Tag Archives: itchy and scratchy

Super7 The Simpsons Ultimates! Robot Itchy & Scratchy

They do not bring you love.

We’re back with the fourth, and final, review of the inaugural wave of Super7 Ultimates! from The Simpsons. And today, you’re getting a two for one as we’re looking at two figures: Robot Itchy and Robot Scratchy. This pair hails from the Season 6 episode “Itchy & Scratchy Land” which was one part Westworld and one part Disneyland parody. In it, the titular family takes a trip to the theme park that Bart is dead serious about attending, Itchy & Scratchy Land. Now, this is yet another “controversial” release from Super7 as we’re getting the robotic duo before the more traditional cartoon pair. It’s an odd pull for the first wave of a toyline, but that’s Super7. They zig when others zag. This duo does have the advantage of being another episode specific release and I’m on record as being in favor of that approach. Would I like just a regular Itchy and Scratchy? Sure, but I also get a kick out of these and it’s something different. And ultimately, no pun intended, we have to review the figures for what they are so set aside your beliefs on character selection and join me in taking a deep dive into these two figures.

Super7 basically maximized the space in this box.
Customary episode info on the back. Look at Itchy, isn’t he so cheeky concealing that knife behind his back?

Now, you may think that these two figures share a lot of the same parts. And if you did you would be wrong. I probably could have split them up, but the engineering is essentially the same and they share a lot of accessories, even if the actual figure molds are different. Both figures comes in the same Ultimates! box the others come in with artwork from the show and a little note on where these guys hail from. These two definitely take up a lot more real estate in the box versus their line-mates with only Homer really coming close to that sort of presence. These are pretty big figures with Scratchy being the tallest figure in the line so far. He comes in at around 7.5″ to the top of his head and about 8″ to the tip of his ears. Itchy is 6.5″ to the top of the head and 7.5″ to the top of his ears. What really makes them look big though is their heads which are just massive relative to the other figures. The torso is very boxy as well which adds to the bulk, though they’re not that heavy. That likely owes to the torso being relatively hollow and the legs are quite thin. That’s not to say they’re light or feel cheap, but the weight is definitely not evenly distributed as they both have heavy heads and light bodies.

Of course, you can’t have Itchy without Scratchy.
Even in robot form, Scratchy doesn’t get to inflict much harm upon Itchy.

We’ll start with Itchy first since he always comes first when the duo is brought up. These two figures do not share a single part as far as I can tell. The arms and legs on both figures essentially look the same, but everything about Scratchy is noticeably bigger. Super7 probably could have fudged it and told us to deal with it, but they didn’t and that’s something I definitely appreciate. The heads, like all of the heads in this line, are fully painted. They’re sculpted on gray, but painted over, which gives them a nice finish. Itchy’s really well sculpted. The inner ear is painted purple, the teeth a shiny silver, and the white and red paint on the eyes is very cleanly applied. I like that the pupils are recessed which gives them a nice touch. The nose is also painted a gray-purple. The hair effects are glued in and the only other seems present is the one circling his dome which is part of the design of the character so it’s fine.

Commence with the screaming.

The rest of the figure is, unfortunately, mostly bare plastic. It gives the body a different finish than the head and a far cheaper look. Super7 did paint the bolts on the front of the chest and the abdomen has some of the gray paint applied as well. Unfortunately, the bolts on the side of the figure are not painted. That’s in keeping with the look of the show, but Super7 seemed to decide the front of the figure needed another hit of paint on those bolts so why not do the same with the other bolts? Aside from the lack of paint, the sculpt looks mostly good. The arms look like they could have been bendy arms, but Super7 opted to go in a more traditional manner. This means the articulation lines look a bit off, but they’re not bad and I prefer this route over the bendy arm approach. The sculpt is there, it’s the finish that holds it back.

That’s what makes robots work.

With Scratchy, we pretty much have the same situation. The head is well-painted and well-sculpted. There’s little to no slop or bleeding on the edges and the seems are all really clean. Like Itchy, he has some silver paint apps on the chest with the bolts across the top and this big cap in the middle. His abdomen is not painted, but it’s also not supposed to be so I can’t knock it for that. He’s bigger than Itchy though so the lack of paint anywhere else stands out more. The torso looks especially bland and the larger tail on the figure is practically begging for some shading somewhere. He even has a wheel at the base of his tail, a detail I never noticed until this figure, but it’s not painted so it’s just a lump on his tail. Super7 has a great sculpt here, but they’re letting it down with the lack of paint.

