Mezco South Park Series 2
Tooth Fairy Cartman, Mr. Garrison, Token, Stan, Kyle and Mr. Hankey

South Park continues to crank along as one of the funniest half hours on television, despite proclamations by the hip and cool that it's no longer, well, hip and cool.

Along with the show, Mezco's line of figures also cranks along. Series 2 started trickling out a few weeks ago, but has yet to reach a critical mass anywhere. Blame the current retail situation. I finally found mine at a local Hot Topic, but it was the first new figures I had bought there in months.

Anyone familiar with Mezco knows they like to do variants. Lots of variants. But I think they've actually set a new world record with this series.

The main series consists of 6 new characters - Stan, Kyle, Token, Mr. Garrison, Mr. Hankey, and Tooth Fairy Cartman. But for the completist out there, this series could very well be the final straw that break's their mental camel-back, because there are 19...yes, 19!...different versions.

I'll include a few photos of the packaged variants as well, although I don't have any where near the full set. There are six different Kyles - 3 different expressions wearing his hat, 2 different expressions with his afro hair, and one extra special version with Mr. Hankey kisses on his face. Add to that 4 different Stans, 3 different Mr. Hankeys, 2 different Cartmans, 2 different Tokens and 2 different Garrisons, and you get that whopping 19 number.

At around $13 each at most retailers, that's $247 to buy the full set. Yes, you read that right almost $250 for a single wave of South Park figures. If you're a completist, you might as well just put a bullet in your brain right now.

Packaging -  **1/2
I'm not quite as thrilled with the packaging as time goes by. It's a clamshell, which is always a plus, and the insert is a heavy cardboard that can actually work as a backdrop to your display if you are a little creative. But there's a ton of wasted space with even the adult characters, you can't see all the accessories because the arms are hidden behind the insert (which makes no sense to me), and they are extremely difficult to store for the MOCers.

Sculpting - Cartman, Garrison ***1/2; Kyle, Hankey ***; Token, Stan **1/2
These are action figures based on a cartoon animated with little pieces of cut out construction paper.  Therefore, it's unlikely that they'll have a tremendous amount of detail in the sculpts.

However, it's still possible to screw up that which might appear simple.  In fact, sometimes it's the simplest appearing objects that are the most difficult to capture.  This wave is a bit of a mixed bag in that regard.

My favorite sculpt of the set is Tooth Fairy Cartman, the only repeated character from wave 1.  Not only does the dress look great (complete with butt crack in back), but the shape of the body, style of hands and even hair cut match up extremely well with the cartoon.  He's also nicely in scale with his previous version and the other kids.

Garrison is my next fav, and sports a slightly different body than we've seen so far.  It's sculpted to be flat on the back and front, giving his torso a more two dimensional look.  I think it works well, and his overall scale with the rest of the line is good  The head size is good, and the sculpted nose, ears, glasses and hair look just right.  The glasses are glued in place, and can not be easily removed.

Next up is Kyle.  Ignoring the difference between the painted facial expressions, his sculpt is solid.  His head is fairly round, and they managed to pull of the hat pretty well.  One of the tricks with this line is that the cartoon is drawn with the heads as full circles, not cut off by the clothes.  That's difficult to translate into three dimensions, and Mirage had a terrible time trying to do it with their line.  Mezco has done a decent job here, especially with the kids.

Hankey is...well, Hankey is pretty basic.  The arms are thin, but a tad long, and the facial expression sports more sculpting features than the other figures.  Still, he's about as basic as you can get, and the fact that any action figure of Mr. Hankey is always going to be way out of scale bothers me.

Token and Stan are way back in the cheap seats this time.  Token has something off about the hair, something that I can't quite place but which just doesn't look right.  If he wasn't black, I wouldn't know who he was.

Stan also has something off, but I'm a little more sure about this one.  His head is much to oval, and lacks the round appearance that all the kids have on the show.  The fluff ball on top of his beanie (which is quite nicely detailed) actually accents the oval nature of the head, making it appear even worse.  If you pick a Stan with eyebrows painted on, you'll be happier with him, but he's still not quite right.

Paint - Garrison, Stan, Token, Kyle, Hankey ***; Cartman **1/2
The paint ops were an issue with series 1, and the remain inconsistent here as well.

