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Fanboy and Chum Chum
Jazwares

Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares


The last 10 years have seen some terrific cartoons make it on the air, and creativity has been the name of the game. Sometimes gross, sometimes bizarre, but more often than not entertaining, the current crop of animated shows for the under 10 set are some of the best I've ever seen.

One of the unique shows is Fanboy and Chum Chum. Nerds like me have a soft spot for this show, since the title characters are fans of all thing geeky, including superheroes and movies. They wear their own versions of hero costumes, complete with underwear on the outside.

Jazwares has the license to produce figures and toys, and tonight I'm looking at their 3" scale characters that are exclusive to Toys R Us.

There are four in the first wave, including the obvious Fanboy and Chum Chum. There's also Man-arctica, their favorite hero, as well as Boog, a bully nemesis.

You can pick these up at the aforementioned Toys R Us right now, and they happen to be on sale (with all the other Fanboy and Chum Chum merchandise, as well as Adventure Time) for an additional 25% off. That brings the normally priced $6 figures down to $4.50, quite a deal in the current market! I wish they'd discount the Phineas and Ferb stuff too...
Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares
Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares
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Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares
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Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares
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Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares
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Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares
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Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares
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Packaging - ***
There's nothing super special about the cardback and bubble packaging, but it's not wasteful in size, and it does have a ton of character personalization. It mentions the action features right on the front, includes a 'Try Me' feature where appropriate, and gives you a clear view of the figure inside.

The only downside is the lack of a full line up on the back of the card. I'm assuming these four are all that's in the first wave since that's all that was on the shelf, but without that you can't immediately be sure.

Sculpting - ***
These are relatively small figures, although their width and depth makes up a bit for their height.

Fanboy is just over 3" tall, while Chum Chum is right about 2". Boog is also about 3", but if you include his convenience store work hat complete with straw, he tops out at 4 1/4". Man-arctica is the largest, at just over 3 1/2" tall.

The scale between them seems pretty good compared to the screen versions, although Boog seems a smidge small to me. It's always tough with cartoon characters though, who can change in size in relation to each other from frame to frame.

The detail work on each is appropriate, and I think they've captured the essence of all four characters in their choice of expression and stance.

In fact, if not for one glaring issue that seems to cut across all four, I'd have bumped this score up another half star.

That issue is mold and/or seam lines - Fanboy, Chum Chum and Boog have some extreme, obvious seams where pieces connect. These aren't quite as bad on Man-arctica, but he has very obvious white marks on his otherwise translucent blue gloves where the pieces were snapped off a sprue.

These sorts of issues remind you that these aren't high end collectibles - they're pretty basic toys for kids.

Paint - **
Let's be honest - these are 3" tall and only six bucks. You shouldn't expect - and aren't going to get - the same paint quality you will on a $20 collector figure.

Even with that perspective, these are pretty weak in this category. Some of the paint is gloppy, especially the white, and not all the coverage is consistent or clean. Fanboy's shoes aren't consistently black, his mouth has sloppy coverage, and even Chum Chum's tongue doesn't quite meet up with his mouth.

The glow-in-the-dark work is decent, and adds a nice touch to the overall appearance of the figures.

The smaller details on some - like the emblems - are done with tampos, and this works quite well. They are straight and even, and Fanboy's is particularly well done considering the scale.

Articulation - Fanboy, Chum Chum ***1/2; Man-arctica ***; Boog **1/2; 
You have to give them some props here - considering the small size, these are surprisingly well articulated. That doesn't mean all the joints are super useful, but they still got a whole bunch in.

Fanboy has what appears to be a ball jointed neck, but I had the most trouble getting this one to work. He also has pin/disc ball joints at the shoulders and hips, and cut joints at the top of the shoes, top of the gloves, and waist. He can stand great on his own with the huge feet as well.

Chum Chum probably has a traditional ball joint at the neck as well, but with they chubby head and body, it really just works as a cut joint. He has the same pin/disc style ball joints at the shoulders and hips, as well as a cut waist and cut joints at the gloves. Chum Chum is a rarity in that he can actually sit down properly.

Boog has a bobble neck - more on that in the 'action feature' section. He also has the same style shoulders as the others, but there's nothing else for him, hence the lower score here.

Finally, there's Man-arctica, who has a cut neck, cut waist, cut elbows, and pin/disc style ball joints at the shoulders, hips AND knees. Since the knees can both turn and move forward and back, these joints have quite a bit of mobility, but the simple swivels at the elbow hurt the overall poseablity of the arms. I'm also a little disappointed that the pin/disc pieces ar the knees, hips and shoulders are white, clashing with the translucent body.

Accessories - Boog **1/2; the rest Bupkis
Boog gets a clear plastic base with a short support that attaches to his butt and feet. This keeps his rather large head upright over those tiny tootsies.

For Fanboy, Chum Chum and Man-arctica, this category garners a big goose egg. Considering the price point, it's not surprising, and they did add in the next category to help offset it...

Action Feature - **1/2
Everyone gets some sort of extra feature, starting with a liberal use of glow-in-the- dark paint. The translucent outfit on Man-arctica, along with the underwear on Fanboy and Chum Chum, is done up in a good GITD paint, which works fairly well given enough light to charge it up and a dark enough room to show it off.

That's the only thing special about Man-arctica, but both Fanboy and Chum Chum have eyeballs that pop forward in their head when you press a small button on the back. It's mildly amusing in a Tex Avery sort of way.

Boog has neither of these features. Instead, he has a bobble head, which works well if you're into that sort of thing.

Fun Factor - ***
With the two main characters, one cool superhero, and one antagonist, the first wave has plenty of play potential for kids that are big fans. The articulation is a nice touch, and kids may appreciate the 'action features' more than adults.

Value - ***1/2
It's so nice to find something that's actually a great value at the toy store - so much has gotten ridiculously expensive. At $6, these are a solid value, but with the current 25% off sale, they get bumped up another half star in this category!

Things to Watch Out For -
Take a little care with the small joints at the gloves and boots of some of the characters, like Fanboy. I didn't have any trouble breaking them free and getting them to work smoothly, but don't force them as they are quite tiny.

Overall - ***
The big plus here is the price - if you pick these up on sale for $4.50, you'll be getting a great deal. Even at $6, they're a good price, something that you just don't see enough of at your local store these days.

The sculpts, articulation and action features are reasonable as well, although both the paint quality and lack of accessories hurt them. It's nice to see someone still producing cartoon based lines (Ren and Stimpy will always hold a place in my heart as one of my first favorite action figure series as a collector), and these look good next to the Phineas and Ferb series also out right now.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - **
Articulation - Fanboy, Chum Chum ***1/2; Man-arctica ***; Boog **1/2; 
Accessories - Boog **1/2; the rest Bupkis
Action Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Get your butt over to Toys R Us while they are still on sale!

Related Links -
If you're into these smaller style cartoon figures, check out the Adventure Time set (even smaller) or the Hop PVC's.

Discussion:
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Fanboy and Chum Chum action figures by Jazwares


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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