Pros: Excellent! Everyone's favorite evil billionaire in plastic with all the trimmings
Cons: Like the rest of the Simpsons, articulation is eh
Mr. Burns: Who is that firebrand, Smithers?
Smithers: That's Homer Simpson, sir.
Burns: Simpson, eh? New man?
Smithers: Actually, sir, he thwarted your campaign for governor, you ran over his son, he saved the plant from meltdown, his wife painted you in the nude...
Burns: Eh, doesn't ring a bell.
Yes, the brilliant show that now holds a huge stake in popular culture has spawned many hilarious seasons that long ago reached double digits has reached over 200 episodes, but "where are the toys?!" myself and the other collector geeks cried. Surely a show of such fascinating and creative characters deserves many, many action figures to adorn our shelves? Our asthmatic-laden calls were answered by Playmates, the makers of the Mr. Burns figure I'm looking at today, and 100+ other Simpsons toys to date, in one of the most popular action figure lines of the new millenium. The first series, of which this character is drawn, had the main and most popular characters, including the entire Simpson family (two in a house playset), Krusty the Clown and ole Grampa Simpson. Now, in the most recent Series 9, lesser known characters like Disco Stu, Rod & Todd and many, many variants are being produced in large numbers, far outweighing the first few series which were in such small numbers that now they are worth a fortune. It's unlikely that you will pay less than $30 to purchase the toy I'm looking at today, a major step up from his original price of $5, of which the recent series are available today. For the lucky person who finds one at regular price, this toy is a must-have; but at the current collector's prices, this toy just seems too ordinary and unspectacular to purchase. Why? Read on, my friend.
Mr. Burns stands 5" tall, in great scale with other figures in the line, including Homer and Marge, and the playsets. His sculpt is possibly his best feature, with a spectacular likeness to the evil old man of the cartoon. Burns is right at home in his suit, with white vest and red tie, clutching his wonderful money as he spies on his workers through security cameras. The evil smile on his face is dead-on, and his finger-twiddling pose is perfect - unfortunately, talk of his finger-twiddling leads to the big negative about this figure - the articulation. Like all of the Simpsons figures (bar a few), Mr. Burns has 4 spots of articulation; arms, midsection and neck. Comparing this to recent figures, like the McFarlane's Monster's Mummy, which has more articulation than scenes in Harry Potter 2 where Radcliffe's voice is breaking, Burnsie is lacking. A couple of more joints (say, elbows and wrists) would make him a much better figure, as with the rest of the Simpsons.
Fortunately, Burns' signature pose is here, with the 'hump' in his back, fingers together and evil scheming smile just says excellent - which the figure does as well. Attach him to a World of Springfield playset, press the button and listen to him tell you that no one will be spared, no one! (as well as many other signature phrases from the old man.) The voice chip function is called Intellitronic Voice Activation, with authentic voices done by the actors behind the characters, in this case Harry Shearer. So far, Burns has 20 different phrases in the playsets, of which are listed on the Simpsons Collector Sector in the bonus section of this epinion. I like the voice feature, but in our age of technology the interactivity could be higher. I'd like to see Burns having conversations with other characters in the playsets, or I'd prefer to be able to make him talk without having to connect him to a playset. But, as far as the gimmick goes, it's not bad, and it's often effective and humorous.
My favorite aspect of Mr. Burns is undoubtly his great accessories; like the other Simpsons figures, Playmates have not stooped with the extras on this figure. Burns includes two nicely stickered stacks of money to hold and enjoy in his greedy hands, and one of my favorite accessories in my entire action figure collection, Blinky the Three Eyed Fish. Blinky is a tiny three eyed yellow fishy, which mutated from the nuclear waste dumped in a pond by the nuclear power plant, destroyed Burns' election campaign, and also is one of the cutest little accesories ever, sculpted in the clear plastic goldfish tank. Burns can hold the tank, or it can go on it's own where ever - I keep it on display next to McFarlane's Monsters' Sea Creature, where it looks insane. Much like myself. Emus!
Overall, Mr. Burns is fine figure for the original asking price, very similar to the other Simpsons figures. At a decent $5, half the price of a fully detailed fully articulated McToy, you get value for money - after all, the Simpsons need not be intricately detailed and articulation can be sacrificed for cost - but for anything more, money is better spent elsewhere. As an addition to the Simpsons line, this figure is great; but not even my favourite part of this figure, Blinky, is not worth spending huge amounts of money on, and nor is the figure - however, I hear rumors of Playmates rereleasing this figure and the other Series 1 Simpsons soon in new packaging. If this is the case, I definately recommend Burns - if not to get your fill of evil billionare old men, just to get that three eyed fish'o'fun. You shan't regret!
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Want more information about the World of Springfield line plus a list of all the says of each character in each playset? Check out the Simpsons Collector Sector, here: http://www.simpsonscollectors.com/
Want more opinions? Check out Marshmallows: http://www.epinions.com/content_69797056132
How about JediKermits? http://www.epinions.com/content_11106094724
What is OAFE? It's coming... soon...
Suggested for: Simpsons Fans
Bang for the Buck: 5 - Don't pay more than retail
Best Feature: Accessories