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Luke At The UK Toy Fair - Featuring Palisades

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by Luke, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Hey Guys,

    Thought i would tell everyone about my day at the UK Toy Fair which is being held in London's Docklands and is a trade event. I had a great time and am pretty exhausted, but saw some great products and met some cool people. Yes, seeing as i spend a large percentage of my life on this forum making a journey into the outside world is akin to Uncle Travelling Matt making a journey into the unknown on the Fraggles but you'll be relieved to know that i resisted the temptation to write this thread like one of those postcards.

    So anyhoo - overall there wasn't much Muppet action at Toy Fair today, they had the Miss Piggy bobblehead, and they had 'Bear' from BITBBH walking around, and it was one of the cool Henson performers too who do all the expressions. There was however one bastion of Muppetdom holding the frog flag high, Palisades Toys master salesman and keeper of the test shots - Travis - who is actually incredibly nice and cool, and all those stories Ken tells about giving him womens panties probably shouldn't be believed. It was really excellent meeting Travis, who was of course there representing Palisades. We chatted for ages about the figures, and Muppet stuff in general, and it was cool he had so much time for me and was so enthusiastic about the line, prepared to show me how different figures and accessories worked and posed and even completely re-arranged things so i could take a few photos - very cool, i can't thank him enough.

    Palisades Toys were part of the 'Gear 4 Games' stand who are their UK distributors who i also met today. It was kinda wierd seeing Muppets being exhibited on the same stand as Homer Simpsons and Ozzy Osbourne figures.

    Anyway first piece of news is that they had Series 3 product there, all the figures, but they weren't prototypes or display pieces - oh no - these were actual factory shipped PRODUCT - the stuff arrived from China at the distributors last week and i'm happy to say that Wave 3 will start appearing in the UK stores next week. Now thats pretty cool.

    I was REALLY impressed by Wave 3 - the photos we have seen of these figures do not do them justice - it's always been a world of difference having the actual figures in front of you rather than looking at them online - but with Wave 3 i think they've continued the trend of getting better and better as they go on and these are really something special. Especially Superhero Scooter - from seeing him online i wasn't so sure about him but up close and in person he is errr pretty much super ! LOL ! I was allowed to take a few photos of these figures and will hopefully be able to share those with you and tell you more about them later.

    Travis also brought along with him both some painted and unpainted test shots of the figures from waves 5-6. Pepe The Prawn, Janice, Gonzo & Camilla, Statler & Waldorf, Newsman, Beau etc etc. These were shown in mock up versions of the brand new packaging. Unfortunately i couldn't take photos of these because this is the stuff being saved for the New York Toy Fair but i can try to say a little about them and what i saw.

    Anyway, something really cool that i can show you is the new packaging for the action figures. They have Series 4 painted pictures in the new design blister cards and packaging. You'll notice that this is now 'The Muppets' line from Wave 4 rather than 'The Muppet Show' so they use the new logo and also the card is a nice blue shade that matches well with the green logo. It's a lot more eye catching and up to date look, and each character has their photo bottom left, and then the logo of the Henson project that figure is themed around on the right. It takes a little getting used to, but i think it looks great and is a really good design that grew on me fast.

    Here are some pictures of Wave 4 in the new packaging, sorry they arent as sharp as they could be but my camera isn't that hi-res :-

    Rizzo :- http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/rizzopackage.jpg

    Link :- http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/linkpackage.jpg

    Julius :- http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/juliuspackage.jpg

    Sam :- http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/sampackage.jpg

    Anyway thats first thing to show you, i also had fun playing with the Series 3 figures, and have stuff to tell you about them, and the test shots of the figures coming out later so i'll continue this thread as i go so the post doesnt get too long.
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Cool! Tell us more. I like your pics, but why do they download so slowly? That packaging sure looks spiffy.
  3. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Jamie,

    I've moved them to some faster space and updated the links - hope thats a bit better. I'll post some more in a bit - very tired !
  4. WiGgY

    WiGgY New Member

    That packageing certainly is a change from the older one.Will series 3 be in that kind of packaging?

