Electric Mayhem Playset

Palisades has released the second playset in their popular Muppets line - the Electric Mayhem Playset with Animal.  This brings the band member count to three - Floyd, Dr. Teeth and Animal - with plans for Zoot and Janice in upcoming lines.

The Muppets line is in contention for the best of 2002, right up there with lines from McFarlane, Mattel and the other big boys.  The number of playsets to be produced is being scaled back for 2003 however, simply because they aren't selling as well as they'd like.  It's hard to believe considering the quality and care that goes into the design and execution of these sets.


Packaging - ***1/2
The colorful box art, attractive design and great photos won't surprise you if you've been picking up the rest of the line.  Palisades has done a very nice job producing a recognizable packaging scheme, and also making it as useful as possible.  The MIBers have a great view of the playset, but it's not collector friendly based on my definition.

Still, there's not much to complain about, and even less to whine over.

Sculpting - ****
I'm counting both the sculpting on Animal and the playset here.  And to be completely honest, it's the work on the playset that drives the score to the top.

I'm not saying Animal is bad, just not exactly what I had expected.  The head sculpt is extremely good, even without the totally wild hair that some would have preferred.  No, my only problem with Animal is one of my perception - I never imagined that Animal was this big.

He stands almost as tall as Floyd, well above Dr. Teeth.  Perhaps it's just because the puppet was always crunched up, but he seemed smaller to me, and I was surprised by his scale.  It also may be due to his thin limbs.  They may make him appear even taller than he really is.  He looks great standing behind the drumset though, which is the most likely way you'll have him displayed.

The set sculpting is fantastic.  All the drums are nicely done, with extreme detail, and I'm very impressed with the neon lights.  The combination of accurate sculpting with great paint ops makes them look far more realistic than I had expected.

Paint - ****
Palisades continues to amaze me with the paint applications.  The neon lights look just like neon lights, the silver, red and yellows are all consistent and clean, and there's no bleed or slop on Animal.

I'm particularly impressed with the silver because there's a lot of it here, and it's an easy color to have consistency problems with.  And unlike some figures or sets that have only two or three colors, there's a wide range here, and tons of variety.

Articulation - ****
Usually, this mark only applies to the figure, but even this playset has articulation.

Animal is one of the most articulated figures in the Muppets line to date.  He has a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, wrists, waist, hips and cut shins.  Oh, and let's not forget the two most important - he has an articulated jaw and EYEBROWS!  Yep, you can pose him open mouth, open eyes, closed mouth, closed eyes, etc. etc. etc.  You might have to work at it a bit to get the eyebrows moving, but trust me - they move.

When I talk about the playset having articulation, I'm talking about the adjustable drums, cymbals and lights.  I'm mention the lights in greater detail in the accessories section, but the cymbals and smaller top drums can have their position adjusted up, down and left, right.  It doesn't do you a heck of a lot of good with the drums, since there's only so much room, but positioning the cymbals just right really does help.

Design - ***1/2
There's several notable things around the basic design of this set and figure.  The inclusion of the foot pegs behind the drums makes it much easier to keep Animal standing back there, although he really doesn't require them.  Still, having them is an extra insurance that you won't be picking him up on a regular basis.

Animal has his trademark restraints, and the chain attached to his collar is real metal.  Another nice detail, and great quality.

If there was one thing to complain about, it might be the size.  I don't remember if Animal and his drums took up the whole upper stage, but here they do.  It would have been nice to have a little room, and give the set a little less of a crowded feeling.

Accessories - ***1/2
I'm going to count the items that come loose with the set as accessories.  That includes the two speakers, six stage lights, and Animal's drumsticks.

The drumsticks fit perfectly in Animal's hands, but he looks fine without them as well.  The speakers have two drivers each, which are carefully detailed in back.  That's a special touch, since they could have simply made them boxes instead of staying so true to reality.

But the best accessory are the lights.  Each can clip on the set, and can be turned up and down and right to left.  The lens is curved, another outstanding touch.

Value - ****
You're getting a terrific playset, with excellent details and accessories, plus an extremely well done figure, all under a licensed product, for twenty bucks.  Okay, some places like Media Play are charging $25, but even at that price it's a steal.

Overall - ****
I don't know about you, but I'm going to have an extremely hard time picking the best Playset of the year for 2002.  If Chef's Kitchen had made it out this year, I don't think it would have been quite as much trouble, but there are at least four playsets this year that are simply outstanding.

I'm really thrilled to see the attention to detail and accuracy that Palisades is pouring into these figures and sets.  I hope Muppets fans realize how lucky they are that the license is being treated so well.

Where to Buy - 
Toys R Us, Media Play, Electronics Boutique and others stores will have these on the shelf. On-line:

- has them in stock for just $19.99 plus shipping.  (MROTW Affiliate)

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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