if they had reused the molds from one of the previous donuts, it would have looked a lot better.  Perhaps I'm simply forgetting something special about the donuts in the episode...

Talking Feature - **
Unfortunately, the special exclusive sets don't work with the rest of the figures in the line, but they did a good job on picking cool lines here:

-"Oh, but I'm so sweet and tasty"
-"If I don't finish this last bit, you don't get my soul, right?"
-"Mmmm, forbidden donut"

-"When I'm done with ya, they'll hafta do a compost mortem"
-"You'll pay for this... with your children's blood!!"
-"I'll strike, where ya cannot protect them... in your dreams"

-"I went mad after they cut us apart, but I'll be sane once I sew us back together"
-"Do you know what it's like to be locked in an attic for 10 years where your only friend is a baby food jar full of screws?"

-"We're here to eat your kids"
-(Evil laugh)
-"That's right, I'm a witch"

So why the low score with all the cool lines? Because I had a hell of a time getting any of the figures to fit on the pegs, and even managed to pull Marge's out of here feet just trying.  I know Playmates is looking into this, but it really hurts the set.

Value - ***
It's an appropriate price, considering the prices of other sets and figures.  Four regularly price figures would cost between $24 and $28 bucks, and about $10 more for the playset itself seems reasonable.

Overall - ***
This set falls between 1 and 2 - I like it better than the first set, with greater detail and a better back wall, but not quite as much as the Kang and Kodos set.  Don't get me wrong - I'm really pleased to get it, and Donut Homer is a four star figure on his own, but there were a few issues holding the set back from perfection.

Where to Buy - 
Toys R Us! also had it on-line for a short period, but it's gone again now. You might want to keep an eye on it though, just in case.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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