Simpsons Mini Figures

Homer at the Bat & Deep Space Homer

The World of Springfield has been a huge hit for Playmates.  Already over a hundred figures and a couple dozen playsets, it looks to have at least a couple good years left.  So how can they expand on that license?

They tried Blockos.  That didn't work out so well.  So now it's time to go in two directions - bigger and smaller.  The bigger figures, reviewed later this week, are 9" tall and called the Faces of Springfield.  The smaller versions are called Simpsons Mini-Figures, and the first two sets have just been released.

These sets contain 5 figures each, about 4" tall.  The sets are episode themed, with the first two covering the shows Homer at the Bat, and Deep Space Homer. 

There's already a second set of two episodes planned.  One set covers Brother from the Same Planet, and the other is Homer the Heretic.  These are due for shipping in December.

Packaging - ***1/2
I'm taking off a half star because they aren't collector friendly boxes - you'll have to destroy them taking the figures out.  But otherwise, they are absolutely perfect.

The front shows the figures clearly and easily, and the artwork on the boxes is specific to that episode.  There's also an episode synopsis, with trivia and 'did ya knows' on the back, again all specific to the particular episode.  These boxes are simply terrific examples of creative and added value packaging.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpting is excellent, certainly as good as the WOS figures.  There's only a couple minor nits that cost them a half star.

A couple of the figures - Carl and the Monkey - have trouble standing on their own in these particular poses.  That's always disappointing in this scale.

Also, the helmets on both the Astronaut and Homer in the Deep Space set are designed in such a way as to block a large portion of their faces.  Other than that though, these sculpts are great.  I particularly love a number of the poses, such as Barney and Wiggum.

Paint - ****
At this scale, paint operations can be tricky and tough.  There's no problem here, and they also included some excellent stickers with great detail.

In the close up shot of Wiggum, you can see that even his hat sticker has Springfield Police Dept printed on it cleanly enough to read.

There's a number of colors on each of these figures, and they did a great job with clean lines and consistent colors.  Only the Doctor in the Deep Space set had slightly funky eyes, but one out of ten characters is pretty damn good.

Quality - ****
The figures are all solid and made from fairly stiff PVC.  They are unlikely to wilt or change over time.

Design - ****
As I mentioned in the sculpting section, the poses they selected all work extremely well.  They are all in some form of action shot, but they can still stand on their own.

Articulation - ***1/2
Aren't these just PVC's?  Nope!  They are just as articulated as the standard WOS figures, although I don't know if that's a good thing about these or a bad thing about WOS.

They have neck, shoulders and waist, but some of the figures are very limited in their range of motion due to the sculpt.  For example, Wiggum and Barney can't do a whole lot with their arms.

Still, to get five points of articulation on something I thought would be solid PVC is a very welcome surprise.

Value - ***
I picked these up for $10 each at Toys R Us.  At $2 each, these are nice little figures, and well worth the money.

Overall - ****
I'm giving these a bump on the overall score, simply because when taken as a whole they are one of the coolest new little items out this year.  Using the themes really helped, but I can also envision playsets for these that could be of larger areas, impossible in the WOS scale.

I'm hoping we see dozens more of these sets, and I hope that demand is great enough to show Playmates that they have hit on another winner.  Let's also hope that other licenses follows suit (can you say Muppets?)

Where to Buy
I picked up both sets at a Toys R Us in Michigan.  If we're getting them, everyone should be getting them.  You can also pick them up on-line:

- Entertainment Earth has the the two sets for $25 plus shipping. (MROTW Affiliate)

- Action Figure Express has the pair for $25 as well, plus shipping. (MROTW Affiliate)



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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