Good news everybody! Futurama is coming back. Again! It looks like the crew of Planet Express will be returning once again for another season
of one of the best shows on TV. And to sweeten the deal, the news comes at the same time as the release of the sixth series of Toynami's
Futurama action figures. Not only does this series complete the New Justice Team trio and provide the final parts for Robot Santa, it is also
the first opportunity to expand the Planet Express staff beyond the core trio of Fry, Leela and Bender with the release of Amy Wong.
Packaging - 3/10The packaging design hasn't changed from the first three series of figures from Toynami. I applaud their consistency. It's just too bad that I can't also applaud their design. The boxes are too large for most of the figures, which keeps the figures from standing out as well as they should. In the case of Super King and Nudar it is a bit more acceptable since the parts for Robot Santa are extremely large. The packaging does a great job of adapting a large variety of images from the show for the graphics, but the muted tones seem very out of place with the Futurama license. The back of each box has a lengthy and somewhat rambling description of the character and a large image of them. But the bland gray background used give the backs a dull appearance, particularly on the boxes where the character image is set to the side.
Sculpting - Amy 4/10, Calculon 6/10, others 8/10The sculpting on most of these figures is pretty good. Despite not caring about him as a character, Nudar is the best looking figure. The details are sharp and give plenty of visual interest while still fitting with the cartoon style. The three New Justice Team figures turned out quite well as well. Of course they were able to reuse most of the existing sculpt for Super King. They did add a new right hand and a mask around his head. The cape and crown are both accessories and completely removable. It would have been nice if they made the mask removable as well. But on the plus side, the masked head makes a good thief Bender, just add a $300 set of burglar's tools with you most recent tax refund. Calculon is quite faithful to the show designs. It could have been better if they would have added a bit more detail between the segments of his body. Unfortunately, the most anticipated figure is also the weakest sculpt. The body sculpt and face for Amy turned out well. But my god did they screw up the hair! In the show, you don't often see the back of Amy's head. But I'm pretty sure that it is not suppose to look like a demented rubric's cube with all of the colored stickers peeled off. I cut the sculptors a little break on the score since in the cartoon, they are able to cheat on the character design. But plenty of other similarly three dimensionally challenged designs have been made into figures before with far better results.
Paint - 9/10The paint work on all six of my figures is excellent. Quality control issues are all but non-existent. And they did a fair amount of small detail work such as the zipper pull on Amy's sweatshirt or the spots on Nudar. But the most important thing is that they actually got Leela, or Clobberella's hair color correct. Now they just need to reissue the series two Leela figure with this color hair.
Articulation - Clobberella & Capt. Yesterday 1/10, Amy & Calculon 3/10, Super King & Nudar 6/10Articulation hasn't been a strong suit for this line. And these figures don't do much to raise that bar. Clobberella has a paltry three points of articulation: rotating shoulders and neck joints. Amy also has rotating wrists as does Calculon. Calculon and Captain Yesterday also add another point of articulation at the waist. That is enough articulation for Amy and Calculon since they are sculpted in neutral positions. But Clobberella and Captain Yesterday are pretty much stuck in one pose. Bender's arms and legs rotate where they connect to his body as does his neck. And of course his limbs are still made of a bendable material as well. His chest compartment door opens as well. Nudar has a rotating neck, shoulders, biceps and hinged elbows. Why they could add multiple points of articulation into his arms and not those of the other figures is quite puzzling, particularly for Calculon whose robotic form could easily hide more rotating joints.
Accessories - Amy, Nudar & Captain Yesterday 2/10, Super King 6/10, others 0/10 (add two points if completing Robot SantaCalculon and Clobberella both come with no accessories beyond their parts of Robot Santa. Captain Yesterday, Nudar and Amy all have one accessory each. For Nudar and Amy, that one accessory is a gun. And unlike previous figures, they can actually hold them. Captain Yesterday comes with a tube of Dr. Flimflam's Miracle Cream that he can't hold. Super King has his removable crown and robe. I still wish that Super King could be changed into a completely normal Bender. But having a removable crown that can be tossed into Bender's chest and used as swag is pretty cool too.
Build A Bot - Robot SantaJust as the first three series combined gave you the parts to form a bonus build a figure of the Robot Devil, those who buy the figures from these three series can collect the parts to assemble a Robot Santa figure. Though unlike the Robot Devil, Robot Santa was actually available along with a repainted Bender as a convention exclusive last year. And just as with the Robot Devil, all of Robot Santa's accessories are included with one of the figures. In this case, Amy comes with Robot Santa's machine gun and a replacement arm and a spiked ball for the top of his hat. Including the extra parts with Amy, the character that fans were least likely to pass up any ways was pretty creative trick. Once assembled, Robot Santa is appropriately huge and has a decent amount of articulation thanks to being made up of so many individual parts. They only thing he needs is a sound chip with John Goodman's voice.
Value - 5/10The Futurama figures will vary in price quite a bit depending upon the store from which you buy them. You can expect to pay at least $12 each in most places. With luck, you may be able to get a deal on them since some of these figures have been out for a while. Of course, it also means that the more desirable characters like Calculon and Super King may have long since sold out.
Happy Hunting:These six figures actually represent three series of releases. While Clobberella and Amy were just released and should be easy to find, the others are going to be hit or miss. I picked most of these figures up at the local comic store here in Madison, Westfield Comics. But there are a fair number of online options as well. I have seen some good deals on Captain Yesterday and Nudar on eBay. Big Bad Toy Store also has most of the figures in stock or available for preorder pending a future shipment. And there are few web sites with better/more consistent customer service.