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
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
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
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
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
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
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)