Family Guy Series 6
Stewie 2.0, Bertram, Sexy Party Stewie, Clevemire, Seamus,
and Peanut Butter Jelly Time Brian

Family Guy premieres this next sunday, September 10th. That's an extremely early premiere date for the Sunday night FOX cartoon line up - thank God baseball is on another network this year.

With perfect timing, the sixth series of Family Guy figures from Mezco is just hitting Hot Topic stores (and others as well, I'm sure). This set includes Seamus the Sea Captain, Banana Brian (who most people will better remember as Peanut Butter Jelly Time Brian), Sexy Party Stewie, Clevemire (the post nuclear holocaust combination of Cleveland and Quagmire), Stewie 2.0 and Bertram, his arch nemesis.

If you buy Mezco figures with any regularity, then you know variants are the norm. I only know of one so far - a closed mouth version of Seamus. He appears to come packed one to a case with the regular Seamus. He's in the packaged photo in the review for reference. I'd be surprised though if there weren't any other much more subtle variants, and if you come across any, let me know!

These run $13 plus tax at Hot Topic, but you'll find them a little cheaper online. Of course, I have my suggestions for retailers at the end of the review - thanks for your patronage of the sponsors!

Packaging - ***
The packaging remains the same, which is no suprirse - and should please MOCers. It's always nice if you're going to hang a whole series on the wall still in the cards, that all the cards match in style.

Sculpting - Seamus, Brian, Bertram, Clevemire ***1/2; Stewie 2, Party Stewie ***;
For the most part, the sculpting is another solid outing. The figures all look very much like their on screen, 2 dimensional counterparts.

Seamus is my favorite, and was actually the one figure I was most looking forward to in this set. He has a unique visual appeal, and they've captured it extremely well. I prefer the open mouth version shown on the card back to the closed mouth variant.

There's no way Seamus is standing on his own, but that's not a fault of the sculpt but the itty bitty ends of his peg legs. He does come with a stand though to correct the issue. There's also no way for him to hold any accessories, but Mezco came up with a unique solution to that problem as well. More on that in the Accessories category.

Clevemire is another unique character. Created when the world goes to Hell on New Year's Eve, 1999, this amalgamation of Cleveland and Quagmire is another variant from the popular episode, Da Boom. Technically, this is the fourth character from that episode, since we already got the mutated octopus Stewie, and Da Boom was also the first episode that we saw the giant fighting chicken, which Mezco did in a boxed set with Peter. The sculpt works well with the articulation, and interferes as little as possible with the range of movement. Clevemire can also stand just fine on his own, even with all that extra weight up top.

I'm not thrilled with Quagmire's expression though. I realize he wasn't thrilled with the arrangement, but there's something so un-Quagmire about the look that it just doesn't quite sit right with me. Still, a solid job and a great figure to add to the variants section of the display.

Brian is dressed in his large banana costume, and is mid-dance, doing the Peanut Butter Jelly Time song. If you don't remember, he did this to cheer up Peter in the episode "The Courtship of Stewie's Father". This is a spoof of the goofy internet meme from around 2000, in which a banana danced to the song "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" by the Buckwheat Boyz.

The sculpt captures the silly moment well, and Brian remains in scale with previous versions. He's a bit tough to get to stand, although it is possible. It did seem like every time I moved him though I had to spend five minutes getting the legs just right again. His hands are also sculpted to hold the included accessories.

Bertram, Stewie's half brother and arch enemy, is up next. We saw Bertram on the show twice that I remember, first in the episode Emission Impossible, when Stewie enters Peter's body to destroy his sperm, and then again in Sibling Rivalry, when Bertram has been born as Stewie's half brother. This version of Bertram, including his outfit, is more in line with the initial episode than his post-birth appearance.

The sculpt on Bertram is good, with an excellent choice for expression. While he's not my number one choice for a C-lister, he does go well with Stewie 2.0, and will also go well enough with Commando Stewie, coming in an upcoming series. He has a cool, unique hand pose for his left hand as well, adding to some of the dynamic appearance of the sculpt.

Which brings me to Stewie 2.0. I suppose that since this is a standard Stewie (if you lose the accessories), calling him version 2.0 made sense. However, he's really intended to be the Stewie from Emission Impossible, facing off against Bertram. He's wearing his standard clothing though, with a new, angry expression, so he can fit in with other displays as well.

Oddly, while his right hand is sculpted to hold accessories, his actual ray gun comes sculpted into a new right hand that can pop in easily. The same is true for Bertram. Stewie also has a slightly less static pose, particularly with the set of his legs. This makes him appear a little more dynamic than past versions.