They can handle these weapons okay.

For articulation, we can basically talk about both at once because the engineering is exactly the same. The heads are on a hinged ball peg, but it does almost nothing. The hinge is really tight, but even if you loosen it up, the oversized heads means there’s not really much room for them to do anything except look up. There’s really no tilt or room to look down, but you do get rotation. The hinged shoulders rotate just fine and they can come out to just about horizontal. I could probably force it, but I don’t want to break my toys. At the elbow, we have the standard swivel and hinge combo that won’t get you a 90 degree bend. Their arms are basically tubes so the swivel is useless. The wrists swivel and hinge and the hinge is actually built into the arm so you effectively can hinge the hand in any direction so that’s an added bonus of this slightly unconventional approach. There’s no articulation in the torso, but since it’s a box I wouldn’t expect any. The waist does twist and the hips just swivel forward and back. Because of the design, they kick all the way forward and back, but you get no split articulation. The knees are also just hinges, though they can hinge in both directions as far as you want because there’s no knee cap or anything else to get in the way. The ankles just hinge forward and back, but the range is pretty limited there and there’s no ankle rocker. The tail on each figure can rotate and hinge, though the hinge is fairly limited. Scratchy’s tail essentially functions as a third leg which is nice to have as the leg hinges aren’t the strongest. They’re not loose, but the top-heavy nature of each figure does mean you have to be mindful of how they’re posed or else they might topple over.

Unfortunately, they’re not really cut out for firearms.

When it comes to accessories, these figures are pretty loaded, though we do have a lot of repeat accessories between the two. For starters, both figures come with some extra hands. Itchy has a set of open hands and a set of “gripping” hands. Their hands are a unique design so they’re not traditional at all, but they seem to get the job done. Scratchy has a set of the open hands, but only one hand that I’d call a gripping hand. It’s odd that he didn’t get two of those. Both figures also have an alternate head. As far as I can tell, the alternate head is exactly the same as the standard head, the only difference is they’re not glued at the seems. This is so Itchy can lift the top of his head off to expose his circuits and Scratchy can remove his face to do the same. Both are references to the episode they’re from. And the innards are well-painted and well-sculpted. The pieces fit together pretty well too. I had to work at it initially, but leaving them in place helped to better form-fit them in place. That’s all to say they look exactly the same when assembled so I’m surprised Super7 even bothered with the glued heads. I guess the added cost to the figure is just raw materials since it’s all tooled already, but it’s a surprise all the same. Only one of my pictures (not included the boxed shots) features the default heads as I’d rather keep the ones that separate on them and you should be able to see how well the pieces fit together.

You may need to get a bit creative with the chainsaw.

For the accessories the two do share, we have a tiny arsenal and some rather common implements of destruction associated with the pair. Both come with an oversized, red-brown, mallet. The “gripping” hands work fine with the handles, but two-handed poses are a real challenge. The mallets aren’t painted, but they do have a nice, satin, finish so they look pretty nice. The pair also each come with an axe. They work just as well as the mallet as far as holding things and the axe head is nicely painted with a shiny silver and a red blade. It’s the same as the mallet as far as how it’s handled so it works just as well, and just as bad, I suppose. They also each have a tommy gun, though Scratchy has a hard time holding that one properly and Itchy isn’t much better. You can finagle it into their hands, but not in a realistic manner. I know we’re talking about a cartoon, robot, cat, and mouse, but they should be able to aim the gun. The gun itself is like the mallet in that it’s just plastic, but it has a nice finish so I’m not bothered by the lack of paint. The chainsaw is another accessory that Itchy has an easier time wielding than Scratchy. Neither can wield it particularly well as they just don’t have the clearance in the arms, but it can be fudged a bit more convincingly than the gun. The chainsaw itself has a nice, shiny, paint job on the metallic portion with red on the main housing. It looks nice, though I wish the handle on the top was a bit more pronounced and usable like the handle on the rear, but it’s fine.

The drum hangs too low, but at least it looks nice.

