So the onslaught of Simpsons toy reviews continues with the figures that actually set it off, series five
of NECA's Greatest Guest Stars line. This series is a bit less ambitious than series four which contained
a full dozen figures. It is made up of just eight figures: Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz and Homer from the episode
"How I Spent My Strummer Vacation", Milhouse Van Houten and Matt Groening from "My Big Fat Geek Wedding", Adam
West from the "Mr. Plow" Episode, and Bart and Stan Lee from "I Am Furious (Yellow)."
Packaging - 5/10The fifth series uses the same packaging design as the previous ones. The front is a simple design, but that does have the advantage of keeping the focus on the figures themselves. The back of each card shows all of the figures in the series, images of the episode where the figure comes from and a brief description of the episode. It's simple but looks good.
Sculpting - 8/10The sculpting for all eight figures in this series is very well done once again. I was a bit put off by Adam West as he didn't seem to be quite the sme style as the other. But that likely is due to his design being the only one from such an early season. Instead of recreating his likiness in the Simpsons style, the tried to recreate his regular features on a yellow face.
Paint - 8/10The paint work on all eight figures is exceptionally well done. The lines are all clean and neat. There's no splotches or significant stray marks. I'm assuming that they are hand painted. And the quality control seems to be very high.
Articulation - 4/10The articulation here is the same four points of articulation that all of NECA's Simpsons figures have had. That includes rotating eck, rotating shoulders and a rotating waist. That's pretty limited. But at least it doesn't negatively affect the sculpt. And the joints are all reasonably tight. I did have a bit of touble working Lenny Kravitz's shoulders free. That was likely due to the paint being slightly wet when the figure was assembled and doesn't seem to be a common problem.
Accessories - Adam West 0/10, Tom Petty & Homer 5/10, Lenny Kravitz 4/10, others 3/10Adam west is the only figure in this series to not come with any accessories in this series. Tom Petty comes with a guitar. As with previous guitars, it looks nice. But unlike the ones with figures in series three and four, it doesn't have a strap to hold it in place. The figure can hold it fairly well though. Homer and Lenny Kravitz both come with the same set of glasses. Only Homer can actually wear them. (Kravitz' hair gets in the way.) The remaining four figures each comes with a varity of pads and notebooks as well as a pencil for Bart. It's nice that they included something for each of them. But they are all rather underwhelming.
Value - 4/10This line has its charms. For those that missed out on Playmates Toys' World of Springfield line and those of us who are still looking to expand those collections, this is the best and only option for most of these characters. But at a $12 price tag, they are not a great value.
Happy Hunting:The fifth series of figures was just recently released. So they are still available. I bought my set from the local Toys R Us store. Unfortunately I've found that Toys R Us usually doesn't restock this series. So if you see them in stores, don't pass them up because you may not have another chance. And they seem to be the only major retailer carrying the line. They are also available from Toys R Us' web site. The line is also carried by a number of online specialty retailers including Big Bad Toy Store and Entertainment Earth.