Family Guy Series 1.5 Boxed Set

When Mezco released the first series of Family Guy figures, no one was quite sure how they'd do. Oh, I knew they'd do well, but I don't count - retailers were willing to get their toys wet, but didn't want to end up drowning in Peter figures. So they ordered light, and took a wait and see attitude.

Wave 1 did much better than they expected at their stores, and the line was off to the races. We've now seen three regular waves, with a fourth right around the corner, along with a large scale talking Stewie, and two different boxed sets.

But what about the folks that missed out on the first wave, where regular versions of Chris, Stewie, Peter, Brian and Lois were released? These were the iconic outfits, and if you missed them, secondary market prices are already going up.

To fix that problem, Mezco has released a Family Boxed set, with figures of the main family members, but with new head sculpts. It's just now hitting retail for around $35.

Packaging -  ***
The long box shows off the figures well, along with the included accessories. It doesn't waste too much space, is actually collector friendly (and has very few twisties), and the MIBBers will be able to store it easily. Decent if not exciting work all around.

Sculpting - Stewie ***1/2; Peter, Chris, Lois ***; Brian **1/2; Meg **
The sculpted bodies are all identical to the first series releases (or in the case of Meg, second series), with the same style hands and clothes. They all stand great on their own, and their hands can generally hold at least one of the accessories.

All six heads are resculpts, though, to avoid pissing off the collectors who want to put their kids through college with series 1 versions. Just wait til those kids realize what idiots their parents are.

Peter has a new, wide grin, and very wide eyes. He's definitely happy. The expression works pretty well, although it's a look I'd equate more with Joe than with Peter.

Chris also has a wide open mouth, but definitely no smile. Something bad has happened, and Chris is yelling his head off. It works a little better than Peter's expression, and is very animated, but it's probably not preferable to his normal look in series 1.

Lois has the least amount of change to her head sculpt. Her mouth is open slightly, as if she were talking, and her eyes are almost wide open. It's a good expression for her even though it's not a huge difference, and may actually be preferable for some folks.

Brian has a grin, and he's a happy puppy. Or perhaps he just got caught doing something he shouldn't be. The expression itself is fairly good, but there are some paint issues I'll get into in the next section. I like regular Brian better, but this one will look good on the shelf as well.

Stewie is the big winner in this category, with an excellent head sculpt showing him in his sly, sneaky mood. With slitted eyes and very wry grin, he's up to something, and this is the only one of the six that I actually prefer to the original versions. The shape of the head is still a little off, but I can forgive that with the cool expression.

Poor Meg is the big loser, and somehow I think Stewie would be very happy about that. Meg is definitely unhappy, with her eyes looking miserable and her open mouth clearly whining about something. There's also something very creepy about her expression, and it took me awhile to put my finger on it. I'm going to be as delicate as I can about this, since I'm such a tactful guy - Meg appears to be a girl who doesn't mind playing the flute, but isn't happy that there was a surprise finale to the concert. Unfortunately, once I equated that situation to her miserable appearance, the image was permanently burned into my brain, and now that I've told you, well, you're cursed with the image as well. Meg's glasses actually contain lens, and Mezco has done a great job making them appear realistic and in scale, or at least as realistic and in scale as cartoon glasses should be.

The sculpting on this line is done by Plan-B I believe (who always do top notch work), and I can't help but think that whomever did the work on Meg had a bad experience with his girlfriend, and is subconsciously acting out.

Paint - Peter, Chris, Stewie, Lois ***; Brian **1/2; Meg **
The paint work on this series seems a little rushed, with more slop than we're used to from Mezco. Perhaps it was because they needed to keep the price down, or perhaps it was because some of the work, especially on the mouths, was trickier to do.

Brian has a very similar paint job to his original version, including the use of the blue shadowing on the white. I don't mind that, although there seems to be a little too much blue down in his crotch. My biggest issue with him is the lack of any definition between the white teeth and the white fur, making his smile pretty much blend in with the rest of his face.

