Springfield Town Hall and Krustylu Studios Playsets

Simpsons fans should be in heaven.  We're living through one of the best action figure lines ever produced for one of the coolest shows ever on television, and we really should be thanking our lucky stars.

Playmates continues their amazing Simpsons line with these two playsets - Springfield Town Hall with Mayor Quimby, and Krustylu Studios with Sideshow Bob.  I searched four Targets today, and finally found them for $19.99 each.  I hear they are also showing up at K-marts stores, along with the next six figures in the line.

Packaging - ***
I think I've talked about it enough times.  The boxes look good, they withstand shelf wear extremely well, but you have to pretty much tear them up.  This time, there were fewer twisty ties, but the playsets were still held in with screws.  But now you have some extra screws if you need them around the house. 

Sculpting - ***1/2
Both of these playsets have terrific details.  In particular, the podium and town hall doors are very nicely done, and the look and feel of the studio is also dead on.

Of the two figures, Sideshow Bob really stands out.  It's a fantastic sculpt, with a great design.  The tilt of his hips, the smirk of his really captures the Kelsey Grammar voiced Sideshow Bob.  Quimby isn't bad - it looks like him - but the scale seems a little off.

The sets are still a little too small though.  I had a hard time once again finding a way to fit three characters on these sets, particularly with the angle of the foot posts.  Perhaps if they could find a way to make those posts rotate in their location, more figures would work on each set.

Articulation - **1/2
Nothing surprising here, if you've bought earlier Playmates Simpsons figures.  Neck, shoulders and waist is what you get.  Not much, but considering these characters are primarily intended to stand, it's not terrible. 

Accessories - ****
Both characters come with four accessories each.  Quimby has his briefcase overflowing with cash, gavel, Quimby-for-Mayor sign, and Mayor sash.  Sideshow Bob has a knife, axe, bomb, and Die Bart license plate, manufactured with his own hands while serving time.

The Town Hall doesn't come with anything itself, but the podium set up is nicely done to make up for it.  The studio comes with spot light, camera, and cannon, which Sideshow Bob always despised. 

The accessories are well sculpted and designed, and they are extremely appropriate to the characters and sets.

Talking Feature - ***1/2
One of the major selling points of this entire line, the talking feature of these playsets is close to perfect.

The first sets had the speakers on the bottom.  They worked, but were slightly muffled.  Since, they've done their best to place them in creative spots.  Unfortunately, the studio doesn't have any where to really place it, so it went in the back.  That's still an improvement over the bottom.  The town hall did one better, and they hide the speaker in the podium.

Sideshow Bob's lines are excellent, and it's definitely Kelsey Grammar.  No distortion on his voice, and the selection of lines is great.  I tried a few other characters in the playset as well before settling on Krusty (of course) and Bart.

The Town Hall set isn't quite as good with lines, at least not that I could find.  Quimby only has a few, although a couple of them are pretty good, and the other characters don't have much to say that works well with this set.  I settled on Lisa and Wiggum, but that was driven half by their lines and half by how well they fit physically.

I think we'll see this become a bigger problem as they do more and more of the second and third string characters.  Let's face it, in just how many different playsets is Otto really going to have much worth saying?

Value - ****
A figure, a playset, and a bunch of accessories - plus the talking feature - make these well worth twenty bucks.

Overall - ***1/2
This line will go down as one of the greatest ever produced, if only for me.  It's one of only a couple current lines that I really look forward to, and that seems to get better with each release.  I can see us getting at least 50 different figures before this is over.  The new series with Kamp Krusty Bart, Sunday Best Homer, Otto, Milhouse, Nelson and Moe is also hitting stores right now - go get them!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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