Futurama I-men


Tonight's guest review is from James Murray, well known collector and moderator at the Simpsons Collector Sector.  It's all yours, James!

Good news, everyone! Futurama I-Men are here. Toynami continues to produce their unique line of block figures, which are packaged two-to-a-card. The figures' feet are magnetic, which will allow for maximum poseability on an included collector coin.

Futurama fans have been waiting for these since they were first displayed at San Diego Comic Con 2003. For the first time, collectors can have characters like Morbo, Calculon, and the Devil Robot in plastic form.

I don't understand the rhyme or reason behind the pairings of these figures, but here's how they're packaged: Bender & Robot Devil, Calculon & Fry, Dr. Zoidberg & Morbo, Leela & Roberto, and Professor Farnsworth & URL. That's a total of five two-packs, 10 different figures. Cases are packed evenly, so there are no chase figures to worry about. Maybe I'm starting to understand that rhyme or reason after all.

Packaging - ***
Pretty simple blister card, but it looks nice. Character pics are on the front insert, and the cardback shows all the Futurama figures there are to collect. Easy to open, no twist ties or anything like that in the way.

Sculpting - ***1/2
These are tremendously better than the sculpting I've seen on previously released I-Men, such as the Hanna-Barbara I-Men. The head sculpts are amazing - the figures are distinguishingly human, robot, or alien. I almost ignore the fact that these are cube figures; however, the Professor's body looks a bit too boxy compared to the rest of the figures. Leela and Fry look slightly less than human, but that is to be expected from this format. The robots, on the other hand, look just great. On average, I give the set a three and a half.

Paint - **
I gave them a two for a few reasons. The paint is sloppy in some areas; Professor Farnsworth's shoes have paint from his pants, and many characters have eye paint spill over. URL's "teeth" seem to be painted on diagonally, and Bender's door has slight double line. I can overlook many of these mistakes, because the completed project looks pretty neat. But, because I am a nerd, I cannot ignore that Bender's door handle is painted on the wrong side. Other areas are painted perfectly, but I would still advise hunting down the best paint jobs.

Articulation - ***
Knee and elbow articulation would've bumped this up to four. But we get moving ankles, legs, waist, shoulders, wrists, and neck.not a bad deal. The hands come off with a little effort, which can be a neat thing (see pics below.) With the coin base and magnetic feet, many poses are possible.

Accessories - ***
The coins are pretty neat, and we get one per figure. The coins each bear an image of that character's face (the other side of the coin is an I-Men logo.) Other than that, there are few accessories with which the figures can actually interact. Leela gets a gun, URL gets his baton. If you want some more cool stuff to go with them, I recommend breaking out the Legos.

Value - ***
Prices seem to range from $30 to $40, 3.5 to 2.5 stars. Shop around to find the best price, but you'll likely get a decent value out of these.

Overall - ***1/2
If you're a fan of Futurama, these are a great addition to your collection. These are the only articulated Futurama figures we've seen since MAC's attempt, and personally I think the mini figures are better. Of course the die cast sets one and two have better sculpts, but they have no articulation. The best of both worlds are the Futurama I-Men. I must
admit that the scarcity of Futurama merchandise elsewhere bumps the overall score up a bit, after all we're getting some brand new characters in figure form. I hope Toynami makes a Series 2 (I'd love a Zapp Brannigan), but right now they have no plans to do so.

Where to Buy -
Entertainment Earth and Toy Fever each have the set of 10 for 39.99. Action Figure Xpress has it for 34.99. Comic shops or eBay might be your other option.


Figure from the collection of James Murray.

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