My biggest issue was with Cartman, who has a badly smudged left eye.  He also has some poor definition between some of the colors of the dress, and a few stray marks, but it's that eye that drives me nuts.  If he wasn't the only one on the peg, I would have had a choice, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

The rest all sport decent work, but not exceptional.  This is fairly average work for specialty market toys, and if you can be particular about the figures you buy, you should be able to find ones that will make you happy.

I suspect how much you like Kyle and Stan is going to depend on which of the many versions you pick up, since some of the facial expressions (especially the eyebrows) can make a big difference.  Again, if you're lucky enough to find these in the store, you'll be a happier camper.  But even if you don't, and you have to buy online, the quality is good enough that you should get decent figures, if not all the best expressions.

Articulation - Garrison, Token, Stan, Kyle **1/2; Cartman **; Hankey *1/2;
If you're looking for super posability, you best be looking elsewhere. These are cartoon action figures, and fairly static cartoon characters to begin with. If you make the characters out of construction paper on screen, the 3-D versions aren't likely to have a lot of joints either.

Everyone here has a ball jointed head (except for Hankey), which works better in some than others. It does tilt, twist and boogie with the best of them, but moving it out too far reveals the rotocast nature of the head.

Everyone also has cut shoulders, since they all have swappable arms. Well, with the exception of Mr. Hankey of course, who is about as unarticulated as a piece of crap can be. Please note that this is the only time I've ever referred to a toy as a 'piece of crap' in any review, and only because it is the literal truth.

Believe it or not, Stan, Kyle and Token all have waist joints, although their legs a pretty damn short.  Garrison has a waist joint as well, but Cartman does not.  Neither does Mr. Hankey, of course.

Mr. Garrison includes an extra joint on his right elbow, so that you can turn the arm in or out slightly. He also has cut wrists, and the right hand pops on and off easy enough to swap Mr. Hat with Mr. Twig.

The articulation allows for the most basic of poses, and the neck joint is clearly the most valuable. Still, these figures are designed to stand in one spot and look like their cartoon counterparts. They do that, but that's all they really do.

And if you hadn't figured it out yet, Mr. Hankey has zero regular articulation.  Not that I'm sure he needs it.  He does get a score though for bendy arms, something I wouldn't have realized if a reader hadn't pointed it out.  No way I'd try bending anything that thin without knowing it, and I didn't see it mentioned on the package anywhere.

Accessories - Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Garrison ***1/2; Token, Hankey ***;
Mezco wisely uses the accessories to add a lot of value to the overall line.

Token comes with an extra left arm, holding a microphone. He also has the bass guitar and amp he found in his basement, and played in Cartman's Christian rock band. The elastic strap fits around his shoulders well, and the paint and sculpt are terrific.

Mr, Hankey has two of his additional hats to go with the Santa hat he comes wearing - his shower cap and his sailor cap. These all pop on and off with the use of a peg, and fit tightly. He also comes with his brush, which looks great in his hand with the shower cap on his head.

He also has a clear plastic stand to allow him to stand. It works pretty well, but a peg of some sort would have really helped. I found that he tended to fall over extremely easily.

Garrison has Mr. Hat on his left hand of course, but he can be swapped out with a Mr. Twig left hand easily enough. He also comes with a big red apple, an extra left arm/hand, and his 'science project' pig, complete with hair and glasses. Unfortunately, his glasses are glued on pretty crooked, and I've heard that's a common problem.  You can adjust them a bit though, but be careful, because they are glued at the center with a peg.  Twist too much, and it will break.  

Also, Garrison's extra arm is straight (and I bet you're pretty surprised than anything about Garrison is straight), in case you want to pose Garrison without either Twig or Hat.

Stan comes with his gay dog (who is wearing a pink bow around his blue collar), and two additional arms. The additional arm is at a *slightly* different angle, that allows him to do more of a thumb's up pose. His extra left arm has his first finger pointing. The arms pop on and off easily enough, but fit tightly. Finally, Stan also has his goldfish and bowl, that was actually a murderous fish.

Kyle comes with his little brother Ike, with an open mouth expression. They pull this off by having a spring hold the top half of his head above the bottom half. If you end up with more than one loose Ike, you can easily remove the spring and glue the top half of his head down for a closed mouth version.

Kyle also comes with his dreidel, and an extra set of arms. Again, like Stan, his extra right arm is allows for a slightly different arm pose, that puts the arm and hand out further from the body. The extra left arm includes a tiny Mr. Hankey sculpted into the hand, and is one of the best accessories of the entire wave.

