Action Figures Series 8
Whitehead (July 16, 2004) - Palisades series 8 is finally
hitting shelves, and from what I hear they won't be there long. Series
8 has something for everyone. We've got two returning characters: Scooter
in his usher uniform from Muppets Take Manhattan, and Sam, out of his
costume and into his feathers from the Muppet Show. There are also two
slightly more obscure fan favorites: the classic and flamboyant Marvin
Suggs with his amazing Muppephones from the Muppet Show, and Dr. Phil
Van Neuter, the mad scientist-veterinarian from Muppets Tonight (as well
as an unforgettable appearance in Muppets From Space).
all come sealed away in the same blue-style packaging as the last few
series. Palisades has made one change to the packaging which completely
shocked and amazed me. I think it is the single biggest selling point
of this entire series: there is little-to-no twist tie removal required
to free these figures from their plastic homes. Yes, you still need a
knife or some scissors to open the clamshell, but afterwards, you are
moments away from playing with the figure.
Phil Van Neuter
Accessories: Wall clock, egg nog, two Erlenmeyer flasks, two boiling
flasks, and burner tripod
Obscure character gets his chance. He's huge!
Accessories are a bit underwhelming if not familiar with Muppets
Dr. Phil is
huge. Palisades had to redesign his packaging to allow his feet
to dangle a little lower than the regular clamshell design. He's
got long arms that are almost gorilla-like in proportion and a head
that's almost as big as Rizzo. Stand him next to your other Muppet
figures and they will begin to tremble at his towering presence.
He's wearing an apron and rubber gloves painted with a mess that
suggests you don't really want to know what he does in his lab.
The sculpt on this figure captures the original Muppet very well.
One could take issue with his skin's greenish hue, especially compared
with what looks like yellow skin on the package photo. To me it
looks fairly accurate and I discovered that his skin is liable to
change from green to yellow depending on the lighting.
is fairly well articulated, especially his arms; however mine has
some loose joints which makes it difficult for him to hold his huge
arms up in the air. His feet seem to have ball joints, and he can
I'm fairly happy
with the figure, but if you are not familiar with Muppets Tonight,
you may be somewhat disappointed with the accessories. First, there's
the egg nog carton (from the Prince episode) recreating one of the
funniest Dr. Phil bits ever. Next we have the wall clock. This was
meant to go on the Muppet Labs playset over the back wall as it
comes with a hook. However, the hook is too shallow to actually
fit on the playset. A little glue will do the trick though. Finally,
there are three round flasks, two Erlenmeyer flasks and a a bunsen
burner stand. I would have liked to see some evil concoctions bubbling
up in the flasks. Phil's hands, though, are well-sculpted to hold
the various items, so he can stand ready to work.
Suggs (and Muppephones)
Accessories: Six Muppephones, Muppephone musical wall, 2 Mallets
Another fan favorite figure. Muppephones! Music with
Sticky paint that rubs off. Limited arm articulation.
Phil, Marvin is a wee little pipsqueak. However, be careful about
bringing up his diminutive stature to his face. Remember, he's armed.
Marvin comes with two mallets used for playing tunes on his Muppephones,
furry little creatures specially trained to cry out at a specific
pitch when hit with a mallet. Marvin's a fun figure and despite
a few flaws in paint and joint design, he's definitely one of my
favorites from this series.
Palisades have managed to capture this Muppet quite well. His outfit
is impressive with puffy ruffles, bright colors, and glossy paint.
His hands are sculpted to hold his mallets and he won’t drop
them, that is if you can manage to get them in. While struggling
to get the mallets in place I rubbed a bit of paint off his hands
and onto the mallets. Palisades has ingeniously worked joints into
the ruffles of his arms, allowing some arm articulation. However,
the ruffles act like cogs with teeth as the folds fit into each
other, which means it's very easy for paint to rub-off. Mine is
already losing paint around the shoulders and elbows. Concerning
articulation, the joints don't allow for much movement. If you stand
Marvin behind his wall to play the Muppephones, you may find he
isn't quite able to swing his arms and hit each Muppephone.
brings us to his accessories: the Muppephones and the musical wall.
Marvin by himself is an okay figure. Couple him with the Muppephones,
though, and he can hold his own. We've got six Muppephones, and
as far as I can tell they are all scuplted with slightly different
expressions. Three are painted pink and three are orange. Looking
into their faces you can tell they lead a pretty miserable existence.
