Military Antique Store

The World of Springfield keeps cranking along, with series 13 just recently hitting shelves, along with the newest playset - Herman's Military Antique Shop.  This is a playset I've been looking forward to since series 1, and now that the wait is finally over, I have to say I'm pretty damn happy.

I bought the set from Entertainment Earth, but it's also showing up at Target and Toys R Us stores.  Target is still only $20, so that's the place to find it if possible.

Packaging - ***
It looks fine, and fits the overall theme of the current series.  Still, the lack of collector friendliness - and the fact that it's the only package on the market that requires a screwdriver to open - bugs me these days.

Sculpting - playset ***; Herman ****
This playset isn't the most intricate, but there is plenty of sculpted details to satisfy the usual fan.

There's the wall hangings, book shelf, frames, and other doodads.  Some folks would have preferred to see the actual items inside the cases, similar to the Comic Book Shop, but with only one shelf, that's pretty tough.  The wall details are great, including the muskets and the Zulu Warrior style shield.

Herman is fantastic though.  He leaps to the top of the pile as one of my all time favorite WOS figures.  They've captured him perfectly, from the sour, mean look to the missing left arm.  There's more detail here than many WOS figures, yet it remains true to the source material.

There's a real variation here as well.  I've seen versions of Herman with a permanent cigarette (the one pictured is that way), and I've personally seen a version where the cigarette was not glued in, clearly on purpose.  I'm betting the early sets did not have the cigarette glued into the mouth, and a running change was made.  This is similar to the Burns set, where some had the fireplace grate attached, and some did not.

By the way, as far as Playmates is concerned, that's not a cigarette.  It's simply a white piece of plastic in his mouth...he's chewing on's a straw!  Yea, that's it, it's a straw...yea.

Paint/stickers - ***1/2
The paint apps on both the playset and the figure are excellent, and I had no problems with slop or over spray.

There's not a ton of paint detail, and most of the colors are bold and cover large areas.  But what details are present are cleanly accomplished, and the overall paint application is great.

There's a ton of stickers with this set as well, and all of them were well designed, well applied, and look great.  The majority of the color and detail comes from the stickers, so it's fortunate that they look good.

Articulation - **1/2
Neck, shoulders, waist.  And yes, his 'sleeve' is articulated at the shoulder.

Accessories - ***1/2 
There are technically seven accessories, all new, which is quite a lot for the average playset.  There's the dirigible, the rope barrier, the warhead, two, count them TWO swords, the riding crop and the rifle.

The swords and dirigible fit into the appropriate spots on the playset easily.  Unlike the DMV, there's plenty of room for the rope and posts, although it gets pretty crowded depending on which figures you have visiting the shop.

The warhead, rifle and crop are all nicely sculpted, although the paint details are sorely missing.  Again, it's due to the show more than the toy line.

Talking Feature - ***
I posted a listing of the various new character phrases with the Simpsons series 13 review - for a complete listing of all phrases, check out Simpsons Collector Sector.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the talking feature.  It's no longer really the big selling point it once was, since the number of new phrases, and the applicability of those phrases to either the set or the characters, is getting weak, but it can still be fun.

Value - ***
I'm going based on Target's price of $20 - if you pay another five bucks, take off a half star, another $10, take off a full star.

Considering the level of detail, the great figure, and the overall cool factor, twenty bucks is a great price.  But get up around $30 and you're getting into the range of sets like the Muppets Kitchen.

Overall - ***1/2
I really do like this set, although it doesn't beat out sets like the Kitchen, Comic Book Shop, or Moe's for the top of my list.  Still, it's well above sets like the simple exclusives or others like the DMV or Town Hall.

But if it was just the set, it wouldn't make it past three stars.  The inclusion of such a cool figure, so well done, is what pushes it up another half star.

Where to Buy - 
I got the set from Entertainment Earth for $25.  Target and Toys R Us stores are also receiving them right now.  On-line:

- Ebgames has a great on-line price at just $20 plus shipping.  Look in the Action Figures section under the Simpsons.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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