World of Springfield Wave 8 

After finding the new playsets last week, I was on the hunt for the new Wave 8 figures.  It only took one trip the following morning at 8am to the local Target, and they were right on the peg.

This wave consists of six (technically seven) new figures.  Two are variations - Ragin' Willie (aka ripped Willie) and Daredevil Bart.  Superintendent Chalmers is the only other adult, and Kearney, Uter, and the twins Sherri and Terri round out the bunch.

These are retailing for $5.99 at Target now, but Walmart may still be slightly cheaper.  Target is the only store that I know for sure has gotten them in so far, but they are showing up all across the U.S.

Packaging - **1/2
The new All Star Voices cardbacks have ruined us for the regular line.  These cards are getting old, and they desperately need some sort of update.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpting isn't bad in this wave, but there are a couple areas that bothered me.

First, there's always scale, although it's not as bad as I thought it would be.  Uter fits in nicely with the other kids, and Kearney is one of the better scaled teenagers.  But although Sherri and Terri are supposed be taller than Bart, because of his huge size the twins end up as tall as some of the teenagers.

Some of the sculpts themselves are excellent.  I particularly like Kearney and Sherri and Terri.  They didn't have to give us two different head sculpts for the girls if they didn't want to, but they did.  It's a nice touch.  And Kearney might be my favorite out of this entire wave.

Both the sculpts on Willie and Uter are good, and Uter is another figure that is vying with Kearney for best of the litter.

But Chamlers and DD Bart disappointed me.  In the package, DD Bart looks excellent.  Actually, out of the package without his helmet on he looks excellent too. It's a great costume, and they really did a nice job with it.  But putting on Bart's helmet messes things up - because of his ears, they couldn't make it come down far enough on his head, so it rides too high.  This is one time that sculpting the helmet as part of the head would have been a good idea.

Chalmers is one of those figures that has something wrong, but I can't quite put my finger on it.  After comparing him to a variety of pictures, I think it's that his forehead isn't big enough.  The top of his head in most drawings is much taller than it is here, and I think that is throwing off the sculpt.  On the positive side, they gave him a scowling look, something they should do with more of the figures - give them some animation to their faces.  Poor Uter and Willie have that zombie stare again.

One of the best features of the sculpting of recent waves are the hands - again, all the figures can hold at least the majority of their accessories.

Paint - ***1/2
I got a good batch of figures this time, with no serious paint op problems.  DD Bart's outfit was done particularly well, and it had plenty of opportunity for them to mess it up.  A solid white can be difficult to make consistent, but they succeeded.  The line between his pants and shoes is a bit sloppy, but for the most part the figures are cleanly done.

Other highlights include Chalmers suit and the little dots on Kearney's head.

Articulation - **
Neck, waist, shoulders.  Ever get the feeling you're repeating yourself?

Accessories - ***
There's some re-use here, but we get some cool new accessories too.

Sherri and Terri only come with their jump rope, but it's a new accessory, and considering you're really getting two figures for the price of one, it's understandable.

Daredevil Bart has his helmet as his new accessory, and while it doesn't look that great on him, on it's own it looks terrific.  He also comes with the re-used skateboard and signed picture of Lance Murdock.

Kearney comes with a re-used bat, spray can, and Squishy, along with the all new, hand held Newton, which says "Eat Up Martha".

Ragin' Willie has the shotgun (perfect for Moe's if we ever get it) and tub of grease (re-used).  He also has another new accessory in a hip flask.  Booze and guns - always a bad idea.

Uter has two re-used accessories - a bag of chips and his stack of books - and two new pieces of candy.

Finally, Chalmers has three accessories, another clipboard, a new coffee cup with his name on it, and a new phone.  That's three or four phones now in this line - this desk top model, the round desk top phone, the wall phone and the cel phone - with no re-use.

Talking Feature - ***
I haven't gone through all the figures yet and tried them on too many sets.  I'm sure someone over at the Simpsons Collector Sector will do that, but the thing I'm most impressed with are the two different sets of phrases for Sherri and Terri.
That's another thing they didn't have to do, but it's a very nice touch. 

Value - ***
Six bucks for these is pretty much right on in terms of cost.  I'd hate to see them get up to seven though, and I'm hoping we don't see any more price increases through 2003.  Hey, one can dream, can't one?

Overall - ***
This isn't my favorite overall wave, and the character selection in general left me a bit cold.  While the figures were well executed, there really weren't any stand outs for me that I had been anticipating.

Where to Buy
I found these at Target, where you'll get the best prices.

On-line, there are plenty of options:

- New Force Comics.  Rick has the best prices around, but you need to pre-order.  On these you're out of luck (and if you ordered them from him, he is hoping to start shipping the week of 4/5), but he has pre-orders up for wave 9 and 10 right now.

- Bean's Toys has the set for $35 plus shipping still available as a pre-order.

- Entertainment Earth has them still up as pre-orders.  If you want to buy a case, which is evenly packed with two of each figure, it's only $70.  That comes out to $5.83 each plus shipping. (MROTW Affiliate)


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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