Uncle Deadly

When it comes to the San Diego Comic Con, folks are usually pretty worked up about the many (and I mean MANY) convention exclusive action figures.  But this year, one of the dealers had their own store exclusive who's first appearance just happened to coincide with the show, and judging by the crowds around their booth, I'd say there were lots of collectors in a lather over this one as well.

Oh My God, Cheap New Figures Online, who automatically win the contest for longest online retailer name in the history of mankind, have done quite a bit to support the Muppets line at the end of its days.  Sort of like an action figure hospice, they've done what they can to make the last days of the line as good as possible, with new figures like Sweetums and the Penguin two pack released through them exclusively.  And yes, they had the Penguins there, but no, that's not who I'm reviewing tonight.

Tonight it's the Uncle Deadly exclusive, all three variations, which were available at the convention, and of course now through their website.  There's the traditional version, the "steppin' out" version, and the "flashback" version.  Each sells for $15, and is only available through  Right now - the week after SDCC - they are still listed as 'out of stock', but that's because they sold through their pre-orders and are waiting until the return from SDCC to see exactly how many they have left to sell.  You should see some go back up in the near future - but watch carefully, because they probably won't last long.

Packaging - ***
If I had to choose between the original red and the newer blue, I still think I prefer the red.  But the style of art and sturdiness of the clamshells still makes these packages high on my list.

While there's a sticker on the front proclaiming the fact that these are exclusives, there is no mention of which variant each one is.  Something next to Deadly's name would have been a nice touch.

Sculpting - ****
One nice thing about reviewing the Muppets - I've had to greatly expand my vocabulary of words that mean 'great'.  When it comes to the sculpts on these figures, I've over used 'amazing', 'fantastic', and 'stupendous' so much, I've had to take the next step and make up my own words.  So today I'm stating that the sculpt on Uncle Deadly is staggeringly stunnomenal.  Trust me, that's a good thing.

You want detail work?  Check out the textures, buttons and tears in the clothing.  You want likeness?  That head sculpt is not only on model, it's uber-cool.  You want scale?  He fits in perfectly with the rest of the line?  You want fries with that?  See the guy in the red paper hat.

Deadly will be going on my list of favorite Muppet sculpts, right up there with Sweetums and Adventure Kermit.

Now, there is one thing worth mentioning that bugged me.  The tail is NOT attached to his butt.  It's attached to the underside of the jacket, and has no posability at all.  I'm sure they did this as a cost cutting measure, and I'm cutting them a lot of slack on it because it's the end of the line.  You may find your score is effected more heavily by it than mine though, so it's important to keep in mind.

Paint - ****
When Palisades and announced three different paint schemes for this figure, there was some trepidation.  Even when the three were shown in photos later, some folks were still unsure if they'd really want more than the traditional version.  Trust me - you're going to have to really check out all three to be sure you've got your favorite, and even then, you may end up buying more than one.

The quality of the ops on all three, in general, is the same stellar work we've seen for most of the line.  I see a lot of toys from a lot of companies, and it still surprises me how good of quality Palisades has managed to demand and get (most of the time) on this line.

I did have some issues with the paint work on the ghosts and skulls, but I'll bring that up in the section on accessories.

Now, which paint job is the best?  His traditional look is the one most folks will gravitate to first, but don't discount the other two.  The "Steppin' Out" version is somewhat similar, but has a slighlty more tuxedo style paint job.  He fits in nicely with the other "Steppin' Out" Muppets like Tux Kermit or Tux Rowlf.

The "Flashback" version is done in a black and white film style, with shades of gray used for everything.  Initially I was the least interested in this one, but I have to say it's really grown on me over time, and I'm quite surprised at how wide of a palette they got with just shades of gray.

And as advertised early on (although I don't believe it says so anywhere on the package), the Flashback version also glows in the dark!  I had to take hiim into a dark room to double check, because it's a nice unobvious paint they used, but his head, hands, feet, tail, all glows in a nice, bright, eerie fashion!

Articulation - ***1/2
Your favorite Uncle has neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, elbows, cut wrists, ball waist (similar to Statler and Waldorf), hips and ankles.  He's much more articulated above the waist than below, which makes quite a bit of sense due to his character design.

The arm articulation is great, and allows him to hold all kinds of cool poses.  the hands can be brought all the way together, and also posed up around his head.

The only joint I would have added or improved would have been the neck.  It's a simple cut joint, and a ball would have been so much more interesting.  I wish I could tilt his head, but it's not a huge problem.

Accessories - ***
Deadly comes with three accessories, if you include his little black display stand.  There's also the ghost, and the skull.

Each of the three versions has slightly different ghosts and skulls.  Two of the ghosts/skulls are white, and one is completely clear.  The completely clear version is obviously the most distinct, but the two white ghosts/skulls are slightly different as well.  One is slightly darker, and slightly shinier.

The paint ops on the two painted ghosts is somewhat off.  It's tricky - they went for a slightly translucent look, by not covering the clear ghost below, but it doesn't particularly work.  The painted ghosts and skulls also have some slop around the eyes and mouths that the figures themselves don't have.

There are also small clear stands for the ghosts, so that they can float in the air. The stands work pretty well, but the post doesn't fit too tightly into the base, so that it tends to drop off when you pick it up.

The clear versions of both accessories are actually my favorite, but then I'm a little odd.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
For kids to have fun with their favorite Uncle doesn't even require that they know who he is.  He's such a cool looking character, with such an interesting design, that they'll be drawn to him, Muppets fans or not.

He also has enough articulation to be fun, especially in his arms, and is plenty sturdy to handle serious play time.

Value - **
At $15, he's steep.  You're paying over the original $10 price for several reasons - first, he's an exclusive; second, his production numbers are well below the regular releases; and third, he's a tail ender, one of the very last figures in the line.

Things to Watch Out for - 
Not a thing.  You might find that you like one of the ghosts more than the others, but I'm betting if you only buy one, you'll pay more attention to the version of Deadly than the version of ghosts/skulls.

Overall -  ***1/2
This line has had a good run - 9 full waves, several ultra-cool playsets, tons of exclusives, and three years of fun.  Now that Uncle Deadly and the Penguins are out, that leaves just the Rainbow Connection Kermit (who was also available at the show, so should ship from Palisades Direct any day if you've ordered through them).

Palisades has done many great lines, but I suspect that the Muppets line will be their greatest accomplishment overall.  It will certainly be one of my top ten lines of the last decade, and has managed to reach a level of quality and completeness that very few lines ever attain.

If you have to end the line, ending on a figure as strong as Uncle Deadly ain't such a bad idea.  He looks great, he's a ton of fun, and I suspect he'll sell through lickity split.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
He's an exclusive, so your best bet is right from the source -  Or you can pick one up off ebay, if you really feel the need.

Related Links -
I've reviewed a ton of the Muppets - just about the entire line, I believe.  Your best bet is to hit the Reviews Archive, and search for 'muppet'.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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