    Edit: BTW, I have mixed feelings about replacing the real muppet picture with a picture of the actual figure. Also, what does the back look like? Did you get a look?
  5. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    No, it's from Series 4 onwards i think. New bases too - i have pics of figures on them i'll post. They are a lot smaller, rounder and plain black with no logo but they do the job well, better than none at all.
  6. WiGgY

    WiGgY New Member

    oo good. Sleak new plain bases is nice. Also, calling the lines Jim Hensons Muppets is better because you don't have to explain why Sam Arrow is in a muppet show line :D
  7. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Luke, glad you were able to go and venture out into the real world. Thanks for sharing the photos with us.
  8. ResidentLilly

    ResidentLilly Active Member

    Yeah that is cool to hear the perspective of someone going to the show rather than from being at a show booth. Luke, what did you think of the Pepe photos you saw?

    (FYI...that packaging is about 70% there. That was quickie mocked for Toy Fair. We have some stuff to add to it still and it is still going through approval stages.)
  9. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    OMG Luke *actually* ventured outside! It's a miracle;)

    Btw, love the idea for the new packaging...time to move the direction away from the old TMS look and into the modern times!
  10. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    In answer to Wiggy's question, the packaging was a mocked up version so i don't think they actually had anything on the back yet. I'm sure it will look cool though - maybe Ken will show us soon

    Ok, moving on i'll try to remember stuff about Series 3 and show the photos i took, although consider them momentos of my trip rather than stuff to judge the product by because i'm sure theres probably better out there. I did get some nice ones though.

    It was really cool being able to play with Series 3 and the Superhero Scooter. They all look great together - Travis practically moved half the display apart to put them altogether so i could take some pictures so big props to him. As i said though, pictures don't do them justice - something like Rowlf and the Piano wouldn't usually be a personal favorite of mine but actually interacting with it totally sold me. Shops really should have these things loose for demos and things - i reckon it'd sell tons more.

    Superhero Scooter

    I was really unsure about the cape/vest combination from the action-figure.com photos but it really looks fantastic when you see it in person, the colors are way better. The beanie looks great, and the ladder is fantastic. It was cool to pick him up and pose him - you could have him reading the 'How To Be A Superhero' Book (which is made of a kind of soft plastic that can open and close) and it actually has words inside the pages of the book. You can also have him standing on the ladder and stuff, doing a superhero pose etc etc. The figure has a nice feel about it. Palisades put some hi-res pictures in todays 'Daily Bit' so best place to go and check him out is there, but i did take two pictures :-

    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/superhero.jpg
    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/superhero2.jpg

    Lew Zealand

    Again, from the original early sculpts we saw ages back the actual finished figure has moved forward a zillion miles. It's just all much sharper, both in sculpting and color wise. The mouth isnt so rough anymore and the painting is great too - he actually seems like one of the stronger figures in the line to me. His bucket of fish is very cool - the lid opens to reveal two (i think) little fishes inside. I think in my picture you can also see the new bases that come with the wave 3 figures - at least i think they do - the wave 3 figures were displayed on them.

    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/lew.jpg

    Regular Scooter

    He was one of my favorites, and always has been. The paint on the jacket is unreal - i love that sparkly spangly color. It does seem to be slightly different from the professionally done Palisades pics we saw (maybe a slightly different shade ?) but i could be wrong and it looks fantastic anyway. A really good thing about Scooter is the 'Muppet Show' logo on the back of his jacket. It's been Tampa printed like the Kermit Camera but its come out looking really fantastic. The other thing about Scooter is his trousers. They have actually managed to get a kind of crumply denim style texture and look about them. The accessories really are well done - it's just all so tiny and intricate. The cups are so small yet they fit into the little tray, and the megaphone is really great. You can have a lot of fun, posing him, interchanging all the accessories and putting him on the skateboard. The paints are all lovely colors and i think the head sculpt looks cool. Theres nothing i'd change - thats our Scooter !

