SDCC Exclusive
Robo Santa and Santa Bender

Futurama Robot Santa and Santa Bender action figures

After doing four reviews last week on San Diego Comic-Con 2008 exclusives last week, I had thought I was pretty much done.  But I decided to check out another one tonight, due to two factors.  First, nothing much seems to be shipping right now. Things are starting to break free a bit, but it might be another day or two before I see much interesting on the shelf or porch.  Second, while this set is a show exclusive, the main figure (Robot Santa) is actually part of the upcoming wave of figures from Toynami.  Thus, you can get an early look at how he's going to turn out from the exclusive itself.

Enough rationalization for you?  Then let's check out the Toynami exclusive set of Santa Bender and Robot Santa.  As I mentioned, Santa Bender is really the exclusive figure, since the Build A Figure for the next wave of Futurama figures will be this exact Robot Santa.

If you're wondering where the idea came from for this set, well, that should be obvious - the episode "A Tale of Two Santas".  Not only is it an exclusive, but it's an exclusive that actually makes sense!  The set was limited to 2,000.
Futurama Robot Santa and Santa Bender action figures

Futurama Santa Bender action figure
Futurama Robot Santa action figure
Futurama Robot Santa action figure
Futurama Santa Bender action figure
Futurama Robot Santa and Santa Bender action figures

Packaging - ***1/2
Regular readers know I like boxes, and this one is even ultra collector friendly.  No twisties, no damage to remove the figures, no problems.

I also really, really like the graphics and design.  Sure, the laughing look wasn't the most common for SantaBot, but toward the end of the episode when they were handing out destruction together, they shared such a moment.

Sculpting - Bender ****; Robot Santa ***1/2
This is pretty much the same Bender we got from Toynami just recently, so it should be no surprise that he gets the same sculpting score here.  The proportions are excellent, the detailing is just enough, and the scale is great.

Robot Santa is also a fantastic figure.  He has just the right amount of detail as well, and is the right scale too, particularly compared to Bender.  As with most cartoons, the scale of these characters to each other tends to change from one frame to the next, but at about 8 inches tall, Robot Santa looks about right next to Bender.

He does have a couple minor issues.  His waist could be a smidge narrower, with the belt a little thinner and more rounded. Both figures also really need the spiky ball on the hat, but with Bender I can understand it not being there.  His hat is cloth after all.  But Robot Santa has a sculpted hat, and the addition of the spikes would have really added to his look.

But these are minor issues, greatly outweighed by all the positive in his appearance.

EDIT - word from Toynami is that the BAF version WILL hae the spiky ball (as well as a machine gun), to further differentiate it from the SDCC version.

Paint - Robot Santa ***1/2; Bender ***
While the paint work on both of them is better than average, Bender isn't quite as nice this time around as he was in the regular release.

That's due to a few more slop issues, most notably around the hands and feet, and some additional weird color inconsistencies.  They didn't quite manage to match the red cloth hat to the red body, which was going to be difficult to be sure, but still would have improved his look.  They also went with a darker red on his legs (Robot Santa's too), which is pretty obvious to even my color blind eyes.  The feet are black, which actually fits (black boots of course!), but I'm not sure why they went with the darker red for the legs.  It's less of an issue for Robot Santa, since his legs are quite short and well hidden by the large body, but Bender's are pretty obvious.

Bender's hands are also an odd color, which I suppose was intended to look like mittens.  I don't remember them being this rather odd color, however, and I couldn't find a reference photo that showed them this way.

Robot Santa has the leg issue too, but as I said it's far less of a problem for him.  He has very little slop as well, with clean cut lines and consistent coverage just about everywhere.

Articulation - Robot Santa ***1/2; Bender ***
This was the category that held the nicest surprise, at least for me.

Of course, there were no surprises with Bender.  He is the same figure we previously bought, only with a red body. That means he has the cut neck, bendy arms and legs, and opening door.  The shoulders and hips are cut joints as well.

