Pigs in Space Playset

Last review covered a great play set from the World of Springlfield.  It doesn't get much better when I get to review a fantastic play set from another of my all time favorite lines, the Muppets, the very next review!

Palisades continues to produce the best action figure line on the market.  Yep, it's a done deal - Muppets will be getting my pick for best of 2003.  The Pigs in Space play set seals the deal, and I don't even have series 6 yet.

This set immortalizes the bridge from the Swine Trek show, and includes Miss Piggy in her spacey outfit.  The set itself includes a variety of consoles, view screens, and even working doors!  I picked it up at a local Media Play, but I have a couple excellent suggestions at the end of the review for on-line stores that already have it in stock.

Packaging - ***
The packaging is very similar to the Kitchen set, and is visually appealing and nicely designed.  The box itself seems a tad weak, and I suspect you'll have trouble finding one without any shelf wear, but for the openers it will work just fine.

Speaking of opening - there's far fewer twist ties this time around than usual.  That's always a good thing!

Sculpting - ****
There's two sculpts here - the set and Miss Piggy.  Both are great, but the set blows this score through the roof.

Don't get me wrong...the Piggy is great too.  Her head sculpt is very well done, with a perfect smiling expression, and great detail work on the hair and texture.  The body isn't quite as nice, particularly the arms.  They seem oddly shaped, but it's not a major issue.  It's a little weird seeing both her legs like this, but you get used to it.

The set is amazing in it's detail. There are dozens of buttons, moving levers, and special doodads on the control panels.  There are two main consoles, but they can be removed and attached to the other accessories if you'd prefer.  And the details don't end there - even the walls and floors are given realistic textures, pipes, tubes and gizmos.  There's nothing plain about the entire set, and yet it's not too busy or crowded.

Paint - ***1/2
Paint operations seem to be the bane of all companies these days.  Finding factories that can produce consistently clean, neat and high quality paint applications is tough, but Palisades seems to be winning the battle.  This set looks extremely good, and the paint application on Piggy is particularly nice.

Oh, sure, there are a few problems here and there.  Some of the knobs of yellow and red are a little inconsistent or thin, and occasionally the detailed buttons and lights are a little off.  But considering the amazing amount of detail, the overall quality is extremely good.

Articulation - ****
Both Piggy and the set are in this score, since both have plenty of moving parts.

The divine (or porcine) Miss P has neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, wrists, knees and boot top joints.  She can hold plenty of poses, particularly the crucial sitting pose for this playset.

The set itself has moving chairs, consoles, and even real working doors!  Don't get your finger in there though - the springs have some serious snap to them!  The moving chairs accommodate both Link and Strangepork perfectly, and the set looks great with all three pigs sitting behind the console.

The sides of the set also move in and out, to go from crowed to comfy.  And let's not forget that all the levers move back and forth, allowing you to personalize the current emergency situation.

Accessories - ****
The set comes with a variety of thingamajigs that can hook together in just about any way you'd like.  There are eight pegs that can be used to attach them to each other, and I get the impression that there's no 'right' way to hook these up, but it's really up to your imagination.  The sculpting and paint ops look great, but I would have liked it if I could figure out a way to hook the two large pieces together.  Still, I came up with a way that made me happy.

Along with the various consoles and attachments, there are six view screens you can swap out.  I liked the Koozebane one the best, but you'll have enough to choose from to be happy, and better yet, they swap out easily.  You can change them up whenever you feel like it!

Value - ***1/2
I'm grading these at $30, although you may end up paying as much as $35.  At $35, the value drops a little, but this is still a truly amazing set at this price.  No one else is producing this level of quality and detail for this price point.

Overall - ****
Another exceptional play set in the Muppets line!  No, it's not the toy nirvana that the kitchen set was, but then I don't expect to see another play set that nice in my lifetime.  This set is fantastic, and is better than the Electric Mayhem, and certainly well above any other sort of play sets on the market today.

Where to Buy - 
I bought mine at the local Media Play, but it was $35 there.  Target should have these soon as well. On-line options include:

- Aisle Sniper has the set for $32, and they also have wave 6 of the figures in stock for $40 for the set.

- Beans Toys has the set for $32 as well, and they have wave 6 for just $36, or for $38 you can have the wave with the shortpacked Clifford instead of the regular Clifford.

- Killer Toys has a great price on the set at $30, and you can buy the wave 6 figures in a set for $37. 

- EBGames has the set for $35, but you can get the individual wave 6 figures from them for just $9 each.  They also still have the Clifford repaint available for just $9!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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