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Not happy with my Lab playset

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by Electric Mayhem, Aug 23, 2002.

  1. Electric Mayhem

    Electric Mayhem Well-Known Member

    I finally found a Muppet Labs playset and I was very excited. When I got it home later that day, I took it out of the package no problem. Then, I put Beaker on the table and strapped him in. I started to put the "helmet" on his head, and realized the "wires" connected to the table were not all that flexible. So I tried very carefully to position it properly. It didn't matter. One of the wires broke right off, and can't even be glued back. It was pretty disheartening, especially after I was so eager to get one. So I just let it sit there while I stewed for a bit.
    I came back & later realized that the Gorilla Detector had leaked something on the Muppet Labs floor, causing a stained/discolored puddle on the playset. I don't know what caused it- I assume it was paint thinner or something.
    So basically now my labs playset has become the black sheep of my Muppets figures collection. :( I'm especially upset because I've always raved about Palisades Muppets line up to this point. I just thought I would share this to see if anyone else has had any similar problems, and also to let Ken & the guys at Palisades know so improvements can be made in the future, since I plan on getting all of them.
  2. Crazy Harry

    Crazy Harry Well-Known Member

    I can relate to the wire-breaking-off thing. It didn't happen as quickly as your did, but it still happened.
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I guess obviously you should just return it as fast as possible, so hopefully there'll be another one there and you'll be second time lucky. The liquid issue is strange, and not very safe - it's kinda hard to see how that could happen.
  4. wong

    wong Active Member

    i just checked and their was liquid on mine too. when I wiped it off the ink came off with it.
  5. Jackie

    Jackie Well-Known Member

    This is why i don't open my muppets! LOL!!!
  6. EmmyMik

    EmmyMik Well-Known Member

    My gorilla dectector had that goo too. I opened it up, and I was like "What is this crap?" And I put it in the sink with lots of water and soap, but I don't think it worked...
  7. Shooter Johnson

    Shooter Johnson Well-Known Member

    Those are the exact things that happened with my playset. The way I figure it, Muppet Labs always has some sort of mishap and so it is very fitting.

    What is that slick liquid? It's oily.

    I tucked the helmet cable behind the table and it looks fine.
  8. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    For the record....

    Yes, there is gobs of what appears to be some sort of golden honey like paint or something all over the playset...the table is broken...however, I really thought that was part of the look of the playset. To be honest I mainly just boguht it for Beaker(Hey I woulda paid $30 for Beaker if thats what it takes)
    So my playset is now just used in conjunction with the custom NBC weatherman Al Roker figure I made.

    Just because the playset is riddled with defectiveness, so what?
    It fits with the industrial look. I have no complaints(well kinda wished the lab was closer to the TMS one that something out of Frankenstein, but oh well)
  9. ttrentham

    ttrentham Member

    Odd. I just checked mine and my gorilla detector seems dry. I also have Beaker strapped to the table with the helmet on his head. The cords from the table remain intact and attached at both ends. However, given your experiences, I may take Beaker off the table so as not to overly stress the tubes connecting the helmet to the table.
  10. grail

    grail Well-Known Member

    the yellow paint in various places on the playset does indeed appear to be deliberate. the way i understood it, it was there to add to the feel of the place.

    my gorrilla detector was dry as well, but i'm really curious as to what would have been in the others...that's just weird.

    as for the table. well...my table is fine so far, but then i don't use it much. i found early on that using the helmet was taking the paint off of Beaker's hair, and so i decided that only vanishing cream Beaker was good to use on it. currently i have Kermit on it, because it reminds me of TMM, and because he doesn't stand too well on his own...
  11. Jackie

    Jackie Well-Known Member

    Those China factory peoples are silly!
  12. Joseph

    Joseph Well-Known Member

    Ken that is what you get for working with third rate factories.

    Did Palisades have the goods inspected before they shipped to the US???
  13. ClubCreatures

    ClubCreatures Member



    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Series 1 figures.

    Kinda upset that our wires broke off our table too...

    No goo in ours... ewww!

    I've learned from creating costumes that "E6000" available at any craft or hardware store will glue any plastic or rubber to any other plastic or rubber.

    A couple little dabs and it was good as new.

    Although, we still can't strap Beaker in.

