Anyone out there that knows me or has seen my toy room knows I love the Simpsons. It's one of my favorite shows of all time, and almost the only line I collect even weird stuff from - ice cream scoops, alarm clocks, dolls, key chains, etc. etc. etc.

So I was greatly anticipating these new figures from Playmates, particularly since we're getting new figures that had not been done by Mattel in the previous line.

On to the review!

Packaging - ***
Nice, crisp colors, good graphics, and not oversized or cumbersome. I purchased a case, and all 12 figures were on mint cards, owing to the compact design.

Sculpting - ****
Terrific work on catching the likenesses of these characters, in particular Mr. Burns and Grampa Simpson. I also like the heft of these figures - there's some serious plastic here. I'm sure part of that has to do with the embedded Intellivoice dohickey, but these are very solid, well made figures.

Articulation - **
There's not alot, and some people may be displeased. But I'm not sure how it could have been improved, considering the style of the characters. Their lower bodies don't lend themselves particularly well to leg articulation, but that's not to say they couldn't have been more creative in this regard. Most of the figures have neck, shoulders and waist, except Lisa who is missing any sort of waist articulation. This is probably because of the Intellivoice device, since it has to be a solid connection from the main piece and the feet, as Lisa's legs don't provide much room for it.

Accessories - ****
Couldn't be better! Every character comes with at least a couple, and all make sense. Grampa only has two, a large newspaper and a magnifying glass. Next up in quantity is Mr. Burns with his two bundles of money, and the infamous three eyed fish in a fish bowl, and Lisa with Snowball (I or II?), a large pile of books and her saxophone. With four accessories each, Homer and Bart are next. Homer has a dented can of Duff beer, bag of Salty Snax, remote control and partially eaten donut. Bart has his skateboard, slingshot, spray can and Santa's Little Helper. Lastly there's Krusty with the largest number of accessories - 5. He has a very cool movie camera, Krusty Burger container, Krusty Shake container, Krusty Fries container, and a box of Krusty O's. All the accessories are sturdy, like the figures. The only complaint I could possibly have is that some of the stickers - like on the Duff beer can or the Krusty Shake - don't fit the package shape perfectly.

Overall - ****
I'm thrilled with this line, and truly excited to see how well it does. I'm hoping they fly off the shelves and we see more than just these first six. As most know, Barney and Moe were supposed to ship in this first assortment but did not. Also, I believe that only two of the first three playsets will be shipping in the first assortment as well. I'm hoping sales are so solid that Playmates gives us many, many more figures.

An interesting note - on all the packages, the first three playsets that were supposed to come out are listed (Kwik E Mart, home, and the plant) But on Krusty and Grampa's cardback it only lists the TV Studio as 'coming soon', while on the Lisa and Mr. Burns cardback it also lists the Springfield elementary, and on the Bart and Homer cardbacks it lists a third playset, the Bowl-O-Rama. Wouldn't it be great to get the Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy in their Holy Roller outfits?

BTW, I purchased my case of figures from Rick at Shipped, it came out to be $5 a figure, which is a terrific price. He's also ordering cases of the playsets, which should be in later this week, so if you think that a case is right for you, give him a call.


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