That means Bender is fairly poseable, and the wire armature in the appendages works pretty well.

The surprise came with Robot Santa.  On the box and in most photos I've seen, he has 'happy' eyes, with the rounded part on top.  That matches his look on the box, but isn't his most common look on the show.  But fear not - the eyes turn! Yep, just turn them around upside down, and you have his 'angry eyes' look!  That's sure to make plenty of fans happy.

He also has a cut neck, cut arms, cut wrists, cut waist and cuts at the top of the legs.  Since this is designed to be a BAF, most of these parts actually come apart.  You can remove the head, arms (and shoulders!), and legs quite easily.

The wrist articulation was another nice touch, something I hadn't expected that adds to the pose potential quite a bit.  In fact, there really isn't much more you could give this figure in the way of joints, due to his portly design.  I suppose a turning hat would have been nice, but that's about it.

Accessories - Bender ***; Robot Santa Bupkis
Robot Santa doesn't have any accessories, which was a bit of a disappointment.  Considering his arsenal of destruction on the show, throwing in a machine gun or flame thrower would have really boosted his shelf appeal.

Bender comes with the two sets of eyes that he had in his regular release version. I prefer the angry eyes for the Santa look, but you can go with the sad eyes or the sleepy eyes if you wish.  The entire eye assembly pops in and out smoothly, and leaves the potential for future eyes to be released as accessories with other figures.

He does not have the other accessories that his cousin came with though. Instead, they added in the cloth Santa hat, which fits his head surprisingly well.

Fun Factor - ***
While these aren't really intended as kid's toys - particularly since they are expensive SDCC exclusives - they could certainly operate that way.  They are sturdy enough to stand up to basic play, and Robot Santa certainly adds that critical conflict aspect to any Futurama role playing!

Value - **
The regular release figures are running around $15 a pop, but this set cost a whopping $50 at the show.

However, if you're just looking for Robot Santa, you can buy the six regular upcoming figures (series 4 Captain Yesterday and Nudar, series 5 Calculon and Cloberella, and series 6 Super Bender and Amy Wong) for $90, and you can build the Robot Santa for free.  Okay, that's not necessarily free either, but if you're picking up the full line anyway, a BAF is always a great value.

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2
I already sang the praises for Toynami's Bender figure, so it's no surprise that this variant is just as nice.  I'm not sure it's a variant everyone needs though, but that makes it a good choice for an exclusive.

The Robot Santa was also a good choice, since you can eventually get one through regular release with a little patience. That version will have a weapon or two as well I believe, making it even better than this first release.

But if you're like me and the microwave tries your patience, then getting the chance to pick up the Robot Santa early - and getting a unique figure to boot - makes this exclusive well worth it.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Bender ****; Robot Santa ***1/2
Paint - Robot Santa ***1/2; Bender ***
Articulation - Robot Santa ***1/2;  Bender ***
Accessories - Bender ***; Santa Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Obviously, SDCC was the best place to pick up this set.  If you missed out, you'll have to do the ebay bop.  You can use the sponsor MyAuctionLinks to help your search.

Related Links -
I've covered most of the rest of the Toynami Futurama line:

- I covered the last wave in a couple reviews, since I didn't get them all at the same time.  Here you can see Bender and the Robot Devil BAF, and here's Kif.

- I also covered the second series and first series as well.

For more Futurama stuff:

- Toynami got their feet wet with the Futurama I-men.

- there's the series 1 set from MAC, along with the Toyfare exclusive Leela.  There was also some Christmas ornaments, a larger scale (8") Nibbler.

- Rocket USA did some cool die cast figures and the tin wind up Bender.

- there were also quite a few bendies, including Kif and Leela.

- and if you're looking for the unique, try the Horrible Gelatinus BloB, or the Brain Slug!

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Futurama Robot Santa action figure

Reader Rating!

Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  For comparison, my Overall Score adjusted to a five star system would be: 4.375

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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