Die Cast Series 1 & 2
purveyors of all things metal, showed two sets of die cast Simpsons figures
last year at Toy Fair. Following the style of the earlier Futurama
sets (Set 1 and Set
2), they seemed to be well received, at least by the collectors.
Then came months of vendor issues.
There appeared to be insufficient vendor interest, so they shopped them
around as an exclusive. At one point, they were very close to becoming
an Electronics Boutique exclusive, but then management and direction changed
there, shifting away from toys, and it was back to the drawing board.
Finally, these have been released in a very
limited manner as a Diamond exclusive. That means comic shops will
have them, but not many other retailers.
The rumor is also that the numbers produced
are quite low, perhaps as low as 1600 sets. With those kind of limited
numbers, these may be a bit tough to find, although their price point will
keep all but the serious Simpsons fan away.
There are a total of eight figures in the
two series. Series 1 contains Lisa, Maggie, Marge and Homer.
Series 2 contains Bart, a 'ripped' Willie, a 'dejected' Krusty, and Grampa.
There's also a 'family pack' at Media Play
stores. This one includes the five family members, and also sells for
Rumor has it there is a third set in the
planning stages for the 7 Duffs!
Packaging - ***
The graphics and details on both boxes are quite good. The long boxes
have a top flap that opens to display the four figures. The packaging
is also collector friendly, which means that you can open it up, take them
out, and put them back again later if you'd like.
My only complaint is that the
cardboard used is fairly thin, and isn't likely to stand up to shelf wear
Sculpting - ***
This varies greatly across the six figures. The sculpt on both the
Willie and Krusty figures is great, and considering how much collectors and
fans of the show love these sides of the characters, I'd expect them to be
very popular. In that same set, the Grampa sculpt is decent, although
pretty predictable, and the Bart sculpt is perhaps the worst of all
eight. They've missed something here - perhaps his head appears to
tall because the spikes of his hair don't quite work. In any case, he
doesn't quite look like the Bart you've come to know and love.
In the other set we get four of the five family
members. Homer and Marge are decent sculpts, although neither pose is
particularly exciting. Lisa is nice, but the winner of the set, at
least for me, is Maggie. It's a great design, and one of my favorite
small Maggies in my collection.
Paint - ***1/2
For such small figures, the paint ops are quite good. The lines are
all neat, and the colors consistent and clean, right down to Willie's
nipples. I'm particularly impressed by how thick the application is,
able to stand up to wear better than expected.
Value - **
Here's where they take a hit. The Futurama sets ran about $10 for
every two, which was steep to begin with. But at $25 for four, that's
over six bucks each. I can get a very nice action figure these days at
that price point.
Of course, the family pack of the five family members at
Media Play is a far better deal, but you miss out on Willie and Krusty, two
of teh best in the entire series.
Overall - ***
The sculpting is a bit of a mixed bag, but the paint ops are excellent
and the overall quality is quite high. The price point hurts them a
bit, but for the major Simpsons fan, these are great items.
Where to Buy -
I haven't seen them yet at any local stores, although most comic shops
had the opportunity to order them through Diamond. On-line:
- I picked mine up through Entertainment
Earth, where they are $25 a set plus shipping. As that's the
suggested retail, I suspect that's the price most places will carry them at.
- JGP Toys has them as
well, and if you buy both sets they are only $46. I've always gotten
great service from Grant!
Figure from the collection of