Pig Pen

The Peanuts line of figures continues with the recent release of one of the most sought figures - Pig Pen!  This was a tough design nut to crack for Playing Mantis, since he has such a unique look, with all that dirt floating around.

They've added an extra feature here as well.  Get Pig Pen wet with warm water and the dirt disappears!  As he dries off, it reappears, since he never was able to wash the sands of ancient Egypt from his body.

These should be showing up at various retailers, but I found him as a single pack at Media Play.  There's also a three pack with Lucy and Snoopy showing up.  He will most likely have a variety of facial expressions, as do the other figures in the line.

In the past, I've reviewed the Good Ol' Charlie Brown set, the Snoopy Doghouse playset, the Sally Classroom playset, and the Great Pumpkin sets.

Packaging - ***
The packaging is fairly basic and average, but it does a decent job showing the rest of the line.  The font face is definitely Peanuts, and the style of the card art is reminiscent of the old shows.

Sculpting - ***
I think I've found my favorite in the series.  The sculpt is solid, and I think I'm getting used to the larger scale of these figures.  The head looks particularly good with the wild, spikey hair, which is rooted and stiff.  It actually looks much better than I had anticipated, and I'm very happy with the end result.

I'll complain about the clothes as part of the paint category too, but it's worth mentioning as part of the sculpt.  An outfit that didn't look quite so much like he's wearing a dress would have been far better.  And the hands still can't hold anything, which still holds the sculpt back overall.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are fairly standard, and there aren't tons of details, but it looks like Playing Mantis has managed to get past the paint problems of the original figures.

There aren't the glops on the hand paint, his eyes, smile and eye brows are straight and symmetric, and most of the lines around his clothes are clean.

Sure, it's not quite perfect, and there's the occasional mistake here or there, but overall it's nice to see the improvement.

My only real is that the overall/shorts being the same color makes him look like he's wearing a dress.  This outfit doesn't seem right for Pig Pen, but perhaps it's because he was always so dirty that it was tough to see what he was wearing.  A different colored outfit would have been an improvement.

Articulation - **1/2
He has the same articulation as previous figures, neck, shoulders, elbows and waist.  While it works alright for this series now, it still isn't going to get them high articulation scores.  There's not much else they could have done with this design, but that means they should have tweaked the design.

Accessories - **1/2
Pig Pen only has one, unlike the other figures in this series.  With only one accessory, he doesn't get as good of a score here as the other figures did.

Still, the one he has is pretty cool.  It is a plastic dirt cloud, designed to encompass him around his feet and waist.  It looks pretty good, and is a fairly imaginative way to handle a necessary component of Pig Pen's appearance.

Color Change Feature - ***1/2
Another imaginative touch is the 'wash off the dirt' effect.  Put Pig Pen in some warm water, and the dirt disappears instantly.  Let him dry and it reappears.

I tried it out a couple times, and it worked perfectly.  The dirt really did disappear too, and there was no sign of it when he was wet.  It came back pretty quick - you can see it returning on his shirt and hand in the photo I took, which started drying during the trip from the kitchen to the photo spot - but kids should enjoy it.

Value - **1/2
I paid eight bucks, a bit of a premium for this type of figure.  If you manage to find it at Target for $6, you can add another half star or so.

Overall - ***
The Peanuts line is growing on me.  The first couple series weren't great, but with the improvements in the paint ops, and some more creativity in the classroom and this figure, the line is definitely improving.

Where to Buy - 
I found mine at a local Media Play, so that means Musicland, Suncoast and Sam Goody could have them any time now as well.  Target may get them soon, although after Christmas can sometimes be a tough time to find new stock.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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