Where The Wild Things Are
McFarlane Toys have been a leader of unique licenses, innovative
sculpting, and amazing detail for the last decade. Now, after a
couple questionable choices in the last year in outside licensing (can
anyone say Slapshot?) they've produced a beautiful line of figures based
on the famous Maurice Sendak story, Where the Wild Things Are, written in
Children have loved this fairy tale for many years, and parents
appreciate the simple beauty of the story. The characters are
visually arresting, and seem a perfect avenue for McToys to produce a
line. These are selling at most retailers, but I picked them up on
line from Amazon/TRU for $47. Amazon always has a ten buck off
coupon (right now it is AMAZSPECNNVV), so you can pick them up for about
Packaging - ***
These are far too heavy to be carded, and so they come boxed in very
attractive boxes. The graphics are bright and appropriate to each
character, and you can remove the figure from the box without completely
destroying it. Sure, the three or four twisties used to hold them in
are tied in some sort of bizarre Asian torture knots, but snip the wires
and the slide right out.
Sculpting - ****
Simply amazing. McFarlane Toys is well known for their great
sculpts, but even these are above their usual ability. Each of the
characters looks perfect, with the sculpting of the hair, faces, horns,
all coming together to produce one of the finest looking lines ever
manufacture. The sculpting really is that good.
Articulation - Bupkis
There are four points on most of the figures, occasionally 5.
Usually the arms have some sort of cut joint, as do the legs. Those
who have tails might be able to move them, but overall, the articulation
is severely limited. I wouldn't hold that against them too much,
except that half of these figures have a tremendous failing - they can't
stand easily on their own. Bernard, Max and Goatboy are okay, but
Emil, Aaron, and Moishe are doomed to eventually weaken and droop, while
Tzippy is a complete loss right from the start, unable to stand in any
position. I have to admit that I was tremendously disappointed when
I opened these up. They showed such promise, but it was not to be.
UPDATE - I managed to break Tzippy's right leg free, and was able
to provide a more stable pose. I'm not thrilled with it, but it's
certainly better than it was. I'm upgrading the Articulation score
from Bupkis to *1/2.
Quality - **
For the McFarlane lover who likes their toys heavy, these will score
well. I suspect you could kill someone, Columbo-style, with one of
these babies. However, this extreme heaviness in the body and head
means that the legs are even more likely to wilt with time and cause the
figures to droop. And as is often the case, one of my figures
dropped a leg right out of the box. I was able to reattach it, but
this seems to be a much greater problem for McFarlane than other
Accessories - ***
Not a lot in the area of accessories, but Max comes with his crown and
scepter, and every character comes with a neat little stand.
Unfortunately, these stands don't help all that much with the figures that
are doomed to topple.
Value - ***
I'm assuming these guys will be eight bucks at most stores. The best
value is Max and Goat Boy, who come as a two pack along with Max's
accessories. If you just consider what you're getting, six bucks
would be a much more appropriate price point, but I'm sure that there
aren't that many of these figures being produced, so the lower demand that
an unusual license like this pulls means higher prices are necessary.
If the simple lack of articulation had been the only problem, these
figures would have gotten ***1/2 easy. Let's face it, with chunky
bodies, big heads, and stubby limbs, these characters aren't really well
designed up front to be turned into any sort of highly articulated
figure. But the sculpting is amazing, and extremely true to the
source material. Of course, the big problem here is the poor
design. These characters should be able to stand on their own, and
it's a simple matter of center of gravity. The designers surely know
that if the center of gravity of heavy figures like this isn't positioned
around the one point they have standing (most of them have their second
leg in the air, unable to touch the ground in any way), they will topple
and fall. A fix would be simple - include a thin steel rod, maybe
three inches long. The rod can run from the stand to a small hole in
the figures posterior - no jokes, please. By using this rod at the
center of gravity for each figure, you'd never have the problem of them
slowly bending and wilting over time.
Individually, I rank them as follows - Max ***1/2, Bernard
***1/2, Goat Boy ***, Moishe ***, Emil **1/2, Aaron *1/2, and Tzippy,
well, Tzippy is truly the one to completely avoid if you don't feel the
absolute need to have the complete set.
I'll readily admit that my
opinion has been colored by my disappointment. When I opened these
figures, I felt like I was Charlie Brown, and McToys was Lucy, pulling the
football out from under me one more time.
- since Tzippy is posing much better now, I'm upgrading the overall score
from **1/2 to ***. Also, Tzippy himself would rank a **.
Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford