Pin Pal Burns

Ah, yes, easily the most controversial figure of the year - the Toyfare Exclusive Pin Pal Burns.  Why controversial?  Well, I won't repeat the whole story here.  If you want to check it out, go to my article at the Galaxy, and be sure to check out the petition.

So lots of folks are upset over how Toyfare has handled this figure - but what about the figure itself?  They've just started shipping from Toyfare this week, and if you missed out first time around you should see plenty show up on ebay.  Last time I looked there were over 100 auctions already, and right this minute might be the time to try to get a deal, as more are on ebay than buyers.  But odds are pretty good that if you didn't get it right from Toyfare, you'll be getting stuck for a hefty price tag.

Accessories - ***
There's only two - the much used bowling ball and bag.  While they are both fine accessories for this figure, his name on the ball would have really pushed this figure over the top.

Packaging - ***1/2
This is the same style box as the GITD Homer, and is quite nice.  You can open it pretty easily and get things out and in again, although I'm sick and tired of twisty ties.  And don't give me any crap about how they are 'required'.  I know better - and for a perfect example, just check out the N2 Toys second series of 12" figures, where no twisty ties are used at all.

Sculpting - ****
The sculpt really captures Mr. Burns, and while this is exactly the same head sculpt as the original, the arms and torso are resculpts.  The hands hold both the bowling ball and bag very well.

The legs are not a new sculpt either, but that's not particularly surprising.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops overall are good, although he loses a little with the white strips on the shoes.  They aren't as neatly done as you'd expect.

I'm including the Pin Pal sticker though as part of this rating, and that is superb.  Let's face it, the KK Bart sticker was awful, and they Pin Pal sticker for Apu was slightly better.  But it still didn't fit the contour of his back quite right.  Finally with Burns, they got it perfect.  No wrinkles, no part sticking up, just a smooth fit.

Articulation - **1/2
No difference than any other Simpsons figure - and I can live with it.

Talking Feature - ***
You won't be buying this figure for its lines, since the original Burns says the same things.  But having Burns dressed up in his Pin Pal outfit makes the bowling lines all that funnier.

Value - **
Well, you knew they were going to get hit hard here.  At $15 from Wizard, this is a pretty poor value.  Fortunately, there is at least SOME resculpting here - the Comic Book Guy exclusive we will be getting next is an excellent example of a complete rip off.

Exclusives do not cost more to produce - the molds are generally already completed, only requiring in some cases (such as Burns) to have slight retooling.  The cost of those molds was covered by the initial run, so the unit cost of these figures is amazingly low.  

Add to that the fact that many people are going to end up having to pay two, three or even four times that original price to have these, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Overall - ***1/2
The only real negative here is the method that Toyfare used to distribute these, and the shenanigans they pulled with Toywiz.  The figure itself is a fine example of what an exclusive should be like, and makes a great edition to your Bowl-a-rama.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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