And lastly, we have Sexy Party Stewie. We've seen him in the sailor suit a couple times now, and the tag line "this calls for a sexy party!" is pretty well known. This isn't a terrible variant for Stewie, since it is a fairly recognizable look (and they're even going to use it for a deluxe figure soon), but in a wave with one Stewie already, it's likely to get lost.

His face and body sculpt are designed to look good with the girls, although whether Stewie likes girls or not is up for debate. He certainly knows how to party though, and his arms and legs are given a slightly dynamic dance pose. His right hand is sculpted to hold an accessory, and there's an additional arm included for full on freaking like a mad man.

Paint - Party Stewie ***; the rest ***1/2
All the paint ops are solid, with only a few issues with the tough white/black combo on Sexy Party Stewie.

Most impressive is the whites of the eyes, where bleed and thin applications have been an issue now and again. On my set, everything looks terrific, coming across clean and consistent.

There's not a ton of small detail work, since that wouldn't fit the style of animation or character design. But what is here is well done, especially details like Seamus' beard and teeth.

Sexy Party Stewie does show a little bleed on the white outfit, and there's a bit of gloppiness to the skin tone on the hands. Hopefully I just got an outlier.

Articulation - Seamus, Clevemire, Stewie 2.0, Bertram ***1/2; Brian ***; Sexy Party Stewie **1/2
Animated figures like these tend to be tough to articulate. The character designs aren't really adapted for it, and joints tend to break the clean lines. Mezco has done what they can though to add as many joints and still maintain the look of the show.

Seamus has an excellent ball joint at the neck, with a great range of movement. He also has ball jointed shoulders, and a cut waist, which is about all you could give him. He can point in various ways with his peg arms, but pretty much just stands there with his peg legs. 

Clevemire has a surprising amount of articulation, due in large part to the fact that he's really two torsos. The torsos always have more articulation in the world of cartoons.

The Cleveland half of the figure has a cut neck, ball jointed shoulders (with a very limited range of movement), and ball jointed waist. This is one of the most useful ball jointed waists in the history of action figures, where this particularly type of joint is usually unnecessary. Here, you can use it to pose the two torsos in rather unique ways, and give a natural 'tilt' to Cleveland's upper body.

I do wish Cleveland had cut elbows and or wrists though. Still, you can actually get the right arm up around Quagmire's torso if you try, and get quite a few more poses out of Cleveland than you'd first expect.

Quagmire also has a ball jointed waist, and again it turns out to be critical. He can pose straight out from Cleveland, or tilted up or down from the horizontal. Add in a ball jointed neck and cut shoulders, and you get a surprising number of display possibilities. Again, I wish he had cut elbows, but I can live.

Brian is a dog in a big banana suit. As such, he's not going to have a lot of articulation. He does have ball jointed shoulders (but they are restricted a bit), cut wrists and cut hips though. You'll need to play around with the hips a lot to find the sweet spot and keep him standing, and the arm joints pretty much just get the maracas where you want them.

Sexy Party Stewie is much like his previous counterparts. He has a cut neck, cut shoulders and cut waist. He can handle the basic dance pose using his extra closed hand, or pose with the martini glass.

But while Sexy Party Stewie is just like his predecessors, Stewie 2.0 (and Bertram) take his basic articulation to a new level.

Both of these figures have cut neck joints, ball jointed shoulders, cut wrists, and a cut waist. Bertram adds in cut joints at the top of the legs as well. Considering how small these guys are, that's a ton of articulation, and I'm particularly impressed with the cool ball jointed shoulders. They have an excellent range of movement, and really add some great posing with the ray guns.

Accessories - Seamus, Bertram, Stewie 2.0 ***1/2; Sexy Party Stewie ***; Brian **1/2; Clevemire Bupkis
One of the keys to the success of the line is the well done, episode specific accessories, and most of these figures deliver once again.

Clevemire is the only disappointment in this category, although I'm not sure what he would come with from Da Boom. He's got zippo, but in reality you're getting one and a half figures, so as a Value it's not too bad.

Brian has two maracas, which match the ones he used in the show. They fit nicely in both hands.

Sexy Party Stewie comes with an oval carpet-like base, into which you can fit four bikini clad girls. There are actually only two unique sculpts, but these are painted differently to result in four uniquely appearing (at first glance) girls. You can attach the girls randomly to the four holes in the base. Stewie also comes with the required martini glass, complete with sculpted olive.

While SP Stewie isn't bad, all three of these figures seem a tad light in the accessory department compared to past Family Guy releases. Fortunately, the other three step it up to the level that you expect from the line.

