Monday, July 26, 2004
Toy review by Sombrero Grande
One of my favorite things about the Muppets has always been their parodies. From skits on The Muppet Show to the spoof movie posters showcased in the line for Muppet*Vision 3D at Walt Disney World, Muppet parodies are typically funnier, zanier and more clever than your average send-up. Continuing in that tradition are two new exclusive parody Muppet action figures from Palisades Toys: Adventure Kermit and Super Beaker.
I picked up Adventure Kermit at the 2004 San Diego Comic Con. Super Beaker was supposed to be there as well, but I heard there was a hold up in customs, delaying him beyond the span of the convention. When I finally get Beaker’s Rocketeer parody figure in my hot little hands you can expect a review of it right here. But until then, I’ve got a darn cool green guy to tell you about.
Two years ago was my first trip to the San Diego Comic Con and I wanted to pick up a little memento, so when I stopped by Palisades’ booth and saw the Invisible Spray Fozzie figure I was sold. The figure’s based on a joke from Muppets From Space where Fozzie the Bear has covered himself with invisibility spray to sneak into a secret government facility, and then makes the mistake of washing his hands. The figure is made of clear plastic with only Fozzie’s hands painted the color of his fur. If the “clearness” of the figure wasn’t cool enough, the sculpting is just amazing. From the details of his fur to the overall expression on his face, it’s a spot-on likeness to the puppet that quite frankly blew me away. I was hooked. Soon I was looking on eBay for Palisades’ Vanishing Cream Beaker, purchasing the fish-tossing Lew Zealand, the Swedish Chef...and before I knew it I had a rather impressive collection of Muppet action figures taking up a rapidly increasing amount of space on my desk.
Adventure Kermit is surely one of the coolest figures in Palisades’ Muppets line so far (and that’s really saying something). First off, perhaps the neatest thing of all is it’s Kermit unmistakably dressed up as Indiana Jones! The fedora, the whip, the leather jacket, it’s all there. He’s “Indiana Frog” (called “Adventure Kermit” for legal reasons, no doubt). Secondly, Adventure Kermit contains a mind-boggling amount of detail. Not only is there a felt-like texture sculpted for his green “skin,” but there’s also different realistic textures applied to his pants and leather jacket. Subtle paint “weathering” on his hat and clothes gives the impression that this is one frog that’s been through quite a lot of adventures, and in true Kermit fashion he’s still smiling after all of it. There’s plenty of articulation to get him into lots of cool poses and even the details of his belt buckle, jacket zipper and shirt buttons are painted. Palisades just continues to amaze me with their attention to detail.
Kermit comes with several accessories: his hat (which is magnetic so it fits on his head much nicer than any “pegged” hat ever could), his whip (which attaches with a bit of difficulty to a hook on his belt), a strapped bag that wraps over his head and arm, his pistol for shooting black-clad swordsmen, and last but not certainly not least, a golden idol just like the one from the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark...except this one bears a striking resemblance to a certain hook-nosed “weirdo” named Gonzo.
If I have a gripe with this figure it’s that it’s rather hard to get him to hold some of his accessories. The pistol fits very nicely into his right hand (so well in fact that his index finger even slides right onto the trigger), but I found it darn-near impossible to get him to maintain any kind of grip on his whip or the idol. The whip seemed to want to stay curled up...until I tried to clip it onto his belt hook and it unwound like a stretched Slinky. I can get the idol in his left hand, but it’s quite a balancing act to keep it there for more than a second. I can’t seem to figure out what the left hand was sculpted to do. The right one was obviously designed with the gun in mind, but the left just looks rather odd.
Still, this is a really a stand-out figure in an action figure line brimming with stand-out figures and well worth a look from even those who aren’t big fans of the Muppets. Adventure Kermit is Palisades’ 2004 “tour” figure, meaning it’s an exclusive that they’ll be selling at every convention the company attends this year, selling for an even $15. If you can’t make it to any of their shows, you can pick him up off their web site if you join their Collector’s Club (though it’s rather expensive to initially join) or look to eBay.