Corpse Bride series 2
Victor, Mrs. Plum, and the Skeleton Band Leader

I got a nice surprise in the mail today - series 2 of the Corpse Bride figures, created by Mcfarlane Toys!  Series 2 includes a new Victor and Bride, along with the new characters of the Skeleton Band Leader, Mrs. Plum, Mayhew, and Albert.

Since I just got these opened when I got home, it's been a rush job to get this review finished.  Also, I decided to only do three in this first review, and the other three next week, to save me from working into the wee hours of the morning.  Tonight I'll cover Victor, Mrs. Plum and the Skeleton Band Leader, who will from now on be referred to as Bonejangles, because it's shorter and I like it better anyway.

These should be shipping in the next couple weeks, certainly by the end of August.  Most retailers have pre-orders up for around $11 - $12 each, or the full set for $60 - $65.  I have some suggestions at the end of the review, as always.

Packaging - ***
These use a very similar design to series 1, with a very attractive color scheme right from the film.  The clamshells work great of course, and rather than use twisties or rubber bands to hold the small accessories in their hands, they've gone with a shrink wrap type plastic.  This plastic covers the hand and accessory, keeping it in place but not hurting the overall look of the figure inside the package.

I knocked these down slightly because there isn't much personalization from one to the other.  There's a little - the front bears a sticker with the character name, and the right side of the insert bears the name and photo of the character as well.  But there's nothing on the back, and no explanatory text about the character or the accessories included.

Sculpting - Plum ****; Victor, Bonejangles ***1/2
If you loved the first series, be in for another great run.  All six figures are terrific, although there's a couple that are real stand outs.

Of this half, Mrs. Plum is the winner. With tons of great detail, including some amazing differences in texture between various pieces of clothing, the bones and her remaining skin, she's a fantastic edition to the overall set.  Mind you, there's something truly disturbing about the whole shape of her hat, but I try my best to ignore that.

She has actual hair rooted to the back of her hair, and since it was wild and wicked in the film, it works well here.  No need to come or groom - just let it all hang out!

Bonejangles suffers from the same issue most skeleton action figures do. He's likely to wilt over time, even with a slightly stiffer plastic.  Thankfully, they did go with something more sturdy and less rubbery than, say, the POTC skeletons from NECA, but I'm still betting that in certain poses, he's bound to wilt.

I wasn't too thrilled with Bonejangles at first, but the more I played with it, the more I realized how well the sculpt and limited articulation work together to allow you to create some pretty great poses.  This is a combination effort between the articulation and the design of the sculpt, and both areas get extra credit.

Finally, there's Victor.  It looks to me like this is the same head sculpt as the previous two - I couldn't find any differences.  However, the body sculpt is new, with more disarray.  There's a tear in his pant leg, one suit shoulder is separated, and his tie is less neat, and more pulled out from his vest.

The included package is permenantly attached to his hands, so I count it as part of the sculpt.  It's empty at this point of course, but it works quite nicely with the basic pose.

Paint - ****
Try as I might, I couldn't find a complaint about the paint ops on any of these three figures.

Mrs. Plum is again my favorite, with a wonderful use of color and gradiation.  There's blue highlighting on the white areas of the outfit, and the effect of shadowing works quite well.  Small details are very clean and neat, and there's zero slop.

Bonejangles has far less color, since he's basically bone white.  But the white has a realistic appearance, and the eyes and hat are clean and neat.

Finally, there's Victor again.  The series 1 Victor had issues with the lines on his pant legs, bringing down his paint score.  I'm happy to report that none of those issues exist here, and everything is spot on.  The paint is used to emphasis the beat up, destitute appearance of Victor, including the dark circles around the eyes.

Articulation - Bonejangles ***1/2; Plum, Victor **1/2
These are difficult figures to articulate, but they've given it there best shot.

Vicgtor has cut shoulders, double pin knees, a T crotch (with very limit room to move, due to the coat), cut thighs, and the all important ball jointed neck.  Because of the permanence of the box, the wrist, bicep, and elbow articulation is no longer present.  This means he went from the most articulated in series 1, to the least articulated in series 2.

