Simpsons Wave 6

I wandered by my local Toys R Us tonight, hoping to find a Treehouse of Horror for a friend.  There wasn't anything on the floor, so I wandered up to the front desk to ask the young lady there if they had come in.  She was quite helpful, if not too knowlegable about the line.  "What are you looking for?"  "The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror."  "Oh, nope, we didn't get any in yet."  I started to turn to leave, when she said, off hand "We thought we got them in on this truck, but it was just more figures."  I stopped in my tracks.  "Uh, you got in regular figures?"  "Yep, but not that Treehouse of Horror thing."

Thanking her, I headed back to the aisle, where I hunted up a friendly stockboy.  He was nice enough to pull the case for me, and sure was the new wave 6!  Considering how poor our TRU is at getting anything new, that we received this now is shocking to say the least.  I picked them up and headed home.

This wave includes Frink, Carl, Mascot Homer, Snake, Hibbert and Bleeding Gums Murphy.

Packaging - **1/2
Same stuff, different wave.  However, I have one new complaint.  After opening six new figures and four new playsets this week, I realize that they have gone wild in their attempts to keep these suckers locked down.  You need a Swiss Army knife to get into these things now, between all the tape, twisty ties and screws.  On this wave of figures, the twisty ties have been taped down as well!

Sculpting - ****
Wow - this wave is simply awesome.  They've nailed most of the characters, and I think that Carl is absolutely perfect.  As a character, he's not all that special, but as a figure he's dead on.  I think he's my current favorite just because he looks so good.

Homer is the Sunday Best head on a new body again, so there isn't much to say there.  Hibbert, Snake, and Bleeding Gums Murphy are all right in scale, and look just like their on screen counterparts.

Another nice touch this time - every one of these figures can hold all their accessories!  The hand sculpts are much better, although Homer's right hand fits the mitt, when it really should have been the left.  But if you force it you can get it to work.

If I have one complaint, and I always do, it's that Frink's scale is off.  He's too small, and if you were disappointed in the size of Jimbo you'll really be upset here.  I think Frink should have been similar in stature to Lenny and Carl, but this figure is much smaller.

Paint - ****
Most of the paint work on these figures is good, but there are a few cases of glop spots, but overall the paint ops are excellent.  Snake's tattoo looks great, and Frink's eyes are properly painted under the glasses.

Even the fine details, like Murphy's beard or Homer's suspenders, are straight and even.

Articulation - **1/2
Four points again.  All the figures stand perfectly fine on their own though, and the arm sculpts are designed to pose the figure with it's various accessories properly, so the lack of articulation isn't as big an issue as it could be.

Accessories - ****
Wow again!  Is Playmates listening, or just smart enough on their own to realize that cool accessories were important?  There's almost no re-use in this line, and some of the new accessories are perfect.

Murphy only has two - his sax and a copy of his album, Sax on the Beach.  Instead of cheaping out and using Lisa's sax, the made a much smaller sax for Murphy, accurate to the show.  I also don't recognize the square used for the album.

Hibbert has one re-use, a clipboard.  Yep, another clipboard.  But since we get four more new accessories along with that - stethoscope, medical bag, reflex hammer, and 'shot' gun (remember the one he made Bart sweat with?) - there's no room to complain.

Mascot Homer has the most re-use, but variations tend to do that.  His accessories also make far more sense with him then with the previous figures.  He comes with a new hat with the Springfield Isotopes emblem, and a re-used Number 1 hand, and radio.

Carl also has two re-used accessories, with the mug of beer and bowling ball bag.  But again we get three more cool new accessories - a container of donuts, drum of radioactive waste, and single donut.  I don't recall another single donut, with frosting, and no bite out of it.

Snake has three very cool and very specific accessories.  He comes with hand cuffs, one side of which can fit on his hand, a bag of money, and a gun.  So much for the idea that Playmates or Fox was worried about guns...

Finally, there's Frink.  He re-uses the most re-used accessory ever - the clipboard.  But I'm not complaining, because we get another 3 new and unique accessories for him, including a single flask, a rack of test tubes, and his brainiac cap (okay, I don't remember the 'correct' name!).

Talking Features - **
This wave takes a hit here.  Ignoring Homer, who works on other sets like you would expect any Homer variant to, the rest of the line has very few new lines.  I didn't check all possibilities, but here's a quick run down of the obvious ones:

Murphy in the Church - "All I had was a little brother who grew up to become a doctor."

Hibbert in the Church - "Heheheheheh", "Homer's illness is either caused by ingesting spoiled food or, hehe, some sort of voodoo curse."

Carl in the Bowl-a-rama - "Hey, you want to come bowling with us tonight?", "Aw, can the corn, bonehead." (I swear that's what I hear!)

Carl in the Plant - "Hey, Homer, see you at Moes?", "Ah nuts, I mean da, ah nuts.", "Yea, too bad we got to work, huh Homer?", "Homer, quit  wallowing in self pity."

Snake at the Arcade - "I'll be back on the street in 24 hours.", "Sah hah, good bye student loan payment."

Frink at the Arcade - "It's out of it's matrix... nobody move!"

As you can see, we're not talking about too many new lines, and I didn't replace any older figures on any playsets with these.

Value - ***1/2
Toys R Us charged me $6 each, so the value isn't quite as good as it used to be.  But considering the number of new accessories we got with this wave, I can tolerate it.

Overall - ***1/2
This wave is so close to perfect it's rubbing elbows.  If it weren't for the lack of lines with the playsets, I would have given these a solid four stars.

Where to Buy
Toys R Us are getting these first this time - it seems to switch every wave.  I bet Target will have them very soon, and hopefully Wal-mart isn't far behind. On-line, tons of folks have them:

- pre-order this stuff from New Force Comics.  Nope, you won't be able to get this wave because they are sold out, but do it now for future waves.  You won't be disappointed!

Action Figure Express sells them by the case for $75 plus shipping. (MROTW affiliate)

- Planet Action Figure should have them in, but it still says a 'preorder'.  You can buy a single set for about $35 plus shipping from them, but I've never bought from them so I can't vouch for their service.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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