Those are the shared accessories, but both also come with some unique ones as well. For Itchy, he has a wearable drum and two mallets for striking the drum. It looks really nice though. It’s red with gold trim and it’s done rather well. The face of the drum is painted with a light blue and has a cartoon Scratchy head on it that is probably printed, but I suppose could be painted on. Either way, it’s nice and sharp and it definitely catches the eye. The mallets are rather basic, just a beige handle with an oversized, off-white, top. They’re fine and Itchy holds them well so no complaints there. The only thing I don’t like is it hangs a bit lower than I’d like. I wish it could hook onto his torso somehow to sit higher as more than half of the drum sits lower than his crotch. Overall, it looks all right and I think the drum by itself looks great, but it is slightly ruined by the fit.

Sure, the baby axe is cute, but it can’t stand so it’s like petting a cat: What’s the point?

With Scratchy, we get some unique stuff as well. Scratchy has a butcher’s knife which slots well into his “gripping” hand. It has a nice, shiny, blade and looks nice for what it is. I like that it is sized appropriately for the figure and doesn’t look dinky in his hand. I also like that it can be used with Moe or any other figure for that matter. Scratchy also comes with the robot baby axe from the parade scene. It looks like the regular axe only smaller and with painted metallic legs. Unfortunately, Super7 went cheap on this one as the legs are not articulated. And since it’s a straight up and down design for the most part it doesn’t stand well. The legs do not sit flush on a surface so it feels rather pointless as a result, which is a shame because it was a good idea, just poor execution. Lastly, Scratchy comes with what I think will unquestionably be the accessory of the year. I’m, of course, talking about the much in-demand BORT license plate. It’s a simple, white, rectangle with “BORT” sculpted onto it and painted red with Itchy & Scratchy Land on top of the plate. It looks awesome for what it is and it’s a tremendous inclusion as it references one of the best bits to ever appear on an episode of The Simpsons. If I am to nitpick it, it’s not to scale with the figures as the vanity plates in the episode were much smaller, but I don’t care. BORT license plates for everyone!

Behold! The most sought after vanity plate in all existence!

Robot Itchy and Scratchy are pretty much on par with the rest of the line. The sculpts are pretty great, there’s some missing paint apps which detract from the look and the articulation is mediocre at best. The high accessory count, and some fun inclusions, do help add value to the total package which is $55 a piece. These two are a bit interesting in that their sculpts are quite possibly the best in the line so far, but the missing paint on the bodies stands out more to me. I think Super7 did a great job in isolating what made this particular episode of the show so fun. As always, they could have done more like add some blood spraying effects or something (especially in place of the extra head), but the execution isn’t matching the imagination from those who designed the product. The baby axe being a total dud is a bummer and Scratchy only having the one “gripping” hand is an odd choice. I don’t think the gun or chainsaw pose well with the figures, but they also have enough other stuff that it’s not that big of a deal. If they weren’t so expensive, they would work well as army builder figures since there are quite a bit of display options available. And even though the articulation isn’t great, they do match the movements and poses of their animated counterparts better than some of the other figures I’ve received from Super7.

Well, that’s a wrap on Wave One of The Simpsons Ultimates! It’s not without its flaws, but overall I’d call it a success.

Ultimately, pun definitely intended, how much you like this pair will come down to how much you like The Simpsons, how much you like this particular episode, and the design of the two robots. I love the episode, and I find the design of the Itchy and Scratchy robots to be fun, so I like these enough. I think they could be better, and Super7 is pushing it at their current price levels, but I don’t regret the purchase. These are pretty fun, but definitely for a niche audience, so buy accordingly.

Need to catch-up on the rest of The Simpsons Ultimates! from Super7?

Super7 The Simpsons Ultimates! Deep Space Homer

Slowly but surely I am clearing out all of the action figure preorders I placed in the year 2021. Of the ones that had been remaining, the line I was most looking forward to experiencing was the line of Super7 Ultimates! based on The Simpsons. It was August of 2021 when these suckers went up…

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Super7 The Simpsons Ultimates! Moe

Our first two looks at the inaugural wave of Ultimates! from Super7 based on The Simpsons have been two very episode specific takes. One was Deep Space Homer from the episode of the same name where Homer went to space and the figure presents the character in his space suit. The second figure was Poochie,…

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Super7 The Simpsons Ultimates! Poochie

We’re back with another look at a figure from Super7’s latest wave of Ultimates! based on The Simpsons. And for this one, we’re taking things TO THE EXTREME! That’s right, it’s Poochie, everyone’s favorite rockin’ dog. He’s got attitude to spare and he’s not afraid to show it off. Where would cartoon history be without…

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Super7 The Simpsons Ultimates! Poochie

The dog no one loved.

