Vacation Pepe
Toyfare and Musicland Exclusives

For those of us in the frigid white north, this is the time of year we like to travel south to lounge in our baggies and tees under the hot sun.  Pepe must be one of us, because we got not one but TWO versions of the exclusive Vacation Pepe.

One exclusive is available through Toyfare magazine.  This one comes in a red beach shirt. The other version comes from the Musicland line of stores - Sam Goody, Musicland, Media Play, On Cue - and has a blue shirt.  While they both have the same accessories, the colors vary between them as well.

The Toyfare version costs $21, including shipping.  You should be able to pick up the Musicland version for around $12, a tad steep even for an exclusive but not as painful as a root canal.

Packaging - ***1/2
I love dem clamshells.  Okay, so the overall blue has gotten a little dull, but in general the packaging is a solid design.  And yes, each bubble has a different exclusive sticker on it.  The bubble also points out that this figure is from Muppets Tonight, although I don't ever recall Pepe actually wearing this outfit.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The Pepe sculpt is very well done, although he doesn't rank up there with the very best of the Muppets line so far.  He's a fan favorite though, and they've done a fine job capturing his look.

This version looks like a slightly different head sculpt than the first, but if it is the differences are small.  Overall he looks great, especially decked out in all his cool beach attire. 

Paint - **
Unfortunately, these have perhaps the worst paint application I've ever gotten on a Palisades product.

The hair, eyes, and body look fine, but the shirts on both figures have big problems.  The Toyfare version looks the worse of the two, due to the red and yellow colors.  The red shows the yellow through it very easily, and there's a lot of inconsistency in the color.  Some areas of the red are splotchy and dark, while others show the yellow clearly underneath

The blue shirt suffers from identical problems, but due to the colors they don't show up quite as badly.  Still, since the shirt is the big selling point, I was disappointed at the quality this time around.

Articulation - ***
Pepe has less articulation this time around than in the regular release, but I doubt you'll miss it a whole lot.

He has neck, all four shoulders, waist and hips.  His missing the elbows and wrists that his previous version had, but that's not too bad considering the bare arm sculpt.

Accessories - ****
A perfect score in this category as usual.  The vacation version has one re-used accessory from the regular release  - the beach chair - but everything else is new.

He has a snorkel and mask, drink with a little umbrella, elephant inner tube (don't I recognize this elephant from some place?), flippers, and cloth baggy swim shorts.  Everything looks fantastic, and the tube, flippers, mask and shorts fit great.  He doesn't have the holes in his hands to hold things this time, but he can still manage to hold the drink if you get it just right.

Value - Toyfare **; Musicland **1/2
You won't feel too bad forking over the extra 3 bucks or so for the Musicland exclusive.  It is an exclusive, and it's cheaper than a convention exclusive.

But the Toyfare version is killer, even considering that it includes shipping.  If you're lucky, you can hit a toy show (like one of the Wizard World shows) where they would have these for less.

Overall - Toyfare **1/2, Musicland ***
The paint ops on both these figures pulled the score down into the average range, and the price on the Toyfare one hurts a little further.  Only the completist or die hard Pepe fan really needs to pick that version up, and for most Muppets collectors, the Musicland version will do just fine.

Where to Buy - 
Musicland, Media Play and Sam Goody will have the blue shirt version - Toyfare has the red shirt!


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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