The wall stands nice and steady, and has six pegs for your Muppephones
to fit into.
comes in a black and gray repaint variation. He'll fit in nicely
with other "Steppin' Out" tux-themed Muppet figures.
Accessories: Authentically detailed movie popcorn cart
Authentically detailed movie popcorn cart. Revised head sculpt.
Just one accessory. Revised head sculpt.
In the Muppets
Take Manhattan, Scooter works as a movie theater usher. The figure
is not entirely movie accurate: the back of his jacket is imprinted
with "Muppet Theatre" and he's not handing out any 3D
glasses like he was in the movie.
This is the
second time Scooter has made an appearance as a regular series figure.
The first was "classic" Scooter from series
3. This new Scooter has been updated a bit. He comes with a
few more bits of articulation, as well as a revised head sculpt.
Palisades wasn’t satisfied with the first head sculpt and
this one is an attempt to more accurately represent the Muppet.
However, they haven't quite nailed it and I prefer the original
sculpt. Opinions seems to be split over which head is better. That
said, any critiques on the sculpt are nitpicky, and overall he's
a decent representation of Scooter.
Scooter comes with only one piece. But what a piece it is. He comes
with an "authentically detailed movie popcorn cart." This
is one of the largest accessories in the Muppet line. It's larger
than Scooter and most other Muppet figures. It's really cool to
look in through the glass and see the pile of popcorn inside.
It's an impressive
piece of work, and I'm sure miniature collectors with no interest
in Muppets will be picking this up. Yet as impressive as the cart
is, I still feel a little slighted that this is the only accessory.
It would have been nice to at least have a concessions box for Scooter
to wear around his neck with a couple of 3D glasses for him to pass
out. It would have better completed the character.
Accessories: Lectern, magnetic seal of Sam the Eagle, Standards
and Pratices book, U.S. Constitution
It's classic Sam!
He's a bit stiff.
This is the
Sam we all remember from the Muppet Show, lecturing us on morals
and decency, proud to be an American. Besides taking him out of
his series 4 Muppet Treasure
Island uniform and giving us an all new body, Palisades has also
modified the head sculpt, making this Sam one of the very few Muppet
figures to actually have a closed mouth. The new body looks good;
far and away better than the "golf ball" look of the PVC
mini-Muppet version released last year. He has a nice frosted look
over the feathers on his arms, neck and tail. It seems, however,
that with all the nooks and crannies the feathers make, there are
a few places on my figure where the paint didn't quite reach.
As for articulation,
"naked" figures usually make it difficult to disguise
joints while maintaining sculpt integrity. Palisades managed to
hide a few extra joints in Sam's arm feathers making his arms more
flexible than I expected. Still, feathers also limit his joint movement,
making him a little stiff. But stiff suits Sam.
accessories round out the character well. First there is Sam's lectern,
or podium, from which he delivers his lectures on indecency. To
help him, Sam comes with a book in which his classic speech on nudity
has been reprinted. For the front of the lectern, there are a choice
of three stickers that can be placed on a circular magnet to act
as Sam's seal. The magnet and stickers are packed with a plastic
cap, so if you don't want to apply the stickers, you can keep them
under the cap and still place it on the lectern. There is also a
miniature copy of the U.S. Constitution as a welcome extra.
Those of you
who collect variants should also be on the lookout for a one-per-case
Sam variant dubbed "Shifty-Eyed Sam." He's the same figure,
with his eyes repainted looking to Sam's left. He also comes with
repainted accessories and a different book and stickers. Here's
a little trivia for you: Palisades had originally planned to make
a "Shifty-Eyed" variant of the MTI Sam and not announce
it until the figures were released. That plan was scrapped and Shifty-Eyed
Sam waited for this release, making this the first series to feature
two paint variants in the same case.
This is definitely
a great figure, and probably my favorite of the series. It's the
classic Sam we’ve been waiting for, and it doesn’t disappoint.
had one of the smallest distributions yet since they are not being carried
by either Toys 'R' Us or Target. As a result, you may have to do some
looking to find these guys. I suggest getting them quickly. Palisades
has already sold all of the figures to retailers. You can find them on-line
from EB Games while supplies last.