Seamus comes with a wanted poster for Daggermouth, done on a very thick cardboard, rather than thin paper. He also has a framed photo of the ship, a life preserver ring (without any ship name), and an extra left arm, holding the map. The arms pop on and off easily, and there's no interference with the ball shoulder joint.

The map is a plastic sticker on a soft rubber back, so take some care. Mine was trying to peel off, and a little extra glue was needed to fix it up. Seamus also has a stand, and while it comes attached to his peg legs, you can remove it. He'll need it to stand, however.

Both Stewie 2.0 and Bertram come with the same helmets, painted slightly differently. They pop apart at the middle to fit over their large noggin's, and snap back together tightly once in place. Stewie's can actually rock back on his head, making it appear as though he is flipping back the goggles, but Bertram's fits too tightly to pull this move off.

These helmets look so good on them, that it wasn't until I was putting the final touches on the review that I noticed I never shot them without them on! They also come with blasters, but these are sculpted permanently into new right hands, which pop on easily.

Finally, they both come with their ships from the episode. Bertram and Stewie are at the cockpit of each, ready to do battle. These ships are obviously smaller than the normal figures, but look great together. I do wish that Bertam's sperm ship has some sort of feet on the bottom, or additional stand, so that it could sit flat on a surface.  EDIT - Hey, there's a magnet in the top of Stewie's ship that allows Bertram's to attach and stay attached! Very cool!

Fun Factor - ***
If you like Family Guy, you'll have a blast with the figures. Okay, so they aren't super articulated, but cartoon figures rarely can be. The designs just don't allow for it, and Mezco has done a great job of getting as much posing and play value into these as they can. Considering that most 'kids' don't watch this show, these are surprisingly fun toys.

Value - **1/2
At around $12 - $13, these match up pretty evenly with the current specialty market pricing. Most of them have a reasonable number of accessories, and considering that this is a licensed line, the price is not out of line with what you're getting.

Things to Watch Out For - 
If you're buying these off the peg, watch for the best paint you can find. Otherwise, you should be good to go.

Overall - Seamus, Brian, Clevemire ***1/2; Sexy Party Stewie, Stewie 2, Bertram ***
The first thing most people will complain about with this series is the addition of not one but two Stewie variants. We know that we'll see one Stewie or Peter variant with every wave of figures - it's a given, and while some might argue, it's proven a highly successful technique. But in this wave we also get Stewie 2.0, which might be a bit too much Stewie for the series.

Of course, it helps that the 2.0 version has much more articulation than the original from series 1. It also helps that if you ditch the helmet, he can be a great 'normal' Stewie, with a more dynamic pose and better articulation than the past versions. He does match up nicely with Bertram too, who is a good C lister. In reality, if I were to skip a Stewie, it would be the Sexy Party version, rather than the 2.0 version.

The other three figures are all solid additions to the display. Clevemire can give mutated Stewie some company, and Seamus is an excellent choice for an interesting C list character. Having another A list family member in each series in some variant form is also the standard, and getting the Peanut Butter Jelly Time Brian was as good of a choice as any. He's the kind of variant that will adorn office cubicles across the county.

The next series includes Neil Goldman, Groovy Death (with his groovy dog), Bad Girl Lois, Bionic Peter, Commando Stewie, and the Performance Artist. Unfortunately, we're getting both a Peter AND a Stewie variant in the next series, again using up half the assortment on the A list variants. Thank God for Neil Goldman!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - Seamus, Brian, Bertram, Clevemire ***1/2; Stewie 2, Party Stewie ***;
Paint - Party Stewie ***; the rest ***1/2
Articulation - Seamus, Clevemire, Stewie 2.0, Bertram ***1/2; Brian ***; Sexy Party Stewie **1/2
Accessories - Seamus, Bertram, Stewie 2.0 ***1/2; Sexy Party Stewie ***; Brian **1/2; Clevemire Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***
Value -  **1/2
Overall - Seamus, Brian, Clevemire ***1/2; Sexy Party Stewie, Stewie 2, Bertram *** 

Where to Buy - 
Hot Topic is the only brick and mortar store I know of with these at this point, where they run $13. Online options include:

- Killer Toys has the full set for $63.

- YouBuyNow doesn't have these listed yet, but I mention them because once they do, they usually list the variants separately at the same price ($12) as the regulars.

Related Links - 
I've been keeping up with this line from the beginning:

- Here's my reviews of wave 1, wave 2, wave 3, wave 4, and wave 5.

- there's the boxed sets, including the Peter and Lois two pack, series 1.5 family boxed set, and the Peter and Chicken two pack.

- Finally, there's the review of the large talking Stewie, and the deluxe Evil Monkey.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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