We’re back with another look at a figure from Super7’s latest wave of Ultimates! based on The Simpsons. And for this one, we’re taking things TO THE EXTREME! That’s right, it’s Poochie, everyone’s favorite rockin’ dog. He’s got attitude to spare and he’s not afraid to show it off. Where would cartoon history be without Poochie? That’s actually a serious question. The joke of the episode “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” is that Poochie is the type of character shows introduce when things are getting stale, the audience is getting bored, and some network executive has a master plan to re-engage the audience. It’s happened in the real world, and The Simpsons poked fun at it with Poochie and via Roy, the joke character added to the family in the same episode. It arrived during Season 8 which was show-run by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. Oakley has explained via the podcast Talking Simpsons that basically everyone on the show around that time thought it was going to end very soon. Animated sitcoms, or animated shows in general, don’t typically go past 100 episodes which The Simpsons had done by then. To basically have fun while the thing flamed out, Oakley and Weinstein set out to “break” the show in some respects by doing these ludicrous episodes. It created some wonderful television via the episode Poochie is from or the frequently memed “22 Short Films About Springfield” episode. It was less successful with “The Principal and the Pauper,” but we don’t need to get into that one.

He’s so in my face!

Because of the episode’s popularity, Poochie is a pretty well known character and the character’s name is basically short-form to explain the concept of a late addition character to a failing show, even though the phenomenon predates Poochie by decades. For casual fans of The Simpsons, maybe it’s a surprise to see Poochie in wave one of a new action figure line, but for a Simpsons diehard like myself it makes perfect sense. Especially considering Super7’s approach to its licensed properties which is often just “We’re going to make our favorite characters because it’s our company and our decision.” That approach can sometimes bite them in the butt, and maybe it will with The Simpsons since they’ve decided not to do standard versions of the family for now, but in this case I’m totally fine with getting a Poochie figure in wave one. He’s as good as a fireworks factory, as far as I’m concerned.

Just try not to get smashed in the face with attitude – you can’t!

Poochie comes in the standard Super7 Ultimates! styled box and, like Deep Space Homer, we get the episode info on the rear of the inner box. Poochie himself is depicted as he was in the show-within-a-show The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show. This means he has a leather jacket, magenta hat, and blue shorts. This differs from his concept art in the episode and some of the marketing images of the character from the episode (and box art for this figure) where he wore jeans and a flannel. It’s funny how that image of Poochie is the one that first comes to mind for me, even though he was depicted very differently when the family was properly introduced to the character via the cartoon. I think I personally like the flannel look to the character as it’s more 90’s to me. The jacketed look screams “The Fonz” and is slightly out of place, though Poochie’s facial hair and hat tie it together. Despite that, I am good with Super7’s decision to go with this version of Poochie as all of his accessories are going to come from his debut cartoon and would be slightly out place with the other design. It’s just too bad the designs were so different that Super7 couldn’t get both looks into a single figure, but that would basically require an entire second figure.

Hey! I hear you guys like boxes!
There is a part of me that wishes we got flannel Poochie. And a set of crossed arms.

Out of the box, Poochie stands at around 5.5″ to the top of his head. This makes him the shortest figure in this first wave and it remains to be seen if the upcoming Bartman will be shorter or not. It’s an odd character to figure for scale since he isn’t a living person in Springfield. About the only scale we have is from the Treehouse of Horror IX segment “The Terror of Tiny Toon” where Bart and Lisa enter an episode of the show. At the end, Itchy and Scratchy emerge from the TV and they’re basically the size of an actual mouse and cat compared with the Simpson family. I suppose Poochie could have been sized as a dog, but it’s not like those Treehouse segments are canon so Super7 just made an executive decision and sized him as he is and I’m fine with it. He only needs to scale with Itchy and Scratchy, assuming Super7 ever makes them.