Cartman comes with the widest array of arms, and the most unique. He comes with one additional right arm with flat hand, and two additional left arms, one with a tooth and one with money.

He also has the long pole and rope to attach to his waist, so he can float in the window. The rope has a slip knot, and you can wrap it around him and relive those classic moments.

His wings and hat are also removable, so you can strip him down a bit if you'd like.

The fact that these accessories all make perfect sense with these characters, and that they are episode specific in many cases, really adds to the quality of the line.  It's also great that some come from very early in the show, like the dreidel, while others come from much later seasons.

Fun Factor - ***
Just like series one, these have plenty of 'fun' potential. The accessories work well with the figures, and add play value to a line that isn't even focused on kids. But if you think adults don't 'play', then you've never put a few figures like these around your cube. Trust me, hilarity will ensue, mostly when you're not there.

Value - **1/2
The value score improved from series 1 to 2, although very little about the figure did. Why? Because in the six months since I reviewed the first series, the retail scene has altered drastically. The number of bricks and mortar stores carrying figures like this has dropped dramatically, and the odds of you being forced to order online has grown. The run size on this series has to be fairly small, so costs in the current climate are naturally going to be higher. It's unfortunate, but at $13, these are a pretty average price.

Get these down around $11 each, and you can add another half star here. Unfortunately to do that, you'll probably have to go online, and that means shipping charges.

Things to watch out for - 
Be mindful when taking Cartman out of the package. Those wings can get hooked on the inner tray and snap pretty easily.

And of course, if you're grabbing these off the shelf, do your best to get good paint work and your favorite expression. If you could only buy one, my choices would be:

Hankey kissed Kyle
Open mouth/eyebrows Stan (the eyebrows really improve his appearance!)
Open mouth Garrison
Open mouth Cartman
Closed mouth Token
Smiling Hankey

Scroll down below the group photos to see three of my favorite variants.

Overall -  Mr. Garrison, Cartman ***1/2; Kyle, Hankey ***; Token, Stan **1/2
After playing around with these for awhile, it was an easy choice that Garrison and Cartman were my favorites.  The sculpts really do stand out as the best of the wave, and the choices for accessories were top notch.  Adding both Mr. Hat AND Mr. Twig in with him really added to his appeal as well.

Kyle is a solid figure, and he looks good with the rest of the line up, but you really want to try to pick up one with eyebrows.  It helps quite a bit, and some of the expressions are much better than others.

Token isn't a critical character to the display, but it is nice to see him make it to market.  Still, I wish the execution had turned out a little better.

Stan's oval head continues to jump out at me as a major issue, and I just can't get past it.  He does have terrific accessories though, just like the rest of the line.

If I were to skip one figure in the series, it would be Mr. Hankey.  Yes, he gets a better overall score than Stan or Token, because they did a good job with the sculpt, the paint and even the accessories.  But he's a figure that I simply have very little interest in, and I think the only character that appeals to me less is Towelie.

Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - Cartman, Garrison ***1/2; Kyle, Hankey ***; Token, Stan **1/2
Paint - Garrison, Stan, Token, Kyle, Hankey ***; Cartman **1/2
Articulation - Garrison, Token, Stan, Kyle **1/2; Cartman **; Hankey Bupkis;
Accessories - Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Garrison ***1/2; Token, Hankey ***;
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall -  Mr. Garrison, Cartman ***1/2; Kyle, Hankey ***; Token, Stan **1/2

Where to Buy -
Most online retailers don't actually have these yet, but only Spencer's and Hot Topics are getting them in, in the 'real world'. Online options include:

- Amazing Toyz is still a preorder at $11 each, or $65 for the set.

- CornerStoreComics has preorders up still at $12 each, $65 for the set, or $125 for a case of 12.

- Killer Toys has this second set in stock for $65.

Related Links:
By now, there's always plenty of reviews:

- I reviewed series 1 of course, which has the very cool Cartman figure. 

- and let's not forget that - Mirage did series 1, series 2 (I reviewed Towelie separately), and series 3 of their figures before packing it in. They also did an exclusive Mr. Hanky.

Actually, there is a fourth series out there, including Jimmy, Officer Barbrady, Big Gay Al and Mr. Mackey. They were produced but never released until after the demise of Mirage. You should be able to find them on Ebay with a quick search.

Scroll down further to see my three favorite variants...

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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