It's the Great Pumpkin - Frieda

This fall, Playing Mantis released another series of figures based on the classic Peanuts show, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  This release covered many of the same characters as the original set, most of them with different accessories or paint schemes.  One brand new figure is Frieda. 

These are available at Media Play, Toys R Us, and Target stores right now.  There's also a new playset, based on the party at Violet's house.  With the recent news from the Toy Expo, it looks like we'll get plenty of more Peanuts figures in 2004!

Packaging - **1/2
The carded figures aren't quite as nice as the boxed sets of three.  The boxes are easier to store, are more likely to be collector friendly, and they are a better value.  Still, the graphics on the single carded figures is good, even if they are tough to pack in a box.  Not that the openers will mind though!.

Sculpting - ***
The head sculpt is great, and it looks like the character, although the scale may put some folks off.  If you're already happy with the line though, the large size isn't going to be a surprise.

The hand sculpt is slightly better than the original series.  Those figures had unsightly mitts that couldn't hold a thing. Poor Frieda has one of those for a left hand, but her right hand is sculpted to hold things a little better.

Paint - ***
The paint application is good here, but nothing spectacular.  There's not a lot of colors, and little detail.

Most of the lines are clean, but the shoes have some bleed between the black and white, always tough colors to keep separate.  The hair line is good, with well done eyes, eyebrows and mouth.  She comes in multiple expressions of course, just like the rest of the line.

There's a little variation in the color of her dress, particularly between the upper and lower halves, and the skin color on the arms and hands is a little gloppy again, but an improvement over the original series.

Articulation - **
Frieda doesn't have the level of articulation of the new figures, and that means I'm being a little rougher on her in this category than I was with the older set.

Frieda has neck, shoulders, waist and cut elbows.  That's not terrible, but now that we've seen just what Playing Mantis is capable of with this line (see this review of the Christmas figures to see the new articulation), this few of joints pales in comparison.

Accessories - ***
Frieda comes with the pumpkin patch base, coonskin cap, goodie bag, ghost costume, and a lenticular card.

The bag and costume are similar to what we got with Chuck, but there aren't rocks in there this time.  And she's only got two eye holes.  The hat fits on over the costume, and looks great, although the lack of paint ops means less detail is obvious.

The base is the same as the previous bases, and while it has good detail, the figures have trouble standing on them and the don't actually hook together.  The lenticular card is cute, but helps the packaging more than the figure.

Value - **1/2
At eight bucks, she's about two bucks too expensive.  Considering the value you're getting in the other lines like the new Charlie Brown Christmas line, or the Mickey's Christmas Carol line (also from Playing Mantis), and you can see why she takes a hit here.

Overall - **1/2
Poor Frieda takes some abuse from me this time, but that's because they've spoiled me with the new series.  I have to give Playing Mantis a lot of credit there, since they listened to their customers and corrected the line right in the middle.

Where to Buy - 
I picked her up at Media Play when the line first started hitting, but you should be able to find her pretty easy at Targets and TRUs.  Online:

- Time and Space Toys is your one stop shop for all things Peanuts, including both the Halloween sets and the Christmas stuff.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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