Family Guy Series 8
Diane Simmons, Bathrobe Quagmire, Exercise Chris,
Secret Agent Astronaut Millionaire Peter

It just so happens that the latest DVD for the Family Guy show was released this week, and on it is a terrific extra called Toys, Toys, Toys Galore.  If features Mez, Damian and other folks from Mezco along with the guys at Plan-B Toys, and covers the process of designing and producing the figures.  If you get a chance to see it, I recommend it as it's informative and amusing.  For years now I've been saying in my reviews how difficult it is for sculptors to take a 2 dimensional character to 3, since far too often I heard collectors say "it's just a hard can it be to sculpt!".  It was nice to see a confirmation of this in the feature.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Family Guy line might be at an end.  The lack of new product announcements at SDCC, along with a relatively tight lipped front over at Mezco has most people assuming the worst.  Series 8, with Diane Simmons, Exercise Chris, Robe Quagmire and Secret Agent Millionaire Peter might be it, and I'll be sorely disappointed if I never get the Black Knight or Lando Griffin, both of whom were discussed for wave 9.


This series is just now hitting online retailers, but it may show up at Hot Topic, Suncoast or Spencers at some point.  Expect to pay around $12 - $13.

BTW, there's also a variant as usual.  Quagmire comes in a different colored robe.

Packaging - ***
If the line does end, at least we've had a nice, consistent appearance to the packaging.  That should make the MOCers who display their stuff happy.

Otherwise, there's not much to say.  Bubble, card back, logo...

Sculpting - Peter ***1/2; Chris, Diane ***; Quagmire **
The best overall sculpt of the bunch belongs to Peter, wearing his ensemble that he put together for his class reunion.  Desperate to impress, he was a Secret Agent Millionaire Astronaut.  He's wearing the space suit, cowboy hat and big gold chain.  The chain is real, but not real gold unfortunately.  The cowboy hat attaches with a peg, and while the face mask on the suit is a separate piece, it does NOT open up.  Trying to do so can result in popping a peg free on one or both sides.  Trust me, I know.  Which is why there's a photo with the visor open.

Chris is decent, although the expression doesn't quite work for me.  It's reasonably good though as is the work on Diane.  Actually, Diane is a very good translation of the character from the show, although it will take some getting used to seeing her standing.  Uh, cuz you know, she like sits behind a news desk all the time.

Quagmire doesn't look too bad from straight on, and I think they did get his body and head proportions down.  But in person you quickly realize that his face is smooshed in quite a bit, resulting in a very flat, weird appearance.  I'm not sure if it was intended or just a production issue, but either way, it doesn't make the leap from 2-D to 3-D as well as past Quagmires.

All four have hand sculpts that work well with their characters, and both Diane and Glen can hold their accessories easily.

Remember these are all in a 6" scale.  Most are right around that 6", but of course Peter is 7 1/2" tall including his cowboy hat.

Paint - Peter, Chris, Quagmire ***1/2; Diane ***;
Paint has been an issue at times with this line, but this series is one of the cleaner ones so far.  At least based on the set of four I received, but I can't make any guarantees, since I have yet to see them on the pegs in quantity.

Diane has a little slop around her hair line, which hurts here a bit more than the other three.  With those, there's little to no slop, and the cut lines are quite clean.  Tampo work, like Quagmire's flower pattern or Peter's U.S. flags, is quite well done, and smaller details like the stripes on Chris' sweats, are clean and neat.  The bright colors are generally consistent in coverage and finish, and they tend to match up pretty well with the cartoon counterparts.

Articulation - ***
While the articulation for most of the line has been all over the place, all four of these sport about as many joints as they can.

They all have cut necks (cut for Chris and Peter, ball for Quagmire and Diane) and cut waists, ball jointed shoulders (jointed only at the torso), angle cut elbows, and cut wrists.

Technically, Quagmire isn't cut at the waist, but has cut joints at the top of his legs instead.

This is about as good of articulation as you can get here, considering the designs, and it does give you quite a bit of poseability in the arms.  A bit more in the neck would have been nice though, as the ball joints there don't work quite as well as past release.  Obviously, Chris and Peter can't utilize a ball joint at the neck, so giving them one would have been a moot point.

Accessories - Chris, Quagmire, Diane ***; Peter **1/2
The line has been known in the past for their very cool, very episode specific accessories.  Unfortunately, this wave is a bit light in this department.

Peter is awfully episode specific due to his outfit, but the only true 'accessory' is the cowboy hat.  It fits on the head with a peg that attaches tightly.

Diane is much more generic in her accessories, with a new pile of random blank papers and the usual microphone.  These fit nicely in her hands, but only the microphone is really useful.

Chris has the largest number of accessories, as well as the largest accessory - the treadmill.  This comes in two pieces which snap together, and once they are together they can be quite difficult to take apart again.  There's also a short stick with a string and 'treat' attached to get him to run.  The stick goes into a hole in his hat, and is actually articulated once in place.  It can tilt a bit due to the ball/socket design of the attachment.

Quagmire has two accessories as well.  There's the martini glass, which seems new but I'm betting I'm just forgetting it, and his keys.  The keys are HUGE, way oversized for anything realistic even in a cartoon world. These are his car keys from the exact episode and scene in which he was wearing this bathrobe, so that aspect is cool.  Too bad the execution of the keys didn't turn out a tad more in scale.

Fun Factor - ***
Oh, these aren't traditional action figures in the sense of conflict and battle, but you'll still find a few ways to have fun with them.  Especially Quagmire.  Giggity!

Value - **1/2
With the lack of accessories, I almost dropped these another half star.  The only thing stopping me is that I *think* this was an extremely low production run, driving up the costs in general.  That also means that (like many 'tail enders') this series could easily be the toughest to find in 5 or 10 years.

Things to Watch Out For - 
If you're lucky enough to find these on a peg someplace, obviously you'll want to watch the paint.  It doesn't seem to be as much of a problem though in more recent waves, with a greater consistency in quality these days.

Also remember that Peter's visor isn't intended to go up.  Do so and you can pop out the pegs on the side.  Trust me.

Overall - Peter, Chris, Diane ***; Quagmire **1/2
I really wanted to like this series, since it may very well be the last.  But the fewer accessories, combined with the less appealing variants (at least for me) ended up leaving me bored.

Quagmire was the one with the most potential, but in person the weird smashed face really hurt his overall appearance.

If I were going to only get one, it would be Diane of course, to fill out the newsroom with the final member.  She's a decent looking figure that should fit in nicely with the rest of the line, but I'm betting she disappears fast.

Neither the Peter or Chris variant are high on my list of wants, but some fans may find them far more appealing.  The articulation is solid, the overall paint application has improved, and they are certainly unique in appearance.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt -  Peter ***1/2; Chris, Diane ***; Quagmire **
Paint - Peter, Chris, Quagmire ***1/2; Diane ***;
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Chris, Quagmire, Diane ***; Peter **1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value -  **1/2
Overall - Peter, Chris, Diane ***; Quagmire **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these terrific sponsors:

- Amazing Toyz also has the singles for $12 each, or the full set of four at $44.

- CornerStoreComics has him for $34.

Related Links -
I've covered most of the line:

- Here's my reviews of wave 1, wave 2, wave 3, wave 4, wave 5, wave 6, and wave 7.

- 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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