Robot Chicken

Mad Scientist and Robot/Washing Machine

Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares

When the voting occurs and the luckiest bastards to every live in the history of mankind are selected, the guys at Robot Chicken are going to be in the top ten. I guarantee it.

Can you imagine a better gig? Sure, you have to be creative and funny, but you get to play with toys, make fun of celebrities, pop culture, movies and more, and you get paid to do it. I suspect most of us would trade our right tender for a job like that.

With a show centered around action figures, it should be no surprise that they got a series of toys all their own, based on several of their own designs for the show. The first series includes three figures - the Mad Scientist packed with the Robot Chicken himself, the washing machine humping Robot (complete with washer and humping action), and the Candy Bear with his foot in a trap.

I picked these up at Toys R Us for $13 each, but didn't see any sign of the bear. That was okay by me, since he's the least desirable personally, but your mileage could obviously vary.
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares
Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares

Packaging - **1/2
The bubble and cardback are pretty basic, with some personalization on the front but little to no information on the specific character inside. These do the basic job fine - protect the contents - but they don't do much to sell the product on the shelf.

Sculpting - ***
The construction and materials on these figures is not quite up to the level expected these days even with standard mass market lines.

The basic sculpting does match up with the show pretty well, especially the scientist and the chicken. There's plenty of detail work on the mechanical chicken bits, and even the feathers are pretty well done. This isn't high end work, but it's certainly solid B stuff.

I particularly like the look of the scientist. The wild hair, funky eyes, and posable hands all look great.

The Robot and Washing Machine are less exciting. The slight texturing on the surface gives him a metal look, and again he matches his on screen counterpart pretty well. The plastic used for the washer and the base is pretty brittle and cheap looking, more like something from Archie Mcphee.

This is a six inch scale line, with both the robot and scientist coming in at about that mark. Obviously the chicken is a bit smaller, but is pretty much in scale with the larger doctor.

Paint - Robot ***; Chicken **1/2;  Scientist **
While the sculpts are solid work, the paint is not.

That's not completely fair though, because the robot is not that bad. The black/gray paint job over his body has a weathered, rough appearance that works well. Again, the washer and base are far too plain, but the figure is decent.

The chicken is a bit better, although there's till a bit more slop around the face and feathers. Also, the white of the head, body, leg and wing are slightly different. The inconsistent color hurts him a bit, as does the sloppy cut lines between several of the colors.

But the big disappointment is the doctor. The hair looks good, but the rest of the face is terrible. The sculpted eyebrows do not match up with the painted versions (although I think the painted one's match the show - not sure why they sculpted straight versions underneath), the nifty hypnotic eyes are extremely sloppy, and the teeth aren't a whole lot better.

Sadly, there were also a couple fingers with white spots on the tips of the gloves. These kind of issues aren't acceptable with a $13 toy.

Articulation - Scientist ***; Chicken **1/2; Robot **
This was the most surprising category, both good and bad.

The Mad Scientist and Robot Chicken are the pleasant surprises. There's more articulation here than I expected just looking at them in the package.

The chicken has a cut neck, pin/disc shoulders that allow the wings to turn and move inward and outward, and even a cut joint at the top of the mechanical leg. It appears as though there *might* be  a cut joint at the top of the normal drumstick, but mine won't turn and the plastic is a little too brittle for me to put too much pressure on it.

The rest of the chicken's joints work pretty well, and he even stands reasonably well on his own.

The emotionally impaired genius has a ball jointed neck, and it's the traditional kind. There's a bit of tilt action here, which allows for a bit more personality in most poses. 

There's also pin/disc shoulders, pin elbows, cut wrists, cut waist, pin/disc knees (so they can move forward and back as well as turn), and some sort of pin/disc or ball hips. The lab coat restricts most of the hip mobility, but at least the joints are there.

The robot is the unpleasant surprise. He's designed for his hip thrusting action feature, and the mechanism makes the joints fairly useless otherwise.