    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/scooter.jpg

    Zoot Repaint

    He was a little basic for my liking - i have a personal preference for the more funky and 'out there' stuff but i found him a great figure regardless. He doesnt look as moody as he once did, and his trousers have that same textured crumpled effect as Scooters - very cool. A great thing is that he has a slit in his mouth that you can actually put the mouthpiece of the Saxaphone in and it seems like he's really playing. The saxaphone accessory is excellent - i got a demo of it folding up and getting put in the case and it's all very highly detailed. I'm sure Electric Mayhem fans will love him. You can have a lot of fun posing him, and i'm sure even more once you put him with the rest of the band. We got quite a funky pose for the photo actually - check it out :-

    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/zoot.jpg

    Swedish Chef With Kitchen

    This is such an excellent playset - just as good as the photos if not better. The first thing you notice is the sheer amount of accessories - some are hard PVC, some are soft plastic. I swear if you were to go to a dolls house catalogue and buy each of these bits and pieces seperately it'd cost ya a fortune. You can actually pick up the phone and put it to Chefs ear, and he looked great standing in his kitchen holding his tennis racket. Apparently the playset will be packaged with the Chef figure actually standing at the back rather than packed in a seperate compartment like the previous ones - i'm sure that'll make it look even more attractive to buyers. The actual Chef figure is lovely - the magnet on his hed/hat is SO strong - Travis could actually lift him clear off the table for ages without it falling off. Another thing is the apron - its made of a soft plastic that feels like a real cloth and it has little strings/ties at the back that actually feel like the real thing. It's a really good, cool chunky figure, and the paint colors, especially the fleshy color on the face looks great. Travis mentioned that the exclusive Chef is looking great too.

    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/chef1.jpg
    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/chef2.jpg

    Rowlf With Piano

    This was one of my favorites and i saw a lot of people looking at this with interest. Personally, i've never been able to see the point of these tuxedo figures aside from they'll make a nice display once they are all together - however in Rowlfs case it's so totally appropraite to have him like this and i'm glad we've had this figure come out before a naked Rowlf - he looks magnificent and definitely adds something to the rest of the wave. His head sculpt is great and has that doggy fur kinda texture, and the paint colors are really nice on it. He poses well at the piano as you'll be able to see from the photo - he definitely didn't need the piano stool. The piano is so detailed and so freakin huge - you take the legs off it to make it fit in the blister but even then it's massive. Once you open the piano lid (and prop it up) you can see all the detail you would normally find in a grand piano. In fact, my mother was there too buying and meeting people for one of her own companies and she deals in music and also dolls house stuff/collectables. She said that Rowlfs piano was better than some of the really expensive ones dolls house accessory companies were showing off there - she was sold, i think our kooky family is gonna have Rowlf on the mantle ! LOL !

    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/rowlf.jpg
    http://www.melmacian.catlovers.co.uk/toy/pianodetail.jpg

    Anyhow thats Series 3 in the flesh, definitely a lot better than even expected - there wasn't really much to dislike about it and you guys know how much i try sometimes. :rolleyes: As i said previous, the waves get better each time and it seems that the sculptors, painters etc are all really getting into it and learning how to Muppetize figures. I know Palisades got some compliments and enquiries on the sculpting from other companies while i was there so it's all good.

    I have the painted and some unpainted test shots for Series 5 & 6 to talk about, though as they're just photos i saw can't really go into much detail - it wouldnt be fair you can't tell that much from them and it's better to wait for the pictures of the real figures at Toy Fair in New York but i'll say kinda what i thought generally and a few observations. Hope to add that in a bit or maybe in the morning - there were no photos allowed of 5 & 6 though as obviously that is what they want to debut at the main show in NY.
  11. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Thanks for pointing that out Jamie - its changed !
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    (Previous post deleted to make this one)

    Wow, it's so cool you are now sold on Lew! He seems to be the best likeness of series 3.

    Any comments on the Rowlf likeness. The piano is fantastic. (LOL on the comment about the mantle)

    The Scooters seem promising too, The glasses (though a bit larger than the puppet) look just right for the figure. I am so excited!

