Treehouse of Horror 2

I might have mentioned once or twice that I've been looking around for new Simpsons releases this last week.  And this weekend I found the one at the top of my list - the new Treehouse of Horror playset!

These are a Toys R Us exclusive, retailing for $35.  Don't go rushing off to ebay yet!  They are just shipping to stores now, and at a run of 20,000 there will be quite a few more than you might anticipate.  Over the next two weeks they should be hitting most stores across the U.S.

Packaging - ***
This set is very similar to last years packaging, taller and thinner than the average playset.  It's huge too!  I originally thought the box was larger than last year's, but after someone corrected me I pulled the previous one out and they are identical in size.  I think the fact that this one is much heavier threw me.

It's got the usual graphics, and is very sturdy.

Sculpting - ****
We've got Kang and Kodos!  And they are huge - the scale, often a problem in WOS land, is very good here.  It's simply amazing to see these two guys next to other figures in the series.  The sculpting is excellent, and the work on the playset is excellent as well.

I much prefer this style of playset to last year's cardboard backing.  This set has three plastic pieces which fit into the back of the stand, and goes much better with the other playsets in the series.  There's not tons of detail on the playset itself, but it's still extremely nice.

Paint - ***
Yea, I love this set, but I have to be honest.  The paint work could have been better.  On both my Kang and Kodos, there's sloppy paint ops on the mouth and teeth.  The eyes turned out well, and the green of the bodies is consistent, but I was disappointed in the work around the mouth.

Articulation - **1/2
No big surprise to the usual collector of WOS here.  Homer has his usual 4 points of articulation, and the two big aliens have really only one at the 'waist'.  Articulated tentacles would have been nice, but I bet they would have added quite a  bit to the cost for Playmates.

Accessories - ***1/2
There are only really two accessories here, unless you count the pretty plain Homer.  The set comes with a cook book, "How to cook for forty humans", and a probe, for lack of a better term.

Both the book and probe are well sculpted and excellent additions.

I'll mention dear Homer here as well.  Technically this is a new Homer, but he has the body of the first series Homer with the head from the Sunday Best Homer.

Value - ***
This set is only about five bucks too high.  For $20, you normally get a playset and a figure - here you're getting two more figures, so $30 would be fine.

Talking Features - ***1/2
I've heard complaints about few lines, but I was quite surprised at the number that are here, and some are absolutely great:

Homer - Oh, no - Aliens!; Ooo, I suppose you want to probe me; Don't eat me, I have a wife and kids - eat them!; Let's get some apple sauce out here.

Kodos - You're superior intellect is no match for our puny weapons; Aaaaa - he's got a board with a nail in it!

Kang - My name is Kang; We come to you in the spirit of hostility and chaos; We have reached the limits of what rectal probing can teach us; You'll be the guests of honor; We are travelers from a certain nearby ringed planet; Earth is now ripe for the plucking; That's Bio Duplication; This is a mission of conquest.

Overall - ***1/2
I like this playset quite a bit better than last years.  Last year's was a slightly better value - with a $30 playset you got four fairly unique figures.  This time you only get three, and one of those is just a release of old parts.  On top of it, you're spending $5 more.

But the lines are better on this set, all three figures fit on the base, and Kang and Kodos are simply excellent.  I highly recommend this set - if you're collecting WOS, you don't want to miss out on this one.  It's on the border between three and three and a half stars, but after looking at the two big green guys a few more times today, I just have to give it that little extra.

Where to Buy
Toys R Us is it for now - don't succomb to the scalper song yet.  Be patient, at least for another week or two.  Right now the secondary market prices are at their highest, so give it your best shot hitting your local store.  I've found that the folks working at TRU these days are being very helpful - the SKN for this set is 343156.  Give them that number and they can look up the stock at their store and others in your area.  Good luck!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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