Davey and Goliath

I've reviewed some odd toys in the last four years.  As action figures have become more and more popular with adults and collectors, we've gotten more and more nostalgic lines that you would have ever imagined.

But today's review really is a unique one.  Majestic Studios is bringing us Davey and Goliath, along with his parents and sister.

If you're under 30, the only time you might have seen this pair is in the recent Mountain Dew commercial, in which Davey tells his friend Timmy their hosed.

The show was big in my early years, the 1960's.  Davey was always finding himself in some sort of moral dilemma, and Goliath, his faithful and baritone pooch, was his moral guide.  The show was religious by nature, as the franchise is owned by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but not as preachy as you might expect.

After the Mountain Dew commercial, the 65 original episodes were released on DVD, and there's a new holiday special that teaches religious tolerance.  They are looking to have a regular show once again in 2004.

These should be hitting stores soon, and retail for around $10 each.  They come packaged in pairs - Davey with Goliath standing, Davey with Goliath sitting, Davey and Dad, and Mom and Sister.  The two Davey's that come with Goliath are identical, but the paint ops are different on the Davey that comes with the Dad.

Packaging - ***
When packaging is good, it becomes art.  Okay, so this isn't quite that good, but it does show how a little creativity with a license can produce eye catching and appealing packages.

The old time television set is used as a border, giving the impression that the characters are on your tv.  Of course, when I was watching them on my tv in the 60's, they were in black and white, but that's my own personal issue I have to work through in therapy.

The clamshell packaging works great, although you'll need a handy knife to get into it.  The insert could have been a little better, with perhaps a yard or house scene behind the figures, but overall it's very nice work.

There is one negative - the twist ties around Goliath.  They leave an impression in the 'fur' that's tough if not impossible to get out.

Sculpting - ****
This license may not be your thang, but you can't argue with the sculpting.  They've captured the look of the claymation figures perfectly!  Now, you might argue that with simple designs, and characters that are all ready three dimensional, that shouldn't be very hard.  And I'd point out the recent Cartman from Toycom to remind you that it is possible to screw up even simple designs.

That's not a problem here.  The sculpts are dead on, especially Goliath.  Sure, my two year old daughter called him Scooby Doo, but anyone familiar with the old show will recognize him instantly.

There's just the right amount of detail work as well, with folds and wrinkles in the clothing, and the dresses and pants hanging just right.  These figures are fairly large, with the dad standing about 7", but it fits the feel of the license fairly well.

I'm also very happy with the fuzzy texture on Goliath.  It's some sort of, well, fuzz that's been applied to the plastic.  It's not unique, and used to be pretty popular back in the day.  But it was always spotty, and wore through easily.  The quality on this appears to be much better, and it's very even and consistent.

The hands aren't sculpted to hold accessories - there aren't any - but that would have been a nice addition.  There's items from other lines that you could use here.

There is one weird thing to mention - Davey's hair is parted on the opposite side from the claymation picture on the front of the package.  I've also seen original photos that show it this way, so I'm betting it varied on the show.

Paint - ****
Wow!  Here's one of the toughest areas for companies to do well, and it seems like the factories always get sloppy when it comes to paint application.

Majestic has managed to do a terrific job pushing the quality with these figures.  The stripes on Davey and his dad's shirts are perfect, and every dot on mom's dress looks exact.  Even the eyes and basic facial colors are clean and consistent.  There's no bleed, and even with quite a bit of palette variety, there's almost zero slop.

Articulation - ***
This varies slightly from figure to figure, but in general is above average.  There's neck, shoulders, cut elbows, wrists, waist and ankles.  It allows for most basic poses, and you can easily have them petting Goliath or waving to each other.  The articulation works well with the sculpting, not being too obvious, but giving you the basic claymation style posability.

Accessories - **
The one category that takes a hit is accessories.  There are almost none, if you consider each figure a unique figure and not an accessory to the other.

The only real accessory is the dog collars that come with both versions of Goliath.  I can't tell exactly what the symbol is on the tag, but I'm betting it has something to do with the Church.  While the clasp works well on the collar, I can't actually close it once it's on his neck - the collar is too small.  Maybe there's a trick to it I'm missing...

Value - ***
At ten bucks a pair, that's just five bucks a figure.  Not bad for such a small license from a small company with limited distribution.  Throw in a few more accessories, and they would have been a great deal.  I'll be interested in seeing what Majestic can do when they start working on a large line that has wider appeal.

Overall - ***1/2
Okay, so maybe this license isn't for you.  You have no idea who these characters are, and always hated claymation anyway.  Hey, I understand - but you have to be intrigued by what Majestic has done.

These figures sport excellent sculpts, excellent paint ops, and solid articulation, all for a reasonable if not perfect price point.  Just imagine what Majestic might do with a license you did like?

Oh, and for those of us old enough to be nostalgic about the old cartoons, all I can say is..."Oh, Davey."

Where to Buy - 
These should hit any day at stores like Media Play, Tower and Sam Goody, along with comic shops. On-line options include:

- Time and Space Toys don't have these listed yet, but they have a bunch of other Davey and Goliath product, so I'm betting they get them in.  Give them a call!


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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