The scale seems fine with Poochie. He doesn’t technically exist in the same world as the regular occupants of Springfield.

Now, as far as sculpt goes, Poochie looks pretty on-model. He’s a little rounder than he probably should be, but the round dimensions fit the Simpsons overall aesthetic. I do think he should have been slimmer, but it’s not a dealbreaker for me. The portrait is what’s important and his default smile looks nice. Like Homer, his head is sculpted in the appropriate color for his fur, orange, but also painted over to give it a matte appearance. It does contrast a bit with the hands which are bare plastic, but I can understand not wanting to paint hands. The other portions of the head are very clean and I think it’s because we’re dealing with a lot of separate pieces glued together. The paint on the sunglasses is clean as is the nose and goatee. If there’s any paint on the hat, ears, or hair it’s also cleanly applied, though I think we may be dealing with just colored plastic for the black portions. The torso looks to be molded in gray with a clear coat applied to give it a matte appearance. The zippers and white shirt underneath the jacket are painted and done well. The teal fannypack is a separate piece and is a floating belt held on just by pressure, which I do have some concerns about loosening over time. For now, it looks good and stays in place. The lower half is molded in blue and the exposed ankles are painted. It’s really the only part of the figure where the paint gets a bit sloppy, but it’s only noticeable when looking at the figure from below and the orange overrun can be seen on the cuffs of the pants. The sneakers are done rather neatly and overall I’d say he’s a pretty sharp looking figure. If the proportions were just a little more screen-accurate I’d call him damn near perfect. As is, he’s more “very good” as opposed to “excellent.”

He’s quite a bit shorter and chunkier than an average sized Marvel Legends figure and a great deal bigger overall than a smaller scaled line like Plunderlings.

With Homer, the main area of disappointment was the articulation. I think that’s going to be a weakness for the line just given the designs, but I’m hoping for a little better with Poochie who, despite being a dog, should be pretty informative for where the line is going. He has the usual double-ball for the head and he actually get to pair that with a ball-joint at the base of the neck. He rotates well, but the ears get in the way. To get him to look up, you basically have to turn his head to the side so the ears can clear the shoulders. He looks down well, but only gets a minimal amount of tilt when turning his head to the side. Super7 could have put the ears on hinges, or made them softer, but I don’t blame them for not wanting to sacrifice some of the look to get a little added range here. At the shoulders, Poochie can raise his arms out to the side just fine. His arms can’t be positioned perfectly straight though and the single-jointed elbow gives only mediocre range, less than 90 degrees when fully bent. They do swivel there, but lack a true biceps swivel and the shape of the cut makes them cumbersome to fuss with. The hands rotate and hinge in a horizontal fashion. He does feature a waist twist, but it’s more like a pivot as he can’t go very far unless you really want to force it. If this were a free sample I might try that, but since I paid $55 for him I’m not going to push it. The tail is on a ball and hinge and works better than most Super7 tails I’ve encountered. At the hips, we have more ball and socket joints, but the roundness of the lower half and the position of the pegs means he can’t come anywhere close to a split. I don’t know if he even quite hits 45 degrees there. The legs don’t kick forward much, or back, and at the knees we get the single hinge and swivel combo. The cut for the hinge is weird and rounded off so the swivel really doesn’t look good unless it’s in a neutral position. It’s basically the same issue at the elbows. The hinge at least gets close to 90 degrees with the bend, though there’s basically no thigh swivel at the ball joint. The ankles are hinged, but the sneakers prevent much in the way of functional articulation. His foot can go back a little, but not forward at all. There is an ankle rocker, but again, the shape of the sneaker prevents much movement.

The limited articulation and lack of peg holes on the board means he’ll struggle to “surf.”

This is a line I’m not expecting much out of when it comes to articulation, but is it enough with Poochie? In some ways, he’s actually worse than Homer which I didn’t anticipate. They kind of botched the lower half, and where I’m happy about the sacrifices they didn’t make at the head to get more range in, I feel the opposite about the legs. I think they could have done better at the knees and probably should have engineered the feet in a way that produces a better ankle rocker. This guy does come with skateboard and surfboard accessories so having solid range at the ankles is rather important, but they opted not to really try. And it’s weird for as round as he is that his waist twist isn’t better. Which brings me back to the question of “Is it enough?” It’s close, but considering Poochie has some pretty memorable poses from his brief appearances in the show that this figure can’t duplicate, I’m going to have to side with “No.” I don’t think it kills the figure, but it should be better.

At least the board looks nice.

The area the figures in this line are relying on to cover up those articulation shortcomings will be the accessory loadout. Poochie has quite a bit. Some of it is a bit ridiculous, but that’s Poochie. What’s he going to do with a surfboard – I don’t know, but he needs it! And he has one – a big, purple, surfboard. Interestingly enough, this is the third surfboard I have from Super7 and it’s the third unique sculpt. The boards that came with Optimus Prime and Michelangelo aren’t that different, so I’m a little surprised they didn’t reuse one, but credit to them. Or maybe they’re dumb for not doing so and saving a few bucks – I don’t know. Like those two boards though, this one doesn’t have a stand so the presence of the fin on the underside means it’s not very functional. And unlike Prime and Mikey’s boards, there are no pegs on this one so it’s the worst performing of the three. Poochie will do better holding it than he will riding it. And I suppose that’s what he does in the show because Poochie is a poseur – he’s probably never surfed in his life! He can be posed standing beside it with the board placed in a vertical position, but his limited articulation means he can’t carry it under an arm like he did in the show.

Super7 has had a lot of practice when it comes to surfboards.
“Hey Prime! Your board sucks! Ha! I’m so in your face!”

If the waves aren’t your style, there’s also a skateboard. It’s orange, and kind of stubby looking, but it does feature real wheels if that matters to you. It has a peg on it so he can stand on it relatively easy and even do some one-footed poses, so that’s nice. He also has his flying V guitar which is done in a teal that matches his shoes and is well-painted. He doesn’t hold it all that well, but it can be faked a bit. To interact with these various objects, Poochie has some extra hands. He comes with fists in the box, which admittedly aren’t very useful for a character like this, but they can be swapped out with a set of relaxed hands, gripping hands, and “Peace” sign hands. The relaxed hands have the thumb positioned under the hand and not out to the side, so they can function as a loose gripping hand and works well with the guitar. The standard gripping hands are more appreciated than the fists, but surprisingly not that useful. You don’t need them for the guitar, and they’re a little tight for the surfboard. They’re more useful if you want Poochie to hold something that doesn’t come in his box. Poochie also has two extra heads: a smile in which his teeth are visible, and an open mouth. The paint is clean across all three heads, though the open mouth head doesn’t feature any paint inside the mouth so he just has an orange lump where his tongue should be. It’s a different look too as the snout is very round on that head, but flatter on the other two. It’s okay, but far and away my favorite of the three is the smile baring teeth. It’s also a shame none of the heads do anything with his ears so there’s no windswept look to pair with either board which feels like a real miss. Swapping heads isn’t too bad, but swapping hands on this guy sucks. The hands are recessed quite far into his sleeves so getting those fists out was a pain. I had to heat the forearms to loosen them and it was still a challenge. The other hands are much easier to get out since there’s more to grip, but I don’t think I’ll ever put those fists back in after this review is concluded.

Note: Poochie died on the way back to his home planet.

Poochie is a solid release in this inaugural line of figures from The Simpsons and Super7. As an accurate depiction of the source material, I think Poochie isn’t quite as good as Deep Space Homer. His body is a touch off-model and his posing isn’t what it should be. Plus he has some shortcomings with the accessories that shouldn’t be. Does that make Poochie a bad release? No, because the likeness is good enough, the paint is good enough, and it has that fun factor that really only a Poochie figure could have. I can look at this thing standing on my shelf and have my head bombarded with lines from the show. In that, it’s a success. Is it a $55 success? That’s where Super7 is always going to find the sledding tough. We’re talking about a 5.5″ action figure with limited articulation and just an average amount of paint hits. It’s a tough sell no matter how you look at it. I do like the feel of Poochie a bit better than Homer who had a very light feel to him despite being rather chunky. This figure is solid with good heft and the matte applications and color combination of the design help it pop like a figure based on an animated show should. I’m a pretty big fan of the show and the episode Poochie hails from, so for me, I’m content with the purchase. Casual fans may need to approach with more caution.

Super7 The Simpsons Ultimates! Deep Space Homer

Slowly but surely I am clearing out all of the action figure preorders I placed in the year 2021. Of the ones that had been remaining, the line I was most looking forward to experiencing was the line of Super7 Ultimates! based on The Simpsons. It was August of 2021 when these suckers went up…

Keep reading

Super7 is Heading to Springfield!

Wednesday, August 18th, ended up being quite an eventful little day in the world of toy collecting. There were some reveals from major toy companies, leaks, and even those long neglected Street Sharks fans got something to get excited about late in the day. Personally, it was a good day for me too as I…

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Lego Simpsons: The Kwik-E-Mart and Mini Figures Series 2

Last year, Lego released its first set and series of mini figures styled after The Simpsons, the animated institution that has anchored Fox’s Sunday Night lineup longer than Justin Bieber’s been alive. Debate the merits of the program’s more recent seasons all you want, but it couldn’t diminish my curiosity for a set of Legos…

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Super7 is Heading to Springfield!

Wednesday, August 18th, ended up being quite an eventful little day in the world of toy collecting. There were some reveals from major toy companies, leaks, and even those long neglected Street Sharks fans got something to get excited about late in the day. Personally, it was a good day for me too as I finally got to click “ship” on a Big Bad Toy Store Pile of Loot that includes my Super7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Wave 3. However, nothing prepared me for what Super7 had in-store for us (or technically didn’t) come the evening.

It started in the afternoon when Super7 posted a tease for a new license: an image of a glowing, green, rod with the vastness of space behind it. To the uninitiated, this may have been cryptic or even confusing. A glowstick? What could that be a reference to? For diehard fans of The Simpsons though, the image was unmistakable: an inanimate carbon rod! This rather plain looking object was the punchline to the episode “Deep Space Homer” where the show allegedly “jumped the shark” by sending Homer to outer space. It’s a ridiculous concept, but like a lot of classic era episodes of The Simpsons, there’s plenty of jokes to make it worthwhile.

Speculation was then running wild on social media about what Super7 had planned for The Simpsons. Most, including myself, assumed a wave of ReAction figures was forthcoming. If you’re unfamiliar with ReAction, that’s Super7’s retro, five points of articulation, throwback line of figures that are sold on elaborate cardbacks and can be found everywhere. They’re not my cup of tea as I have no nostalgic attachment to the Star Wars figure line from the 70s and 80s. They’re just ugly figures to me, but sometimes Super7 creates some interesting figures in this line so I wasn’t ready to dismiss the idea. The Nicktoons figures have turned out pretty well, so maybe The Simpsons could be pulled off just as well.

What I was hoping for though, was that Super7 would give The Simpsons the Ultimates treatment. We’ve talked about the Ultimates figure line a lot here, but for those just popping in, Super7’s Ultimates line is a 7″ scale action figure line that’s made to order. These are the figures that are decidedly modern in their approach to sculpting, articulation, etc. The Simpsons isn’t a brand that screams “Ultimates” since we’re not talking about sword-wielding ninjas and such, but I’m interested in figures that capture the likeness best and come packed with tons of accessories and facial expressions. Still, I assumed that would be far off, and if Super7 did want to do Simpsons in that style that they would start small (like they did with Ren and Stimpy) and maybe just offer a Homer or Bart or a one-off character.

What do we have here?!

And I was wrong! Later in the evening, the Twitter account @preterniadotcom tweeted an image of a Google search result for a Super7 Ultimates Deep Space Homer. The link went to a 404 error, but it’s mere existence was encouraging. The same account then dug a little further and was able to find a solicitation image that all but confirmed the existence of a Deep Space Homer action figure. As the name suggests, it’s Homer in his astronaut suit and he indeed comes packaged with our beloved carbon rod. He has extra hands and three different facial expressions. He also has a bag of chips and the colony of ants. It’s just a digital render, but it sure looks promising.

The fun didn’t stop there. Soon many people were messing around with the Super7 store URL and it wasn’t long before an image of the entire first wave of Simpsons Ultimates was uncovered. A user at thefwoosh.com was the first person I saw to uncover the image, but soon every social media account connected with toys was sharing it. The day began rather ordinarily, and then we got a Simpsons tease, then we got confirmation of an Ultimates figure, and when we all went to sleep we had an entire first wave. And it wasn’t just two figures, it wasn’t even the standard four, but five figures! Super7 clearly appears to be all-in when it comes to The Simpsons and I am here for it!

Wow! It looks great! And you get a Homer accessory with your rod!

So who all is joining Homer in this inaugural first wave? Well, in true Super7 fashion, it’s a surprising collection of characters intended to appeal to the diehard Simpsons fan. Disney fans were confused when Super7 launched a Disney line last year consisting of Sorcerer Mickey, Pinocchio, and Prince Jon from Robin Hood because there was no Robin Hood. Super7’s approach is both strategic and also by the seat of their pants. They like to produce the figures that they simply want, and Super7’s Brian Flynn loves Prince Jon so he gets to be in Wave One. To them, that suggests to the consumer that “Of course Robin Hood will be in Wave Two,” but for fans unfamiliar with the company it’s just confusing. With The Simpsons, I’m pretty sure the same thing will happen because Wave One is Deep Space Homer, Moe, Poochie, and robot versions of Itchy and Scratchy from the episode “Itchy and Scratchy Land.” I don’t want to speak for Super7, but my guess is these are just favorite characters, episodes, and gags for the people at Super7. It’s also a tell to the Simpsons fanbase that they’re going to go deep. It’s a foregone conclusion that you’re going to get a Bart, Lisa, Krusty, etc. at some point, so they’re going to give you some of those deep cuts upfront so you don’t have to worry about Super7 not getting to them.

Should I spend hundreds of dollars to amass an army of Itchy and Scratchy robots?!

Of course, since everything except the initial tease is basically a leak (or a cleverly disguised reveal to get people talking) we don’t necessarily know what the plan is or what direction they’re going in. Maybe Super7 isn’t interested in doing a base Homer? I kind of doubt it, but we’ll have to wait and see. They’ll probably want to get someone out there soon to talk about the license and give fans a head’s up, but for now we at least know about five figures. And from what I see, they look terrific. I don’t know that I need Homer in a space suit, but I do like what Super7 is showing here so it’s not something I’m going to pass on. Moe looks as Moe should. He comes with his apron, rag, a Flaming Moe, and a bright red phone for prank calls. He even has an angry, screaming, face that should pair well with that phone. He also has a panda in a crate, because Moe gets his hands into some questionable business practices. Poochie also looks great and comes with his surfboard, skateboard, and all of the stuff he needs to take things “To the extreme!” The stars of the inaugural first wave though might be those robotic Itchy and Scratchy figures. They just look fun with Itchy featuring a removable skull top to expose his robotic innards and Scratchy possessing a removable face to do the same. They have various implements of destruction as well as items to feature in a parade. And, not to be missed, is the Bort license plate that comes with Scratchy (chef’s kiss).

This has to happen.

Even though I get what Super7 is doing here, that doesn’t change the fact that this is a rather bold selection of characters for the first wave of a new IP. Is there a market for high end Simpsons action figures out there? I guess we’ll find out. Many are used to paying 10 bucks or so for the Playmates figures of 20 years ago. These will retail for $55 a piece so there’s likely to be some sticker shock. I’m familiar with Super7 so I know what to expect. I’m also used to paying that kind of money for a toy in 2021 so it should go without saying that I’m all in. And then there’s also the delay in actually getting these. Simpsons fans who have been out of the collector game for a long time will be surprised at the price, and then further surprised when they find out they won’t even get their figures for a year. Super7’s made-to-order model is basically designed in such a way that they almost can’t lose money on a figure offering, but if this wave underperforms it might mean a smaller Wave Two. I suspect they have a list of figures they really want to make and it’s possible nothing will stop them unless sales are truly abysmal, but it will be interesting to see the response to these. As for me, I have a long list of characters that I’d love to see, and I expect a lot of the figures to come will be episode specific. Surely there will be a Bart in Wave Two, but I’m also really hopefully for a Skinner and Chalmers pairing full of Steamed Ham references. Such a thing would surely get the social media a-buzzing!

Update 8/20/2021: The entire first wave is now available through Super7 at https://preorder.super7store.com/. If you want to order from a place that doesn’t charge upfront, more options should become available later in the day. I recommend at least heading on over to Super7’s store for more high-res images of the line including a look at the sleek packaging!

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