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Review of Leonard Nimoy and R.E.M.
Celebrity Simpsons action figures

NECA
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Introduction

NECA had originally announced that their Celebrity Simpons line of action figures would included 25 celebrities, one for each year of the show. Wave 1 gave us 6 figures, while wave 2 upped that to 8 figures, and this third wave included a whopping 11! Unless my math is off (something that wouldn't surprise regular readers), that's 25 already, and yet they've announced wave 4 with 12 more figures!

Ah, but the fine folks at NECA are pretty smart. Of the 25 figures so far, 5 have been regular cast members, not celebrities, and therefore don't count. Also, when they've done a band (so far, three members of the Who and three members of R.E.M.), they've counted the band as the celebrity, not the individuals.

That means they've done 16 celebrities so far, and wave 4 will make it 21.  I have my suspicions that Penn and Teller will only count as 1 celebrity as well (sorry, Teller), making the total after 4 waves just 20 celebrities, and leaving space for 5 more in the fifth wave.

Wave 3 has been around for a couple weeks now, and I've already reviewed two thirds of it in previous columns. Tonight I'm wrapping up with a look at the three members of R.E.M. (from the episode "Homer the Moe") as well as Leonard Nimoy (from 'The Springfield Files").

Wave 4 is already up for pre-order in some places, and contains additional nerd favorites like Weird Al.  I can't wait to see what they do with the fifth wave, particularly in relation to the band they choose to be one of the five remaining celebrities - c'mon, Ramones!

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Packaging - ***1/2
These packages aren't innovative in their basic design. They're simply bubble and card back packages, not unlike what we've seen for years. And yes, there's one annoying twisty tie.

But what I love is all the personalization. On the back you'll find small photos of the entire wave, but also a nice description of the episode on which the character was featured. Along with some overall terrific artwork, the character specific information takes them from average to above.

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Sculpting - Nimoy ****; R.E.M. ***1/2
I'll admit it - Nimoy was going to be one of my favorites. However, NECA has done a terrific job capturing the on screen design, particularly with the hair style and elongated upper lip. The nose seems off just a bit, but I'm going to cut them some slack there.

All the members of R.E.M. look terrific, and the poses are well chosen. The arms and body stances marry nicely with the guitars, and I particularly like the hunched poster of Mike Mills, along with the slightly downward cast eyes and tilted head. They look terrific together, and fans of the band should be pleased.

These are all in a 5" scale, and fit in perfectly with the original World of Springfield figures from Playmates.

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Paint - ***
The paint work is pretty solid this time around, especially on Nimoy, Stipe, and Mills. Buck has a few minor issues, and he has some wonky eyes, but the issues are fairly minor overall.

I'm particularly impressed with the bronze color of Nimoy's jacket. This is a particularly hard color to get good coverage and an even finish, and yet they've done a terrific job.

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Articulation - **1/2
No big surprises here - neck, shoulders and waist, all cut joints. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...these could really use a smidge more articulation, such as cut wrists, but it's certainly not a deal breaker for me.

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Accessories - Stipe ***; the rest Bupkis
While I'm giving Buck and Mills a bupkis here, it's important to note that it's only because the guitars are glued in place. Let's face it - they're technically accessories, but since you can't remove them, I'm not counting them here.

Stipe has one accessory, pretty common for this series. It's a microphone of course, and appears to be another unique take on this standard extra. It fits nicely in his left hand.

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
Yea, these are mostly fun for the Simpsons nerd, especially if you were a giant fan of the WoS series from back in the day. You can't alter the poses a whole lot, but when you mix them in with the other 200+ figures, you have a chance to mix and match in some very cool ways.

Value - ***
You can get these for around $13 each, which is a solid value these days for a 5 - 7" scale figure of any sort.  The runs on these are probably not huge, and combining the Simpsons with the celebrity adds some additional value as well.

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
I almost went with a full four stars for Nimoy, but to be honest, that's because he's such a favorite of mine, not purely because of the quality of this figure. Had they managed to squeeze in an accessory with him, it might have been a different story.

Still, he's sweet. And if you're a big fan of R.E.M., you should be very happy with the outcome of the band members.

One of the things that I'm particularly pleased with is that many of the characters in the first 3 waves are designed to work together, coming from the same episodes. They have tried not to leave anyone hanging out there by themselves if possible, and even worked to use variants of the main cast members that make sense with the celebrity selections.

Let's get to wave 4 fast, and get wave 5 announced even faster!  Even if it ends up being the final wave, I'll be happy that NECA worked to get Simpsons fans 37 more figures to add to their collections.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Nimoy ****; R.E.M. ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Stipe ***; the rest Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the set of 8 for $110, or the singles for $14 each.

- Entertainment Earth has them by the case.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

And don't forget, series 4 is up for pre-order as well!

Related Links -
The rest of the wave is covered in part 1 and part 2, and wave 2 was in part 1 and part 2, as well as first series in two parts, here and here. I've also looked at the new Simpsons Lego mini-figures in two parts, here and here. I have a full listing of my past Simpsons reviews here, as well as a long feature on the World of Springfield here.

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Celebrity Simpsons Nimoy & R.E.M. action figures by NECA

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

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