Peter, Chris and Lois all have reasonable paint jobs, but there's some issues with bleed around the edges of areas that were masked, especially the mouths. Lois' red lips are sloppy, like she was in too much of a hurry putting on her lipstick.

But her lips are nothing compared to Meg's, who looks like she was drunk, stoned and blind when she put on her lipstick. Again, poor Meg is pulling up the rear. 

Stewie had the fewest problems of all the figures for me, but I'm betting that the quality isn't a specific issue for a specific character, but is something that varies across the production run and between the figures. You will want to pay extra attention when picking out yours on the shelf, and keep your fingers crossed if you ordered them online.

Articulation - **1/2
Some of the wave 2, wave 3 and other boxed set figures have shown improved articulation over the first series, but it should be no surprise that this boxed set has the same articulation and the initial releases. After all, the bodies have been reused.

Therefore, it shouldn't be any surprise that the score here is the same. All the figures have neck and shoulders, while Peter, Meg, Lois and Chris also have waist. Don't expect to do any wild stances or unique poses, but at least you can hope that we'll see the improved articulation of series 2 and 3 repeated with series 4.

Accessories - **1/2
This is usually a pretty strong category for this line, but these are all reused parts. Again, not much of a surprise, but it's not going to get a great score.

There's a little something for 5 of the 6 figures, and only Meg gets short changed. Peter has the remote control and can of beer he came with originally, Lois has a bottle of beer, Brian has his cup of coffee and paper, Chris comes with the headphones and walkman, and Stewie has his bib and laser pistol.

These accessories all appear identical in color to the original versions to me, although there might be some slight differences if you hold them next to each other. While these are decent accessories, if you're going to reuse, I would have preferred some of the more episode specific, unique items that came with series 1, that folks will still feel bad about missing, like the evil monkey or Mr. Zuchinni.

Fun Factor - **
Of course, if you're talking Family Guy, then this score doesn't really have much weight with the overall score. The show isn't a kid's cartoon, and the figures aren't really designed as toys, but as pop culture collectibles. There's nothing wrong with that though, since they do what they're intended to do quite well.

Value - ***
The regular series figures have actually dropped in price as some places - you can even pick up series 3 for $11 each at TRU, which is a gret price. But you're getting six figures here, all for $35 tops. That's less than $6 each, and is a solid value, even with the reuse.

Things to watch out for - 
As always, pick out the best paint ops possible. Also, I haven't seen or heard anything on eye variations, but you might want to keep your eyes peeled, at least initially, just in case.

Overall -  Peter, Stewie, Chris, Brian, Lois ***; Meg **1/2
The fact that Mezco put this set out for the big fans of the line that missed series one is a great touch. Stewie's head sculpt almost makes the set worth it on its own, but the work on Peter, Brian and Chris is decent enough to sway your decision to pick it up. This Lois could end up replacing the one on your shelf now, but Meg is not going to be the highlight of your Family Guy collection.

We should end up with Series 4 by Thanksgiving, and I can't wait to see what's planned for series 5 (although we might have to wait for the fall Toy Fair to see)..

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - Stewie ***1/2; Peter, Chris, Lois ***; Brian **1/2; Meg **
Paint - Peter, Chris, Stewie, Lois ***; Brian **1/2; Meg **
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall -  Peter, Stewie, Chris, Brian, Lois ***; Meg **1/2

Where to Buy -
These are hitting some of the specialty stores, like Media Play or Sam Goody. You can also pick them up online:

- Alter Ego Comics has the set for the terrific price of $29.

- Amazing Toyz has the set for $32.

- CornerStoreComics has the set for $34.

- Killer Toys has the set for $35.

Related Links -
There's been a fair share of reviews so far:

- Here's my reviews of wave 1, wave 2, and wave 3.

- also, I reviewed both the Peter and Lois two pack, and the Peter and Chicken two pack.

- Finally, there's the review of the large talking Stewie.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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