    And that Kitchen! The best parts of all the sets - and then some - composed into this super amazing playset. I don't see how anyone would turn this down. Even non Muppet fans would like this set. Who knew?

    Did you see Pepe or Janice? Everyone wants to hear about that I am sure. Come on, you must have something to say. :)
  13. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Active Member

    Thanks for posting all the neat stuff!I'm glad you got to go! i feel like your photo's are the best looking one's yet! and as always they look better when you actaualy see them. Every photo of rowlf i have seen does not look as good as your's, I'm glad you might get him, and if you dont, your Mother might;-)


    so all of what you saw is the actualy product then, what we see is what we get, not one less kitchen item or anything?

    I Love lew! it's cool that there are fish inside the bucket, can they come out of it?

    Do you know if Super Scooters latter fold's close or not?

    How's Camilla look too?

    Thanks Luke!

    Zack,
  14. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Answers To Questions :-

    Jamie:-

    I agree with you about Scooter - maybe the glasses might not be exactly the same as the puppet, but they do look exactly right for the figure. I think it's very close anyhow - you'd know better than me, i'm not a big Scooter expert but i was way impressed. Rowlf is a VERY good likeness, hes quite a chunky figure and the tux is done very well - he looks very regal standing at the piano. The bust is very finely detailed too. The facial features are cool - they fur texture is great and the floppy dog ears look very good, not sure if they are like a hard plastic or soft, i never tried to move them. All the paint colors seem to be really well matched and spot on as how we would think of Rowlf, and that goes for the rest of Waves 3-6, i noticed that all the paint colors are really finely matched with the puppets, especially Pepe. Obviously Rowlf isnt the most expressionate or articulated figure but he's a dog in a tux at the piano. Very majestic i'd say !

    Zack :-

    Yes, i think Super Scooters ladder folds up - i think the photos in Palisades 'Daily Bit' show it doing just that actually. As far as i know yes, the fishes come out of Lews 'Bucket Of Fish' but i didnt try it. All of the actual series 3 product i saw was actual product that will be in our stores here next week - aside from the Kitchen which i think Ken said isnt shipping from the factory until March but i think what i saw was a pretty much finished prototype. They've really improved the strength of the magnets on the heads/hats of all figures now - especially Chef. He still has the little round circle on his head where the magnet is but thats way better than having an actual hole or anything in the back. I saw Camilla, and all the others which i'll go into next.
  15. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Ok, so the one everyones been waiting for - Palisades had test shots of Waves 5 and 6. These were in the same mocked up packaging as the Wave 4 shots i put up. Some were painted and some were unpainted sculpts. Overall i was way impressed, they were only photos and i'm recalling them from memory so i'll do what i can.

    Janice - Unpainted Test Shot

    I liked Janice a lot, although it was hard to really judge the overall likeness since it was unpainted. However she's wearing a cool miniskirt with a nice belt that goes across it. So in the repaint the belt will be a different color too. Her top is nicely sculpted and i'm happy to report Ken seems to have mastered the 'boobage' issue. She's not got too little nor too much - just right for her tall fairly thin body. Facial likeness looked good, but then i'm no Janice expert and it was hard to tell. I remember Travis commenting on her hair - that they had some problems with it or it had been hard to get right and had been tweaked. I'm not sure but it looked excellent to me.

    Gonzo In Purple Suit With Camilla - Painted Test Shot

    OK, now this is the Gonzo we've all been waiting for - i really love it and think they've done an excellent job - its a 1000 times better than the Wave 2 Gonzo. His head sculpt looks way better, i'm not sure if they've tweaked the nose or not but Travis talked a bit about that. The purple suit is lovely - i'm not sure the shade is completely show accurate, it could have been the photo but it's the right purple overall, but looked a bit shinier or darker, i dunno but it seems right for the figure. He has the white carnation on his lapel which is very detailed, and in the photo he had Camilla by his left hand side. Camilla looks fantastic - she has an articulated head which i think swivels from side to side. I think she comes up to Gonzos knee's, maybe a little more. They've done a good job at the whole Muppet chicken likeness - i couldn't really tell from the photo whether she had that kinda expressionate Camilla face. It was very detailed. I think Gonzo will be one of the strongest figures in Wave 5 - he's lovely.

