Simpsons Blockos

The new Simpsons Blockos are shipping, and the reviews are certainly mixed.  While the idea is interesting, most folks were greatly disappointed in the execution.  The painted faces didn't go over too well, and most folks were panning these from the photos.

I too thought they looked goofy.  I'm a Simpsons tool though, so I knew I'd be picking them up anyway.  This set is a Toys R Us exclusive, and includes all 9 of the figures.  There's tons of accessories, but these same blockos will be released later in three packs that will also include backgrounds and stands.  Check out the Simpsons Collector Sector for more info.

Amazon is selling these for $28 plus shipping for the set.  There are tons of pictures here, showing them with a variety of their gear.  All TRU stores should get them in - it was just a fluke that Amazon had them first this time.

Packaging - **
The box art is good, and follows the usual World of Springfield style that Playmates does as well.  You can open it up and get everything out without too much effort, and you could save the box for re-use later.

The big issue I have with the packaging is that it sells this set tremendously short.  Since you can only see the figures, you may not realize how many cool accessories are included, and not realize that it's actually a pretty good deal.  It's never a good idea to not promote one of the better features of your product with your presentation.

Sculpting - *
This is where the line fails.  While some of the painted faces are okay - Smithers or Apu are good examples - others are just down right awful, like Mr. Burns.

If you like the Kubrick's style, you won't mind the blocky bodies, but I'm not a big fan.  The big problem though with the bodies isn't the style, but the scale.  Bart is far too large, and poor Lisa looks like her future self when she thought she was going to end up stupid and fat, living in a trailer park.

I would have been much happier with these if they were styled more similarly to Playmobil.

Accessories - ****
While I might find fault with the style and sculpting, I can't complain about the accessories.  There are a ton, and you can mix and match all kinds of things.

Since the arms, heads, hair, and legs all pop off, you can swap body parts around if you'd like.  I can't imagine that being too useful, but it does make the accessory possibilities much better.

There are various hats, some clothes, and extra set of arms for Smithers, and a variety of standard items that we'd expect to see these characters carrying. In all I believe there are around 27 extra pieces along with the basic 9 characters.

And yes, the skirt on both Marge and Lisa is removable, if you'd like to give Homer or Smithers something else to wear.

Paint - ***
The paint ops were all good, with the crucial paint work on the faces cleanly done.  I'm not thrilled with all the faces, and Mr. Burns, Homer and Carl are all good examples of where this doesn't work.  But there's no sloppy lines or unevenness.

Articulation - ***
If you have bought Kubrick's, you pretty much know what's going on here.  There's neck, shoulder, thigh and wrist joints, and as I mentioned you can also pop off the hair on those characters that have it.

It's pretty good articulation for something done in this style, and pretty much the max that you could expect.

All of the figures come apart at these points of articulation too, so you can remove the arms, legs, torsos, heads and even hair to mix and match the various characters. 

Value - ***1/2
Considering that you're getting 9 figures for $27, that's a pretty reasonable price.  These are worth three bucks each, particularly with all the extra accessories.  I'll be interested to see if the three packs are under ten bucks at retail.

Overall - **
I don't like the lack of facial features on these, and I'm not all that thrilled with the style.  I do think the accessories are terrific, and the general idea was good, but I would have preferred an execution more similar to Playmobil than Kubricks.

That being said, I have to admit that the little buggers are growing on me the more I play around with them, and if you're a big Simpsons fan you should give these at least a second look.

Where to Buy -
The 9 pack is a TRU exclusive.  I bought them on-line through:

- Amazon, where they are $28 plus shipping.  Search for 'blockos'. (MROTW Affiliate).

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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