Muppets Busts series 1

The Muppets has been a popular license this year, first with the terrific action figure line from Palisades Toys, and now with the equally amazing polystone busts from Sideshow Toy.

Sideshow Toy works in conjunction with Weta Workshop, the folks that do all that wonderful work on the Lord of the Rings films.  They've produced the armor, miniatures, prosthetics, monsters and creatures for the popular films, showcasing their amazing talents.

 Sideshow and Weta have been producing a number of very cool polystone busts commemorating the Lord of the Rings films, and now they are working together to produce a series of polystone busts of the most popular Muppets.

The first series of the busts are just now starting to ship.  Series one includes Kermit, Rowlf the Dog, Bunsen Honeydew, and Beaker.

Series two includes Sam the Eagle, Gonzo, and the geriatric critics, Statler and Waldorf.  The SRP ranges from $50 - $60 depending on the size of the bust.  Larger busts like Sam run $60, while the smaller busts like Kermit or Gonzo run $50, with the others falling in between.  Series 2 will be shipping right after the first of the year.

These are limited editions of course, but the runs are fairly high at 5000.  Each of the busts rests on a classic column base, similar to the architecture of the Muppet Theater.  On the bottom of each base is the number of the figure out of 5000, and the signature and name of the artist.  There are quite a few different sculptors working on these, so including the name is a nice addition.

Packaging - ****
Sideshow does a marvelous job with their action figure packaging.  Their bust packaging is no different.  The figures are extremely well packed inside, with very little change of breakage or damage.

The boxes are so attractive and well done you could actually display them that way if you really wanted to.  I wouldn't recommend it, but it's possible.  The style and design are excellent.

Sculpting - ***1/2
All four busts are truly beautiful work.  I do have my preferences, and I do have my nits to pick, but overall they are just stunning.

The two best of these first three are Kermit and Rowlf.  Both capture the essence of the characters perfectly, and the detail in both Kermit's texture and Rowlf's fur is wonderful.

The sculpting on Beaker and Bunsen, while very nice, aren't quite as good.  There's something slightly amiss, but it's so slight that I can't quite put my finger on it.  Perhaps it's Beaker's hair, which seems to stick out a little too far on the sides, or perhaps Bunsen's face is a little to soft, lacking some of the detail around the nose and chin.  Whatever the case might be, these two aren't at the level of absolute perfect that Rowlf and Kermit achieved.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops on all four are extremely well done, with absolutely no slop or messy lines.  Everything is perfectly neat and clean.

Of the four, the only one I had any issue with was Honeydew.  The green of his head is a little inconsistent, with some lighter and darker spots.  It doesn't detract too much from the overall appearance, but it's worth noting.

Design - ****
I mentioned the design somewhat when discussing the sculpt, but it's so exceptional I had to mention it again.  The poses are all perfect to the personalities of the characters, and the expressions dead on.

I also wanted to mention the column bases.  The evoke both a sense of the style of the Muppet Theater, and a sense of classical sculpture.  The paint wash on them works perfectly, and they really are the perfect base for these figures.

Value - ***
These are fairly large mini-busts.  I've included a comparison shot with the Palisades Muppet figures.  Even at the extra size, the price is on the high side at $55 or so.  I'm assuming that you'll be able to find these at some retailers though at a much better price.

Overall - ****
Very rarely do I open something and I'm this wowed right off the bat.  These are truly beautiful pieces of art, and for the Muppet fan they will be THE Muppet collectible to own.  Can you imagine how great a dozen of these babies all lined up in a display case is going to look?  Now the only problem is the wait between series - but my wallet certainly appreciates the break!

Where to Buy - 
I bought mine right from Sideshow, as a set.  That way the cost is $187.00 for all four, rather than the $220 they'd cost individually. On-line:

- Aisle Sniper has them for about $5 each cheaper individually, but that's still $200 if you're buying the whole set. They are currently still pre-orders, so You might want to call to see if they have them in stock yet.

Keep scrolling down - there's lots more photos!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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