Plum has a cut waist, ball jointed shoulders, and cut wrists (at the glove tops). There's no ball jointed neck due to the character design, and of course there's no articulation below the waist.

However, the arm articulation works quite well for her, especially the ball jointed shoulders, giving her more poses than you'd think.

Bonejangles has some terrific articulation, although it doesn't seem like there's much at first.  as ball jointed shoulders, a very small ball jointed neck, a pin elbow and wrist only on the left arm, ball jointed hips, and a unique ball joint where the spine enters the pelvic bone.

His curved spine doesn't allow for him to stand up completely straight, and I do wish that his neck wasn't bent quite so far forward, making some poses difficult.  But the more I played around with him, the more poses I found that he could hold, and hold well. He can also stand fine on his own, without the base, something poor Victor can't manage.

Accessories - Plum ***; Victor **1/2; Bonejangles **
Just like the first series, each figure comes with an accessory, and one or two other items.

Well, that's not quite true. Bonejangles comes with a base, which looks like a chunk of wood from either the bar (my guess) or the mansion.  There's also a paper back drop, but it's a rather dull color (much more like the Land of the Living than the Land of the Dead), and doesn't fit all the way across the base for some reason.  I believe that's because the base was originally supposed to be angled, with a slightly V shape, so that the background would have fit across the one side of the 'V'.  The final base came out straight though, making the backdrop too small.

There's also a peg hole in the base for a metal rod to hold the right foot in the air, but for the life of me I couldn't find it in the package.  I'm going to give it another shot before I toss out the packaging, but it's possible that it was skipped.

Victor has his oval base, which has pegs for his tiny feet, and the permanently attached box top.  There's also four holes for the pegs on Scrap's feet, his other accessory, to attach to the base.  That works better in theory than practice, and I never could quite get it to work.  I finally called Uncle.

Scraps is pretty cool though, with an articulated neck and joints on both back legs to help with attaching him to the base.  I'm pretty sure this is also the identical sculpt to the Scraps that came with the DVD set, but it's a critical addition for those that skipped that pair.

Last but not least is Plum.  She has the most accessories, including her interesting base (with nasty dishes piled high, small pot, and a fish carcass), a rolling pin, and a big spoon.  She can hold her accessories quite well, and they look terrific.

Fun Factor - **
These aren't intended as kid's toys, and as such aren't designed to take a lot of abuse.

Value - ***
At around $10 - $12, these are a solid value on the current market.  You'll want to do what you can to snag them around $10 of course, but that shouldn't be too much effort at this point, since most places are still taking pre-orders.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Be careful when working out the small joints, like Plum's wrists or the elbow on Bonejangles.  None of mine were permanently stuck, or God forbid, broke, but you'll want to take some care.

Overall - Mrs. Plum ***1/2; Victor, Bonejangles ***
This is a great addition to the Corpse Bride line up, and everyone is going to want Plum and the Band Leader.  If you missed out on Victor the first time around, this is your chance to get him again, and even if you did pick him up, this one is different enough to warrant a second look.

I'll be reviewing the other three sometime next week!

Score Recap:
Packging - ***
Sculpt - Plum ****; Victor, Bonejangles ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - Victor, Bonejangles ***1/2; Plum ***
Accessories - Plum ***; Victor **1/2; Bonejangles **
Fun Factor - **
Value - ***
Overall - Mrs. Plum ***1/2; Victor, Bonejangles ***

Where to Buy - 
Sponsor choices:

- Killer Toys has the full set of six for $65.

- Clark Toys has the set of six for $60, or the singles for $11.

- Amazing Toyz has the full set for $65, or the singles for around $12 each.

- CornerStoreComics has the set at $70, with the singles around $12 each.

Related Links - 
I reviewed a number of the Corpse Bride products:

- there's series 1 of the action figures, along with the DVD boxed set.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour