got maybe a half dozen or so of the ToyFare exclusive figures.
(Ironically, I never recieved the Radioactive Homer that I
mailed for.) I like quirky characters and that's mostly
what ToyFare had as their exclusives, Lara Croft, Guardian,
etc... One I missed out on was the Vacation Pepe from
Palisades Muppet line. I already had the regular one and
couldn't justify another one. However, I did manage to
pick up a few of these as a lot recently on the secondary
These Pepe's have been
sitting around in my storage area in their white mailer boxes
for awhile. Since, I have a bunch of Muppet figures, but
very few reviews, I though I'd take a crack at a Retro review of
the king prawn. (Yikes! It looks like my only other
Muppet review was the Penguin
That said, this is Vacation Pepe. Ready
for a day at the beach, the ToyFare version is decked out in a
different color scheme than the main version. This change
in colors was a theme that ran through most of the Exclusive
Muppet figures. Variant chasers had a lot of work to do
with this line.
The biggest reason I collected the Muppets line from
Palisades was there character representations were always dead
on. There's no generic sculpting to them, and you can tell they
really tried to capture each character.
this particular Pepe never appeared on film anywhere, he
definitely looks like he could have. Most "EU" and exclusive items
comes off as being 2nd rate compared to the main lines. Not in
this case. The main difference in for this Pepe was the hoodie.
And the paint work on this one is good. There's a fairly complex
design going around his body. The only place it falls flat is the
sculpted hood portion is a bit blotchy on the paint work. I
can forgive this as a cheap hoodie he picked at a tourist trap
near the beach.
The use of texture is one of the things that
Palisades really nailed with this line. Look at fur or hair
on most modern lines, and it's easy to see what set this line
apart. Pepe's body looks like it's furry. The scale,
depth, and direction are all thought out.
The Muppet line was one of those rare instances
were a company managed to create a line that was high enough
quality to please collectors and packed with enough play features
to entertain kids. Just as the Muppets themselves bring kids
and parents together, these toys did the same. While the
representations were dead on, the articulation and accessories
Pepe comes armed with 4 four ball jointed
shoulders. They function flawlessly and don't detract from
the figure's appearance. Yeah, I know people out there would
like to see elbows and wrists. But if you think about,
Muppets don't really move like that. The Muppet line in
general is good example of "smart articulation." Put joints
in if and where they make sense, and don't do it just to make the
figure move like a Micronaut. A cut neck and hips round out
This may seem limited, but Pepe is a shrimp
among some of the other Muppets. However, he's one of those
figures that when he's on your desk you can find a million poses
for him and they all look cool. Move this arm and he's
waving. Move all four arms and he's surprised. Etc...
To go with those poses, Pepe's got a slew of
accessories for enjoying at the beach. Swim fins, mask,
snorkel, an adult beverage, swim trunks, a floatie, and a plain
stand. The accessories in this set are color matched to his
jacket and just a little different than the standard Vacation Pepe.
snorkel clips into the mask, which clips on to his face.
It's a clear mask that works great and looks just as great.
I love the fins. They are sculpted all the way around.
Even when they are on the figure, you can still put him his
generic display stand.
The floatie is an elephant and fits perfectly on
the figure. The wrinkles and the sheen of this piece really
sell it as one of those vinyl things you see at resort pools.
The chair and adult beverage let Pepe kick back
and enjoy the sunset, okay? The drink looks like a martini
with an umbrella, but I'm guessing Mojito or some sort of
Margarita. The chair folds up works like a a real beach
chair. The only thing missing is the umbrella that comes
with the standard prawn. The holder is there, just no shade
was provided in the package.
The one item that Pepe comes with that I'm
perplexed by, is his swim trunks. While well tailored and
sewn, I don't get why needs them. One, he's a prawn.
Two, he's a Muppet that normally doesn't wear pants. Why
would he put them on to swim?
the most part, I've not been very accepting of some of the more
"modern" Muppets. It's not that they aren't cool or funny.
I just grew up with Fozzie, Kermit and the gang. That said,
Pepe has worked his way into my heart. He's a touch of a
practical joker, a bit sarcastic, and just a touch self centered
for a Muppet. And for all that, I love him. So, even
though this Pepe isn't directly from an on screen appearance, I
accept him into my collection without reservation. Great
look and great accessories make for great figures.
If you consider the price range the Muppet line
generally sold in, they were a steal. Modern figures in this
scale normally don't have the accessories or articulation the
Muppets had, and normally cost twice as much.
I think the only thing that could have made this
version of the plush king prawn any better, would have been the
inclusion of his umbrella. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have
an uncontrollable desire to go build a jacuzzi.
(I have a few extras of these I'd be willing to
part with for about $15 each plush shipping. Drop me a line
if you are looking for one!)
Engineernerd Score: 95/100
Discuss in our forums!