Butt Ugly Martians

A new cartoon called Butt Ugly Martians has gotten its own line of figures - big surprise there.  After seeing early pictures of these last summer, I had high hopes.

There are three main Martians.  They were sent to this planet to destroy it - only problem is they really like Earth and don't want to.  The aliens are led by Commander B-Bop-A-Luna.  He is backed up by Cheif Tech Officer 2T-Fru-T, and Do-Wah-Diddy.  The leader back on Mars is Emperor Bog, who wants to take over the Earth.  The Martians interact with a number of humans, including Angela, Mike, and Cedric, three kids.  There is of course Dog, and the Martian hunter Stoat Muldoon. And finally, there is Dr. Damage, who makes all kinds of nasty devices for Emporer Bog.

They've made 5 carded figures, each selling for about eight bucks.  They cover the three main Martians, and two of the humans, Stoat and Mike.  They also have four robot/figure two packs, covering the three main Martians again, and Dr. Damage.  These two packs retail for around $15.

I bought and opened the Dr. Damage/robot set, and the Commander B-Bop/robot sets.  The only difference between the carded Martians, and the boxed ones with the robots are the paint ops.  The regular Martians are about 4 1/2" tall, although Dr. Damage is closer to 5 1/2".

Packaging - ***
Both the carded figures and the box figures have decent packaging.  The art is okay, and the boxes are even collector friendly, if you don't mind a lot of twisty ties.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpting is very nice, although most cartoon characters are simpler to do than actual people.  They capture the look of all the characters, and they style and design of the overall cartoon is pretty snazzy.

The only real negative is that there is very little difference in the look of the three main Martians.  Even Dr. Damage is only slightly different.  But from the limited exposure I've had to the cartoon, they do capture the source material extremely well.

Paint - ***
The paint ops seem a bit hit and miss.  The work on all the heads and faces that I saw looked good, but the paint work on some of the body details was sloppy.  Since the paint ops are different for the carded figures from these, it was a little more obvious as well.

The bodies themselves all appear to be cast in the appropriate color plastic, and some figures like the good doctor, have less detail.

Articulation - ***
Overall, the articulation is good.  Dr. Damage has far less articulation than the others, and I'm not sure why.  Perhaps his design didn't lend itself to the same type of joints.  He only has neck, shoulder and waist.

But Be-bop and the rest have ball jointed shoulders, ball jointed hips, neck, knees and elbows.  If the line had been more consistent, this score would have been higher.

Accessories - **1/2
The carded figures are pathetically short on accessories.  They all come with a blaster, which is identical from one to the other.  The projectile is slightly different for each, but it's still a pretty poor excuse for an accessory.

This same blaster comes with the Be-Bop/robot two pack.  I'll count the robots as the accessories with these two packs, which helps the score quite a bit.  

The robots are both articulated, although not too greatly.  Dr. Damage's bot has shoulders and hips, while Be-Bops has shoulders and wrists.

The robot with Dr. Damage also has a spring action weapon which fires fairly well, and when you push the face inward, the arms pop off.

Be-Bops robot is designed to hold the Commander inside (as are the other robots for the main Martians).  It's an idea that sounds better than it works.  The helmet comes off, and from the front it looks pretty good when he's inside.  But his legs and arms have to stick out the back of the robot, since he's not really large enough to hold the figure.

This is a big negative, since with just some simple redesigning they could have easily gotten the figure to fit.

Value - *
Why do toy companies think these average licensed lines are worth $8 or more?  The price for the single figures is at least 20% too high, and the robot two packs aren't worth more than $10.  With these kinds of prices, the odds that people will pick up more than one or two figures is pretty slim.

Overall - ***
The high price is a big detractor, but the poor accessories didn't help.  If the robot had been more articulated OR if the figure would have fit inside better, I would have been much happier.  But they still have great sculpting, and the articulation is very good for this scale.

Where to Buy
Wal-mart seems to be getting these first, but I bet Toys R Us is right around the corner as well.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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