Muppets Series 2

Once upon a time, some unhappy dockworkers battled a great war with some unhappy shipping company CEO's.  The reasons for the battle were murky, and of little consequence to the little toy collector, but he was greatly effected by the results.

Toys that he wanted very badly were kept hostage.  And there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing of voices.

In particular, the Muppets series 2, one of the most anticipated lines of the fall, was delayed in shipping to stores.  Finally, after weeks of delay, the figures are finally hitting the shelves.  This series includes four figures - Fozzie, Gonzo, Floyd, and Crazy Harry.  There's also a variation of Floyd, wearing a blue jacket (with other very distinct paint op changes) that's packed at one per case.

The figures are retailing for $7-$9 depending on what retailer you pick them up at.  The second playset, the Electric Mayhem stage with Animal, is also hitting some stores right now.

I reviewed the first series and first playset several months ago, and I also have a Muppet Figure Archive of all the various figures and variations.

Packaging - ***1/2
The same as series 1, the packaging is based on the Muppet Show 25th Anniversary theme.  It plays off the colors and designs of the shows, and has terrific photos of the other characters in the series.  There's a nice bio card on the back, and the series number is on the right side, making it easier to find the figures on the pegs.

I didn't include a packaging picture this time, simply because I wanted to focus more photos on the figures, not because I don't think the packaging looks great.

Sculpting - **** 
The first series had some minor sculpting issues, but I can't find a single fault here.  Some folks find the size of Floyd and Fozzie tough to accept, but these are scaled based on the puppets themselves, and that can be tough to tell on the screen at times.

The detail work is absolutely amazing.  The skin texture, the hair, the folds of the cloths - everything has been shown meticulous attention.

Another important detail of the sculpt is the hands.  All four can hold and pose with their various accessories.  This is particularly important with characters like Harry and Floyd, whose accessories are such an integral part of who they are.

While every figure comes with a stand (a practice I believe is endind with this series, or perhaps series 3) they don't need them.  All four stand fine on their own, and the sculpting doesn't interfere with the posability.

Paint - ****
Some people have reported slight issues with the paint ops.  I was fairly picky when selecting these on the peg, but there was only one case there and I had no trouble pulling out a perfect figure of each.

The excellent sculpting is highlighted by the excellent paint ops.  All the detail in the sculpt could be lost with poor paint work, but here it's highlighted and accentuated.  The bright white of Harry's teeth, the gold stitching on Floyd's jacket and even the dark wash on Gonzo's fur add realism and depth to the figures.

The paint ops on the accessories are also worth noting.  I'm particularly impressed with the work on the gun powder keg, but all the accessories are well done.

I found no signs of clumping, bleed or sloppy lines.  Palisades paint ops really are raising the bar for other companies.

Articulation - Harry, Floyd ***1/2; Fozzie, Gonzo ***
The articulation score depends on the figure, as the amount and usefulness varies.

Harry and Floyd come out on top here, with neck, ball jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips and cut ankles.  Both can hold plenty of positions, and the articulation works extremely well for both with their particular accessories.

Fozzie and Gonzo come up slightly shorter.  Fozzie has neck, ball jointed shoulders and hips.  Gonzo has neck, ball jointed shoulders, hips and ankles.  Even though Gonzo has more articulation, he doesn't score quite as well since I had some trouble getting his feet and legs in just the right position to stand on his own.

Accessories - ****
Once again, Palisades comes through with a terrific offering of extras with each figure.

Fozzie has his rubber chicken, Groucho glasses, microphone and microphone stand.  I'll include his hat here too, since it's removable.  Like the previous SDCC version of Fozzie, the hat is held on with a magnet.  This one doesn't seem quite as strong as the previous magnets, but it still works great.

Crazy Harry has two sticks of dynamite, the standard cartoon style bomb, a keg of gun powder (that opens), and his plunger.  The plunger works with a spring action too, and fits perfectly in his hands.  The paint and sculpting on the keg really stand out as well.

Floyd has his trademark bass, guitar strap, amp and hat.  Like Fozzie, his cap stays on with a magnet.  The guitar is hooked to the amp with a thin wire, and some folks have had issues with them breaking.  I haven't had that problem with either Floyd, but you should still exercise some care when moving it around.  The variant Floyd (it even says that on the UPC!) has the same accessories, in just a different color scheme.

I'm going to take a minute to say that I like the colors of the variant Floyd much better than the regular Floyd.  The white bass looks terrific, and the lighter color of the amp looks even more realistic.  Too bad that's the slightly harder one to find.

Gonzo comes with the largest and most intricate accessory - his firing cannon.  He also has a great cape, and two 'stops' for either wheel of the cannon.  There will be an Electronics Boutique exclusive version of this figure that includes a crash helmet as well.

The cannon looks terrific, and even fires pretty well.  You won't be killing the house pets with him, but he catches a little air.  The stops fit under the wheels, pretty much as you'd expect.

The cape deserves a special mention though.  It's extremely well made, and looks great on him.  They used an elastic thread to hold the cape on his neck, so that it stretches out over his head, and snaps tight around his neck.  That's a new one, and is so much better than the usual 'tie it around his neck and it keeps falling off' string.  Nice work!

Value - ***
I paid $9 each for this set.  At that price, they take a slight hit on the value.  Not much though, considering the current price of McToys, or even some of the basic comic shop figures.  Find these at Toys R Us for $7 or $8, and you can add another half to full star.

Overall - Floyd, Harry ****; Fozzie, Gonzo ***1/2
If I had to pick a favorite out of this set, it would have to be Floyd.  The level of detail, and the great design, really stands out.  Crazy Harry is also great, and there isn't a bad thing I can say about either one.

Gonzo and Fozzie are not quite as nice, but still exceptional action figures.  The sculpting on both is excellent, and while the articulation is a little lower, they still kick the crapola out of most of the action figures out there.  Palisades is doing a wonderful job with this license.

Where to Buy - 
Right now, more on-line retailers have these than bricks and mortar stores, but they are starting to pop up.  I have seen them at the Musicland family of stores so far - Media Play, Suncoast and Sam Goody all have them here.  Toys R Us should get them soon.  On-line:

- Electronics Boutique is your best bet - they are shipping them, and they are only $8 each plus shipping.  They also have the pre-order up for the exclusive Gonzo.  They have a special Muppet store under the 'action figures' tab.  (MROTW Affiliate)

I've added a photo at the bottom for a scale comparison between Fozzie, Floyd, Bunsen and Dr. Teeth.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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