Packaging - ***
These are almost boxes - and if
they were, they'd get another half star. I'm not a big fan of
the header card and j hook on top of the box, since it just ends up
taking all the shelf damage.
The do provide some nice
background text on each character, and if you don't mind fighting
through a couple twisties, they are quite collector friendly - you can
always pop the figure back into the package later without any damage.
Sculpting - ***1/2
I love it when an animated line can get past the obvious main
characters, and start exploring more of the B characters. This line
really only needs an Amy and a Farnsworth to get through the critical
list of must do characters, and for me, it's nice to see them already
adding in some of the more interesting B-listers like Calculon. Yea, I
know we need a Hermes too, but he's not one of my A-listers.
all the various robots we've seen, Calculon is arguably the second most
important to Bender. His design makes him fairly unique, and they've
done a solid job capturing the simple lines and shapes.
mentioned before that it's often harder for a sculptor to capture
something that appears quite simple like this, than something with
great detail. It's even tougher since the shape and look of the
character can vary from frame to frame, and that's pretty obvious when
it comes to the size of Calculon's head. In some scenes it's
fairly tall, with the mouth quite a way above the neck joint. In
other scenes, it's quite short, and with much more compact features.
has done a great job of finding a happy middle ground, and creating a
version that's quite obviously Calculon to the casual observer. There's
a few noticeable difference when you start getting picky, like the
elbows, which are a bit too large. But these are issues that you'll
only see on close comparison.
I did have minor issues keeping him
standing on his own, but with a little effort you'll find a happy
place. Super King Bender stands great on his own, and the bendy legs
allow for you to get a few interesting poses as well.
Benders have had the same basic, well done sculpt. This one
starts there, and adds the nicely detailed cape and crown, as well as
the sculpted ring. Some folks are going to skip him because he's
simply a variant they aren't interested in, but if you are looking to
complete your New Justice Team (Clobberella will be in the next wave
with Amy), you won't be disappointed with Bender's sculpt. I had a
couple paint issues though...
stands almost 5 3/4" inches tall, while Bender is 5 1/2". That's
about right in terms of scale from what I can tell.
Paint - Calculon
***1/2; Bender ***
The paint detail for
animated characters, particularly on a show like Futurama, is usually
pretty basic. That's the situation here, and it's no surprise.
is very close to the right color, including both his lighter and darker
shade. All the various parts are the right shade as well, and the cut
lines between the few finer areas (like his chest symbol or his teeth)
are quite clean and neat.
Super King Bender has a few additional
issues, but he also has more detail work particularly in the fur on his
cape and in the crown on his head. There's a small blip here or there
(notice the smudge of his left eye) but they are minor issues.
minor issue for me is the color and finish of the mask. In the few
screen caps I could find (and from my memory as well, poor as it is
these days), it seems this version is a bit too brightly colored, and a
bit too blue-ish. The original was a bit more of a flatter purple-gray.
However, half of this is probably my eyes, so I'm not deducting much of
anything for it.
My bigger issue is the wide eye expression,
which is a result of the paint. With the mask covering the 'visor'
around his eyes, the eyeballs appear even further set back in his face.
They have no painted lids that you can see, giving him the same wide
eye expression as Calculon. The mask really accentuates this, and along
with the gritted teeth, makes him look quite surprised. I would have
preferred something like the Santa Bender, where the lids are painted on
to give him a mean, angry look. YMMV.
Mine also has the pupils on
the eyes painted on an inward angle, giving him a slight cross eyed
appearance. This might be just a result of the paint, or they may have
actually assembled the eye balls with them turned inward slightly.
Either way, you end up with the same slightly odd look.
course, this Bender also has the same issue as the previous regular
Bender where the shoulders are painted the lighter gray. They did this
to try to give him a shadowed, natural light look, but it doesn't work
for me. Fortunately, it's largely covered up by the cape collar.
Articulation - Super Bender ***; Calculon **1/2
As mentioned, Super King Bender is really just the previous Bender with
the addition of the 'mask'. Therefore, he has the usual articulation -
cut neck, cut shoulders, cut hips, and bendy arms and legs. An extra
boost to his Articulation score always comes from the opening door on
the front of his torso.
Calculon is a bit less
articulated however. He has a cut neck, cut shoulders, cut waist and
cut wrists. While there is no articulation below the waist
(and some would have made it easier to keep him in a good standing
pose), the added cut wrists are a nice touch. I wish I had some ability
to pose the antenna as well, since they are an expressive part of
Accessories - want BAF ***; don't
want BAF: Super King **, Calculon Bupkis
Both figures come with more parts to help build your Santa Robot
figure. Calculon comes with his two legs/feet, while Bender has the
lower section of his torso.
I like the BAF concept, although
I think some folks are worried that there have been so many over the
last year that the idea is getting a bit hackneyed. As far as I'm
concerned, you can never have too many BAF's.
But if you aren't interested in
the Santa Robot, either because you picked up the one at SDCC and
that's enough for you, or you just aren't interested in the character,
then Calculon doesn't have any accessories to thrill you.
Super King does have the
removable crown and cape though. Since the mask isn't removable, I
don't see a lot of folks undressing him, but at least it's an option.
Fun Factor - **1/2
These aren't really designed as a kid's line, although they are very
toy-like. The show isn't much of a kid's show, so any real interest in
these is likely to come from adult fans, yet they do a decent job of
remaining true to their action figure roots.
Value - ***
to Watch Out For -
These are edging up into that $13 range or so, depending on the
retailer, but if you pick up the set they are closer to $11 each. It's
tough to find a decent mass market action figure at that price these
As is usually the case, if you have the option of picking them out on
the shelf, look for the best paint. Other than that, there
isn't anything to worry about.
Overall - Calculon
***1/2; Super King ***
When all is said and done, the only thing holding Super King Bender
back a bit for me is the wide eye expression of shock and cross
eyed-ness. Give him some straight angry eyes, and you get your extra
looks terrific, and while he doesn't stand quite as well as I'd like
(and lacks the leg articulation to do a whole lot about it), he's still
one of my top favorites of the line so far.
Next up is Clobberella and Amy Wong - bring 'em on!
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - Calculon ***1/2; Super King ***
Articulation - **1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - ***
Overall - Calculon ***1/2; Super King ***
Where to Buy -
You have plenty of online opportunities, including these fine sponsors:
- Circle Red has
the pair for just $23.
has the pair for $23 or the singles for $13.
Earth has the pair for $28.
- for the UK collectors, Forbidden
Planet has them for 10 pounds each.
- You can also search ebay using
the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.
Related Links -
Other related reviews
I've looked at series 4,
as well as the Robot Santa
and Santa Bender SDCC exclusive, and series 3 in a couple
reviews, since I didn't get them all at the same time. Here
you can see Bender and the
Robot Devil BAF, and here's Kif.
I also covered the second
series and first
series as well.
more Futurama stuff:
Toynami got their feet wet with the Futurama
there's the series 1 set
from MAC, along with the Toyfare
exclusive Leela. There was also some Christmas ornaments, a
larger scale (8") Nibbler.