18" Bumble

I've said it before, but I'll say it again - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys is one of my all time favorite holiday shows.

Sure, it's dated, but the story and style are classic.  Last year, Playing Mantis gave us a wonderful series of action figures based on the show, including a Bumble.  However, he was only slightly bigger than the other figures, and certainly not in scale.

Playing Mantis corrected that situation this year, putting out a huge, two foot Bumble.  This figure is nicely in scale with the other figures, and looks terrific with the rest of the line.

These are available at a number of retailers, although Target is the most likely.  They run from $20-$25 depending on the retailer.

Packaging - **
Don't plan on keeping this mint in box, because it certainly wasn't designed for it.  The boxes are open in the front, to allow complete access to the figure.  Shelf wear is going to be a problem, and keeping the box long term is unlikely to work well.  That just gives you a better excuse to open him up!

Sculpting - ***1/2
This Bumble looks better than the original.  No mismatched nostrils here, unlike the source material.  The sculpting on the face, teeth, hands and feet is great.  Of course, it should be easy to get right, since it's a fairly basic sculpt.

I'm including points for scale in this category as well.  Getting this in scale with the other figures was a huge selling point for me.

Paint - ***1/2
No slop here.  There isn't much detail in the paint ops, but they are clean, particularly the toe nails and finger nails.

Articulation - **
This isn't really an articulated figure - he's a bendy.  That works really well for this style of fur ball though, and has been used in figures like the Star Wars Wampa in the past.

I was able to get his arms to hold most positions, and he stands very well on his own.  I do worry that the weight of his body may give his legs trouble over time, but for now he's pretty good.

Accessories - ***
There isn't much for Bumble to have, other than the star.  This one matches the one the small Bumble came with last year, and it really isn't designed to fit on a tree top.

Fur Factor - ***1/2
This is a separate category from the sculpting, since this type of fur is very difficult to get right.  Fortunately, Playing Mantis has done a fantastic job.

The body is stuffed around the bendy wires, and the fur is attached in such a way that it looks extremely realistic.

The only reason I took off a half point is because some of the ones I saw had some problems with the fur around the mouth and nose.  It wasn't glued down well, or it was thin.  Be particular when picking yours out, and you should have no trouble finding a nice one.

Value - ***
I picked this up for under twenty bucks at a local Meijers store.  Considering how big he is, how well done he is, and that he has the screaming feature, that's a very good price.

It's not perfect, and I think fifteen bucks would have been just right.  But even at twenty I can't complain.  I would avoid spending the $25 that stores like Suncoast are charging though, since you should be able to find this fairly easily elsewhere.

Scream Feature - **1/2
Squeeze Bumble's left hand and you get a resounding roar out of him.  Unfortunately, it doesn't sound too much like he did in the movie.  Sure, some of his movie screams were pretty weak, but there were one or two that were downright terrifying.  That's the sound he should have used here.

Overall - ***
Not a bad toy for not a bad price.  He looks amazing with the rest of the line, and if you're a big fan of the show I highly recommend him.

He's not perfect, and I wish his scream had been better, but I'm very happy I picked him up, and he'll have a place year round in my toy room.

Where to buy
Best bet right now is Target, where they are $20.  I found mine locally at a Meijers store, and I bet thatsome Wal-marts are also carrying them.  Avoid the Suncoast family, where they are more expensive, and don't break down and buy on-line until you've exhausted the local stores.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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