For those who love the Simpsons, and love kids meal toys, it seems that the United Kingdom has been having all the luck lately.  Last year, in celebration of the 10th anniversary, the Burger Kings in England (and the Phillipines it should be noted) had a series of figures approximately in scale with the Playmates versions.

This year they've done it again, only this time the figures are even better.  In the picture above you can see, from left to right, this years, MuuMuu Homer, Grilling Homer, the Playmates Homer, and last years Burger King Homer.

Finding these is a bit of a trick.  There's always Ebay, but you'll pay at least a couple bucks each for them, often more.  You're best bet is to find a sympathetic Englishman (or woman) and beg a lot.

This set consists of 11 figures.  There are 10 that are part of the 'regular' release, and then there is MuuMuu Homer.  If someone can give me the exact story on this one, I'd love to know.  He is solid, so he could be the under three toy, although it didn't say that on his plastic bag.

The other 10 figures are Grilling Homer, Marge, Maggie, Bart, Lisa, Grampa, Milhouse, Otto, Snowball II on the television, and Nelson.

Packaging - ***1/2
Packaging on kids meals?  Aren't those just little bags?  Why yes, but that's why I'm also including the neat boxes that the Burger King kids meals came in.

The graphics are bright and appropriate, with an ad on one side for the new Diddy Doh-nuts, and pictures of all 11 figures on the other.

As for the plastic bag - well, keep it away from small children.

Sculpting - ***
Pretty decent work.  These figures are done by Equity, the same guys that have given us all those various Big Head figures.  The sculpting is at least acceptable on all the figures, although some, like MuuMuu Homer are better than others.

Articulation - **
Considering that these are kids meal toys, any articulation is pretty amazing.  Most of them have waist articulation, 

Scale - **
Here's a bit of a problem.  While the Homers, Otto, and Marge are all pretty well in scale with each other and the Playmates figures, the kids are waaaay too big.  In the photo of Otto and Lisa with Maggie, I've included the Playmates versions as well so you can get some idea of the scale.

The television will go well with the Playmates figures though, and is much more in scale than the version that came with the living room playset.

Character Selection - ****
Sure, maybe the scale is off, but at least they do a great job selecting characters.  While we end up getting another pretty standard Lisa, Bart and Marge, at least the others are all new to this assortment.

The two versions of Homer are both great, and having Nelson and Milhouse - particularly a Milhouse with a wedgie - is a great addition to last years set.

Add in Grampa and Otto, and you have a pretty well rounded set of figures if you have both lines.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are very good for these, particularly since they are kids meal toys.  Let's face it, you're getting the toy pretty damn cheap compared to 'real' action figures, so when you get good paint application it's a wonderful thing.

In particular, the two Homers are excellent.  Muumuu Homer has vibrant colors in his flower pattern, and the charcoal blackening of Grilling Homer's face works perfectly.

Value - ****
You can't get a better value than a good kids meal toy.  If you're buying the meal, they're practically free.  Even if you buy them separately, most places don't charge you more than a buck, and that's a mighty good value for something like this.

Overall - ***
If you have the first set from last year, than these are definitely a must have to fill out the set.

Even if you don't, the die hard fan is going to want to pick these up.  They look great on the shelf, but remember that they aren't expensive action figures.  Buy them for what they are, and you won't be disappointed.

Where to Buy - 
I hate to say it, but unless you can find a friendly Brit, you're pretty much screwed at this point.  Current prices on ebay for the full set are going for right around $35 for the full set.  That's not too bad, but I suspect they'll hit around $50 a set as people realize they have came and are now gone.

If you can be patient, I'm sure they'll drop back to the $25 range in a couple months - but most collectors don't have that kind of patience!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford
Article copyright 2001, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved.

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