Mount Crumpit Grinch Deluxe set

There are times when doing these reviews that I feel a tad bit like the Grinch.  Sometimes, it's the Grinch from the beginning of the show, railing at the Whos down in Whoville.  Other times, it's the Grinch from the end of the show, feelin' the love and cuttin' the roast beast.  Then again, most of the time I just feel a lot like Max.

Mcfarlane's first series of regular figures based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas were generally a hit, with the one home run in the Two Sizes Too Small figure.  As is usually the case, they are also offering a 'deluxe' boxed set to go with this first series.  This set depicts the Grinch along with Max up on the top of Mount Crumpit after he's stolen all the toys, looking back on Whoville to realize he didn't stop Christmas from coming after all.

This set runs around $25, depending on the retailer, and as always, I have some recommendations at the end of the review from my list of exceptional sponsors.

Packaging - ***1/2
The box is rather large, but the odd shape of the play set makes that necessary.  The graphics are great, and the box is shaped in a slightly irregular way.  The top is slightly wider than the bottom, giving it a rather unique look.  Add in the flowing edge of the window, and you get a box that really does remind you of the show in a basic visual way.

One note though - Max is taped into the tray, and when you are removing the rest of the set from the twisties, there might be a tendency to pull the whole thing free from the tray.  That could break the string that's holding Max in place before it tears the tape, so cut or remove that first.

Sculpting - **1/2
This set is quite small compared with other deluxe sets.  The Grinch himself stands barely over 1" tall, and the set itself is only about 8" tall by 8" wide.

That small scale means that the Grinch and Max aren't going to have much detail.  The best sculpting here is on the sleigh itself, with its pile of packages and bulging sides.  The mountain itself matches with the style of animation nicely, including some nice texturing for the snow and rock.

The quality of the sculpt, considering the scale, is actually pretty good.  Oh, sure - Max and the Grinch are pretty basic, but that's to be expected.  If you don't mind the scale, then you're going to be much more enamored with this set than I was.

This scale means a loss of detail, and in some cases, that really does hurt.  Just look at poor little Max, who at this scale looks more like a hunk of brown modeling clay than the adorable dog.

For me, the set is simply too small.  I think in general, the reduced scale playsets that McToys has done - along with this one, there was the Lost set and the upcoming Lard Lad as well - are simply not as appealing to fans, particularly when it's in such a stark contrast to the scale of the regular line.  You can't display this with the regular figures, so it ends up as a stand alone item.  This might be more successful with a Christmas theme - you can stick it on the mantle as a holiday decoration - but it doesn't do much for me.

Paint - ***
Again, considering the scale, the paint is pretty well done.  They've used very little of the black highlight lines (there are some around the Grinch's mouth, collar and wrists), which is smart considering how small the figures are.  As it is, the one around his mouth stands out rather starkly with the white teeth and green face, but it does give some differentiation between the mouth and face.

The best technique is the use of blue to create shadow on the white snow and on the huge bag on the sled.  This works well both in context with the cartoon, and just in general as a technique to give some pop to the white.

Articulation - *1/2
As you might expect, there's no real articualtion here.  The tipping action feature requires that the sled can move, and having Max suspended on the length of string means he swings around as well.

Accessories - Bupkis
There's nothing to be attached or removed from the basic plastic statue.  This isn't a factor for me on the overall, but worth noting.

Action Feature -**
The action feature for this set consists of a button, hidden as a rock on the base, that when pushed tilts the sled.  Yep, it tilts the sled toward Max, rather than toward his eminent doom.  Whoop.

The button works fine, although pushing it and releasing it does tend to knock the set over.  The sled is quite heavy, and the base is fairly small, so the rocking motion is more than it can take.  But hey, you can hold on to it with two hands, can't you?

Or you could if you actually cared about this really lame action feature.

Fun Factor - **
Although it's based on a kid's show, this is clearly a pop culture collectible for the adults that loved the show as a kid.  A set like this is the perfect example of pop culture Precious Moments.  As such, even with an 'action feature', it's meant for lookin', not playin'.

Value - **
This set runs about the same as other deluxe sets from Mcfarlane - $20 to $25, depending on the retailer. At $25, I'd dock it another half star.  Considering that they just gave us the very cool Island of Dr. Hibbert for about this same price, this set comes up a bit short on value.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Other than the caveat I mentioned on removing the tape on Max before removing the set itself from the tray, you should be fine.

Overall - **1/2
I love this show, and am very happy with most of the regular series releases.  Unfortunately, the scale on this set really doesn't do much for me, hurting my overall.  Factors like Accessories, Articulation, and Fun Factor have no real impact, since I don't personally expect those features here.  The sculpt and value are the most important for me, and in the end, there's also that certain something that factors in...that feeling of 'damn that's cool' that I like to get when I just sit back and look at something on the shelf.  For me, that's missing here.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - **1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - *1/2
Accessories - Bupkis
Action Feature - **
Fun Factor - **
Value -  **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
I'm assuming we'll eventually see these in some brick and mortar stores, but that might not be a solid assumption.  Sponsor options include (all highly recommended!):

- Amazing Toyz and CornerStoreComics both have an amazing price on this set of just $21!

- Clark Toys has great pricing on all things Mcfarlane, and the boxed set is just $23.

- Time and Space Toys is your one stop shop for all things Christmas pop culture.  They have the boxed set for $28.

Related Links -
I just reviewed the first series of figures last week! 

Share this review with others!
  Digg it!     StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!     Reddit

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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