Packaging - **1/2
I like the card art, especially the changing circle photos for each wave.
There's the series number in the top right, and some decent text on the
back. Nothing amazing, but adequate work with enough important visual
clues to find the figures on the shelf.
Sculpting - Louie ****; Sarcastic Man, Kilted
Willie ***1/2; Botz, Luigi ***; Miss Hoover **
Here's a pretty wide range of scores, and that represents the extremes of
this series. While some of them look terrific, others (particularly Miss
Hoover) look far below average.
Let's talk about poor Miss Hoover for a
minute. She's joining the ranks of Database and Reverend Lovejoy at the
bottom of the barrel. She's not just my least favorite of these six -
she's easily in the worst three of the entire series.
Perhaps her face is just too hard to capture in
3-D. Perhaps, she really does stand leaning over this far, but I don't
recall it. Perhaps she's dead accurate and I'm just going blind. But
her sculpt is one of the worst they've done so far.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Louie.
He is dead on, and captures the look of the character perfectly. I love
the craggy appearance of Louie's face and his stern expression.
Luigi, Sarcastic Man and Kilted Willie fall in
the middle. All three have decent sculpts, but none are perfect.
Willie is my favorite figure in the series, but he's slightly too tall compared
to past Willies. Luigi looks good at first, but the more I looked at him
the more his exposed upper lip sticking out under his moustache bugged me.
And Sarcastic Man is a great obscure character, and the figure is fairly good,
but the facial expression isn't quite as good as Botz and Louie.
Most of the hands are sculpted to hold
accessories, although for some of them (like Sarcastic Man) I'm not sure what
they are supposed to hold of their own. Poor Hoover can't hold much of
anything well, especially the large Gimme Gimme sign.
Paint - **1/2
The paint ops are disappointing here, although not every figure had a serious
There's lots of stray paint marks, spots of
color in odd places, poor definition between the eye whites and the yellow face,
slightly off center pupils, and bleed from one color to another. None of
the figures seem immune, but at least the white of Luigi's outfit - always a
tough color to keep clean and consistent - looks good. A tad plain, since
everything is white, but well done nonetheless.
Willie has an odd sculpting detail that lacks
paint - his clover tattoo on his leg. It's sculpted on the inside of his leg,
odd for a tattoo, but not painted. His overall paint ops are the best
though, particularly with all the excellent detail in the skirt and
bagpipe. And yes, he's buck nekkid under that kilt! NOTE: It's been
pointed out by people far more acquainted with the Scottish culture than I that
it's not a tattoo. That's the hilt of his dagger sticking up out of the
Articulation - **1/2
Neck, shoulders, waist. See any good movies lately?
Accessories - Willie ****; the rest ***1/2
This is another varied lot. Most of the stuff is original, but there's
a little re-use. Most of the accessories are extremely accurate to the
characters though, and look great.
Louie has a re-use in his rifle, but also comes
with a martini glass, carton of rat milk, and briefcase of money.
Luigi has some large accessories, with his open
pizza box (with pizza inside), bottle of wine (although there's no label), and
sign for his restaurant. He also has his hat, and like the other men in
this series, has a tough time keeping it on his head.
The Sarcastic Man has some very unique
accessories, including the "World's Best Jacket" and the night vision
goggles. That's also the 'ultimate' belt, and he can wear it if you're of
the mind. His hat fits terribly though, and has a nasty tendency to
topple off all the time.
Botz has very appropriate accessories from the
episode, including the suitcase, Happy Little Elves video, rope and tape.
Kilted Willie has perhaps the coolest accessory
of the entire series - the Loch Ness Monster doll. He also has his
bagpipes, hat (which also falls off his head quite easily), and a fourth
accessory that I can't identify. What the heck is the screen on the
tripod? (NOTE: That would be the 'nessie finder' that Frink brought
along!) Oh, and I don't know if he's hold those pipes right - I'm not
Scottish, and I threw the card back out before I made sure I'd figured it out.
Miss Hoover makes up for her ugliness with some
great accessories, including a coffee mug, large sign, bag of standardized
tests, and 'teachers edition' book. Too bad she can't really hold any of
Talking Feature - **
The talking feature takes a major hit, and it's probably going to from here on
out. They've reached the point where the sets where these figures could
have made the most sense were done long ago, and the only chance for lines are
on newer, less sensible sets.
For example, Botz and Hoover only work with
Aztec Theater. Aztec Theater? And Luigi and Sarcastic Man work with Aztec
Theater and the Military Store. Huh? Unless a figure is specific to
a set like the exclusives, it looks like the talking feature has pretty much run
Value - ***1/2
You can't really argue when you're only paying $6 for well done, licensed
figures. Who else is selling figures at that price point these days?
Overall - Willie ***1/2; Louie, Sarcastic
Man, Luigi, Botz ***; Miss Hoover **
I really don't like Hoover, but I know there are folks out there thrilled
with this version. I don't like the sculpt at all, and the talking feature
doesn't help matters this time.
The rest of the figures are all good, with
Kilted Willie really standing out. Considering he's a variant, it's nice
to see how well executed he is.
Fans of Raphael and Luigi will be pleased with
these figures, even if the paint applications aren't perfect. The line has
lots of steam left in it, and I'm hoping we see all the cool 2004 figures
previewed last month at the October Toy Fair make it to market next year.
Where to Buy -
These are showing up in force at Target and Toys R Us. I've also
seen them at Gamestop, but for a buck or so more. On-line
has them available individually, or as a bundle
has the individual figures for $6 each, or the set for $35. Just look in
the action figure section for the Simpsons store.