This set shows Simon Barsinister and Underdog from the classic episode
"Phony Booths", in which Barsinister uses a mind control device to take over
our hero. The two figures are both slightly re-tooled versions of the
Wave 1 actually includes Simon, along with Sweet Polly Purebred, and Riff
Raff. There's not one but four variations on Underdog himself -
smiling open mouth, smiling closed mouth, and two versions with a stern
mouth. I haven't seen them all yet, but rumor has it that the stern
look Underdogs have a variation on their leg sculpt that makes them
different from each other. If someone knows more, let me know!
Packaging - ***
The pair comes in a white box with the Underdog logo and a SDCC exclusive
sticker. Understated is the key here, as is often the case with SDCC
exclusives. The big surprise is that the package is actually quite
collector friendly, and you can remove the figures and backdrop from the
inside without any damage, and then store them back after you're done.
There's a few twisties to toss out, but they aren't particularly important
to keep once you've got these puppies in your hot little mitts.
Sculpting - ****
Back in the day, folks considered Palisades the master of bringing
animated figures to 3-D. Mezco has taken over for the fallen master, and
I must say they are doing a terrific job.
These figures look fantastic, with tons of personality and character.
The designs match the show extremely well, and the proportions and scale are
excellent. While the arms, legs and torsos are sculpted in somewhat
pre-posed ways, the sculpt works great with the available articulation to make
for a much more poseable figure than you'd first assume.
These guys are larger than you might expect too, going more in the Family
Guy or South Park direction than in the Simpsons direction. Simon stands
about 3 1/2" tall, while Underdog is about 5" tall.
Paint - ***1/2
I rag on Mezco for paint ops a lot, so it's only fitting to point out that
these have some of the best paint applications I've seen on cartoon toys in
The cuts between the bright colors are quite clean and neat, with very
little slop, glop or blop. I haven't figured out what 'blop' is yet,
but I needed a third word to rhyme with 'slop' and 'glop'. Get
all the paint ops on the South Park and Family Guy figures to look like
this, and I could die happy.
Articulation - ***
My biggest surprise with these figures is in the articulation. Not that
there's a ton (there isn't) but how well what's here works and is
incorporated into the designs.
Both of them have cut necks, which is probably their biggest drawback.
Simon's design really doesn't allow for anything else, since the guy doesn't
even have a neck to speak of. But they could have pulled off a ball
joint at the base of Underdog's neck, but they went with a cut instead.
There's cut joints at the shoulders and wrists as well, and the arms are
reasonably poseable even with the sculpted mannerisms.
The biggest surprise is the ball jointed waist, hidden on both underneath
the torso. While I'm calling it a waist, it really operates like a
single waist joint that allows the legs (as one) to move quite freely under
the torso. That means the figures can tilt forward and back, side to
side, and turn. This allows for some creative posing, and also allows
you to work with the center of gravity on these figures to get them to stay
upright in many poses.
Accessories - **1/2
There's not a ton of accessories here, but what you get is reasonably
Underdog comes with an extra set of straight arms, with fisted hands.
These work well for flying poses, although he can't really take a true
flying pose. The arms go on and off easily, hold tight, and have very
As mentioned earlier, the controller device is actually attached to
Barsinister's left hand, so it isn't an accessory. That means the only
other true accessory is the cardboard backdrop of the laboratory.
While the all cardboard set up is a bit cheap, it does look great.
By including one side, they've made the back quite sturdy, at least for
Fun Factor - ***
These are actually quite fun, due largely to the unique articulation and
solid designs. If kids today actually knew who these characters were,
they'd enjoy playing with these.
Value - **1/2
A price tag of $25 for not one but TWO SDCC exclusive figures is actually
pretty good, as the price of exclusives has continued to edge up. Even
the regular release single figures are running around $15, so this price
point is about where I'd expect it.