KBBL Radio Station

The World of Springfield keeps rolling along, even with the nay-sayers and the doom-mongers claiming the line was dead 6 waves ago.

The latest playset is one of the smaller exclusives.  KBBL Radio Station is an Electronics Boutique exclusive, and retails for $25.  That's a five dollar price drop on the smaller exclusives - others like Lurleen/Homer or Marge/Jacque were still $30.

This set comes with the two radio deejays, Marty and Bill.  As usual, the set plays various lines of these two characters from the show, and as usual for the smaller exclusive sets, it isn't designed to work with other figures.

So who are they exactly?  Well, if your a regular viewer you'll certainly recognize their voices even if you don't recognize their faces.  It's very likely that we will see almost no exclusives in 2003, with more emphasis on the regular waves and playsets.


Packaging - ***
Same old, same old.  The box is small of course, as is the playset.  But it has the usual graphics, the try me button works great, and it's sturdy.  But don't be surprised if we see something new for next year.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpting on the playset itself is basic, with most of the detail coming from the stickers.  That detracts a bit from the set, although it's not a huge problem.

Marty is as close to a lump of plastic as you can get, and still be a Simpson's character.  It's not Playmates fault, since he's not the most exciting visual character to begin with.  But the straight arms and fairly dull body style don't do much to add to his appearance.

Ah, but then there's Bill.  Not only is the head sculpt absolutely terrific, his body style and overall appearance is right on source.  I'm especially happy with the facial expression, which shows that you can give them something other than the zombie look and get it to work.   He's jumped into my top ten favorite figures!

Paint - ***
One of the areas that Playmates struggles with on this line, the paint ops on this set are all over the place.

Bill was pretty good, with clean lines around the eyes, sleeves and hair.  But poor Marty didn't far as well, and mine has about 1/16th of an inch worth of white paint below his sleeve line on his right arm.

On the plus side, the KBBL on Marty's shirt isn't a sticker, but is painted on, a crucial and important touch.  The stickers on the playset are good, and all the paint work there is well done.

Articulation - **1/2
Neck, shoulders, waist.  Sure, I don't want knees or elbows at this point, since it would hurt the consistent look of the figures.  But how about wrists?

Talking Feature - ***
With only these two figures working on this set, there's far fewer lines than usual.  Each has four or five lines, and they are pretty decent, but nothing to get too excited over.  That might have hurt this score more still appears as though the foot peg problem is solved!  I haven't had any trouble with the last several sets, and it looks like THOH3 was the last set to exhibit the issue.

Accessories - **1/2
The set comes with four accessories, all new.  There's two sets of headphones, identical to each other, and two microphones, slightly different.

The mics fit in the hands of Bill and Marty perfectly, unlike the headphones.  Neither character really has the head for them, although they look passable wearing them.

Value - **
At $30, these smaller sets were a terrible value.  At $25, it's getting closer to reasonable.  Still, with such a small set, and fairly few accessories, $20 would be more than enough.  I'm betting the run on these won't be too large though, perhaps no more than 20k.

Overall - **1/2
The playset itself is extremely basic and quite small, without the terrific details or sculpting of sets like Dr. Nick's or Burn's Manor.  If it wasn't for the setting, and the inclusion of two fairly cool figures, it would be pretty low on my list.  Bill really pulls this set out though, and the serious WOS collector can't pass it up.  The casual collector will have to give it some thought though, as the price point isn't cheap.

Where to Buy - 
I picked mine up right at the local EB store in the mall.  It's an EB exclusive, so you're choices are fairly limited, but if you look for them this week you should have no trouble picking one up. On-line:

- Electronics Boutique has them as well, for the same $25 but with shipping.  (MROTW Affiliate)


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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