    Newsman - Unpainted Test Shot

    It was very hard to tell much about the Newsman in his unpainted sculpt photo - other than i think they are doing a great job with him so far. He seems quite large and his outfit very detailed. Facially i think he was very good, although no glasses (as far as i remember) so it was hard to tell the overall look.

    Pepe The Prawn - Painted Test Shot

    I think this is the one everyones been waiting for and they havent dissapointed. He's wearing the (sky/pastel) blue jacket with (white ?) drawstrings. Not sure if the strings are sculpted in or soft plastic like the chefs cloth apron. The jacket covers his arms, his legs are bare. He actually looked a lot larger than i expected from the way everyones been talking, maybe the pic wasn't to scale, i don't know but i think it looks fantastic. The paint is very good - they have completely got him accurate in that way - the shade of blue on the jacket is EXACTLY the one we've seen on Pepe and the color of his skin/fur (don't know what prawns have exactly) is perfect. His hair is all spikey and comes out at all angles - he even has the antennae which could just about be seen in the photo. Facially the look is excellent - it looks just like the actual puppet, right kinda expression, right kinda colors. His arms are really cool - it's wierd seeing an action figure with two sets of arms but they've done it. All the texturing looks great and from what i saw i think there was a lot of articulation on the figure although it was only a photo so best to wait for the real thing for that. I'm not sure it was the most exciting action figure, or the funkiest outfit but they seem to have captured him almost perfectly, very show accurate and i guess the compliment is that he looks very much like a photo of the actual puppet.

    Right - i have Wave 6 to talk about, i'm tight on time so not sure i can manage it right this minute but definitely later ! They were all fantastic though - Beauregard you could instantly tell was VERY strong, even though it was an unpainted test shot - all the texturing, and the fur and facial likeness looked spot on so far. I'll continue later.
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hey guys, to answer Zack's question: Yes, the two small fish accessories do indeed come out of the bucket. I can tell you this because the test shot figure is here amongst my personal collection. There are two small fishies; one that's shaped like a thin flute, and one that's a little rounder but like a rounded off seashell. Luke, thanks for answering my questions though I'm disappointed that MAMMA wasn't included with Dr. Julius Strangepork. The reason I asked you about that one is because I'm interested in knowing what it looks like and because it was never shown with the S4 test shot photos on Palisades' Daily Bit. Guess we'll have to wait a little more until we finally see that figure. On a side note, did you get to see the Reporter Kermit figure with all the Koozbanians? What did they all look like? Were there distinctions as to tell one alien figure apart from the other? What did the little Merdlidopps included in the base look like? How is it that they activate from within the figure's base? Thanks for everything once again.
  17. Stryder Wolfe

    Stryder Wolfe New Member

    great! If a customer as picky as Luke likes them (no offense, I'm just saying) then your run of the mill guy like me will probably be completely blown away :D

    so Series 5 Gonzo....New Head sculpt???
  18. radionate

    radionate New Member

    Wow Luke. Thanks for posting those pics of the Blister Cards. I think these are a lot brighter, and might actually help catch the eye of people a little more.

    I liked the 25th anniversary cards, but next to these they were very dark.
  19. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Wow! Great pics, Luke! After seeing those, Series three is most deffenitly my favorite! Supehero Scooter looks awesome! (Is Superheroe Scooter the official name or is it Super scooter? If it's Superhero, can I change my username?) Great stuff!

    I like the old packaging better, but this looks good too. Afterall, it ain't the 25th Anniversary anymore.
  20. Se-Bas

    Se-Bas New Member

    Muppet Palisades in Holland

    Hi there everybody, I have a question.
    I am a collector of the Muppet Palisades series. There is only one problem: I live in Holland.
    The availabilty is very rear here.
    But does someone knows when muppet series 3 (especially the terrific playset with Mork Mork swedish chef) comes to Holland?

    ThanX

    Se-Bas


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