  14. Louis Kazagger

    Louis Kazagger Well-Known Member

    Yep, one of my wires broke off too, but I'm not too worried about it because I plan on custom replacing the wires with more flexible tubing.
  15. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I think a prototype goes for safety checks, and also to Henson for approval. The final one's in China i think are supposed to be inspected at random by a representative for Palisades, but i think Ken had mentioned (though not specifically to do with these) that in some cases (deadlines etc) that the factory had shipped some stuff straight out without it getting seen by the middle man. I can't remember exactly what situation led to that being said though, but it does seem in this case to be pretty serious when some kind of mysterious liquid deposit is left inside, not least if a small kid was to get near it.
  16. grail

    grail Well-Known Member

    there was a time that they shipped without the middleman looking first. it was when they sent out VC Beaker in invisible Beaker packaging. i remember Ken being very upset.

    as for the rest, there's no way that random checks are going to get something that happens in production. my guess is that the liquid was a solvent used on the glue hold the thing together...if they put too much glue on it, you do a quick spray with the solvent and do it over. the solvent pools inside (think about what happens when you use your plunger), and finally rolls out when you move the piece in the right way.

    it's just a theory...
  17. ResidentLilly

    ResidentLilly Well-Known Member

    Can't really speak to the goo issue...all the pieces that were randomly inspected didn't have it. That's a new one. Could be a residue from the rotocast removal process that was not properly wiped down. It isn't toxic, so it is just an embarrassment rather than something I need to worry about as far as consumer problems.

    The wires is a QC issue. Factory used the wrong ones, therefore they come off too easily. When you get Series 2 figures (IF you get them!) you will see the PROPER wire they were supposed to use in production. It is a thin and higly flexible thin PVC piece. You will also see that it is done correctly...tied through the part before assembly.

    If you want to return it we'll take returns, but unfortunately every product I have ever worked on or seen has at least one problem. Murphy's Law of Mass Production. The wires were the Lab's issue. Zap-A-Gap, found in hobby stores, is bar none the best glue on the market. Use that if you decide to play Tim Allen and fix it. My suggestion to anyone planning to do this would be to throw the old wires out and get thinner ones.

    Someone said this would not happen if we did not use a "third-rate factory". Got news from you. They are ALL capable of screwing up and they all DO. I've seen in at every factory I have ever worked with...EVERY one. Every figure I have ever bought has at least one thing, sometimes more, wrong with it. Especially when you start adding any extra details. The more complicated the product, the more things can go wrong.

    Anyway, sorry about that. All I can offer as defense or compensation is a suggestion to take it back and exchange it, and if they are out, return it for a refund. I know that sucks, but what else can I really say?
  18. Ernie101

    Ernie101 Well-Known Member

    i wonder why they should check allthis in advance
  19. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Yeah when Ken says "all the pieces that were randomly inspected didn't have it." could it have been that maybe the person inspecting didn't examine the playsets properly ?. I don't really think this can be put down to a random occurances when multiple people here have reported goo coming from their 'gorilla detectors' in varying quantities. You have to remember we are just a small batch of people, quite widely spread apart - so this must have happened on a larger scale and it's not just one faulty batch or something. Apparently the 'goo' isn't toxic but there are plenty of consumers not at MC who could fear the worst if they ever found their kid sucking on this stuff. I guess it would have been more reassuring for people here if an "i'll look into it" tone would have been taken but i understand that the playsets have been and gone now so i guess not much can be done.

    As for action figures and the factories that make them, there are i'm sure some factories that are better than others but i'm guessing they cost a lot more and work for the bigger companies. I'm sure all these kind of minor errors do happen to some small scale with other figure lines though i've definitely had products that were error free. I do though find that with this Muppet line the majority of people have reported something being wrong (even if its just a paint splash on the packaging) with whatever they buy and it was a shame that Annika's review kind of had to be a guide as to how to spot perfect figures from imperfect ones. I guess it's all a learning curve and things should get better as they go on, and Ken being in China to look for himself is obviously great also but i can understand fans concerns. I think the majority of Muppet merchandise has been really high in terms of how robust or fault free they are, so all these problems with this line have been quite unexpected and quite a shame because the production process on this side of the world has been so high, and the products so great.
  20. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Well-Known Member

    Oh lemme tell you Luke, I know these things are not meant for kids, but if I ever found mine dipping her fingers in gorilla goo, or worse, tasting it... I would have a fit. How do we know it isn't toxic? And by whose standards anyway? Plenty of people are at least allergic to all kinds of chemicals. This seems like one QC issue that should definately never happen again. From a financial perspective, I would think that the risk would be too great for the company anway. All they would need is one zealous litigant...

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