Greetings From Springfield
Simpsons PVC's waves 4, 5 and 6

During the mid-90's, Simpsons related merchandise dried up like a toad in the desert. Well, at least in the U.S. International markets still had a ton of goodies, but for those of us in the good old US of A, we were pretty much SOL.

And then there came a huge boom. Tons of Simpsons merchandise flooded back into the market in the late 90's and into the early part of the new millennium. But there is a time, turn turn turn, and all that crap, and we've cycled back to a dry spell.

Thanks to the international market though, there are still some goodies out there. Last year, The Promotions Factory released 24 PVC figures in three sets of eight, exclusive to a handful of retail stores (Coles, Bi-Lo, Target and K-mart) in Australia. They are following that up this summer with three more series, each containing eight 'themed' figures.

Tonight I'll cover the whole set of 24. Wave 4 is called Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, and obviously covers characters from the Power Plant. Wave 5 is called Caped and Courageous, and includes various superhero incarnations. And wave 6 is called "The Way We Were", and has 8 figures done as the young versions of regular characters.

Your best bet to find these if you're not from down under is good old Ebay. They cost $2 AU each in stores, and you should be able to get them for about that loose on Ebay as well, with a slight markup.

The set you see in this review is actually a 'promo' set, and they don't sell this way. They come individually, usually released one wave at a time to the stores. There are also boxed sets for each wave that include a 'gold' figure. Check the Promotion Factory website for more details.

Please note that this is also one of those reviews with LOTS more photos than text.  There's really only so much you can say about PVC's, but with 24 of them to photograph, I didn't want to skimp on the shots.

Packaging - N/A
There isn't any in the regular releases. You grab yourself a figure out of the countertop box. No muss, no fuss. They do have tags however.

And yes, there's a photo to the left of them all in a plastic tray, but that's the promo set packaging.  There's also boxes for each wave with gold versions that may or may not end up released as well.  They did that for the first three series, but only time will tell if they do that for these three as well.

Sculpting - ***
I'm going a little easier on them in this category for these three waves for a couple reasons. First, several of these really are terrific (streakin' Barney, PP Homer, Pieman, etc.) and sport much better sculpts than the first series. Second, I didn't have as many scale issues this time around, although that's not to say that problem is gone.

Kids are still too large compared to adults, and some of the characters - like Blinky - are completely out of scale with the rest of the series. This isn't surprising for a PVC line however, where scale always goes out the window.

Scale is better with some of the characters though, and I love the fact that the Ranier Wolfcastle Radioactive Man is much bulkier and bigger than the actual Radioactive Man.

While some of the sculpts are great, others aren't quite as nice. Mindy was perhaps the most disappointing to me, but several of the Power Plant figures were off a bit, including Lenny, Carl and Smithers.

I also like some of the dynamic poses here, particularly with PP Homer, streakin' Barney, and just about all the superheroes. They went with nifty action poses where it made the most sense, and left other characters in more static stances.

Some of the best out of this bunch include the Power Plant (PP) Homer, every one of the superheroes, and nekkid Barney.

Although some of the poses are pretty wild, every one of the figures (with the exception of one) stands just great on their own, even running Barney. That one exception would be...Mindy. She's got some damn tiny feet, and there was no way I could keep her off her back. Homer knows what I'm talking about.

Scale is around 4", which is about where the Homers stand. Unfortunately, this puts them too small to fit in with either WOS or the new Mcfarlane figures. However, with already 48 characters in the set, they're already creating their own universe.

That doesn't mean NONE of them will work with other lines though.  Blinky is so big he could work with figures that are 8 or 9 inches tall, and characters like Joe Fission will work with any line - who's to say how big he really should be?  The kids from this PVC set will also fit in well scale-wise with the current Mcfarlane toys.  See the photo below with Bartman standing in front of the magnetic hands Homer.

Paint - **1/2
This was the biggest issue for the previous set, and it's still an issue here. However, these do show some improvement over last year's waves, and certainly rival the recent Mcfarlane releases in this category.

There's still some stray marks, and occasionally you get a lazy eye. But most of the cuts between colors are clean, and there's a enough small detail work to impress, especially at the price point.

Articulation - N/A
These are PVC's. No articulation necessary.

Accessories - N/A
PVC's. In case I hadn't mentioned it.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
We haven't had any unique and interesting Simpsons characters in the States since WOS died. Here we get Smilin' Joe Fission, Pieman, Mindy, and even a afro wearing Dr. Hibbert, to add to the shelf.

Value - ***1/2
If you're buying these at the store, they're a great price. PVC's of this quality in the states would cost at least double the price these days.

If you're stuck buying off ebay though, once you throw in shipping, things are definitely going to be more expensive.

Things to Watch Out For - 
If you're grabbing these out of the counter box, look carefully at the paint. You don't want to blow your two bucks on a cross eyed Bartman!

Overall - ***
The quality of both the sculpts and the paint ops has improved from the first three series to these three. That's always a good sign, and it looks like they are tremendously popular with the Australian collectors. That bodes well for even more figures to add to this new world of characters.

It's worth mentioning that there some of these figures are rarer than others. They post this info on the website, but it appears that info is actually incorrect. People who have been opening cases have reported that for wave 4, Smithers and Mindy are packed two each (out of case of 24); wave 5 has Ranier Wolfcastle, Radioactive Man and the Collector at two each; and wave 6 has Patty, Selma and Barney at two each.

Score Recap
Packaging - N/A
Sculpt - ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - N/A
Accessories - N/A
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
Ebay is your best bet at this point unless you have a friend in Australia.

There you can get them at K-Mart, Target, Cole's and Bi-Lo stores.  They are releasing them in waves, along with some cool cloth shopping bags, etc.

Related Links:
Check out the Promotion Factory website  for more info.

Also, I reviewed the initial three sets last summer. And if you're looking for all kinds of Simpsons reviews in general, check out my index of past Simpsons reviews.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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