Packaging - ***
These come boxed rather than carded, and that's a nice change for a couple
reasons. First, they are easier to store for the MIBBers, less prone to
damage, and are collector friendly (since they are easy to open up and replace
later). They aren't quite as sturdy as the clamshells, but they're a lot
easier to remove!
The text and graphics are great, following in
the excellent packaging design that Palisades put in place with series 4.
I do hope we see the return to the pictures of the actual Muppets on the
Sculpting - ****
I'm extremely happy with the sculpts on these PVC's. There's a ton of
detail, particularly on figures like Sam and Thog. Getting the texture and
look just right is crucial to giving these the real appearance of the actual
Muppet, and they've managed to do it as well in this small scale - perhaps even
better in some cases - than in the bigger scale.
A word about the scale - it's great because it will allow for some figures
that we might not have gotten otherwise, like Thog. He'd be huge in the
regular scale, and unlikely to ever get produced, but in this smaller scale we
can get these larger characters. He's no lightweight even here, standing
as tall as the Simpsons or Clerks figures. He's solid too, and that's one
hell of a lot of plastic.
The figures all stand great too, thanks to the
square bases they are attached to. I'm happy they went with square rather
than any sort of oval or circle, since this allows them to stand closely and
neatly, and gives them a little more stability.
Paint - ***
The paint ops on these sets vary wildly - some, like mine, are great, with very
few issues. Others show problems from head to foot. I've heard and
read plenty of horror stories about bad paint jobs from others, so be very
careful picking yours out!
Mine has a few issues - Mahnah Mahnah is the
worst of my bunch, with lots of sloppy spots, rub marks on the hands and arms,
poor definition around the glasses and nose, and in general a poor job.
Gonzo is next up, with some minor sloppiness
around the face and clothes. He's not terrible though, and is certainly
much better than Mahnah. He does have some marks on his balloons though,
which is less painful than it sounds.
Sam is very clean, although he's also one with
far less detail. His feet could be a better yellow - the color they've
used could use another coat, as the darker color of the plastic is showing
through a bit. But overall he's at least clean and neat.
Thog is the winner of the paint lottery, with a
perfect application all around. Even the white and green on the small
flowers is well done, but I have to reiterate - PICK YOUR'S CAREFULLY!
Lots of folks have had issues with their paint ops, so I might have just gotten
Articulation - Bupkis
These are PVC's - that means no articulation. I really hated that with the
Clerks figures, but these cost half what they do, and that's a huge
In case you were wondering, I love PVC's.
I have nothing against unarticulated figures, but I still expect value for my
money, and don't expect to pay the same for a PVC as a half way decent action
figure. These will take a slight hit on value, but not as much as PVC's
costing even more than these do.
Accessories - Bupkis
There are no accessories either, but a couple of the figures are sculpted
with something in their hands. Gonzo has his bunch of balloons, and this
is the first good use of twisty ties I've ever seen. Thog has a couple
flowers in his left hand. Sure, that doesn't get them any stars in this
category, but it's worth mentioning.
Since these are PVC's, neither the accessories
category or the articulation category is going to count much against the overall
score - neither are really facets of a PVC figure to begin with, and you need to
compare a PVC against another PVC. But it is important to note for those
that might be wondering.
Value - **
The other category where these take a hit is value. It's not as bad -
not by a long shot - as the Clerks figures, but these are still a buck to two
bucks too much each. The better value here is the set with Thog and Sam,
both larger figures, but even then the price needs to be a tad lower.
Let's face it - they're big Homies.
Of course, the lower run on these (since major
retailers didn't pick them up yet) is also driving some of this higher cost.
Overall - ***
I compare these a lot to the Clerks figures, and with good reason. Both
lines are designed as big PVC sets, not action figures, and as such need to be
judged against other PVC's (predominately). Neither are a great value, but
the Mini-Muppets are slightly better, giving them a slight edge when it came to
the overall score.
I'm hoping we see wider distribution with future
sets, and therefore lower costs. And I'm betting that the paint
application issues are addressed by Palisades by the next release.
Where to Buy -
No major retailers have picked these up yet, so you'll need to check out the
specialty stores like Sam Goody or Electronics Boutique. On-line:
- Beans Toys has
both sets for $30 plus shipping.
has the sets available separately, $15 each. They also have preorders up
for the next two sets, also at $15 each.
KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR LOTS MORE PHOTOS,
INCLUDING SIZE COMPARISONS!