Vanishing Cream Beaker and Tuxedo Kermit

It's official - the Muppets are a hit! Palisades Toys has only released the first series, and yet they are the talk of the town.  I reviewed the Miss Piggy figure very early on, and did the rest of the series 1 about a month ago.  I also recently  reviewed the first Muppets playset, the Muppets Lab.

The exclusives have been popping up all over, and two of the newest are the Tuxedo Kermit (aka Master of Ceremonies Kermit) that is exclusive to Toys R Us, and the Vanishing Cream Beaker, sold at the Wizard World Chicago show.  You won't find him at retail anywhere, but you may still be able to pick up the Tux Kermit at your local TRU.

Packaging - ***1/2
Beautiful work again.  Tuxedo Kermit comes in the carded package, same as the series 1 regular figures.  The TRU version looks exactly the same, but the Toyfare version (pictured) has a Toyfare Exclusive sticker on the front.

VC Beaker comes in a great little window box, easy to open and remove the figure without destroying anything, complete with a J-hook on top to hang it on the wall.

Sculpting - ****
The sculpts on both are simply excellent.  This is of course the same Beaker as the one that comes with the playset, and since I loved him there, it's unlikely I'd knock him on sculpting here.

This Kermit is actually an improvement on the regular release.  Yes, we have to have our regular looking Kermit, but this one has thicker legs due to the pants, and he's got better posture because of it.  Maybe that's my problem?

Paint - ***
The concept behind Beaker is great - he gets the vanishing cream on his upper body, causing half the figure to be 'invisible'. It works well, and the paint ops are the trick.

Rather than end the paint abruptly on his body, it sort of fades into clear.  It's nicely done and looks great.  My only knock on Beakers paint work is his eyes.  I guess the white pupils are the invisible version of the black pupils?  Perhaps it looks better this way than having completely clear eyes, but something about it just doesn't sit right.

I've heard lots of people complaining about the paint ops on the Tuxedo Kermits.  Mine is actually pretty nice, although the black is a little inconsistent, particularly across the back, and there was a little overspray around the hands.

Accessories - ****
VC Beaker has only one accessory, but it's a beaut - the partially squeezed tube of vanishing cream.  It looks great, and it fits nicely into his hand.

Kermit comes with three accessories, technically.  He comes with the same television camera that the normal Kermit does, with moving lever and twisting/ extending pole, and the same 25th anniversary foot stand, but also comes with his new top hat.  There's a hole in the back of his head that fits the post on the hat perfectly, and just like Dr. Teeth, he looks a lot better with it on than off.

Articulation - Kermit ***1/2, Beaker ****
Kermit is the least articulated of all the figures released so far, and of course this version isn't any different.  Neck, ball jointed shoulders, wrists, hips, waist and ankles round him out.  The tuxedo makes this figure a lot sturdier than his nekkid counterpart, and he has no trouble standing on his own.

Beaker has neck, ball jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips and ankles.  He can hold quite a few unique poses, and will look terrific on your shelf.

Value - **1/2
That depends on where you pick them up of course, but both of these are more expensive than the regular releases due to their smaller runs and exclusivity.

The Toys R Us price for Kermit was around $11 - through Toyfare it was around $15.  Estimates on the number of each is approximately 3000 for the Toyfare version, and 8000 for the TRU version.

The VC Beaker is in much shorter supply, with about 1700 being sold at Wizard World in Chicago, and another 1000 or so through the collectors club.  They were getting $15 at the show, and a membership to the club cost $30.

Overall - ***1/2
Only the higher price forced by the exclusivity is bringing these down a tad.  They are both excellent variations, true to the show and great to look at on the shelf.

Where to Buy
Your local Toys R Us may still have the Tuxedo Kermit, and if you watch out at the Palisades site, you may be able to get the VC Beaker through the new collector club.  Also on-line:

- still has the Tuxedo Kermit, but at $15.  Search under 'kermit', and you'll see him listed as the Masters of Ceremonies Kermit. (MROTW Affiliate)


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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