The neck is probably also a ball joint similar to the scientist, but the lower sculpt on the metal head makes it less useful.

The shoulders and hips are pin/disc style again, but the wind up mechanism forces them into certain positions (he looks like he's clasping his hands at his crotch when he's not holding the washing machine), making them useless for posing. There are cut ankles too.

The wrists are also pin and disc with cuts as well, which helps getting them into the proper grasping position on the unfortunate appliance.

Accessories - Robot ***; Scientist/Chicken Bupkis
I'm not counting the Chicken as an accessory, which is why he and the scientist get a bupkis here. That's also why he was mentioned in the previous three categories.

If you don't consider him another figure but as an accessory to the Scientist (or is the Mad Scientist the accessory to the Robot Chicken? The show is named after him...) then you could give him three stars as well.

The robot comes with a plastic base and a washing machine. Those who have seen him on the show know that the washing machine is interest.

The base has two posts to attach his feet, while the machine has two small holes on either side near the top to insert the pegs on the robot's palms. This way he can be attached at the feet and hands facing the washing machine, and then do his hip thrust boogie. More on that in the next category.

The washing machine and base are very basic, with no paint ops other than the silver around the door. Not even the small knobs are painted. The gray window is a sticker, which looks good and seems firmly attached.

Action Feature - Robot **; Scientist/Chicken Bupkis
The fact that the Scientist and the Chicken get no score here is not a bad thing - I wasn't expecting an action feature, and they usually end up interfering with a figure's quality in other ways.

The robot has a very unusual feature. It's probably no surprise that this 'action feature' is not described in any way on the package outside of the sticker that says "With action hips!".

The concept is to attach the feet and hands as I described earlier, wind up the figure with the permanent key in back, and then he thrusts his hips back and forth toward the object of his affection, doing it Maytag style. At least I assume that's how it's supposed to work, since as I mentioned there's no instructions on the cardback.

Unfortunately, it works better in theory than in practice. I found that with both the hands and feet in place, his hips didn't thrust particularly well even with the gears wound all the way up. I had better luck with just the feet attached and the hands resting lightly on the sides, tender-like. Even then, the thrusting movement is more soft core than triple X.

Fun Factor - **1/2
For all their warts, the figures still retain some fun. While the appliance humping action is a bit weak, it is sure to get some chuckles at the office (or at least a visit from HR), and the articulation on the Scientist and Chicken was much better than I expected. I could even see younger kids being drawn to that pair, even without any reference to the show.

Value - **
These will run you $13 at Toys R Us, and as a general price point, that's pretty average. However, most of the action figures we're getting in that range right now have a higher quality of plastic and paint.

Things to Watch Out For -
Be careful pulling out the base for the robot. It's taped into the back of the tray, and I found that if you merely try to pull it free, you could break it before the tape holding it does.

Overall - **1/2
I had to think long and hard on this one. I'm not thrilled with the robot, largely because I find the action feature to be amusing for the first 30 seconds, then it wears thin. Since the figure can't really be posed in any other way, he's fairly limited. I almost went another half star lower, but I have to take into consideration that the sculpt and paint were solid work.

And while I liked the sculpt on the Mad Scientist and Robot Chicken, the paint just wasn't up to snuff. If I could only buy one in this series, it would be them, but there are still too many issues with them to get a better score.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - Robot ***; Chicken **1/2; Scientist **
Articulation - Scientist ***; Chicken **1/2; Robot **
Accessories - Robot ***; Scientist/Chicken Bupkis
Action Feature - Robot **; Scientist/Chicken Bupkis
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has the set for $43, or the big Chicken for $21.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the set of three for $45.

- Things From Another World has a case for $80.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Nothing else related specifically to Robot Chicken...yet.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

Share this review with others! 
Digg it!
 StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!

Robot Chicken action figures by Jazwares

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2010, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour