King of the Hill
Bill Dauterive

Toycom has produced several nice action figure lines, most notably the Space Ghost and sidekicks figures.

Their latest license is one of my favorite FOX shows, King of the Hill.  Now, even I'll admit that the first couple seasons were better than the last, but I'm holding out hope that it will find it's way back to it's glory days.

Toycom is doing  four figures in this first series - Bill (reviewed here), Dale, Peggy and Hank.  The second series will have three figures - Luanne, Boomhaur and Bobby.  Bobby will come with Ladybird.

The suggested retail is about $12, and these should be hitting retailers any day.  Many on-line shops are carrying these initially, along with stores like Media Play, Game Stop and Electronics Boutique.

Packaging - ***
The card art is fairly basic, but so is the cartoon.  It's your basic bubble packaging, but it's sturdy and well made.  It shows the figure off nicely, and shows the other characters in the future line ups.

The best part is the cute description below the character's name.  For Bill it says "Army Sergeant Barber, Divorcee, Cross-dresser", with a quote from him, "I'm so God awful lonely. Please take me home."

Sculpting - ***1/2
I like the sculpt on these, although I suspect some folks won't find it to their liking.  Sometimes I refer to sculpts as 'soft', meaning that the details are weak, shallow and poorly defined.  This sculpt is the exact opposite, and almost looks like the original clay sculpture might have.

But it really does look quite a bit like Bill, and the body proportions and head size match up correctly.  The style may put some folks off, but before you judge it check them out for yourself.  He looks a lot better in person than he did in many of the photos I had seen.

Articulation - **1/2
Bill has neck, shoulders, and waist, similar to Simpsons figures.  However, Playmates always had the excuse of the chip in the feet giving them less leg articulation.

Bill needs a few more points - cut joints just above the elbows and cut wrists would really add to the posabiity.  Let's face it, Bill isn't Spider-Man, and probably wouldn't have much use for 18 points of articulation.  But a few more would be nice, especially since there's a couple more that could be added without altering the look of the sculpt.

Paint - ***
I'll be mentioning the terrific paint ops on the accessories in a minute, so I'll keep you in suspense on those til then.  But the ops on the figure itself are nicely done as well.

The skin tone is consistent across the figure, although there's a little clumping on some spots of the head.  The eyebrows, which are sculpted and painted, are extremely clean, with no slop at all, and that must have been pretty tough considering how small they are.  In general, there's no bleed or slop from one color to another anywhere.

The only thing that may put some folks off is the bright white of the t-shirt.  Obviously, the torso is cast in the hard white plastic, so while the arms and body are a matte finish, the shirt is quite shiny and smooth.

Accessories - ***
There's not a lot of accessories, so that hurts the overall score.  But the two that are included are very nicely done.

The most obvious is the section of fence.  Each character comes with one piece of the overall fence, and once you've purchased all of the first series you have the complete background.  Future figures will also come with pieces of dioramas, building full sets by purchasing all the figures.  That's a pretty unique idea, and one that I think is pretty smart.

The only complaint is with scale, as the fence is a tad short.  Without grabbing a tape and watching the show, I'd guess that the fence belongs up around nose height.

The only other accessory that Bill comes with is his can of Alamo beer.  It's extremely well done though, perfectly in scale, with the label painted on rather than a sticker.  It even has the pull tab sculpted on the top!

Value - **
I have no idea how much the license is costing, nor do I have any idea what the run size is on these, although it has to be fairly low since they aren't being sold through the major retailers.  But the price of around $12 hurts the value.

I'm hoping that Media Play or perhaps Electronics Boutique will have them for around $10, and you can add another half star for that price point.

Overall - ***
I have very high hopes for the line.  There's a ton of possible characters - at least four or five waves worth, not counting a handful of the variations that are possible - and I'd really like to see it make it that far.  Like most first waves, there's a few improvements Toycom could make, but overall I'm pretty happy with the first figure.

Where to Buy - 
Electronics Boutique, Game Stop and Media Play should all be carrying these in their stores. On-line:

- Grant's Toys is carrying them, for $50 plus shipping.  I've always gotten great service there.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $50 plus shipping for the set of four as well. (MROTW Affiliate)

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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