The set is the first two story play set in the line, and includes four unique characters - Lucy Lawless in her Xena outfit, The Collector,
Clobber Girl and Stretch Dude. You'll only find it at Toys R Us stores, although they did do pre-orders for this set at
during the summer. The smart collector ordered then, but you should still have a decent chance of finding them on the shelf if you get
your butt to your local store PRONTO. Ask the helpful sales people to look up SKU# 733655. It's not a cheap set at $40, but if
you've bought any of the other recent TRU exclusives, it won't be a surprise. Good luck!
BTW, if you're looking for a great web site
for all things World of Springfield, check out the Simpsons
Collector Sector. They're the best on the web, and my being a
moderator there doesn't have anything to do with that opinion. *ahem*
Packaging - ***
The box appearance is no surprise, although there's a couple changes to the
engineering. First, there's no screws this time - whee! Actually,
most of the THOH sets may not have had screws, but since we're so used to them
with the regular sets it's worth mentioning.
Second, the button can't be reached easily from
the front of the package, so they've included a spiffy little green attachment
that reaches the button. You could probably use it for a stool for WOS
figures if you were so inclined...
Sculpting - ****
Easily the best part of this entire set - figures and environment - is the
sculpting. Let's start with the environment itself.
There's lots of detail here, at least in terms
of sculpt. The most noticeable difference with this set is the two
stories, and you're figures may get a nose bleed standing on the upper
walkway. This set is as taller than the New Year's Eve set, and actually
reaches about half way up the pole on top. The set is wider than a
standard set as well! Actual dimensions are about 11.5" tall,
8.5" wide. That's pretty impressive, and the two stories are really
two stories, not a scaled down version.
Next to notice are the various details. On
the top floor are two icons of geek culture - the robot B-9 from Lost in Space,
and Gilligan (in a Simpsons form) from Gilligan's Island. Both are three
dimensional, sculpted in relief style against the back wall. They are both
trapped in their plastic prisons, just like your action figures.
On a side note, I've heard people call this
robot 'Robbie'. That's a completely
different robot, one that was black, with separate legs made up of large
balls, and a larger clear dome. He actually was on Lost in Space on at
least one occasion, but this robot is B-9,
the robot we all loved as kids on LIS.
On the lower floor, there are two details of
note. First is the tank of bubbling liquid, reproduced here in realistic
detail. The liquid oozing out is done in soft translucent plastic, another
But the best touch is the back wall, where Bart
and Lisa have busted through. The hole in the wall is shaped to match
their heads, and is a fantastic addition to the overall appearance.
On to the characters. Bart, Lisa, Xena and
the Collector all have exceptional sculpts. The two kids are in scale with
the regular kids, and the two adults are in perfect scale with the rest of the
line. From a pure sculpt perspective, Xena is the big winner of this set
though. She has a ton of detail in her costume, something very unusual for
most of the basic WOS designs.
Bart's neck and arms are made of soft rubber as
well, giving him the ability to stretch! That's extremely creative and a
surprising addition to the figure. The arms and neck feel a little thin,
and you need to be careful with them. I have a bad feeling that stretching
them a little too much or a little too hard will result in lost limbs, but I
really appreciate the addition of the feature anyway.
Paint - **1/2
Unfortunately, the paint application doesn't hold up as well as the
sculpting. While most of the primary colors are consistent and clean,
there's enough over spray and poor definition at the borders of the colors to be
annoying. The small details are poorly painted, and in some cases a lack
of any paint op hurts what could have been the finest play set in the entire
For example, the candle sticks on the back wall
lack the kind of paint detail you'd expect. The candles are all yellow,
with no difference between the flame and the body, and the candle holder is
painted the same color as the wall, blending right in. B-9 is really just
two colors, and there's no detail paint work on the large sections of the play
set. The worst of the paint offenses is Bart's hands - rather than being
yellow, as you'd expect (and as we saw on the prototype), they are red just like
That's too bad, since this is really the biggest
issue holding this set back from being an overall perfect job.
Articulation - **1/2
The figures all have neck, shoulders and waist, same as always. I suppose
I could give Bart some extra points here for his stretchiness, but I've already
given him extra points in the sculpting category for that same reason, so it
won't happen here.
Accessories - ***
There's only one accessory, very surprising for a WOS play set. Most
come with a handful, but at least the accessory makes perfect sense - it's the
Collector's blaster gun - and it's obviously a new accessory.
While I'm sure the set was more expensive to
produce (two stories have to be more costly than one), at this price point I
would expect more than one accessory. There was also plenty of interesting
ideas in the episode that could have been used.
Talking Feature - ****
I'm happier with the talking feature on these episode specific sets, because
the value lies in these particular figures and the specific lines from that
episode, rather than something general. There's plenty of lines here too,
at least for these four main characters, and some are serious classics:
"I'm not insane - I simply wish to take you bck to my lair and make you my
"Good night Wretch Dude and Slobber Girl. Sweet Screams!"
"Behold I am the Collector, and I'm here to add you to my collection!"
"All right Collector...Stick this in your tweezers!"
"You removed it from its original packaging!"
and the trademark Xena yell.
"What do you think I've been trying to do!"
"I must only use this power to annoy."
"Wait a minute - I can stretch! Look at me!"
"Bart, just le me drop and save yourself!"
"Your collecting days are over, Collector."
"Bart, with these powers we can become superheroes!"
"I don't think the real Radioactive Man wears a plastic smock with a
picture of himself on it."
There's a negative in this area though.
When this set is in demo mode, as it is in the package, it only plays Bart's
lines. While this might seem to not be a big deal, there are lots of
people who prefer to leave the set in demo mode even when it's opened up, so
that they don't have to connect the figures to the pegs and yet get to hear all
the lines. That won't be possible with this set, and I'm sure lots of
people will be disappointed.
Value - ***
Forty bucks seems to be Toys R Us idea of a good price. It's really
not as bad with this set as some of the previous non-THOH TRU exclusives,
particularly since these characters are so unique and in demand. I'd be
happy to say that the figures are worth $20, and the play set is worth $15, so
this set is really only about five bucks more than a perfect price point.
Overall - ***1/2
If aliens attacked and I could only save one single World of Springfield
toy, it would be this play set. For me, being the ultra-geek-collector,
this set is the coolest of the cool.
However, I might be an uber-geek, but I'm not an
idiot. It is disappointing that at $40 for this set we didn't get more
paint detail, cleaner paint applications, and a few more accessories.
While the part of my brain that loves the Simpsons says this is a four star set,
my rational brain reminds me that there are some real issues.
Where to Buy -
Stop staring at your computer screen, brush the cheese doodles off your shirt and get hiking to your local Toys R Us. That's the
place to find them, and now is the time to do it! Oh, and don't rub your eyes with cheese doodle powder on
your hands - trust me.
They have also just popped up again at Amazon.com,
but you better hurry! I don't expect they'll last very long on-line.