South Park Mr. Hanky

South Park is still going strong, over five years later.  While there are folks that like to claim it's not as 'fresh' as it once was, others (myself included) appreciate the continued satire and irreverence that all topics get slapped with about the head and shoulders.  Something happened in the news this month?  Then it's sure to be in a South Park episode soon.

For all it's popularity, and huge number of licensed products, there's never been 'action' figures.  There were plush, there was PVC's, there was even talking figures that were integrated with a pen holder.  Mcfarlane Toys had the license at one point, and then decided the time had passed.  This from the same company that thought Slapshot figures were a good idea.

Mirage (sister company to Toycom, and known in a previous life as N2 Toys) picked up the license last year.  They've been showing off the prototypes since last Toy Fair, and big fans have been anticipating the figures hitting any day all summer.  The first in the series has finally hit mailboxes, and it's also an exclusive - the Mr. Hanky figure done for

The figure costs $12, and as I said is an exclusive to the on-line retailer  The rest of the first series - including Cartman, Butters, Kyle and Stan - should hit stores soon.

Packaging - **1/2
The packaging isn't too plain, but with such a large figure, you get a large card back.  And this one is as basic as the show.  Having something - anything - in that upper right half of the sky would have improved the overall look.

Sculpting - ***
South Park is about the most basic character designs ever produced.  Therefore you shouldn't expect too detailed of sculpts.

And that's what you get - very basic sculpts, but very accurate ones.  The style, design, proportions and facial expressions come right off the show.

The big issue here is one of scale.  The entire South Park is HUGE.  I mean, MASSIVE.  If you thought the Peanuts stuff was big, you haven't seen anything yet.  Mr. Hanky could have any regular scale Mcfarlane figure for breakfast.

Overall, that's not a big problem for me.  I would have preferred a smaller scale, because the basic design of the characters becomes even more obvious in such a large, in your face scale.  But it's not a huge issue, and one I can get beyond if there are other improvements.

Unfortunately, the large scale doesn't really give us anything.  There isn't better articulation, or special features, so a smaller scale would have worked just as well.

On top of that, poor Mr. Hanky is far too big in comparison with the rest of the line.  He's out of scale with other figures, and that's going to be a tad annoying once they are all together on the shelf.

By the way, Mr. Hanky is hollow (roto-cast).  The walls of the figure are fairly thick though, and having him hollow allows for him to stay standing even with that big head.

Paint - ***
There's not a lot of colors here, as you'd expect with a couple lumps of poo.  The brown is consistent and even, but there's some bleed issues between the brown and the whites of the eyes.  The black pupils tend to be a bit fuzzy around the edges as well, and at this scale you'd expect slightly better paint application.  It's not terrible, and it's accurate to the show, but there's some room for improvement.

Articulation - **
The rather blocky design of the characters doesn't really translate to well articulated figures.  Still the Peanuts line is fairly blocky, and Playing Mantis found ways to improve the articulation with lots of creativity.

Mr. Hanky has one point - his neck.  It looks like his shoulders might be articulated, but I couldn't get mine to turn and the posts are so thin that it's very easy to rip them.  I gave up, rather than tear an arm off.

Mr. Hanky's son, Simon, is just a solid PVC figure.  I wasn't surprised, but after getting a Maggie about the same size this week with five points of articulation, I can't say that it's ideal.

Accessories - **
Mr. Hanky has two accessories, or at least that's how I'm counting.  He has his son, Simon (wasn't Cornwallis the one with the corn in his head?), and a display stand. 

Simon looks good, although he has no texturing, unlike dear old dad.  The facial expression is great though, and as an accessory he's solid.

The design of Mr. Hanky clearly doesn't allow for him to stand, so to get over that issue they provide a poo stand, sculpted to hold Mr. Hanky upright.  It works great, and I had no trouble keeping him standing with it.

The lower score here is based on how light this is though, particularly at this price point.  I'm not sure what could have been added - perhaps more kids - but two pretty basic accessories aren't enough to sway the on-the-fence buyer.

Value - *1/2
In the last year, the assumed price for an action figure has steadily rose into the $10 - $15 price range.  That's not an issue though if it's well articulated, with good accessories and great sculpting.  But these figures are extremely basic, and even the figures that came with the talking pen holders were cheaper than this.

I'll be very interested in seeing what the regular price is for the normal release figures, rather than this exclusive.  Considering that this figure was produced  for a single on-line retailer, I'm betting the run was extremely low, hence driving the higher price point.  I'm hoping that the regular figures are under eight bucks. 

Overall - **
The sculpting and paint ops are decent, and even the accessories are acceptable if the price point was lower.  But that single area pulls this score down a half star to a star overall.  This line, similar to King of the Hill, is going to be an extremely hard sell unless they can get the price down.  I know Mirage is a small company fighting an uphill battle, but the average consumer isn't going to care.

Of course, Mr. Hanky isn't the best figure to hit out of the gate either.  Cartman and Timmy are likely to be the big fan favorites at this point.

Where to Buy - 
This is currently an exclusive at, so that's your only option for the moment, although I bet we see these popping up on dealers tables at shows down the road.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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