PALISADES MUPPET SHOW
It's time to play the music.
Palisades Toys has brought us... Muppets! Look! It's the Muppets! How can you not love the Muppets? They're the Muppets! Love them! Watch them! Worship them!
Okay. We're getting Muppets action figures. And what's more, they look like really nice Muppets action figures. Despite the largely statue-y prototypes that we've seen in advertisements and publicity shots, the actual toys (well, the black and gray test shots of the actual toys that were on display in Palisades' Toy Fair showroom) are about as well-articulated as Muppet action figures can get. Sure, Kermit's stick-like legs can only support a fairly useless hip-swivel joint, but his shoulders feature universal joints for flailing-around-wildly poseability! Likewise, Miss Piggy and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew have one elbow hinge and one elbow swivel each, which ain't bad at all, considering.
The sculpts are top-notch. Palisades brought actual Jim Henson Creature Shop people in to sculpt the prototypes, and it shows. These things have surface patterning like real live fuzzy Muppet-type fabric. Palisades' designers further refined the designs, adding additional articulation (or improving it, as in the case of Dr. Bunsen, whose visible waist joint has now been hidden out of sight beneath his vest).
So what do we have to look forward to? The first wave is made up of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Dr. Teeth of the Electric Mayhem band. A tuxedo-clad Kermit (a whole new sculpt with quite a bit more articulation) and a Piggy with rooted hair are slated to be exclusives of some sort, although where they'll be available hasn't been entirely worked out yet. Accompanying this first series is a Muppet Labs playset with estimable lab assistant Beaker, complete with Gorilla Detector and flapping mouth for meep-meep-meep action.
Series 2 is due to include ursine comedian Fozzie, weirdo extraordinaire Gonzo, band member Floyd and the explosive Crazy Harry, with an Electric Mayhem playset - Animal included - to accompany. Series 3 features Scooter, Rowlf (how they're going to fit his piano into his bubble, we don't know), Lew Zealand and Zoot, plus a kitchen playset with the Swedish Chef. We can only hope that it also includes a chicken for him to terrify. Series 4 includes Sam the American Eagle, Janice, Dr. Strangepork and a new Kermit, plus the bridge of the starship Swine Trek and its square-jawed, lunk-headed captain, Link Hogthrob. Late in the year, we'll be seeing a Muppet Show Stage set - on which any of the other playsets can be displayed - with ubiquitous hecklers Statler and Waldorf. Does it get any better than this?
While Palisades would like to expand their license to include the Muppet movies and other spin-offs (Doozers, anyone?), they're only allowed to make characters from the original show for the moment. Hopefully the line will be as big a hit as it deserves to be, and we'll find ourselves with even more Muppety goodness in the years to come.
Bork bork bork, folks.
More on Page 2.
Copyright 2002 Altered States Magazine