World of Springfield
Aztec Theater

After reviewing literally hundreds of Simpsons action figures and playsets, what can there possibly be left to say?  It's a truly amazing line with serious legs.

Sure, it's had it's ups and downs.  God knows we'll never forget Brad Goodman or Database.  But Playmates has a way of producing long term, sustained lines.  They did it with TMNT, they did it with Star Trek, and now they've done it with Simpsons.

I'm actually behind with this review.  The Aztec Theater has been out for about a month.  But I'm not as far behind as this playset itself is.  The original concept for this set is at least a couple years old now, and collectors saw concept drawings what seems like a lifetime ago.  That it ever made the light of day surprised more than a few people, not because it was bad, but because so rarely do cancelled items make it to the light of day.

You can pick this set up at most EB Games, Toys R Us or Target stores.  I haven't found it at any local Targets yet, and you want to avoid the $30 that TRU is charging, and stick to the $20 at Target or EB.

Packaging - **1/2
Serviceable and fairly average.  Fox won't let any of their licensers get to extravagant or creative with the designs, so it's not surprising.

Sculpting - ***1/2
There's two levels of sculpting - the McBain figure, and the playset itself.  Both are quite good, although the set isn't in the same ball park as the kitchen or comic shop.

McBain is his military bad self, looking like he just stepped off one of the posters in the theater.  Two of the grenades are sculpted to his body, but one is removable.  There's some nice detail work around the ascot and the boots, and there's plenty of little bags and gadgets on his body that really should have had more paint ops to bring them out.

His scale is good, especially when compared to his 'real' persona.  I've included a photo so you can be the judge. The arm and leg sculpts allow for him to do quite a bit of posing even with the limited articulation.

The set is even better.  There's some intricate work around the screen, and the curtained walls and nasty garbage can look just like my local Showcase.  The seats are a little narrow, so that's fairly realistic as well.  Ms. Botz looks perfect sitting there though, and her poor posture pays off with this set.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint application on this set is something to behold.  It's quite a bit better than the average WOS set, with some very nice touchs in both the paint and the stickers.

There's lots of color and detail, particularly around the screen, but also on the trash.  The popcorn under the seat is yellow, but the box is white.  The gum on the back of the seat is pink.  All the little details that are so often skipped due to cost actually got the treatment this time.

The posters are all great stickers, and the scene on the screen is a classic, as his partner lay dying just moments from his retirement.  Or was that Family Guy?

McBain brings the score down slightly, since he has fewer operations than you'd expect.  He has lots of details on his outfit that could have been given color, but most is predominately green.  He has quite the Christmas look though in green and red.

Articulation - ***
McBain has the usual neck, shoulders and waist.  No surprises here, and nothing on the set opens or moves.

EDIT - my mistake!  The theater seats do move up and down!  I bumped the score a half star for it.

Accessories - ***
There are three - two guns and a hand grenade.  Guess they aren't too worried about 'violent' toys.  Thank goodness.

The guns can fit in McBain's hand, and the one grenade fits nicely on his chest.  Even better, the handgun fits right in a shoulder holster.  The accessories make sense, are all new, and look good.  It's slightly light for a play set, but not terrible.

Value - **1/2
This depends of course, but I'm betting you are paying closer to $25.  If you did manage to pick it up at Target for just $20, you can add another star here.

Talking Feature - ***
Unfortunately, the talking feature has taken less of an importance over the years, as it becomes harder and harder to match up proper figures with sensible sets.  Still, they manage to capture some good lines here.

McBain's lines: "Yah, my new film is a mix of action and comedy. It's called "McBain, Lets Get Silly!"; "The film is just me in front of a brick wall for an hour and a half. It cost $80 million dollars."  Unfortunately, that's it for the pack in figure.

There are new lines though for some of the newer figures like Botz, Raphael, Hawking and even Disco Stu.  Even so, the talking feature has become far less of an importance to the overall series.

Overall - ***
Some folks are going to love this set - it has terrific detailing and excellent paint ops.  And if you look at my scores, this could have easily swayed to a ***1/2 star set, depending on how I weighted each of the factors.

But this is one of those times where personal preference ends up factoring into the final overall score.  While they did a terrific job with the set, and I'm impressed with the detail, it's not a location that does much for me.  It's miles above something like the courtroom or the DMV, but it doesn't have that magie that Moe's, the family kitchen, or the Android's Dungeon has.

Where to Buy - 
I bought mine from EB, but I've seen them (overpriced) at Toys R Us as well.  Even Game Stop is cheaper!  On-line options include:

- EBGames has them for just $20, and even with shipping you'll be better off than TRU.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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