Alright, this review is so far overdue that it is just sad. But despite having forgotten about this playset for over six months, it is
finally time to review the final Simpsons World of Springfield product, the Town Square playset with Jebediah Springfield. This playset
was a long time in coming, and as one of the few locations where any WOS figure could be reasonably displayed which makes it a pretty good
choice to go out on.
Packaging - 7/10With the exception of the change in graphics early on, the packaging hasn't really changed over the entire course of the line. The play set and figure are easily visible through the large window that covers three panels of the box. Line art drawings of various Simpsons characters cover the left side and the entire left panel with full color head shots of the figures from the last two waves of figures. The back of the box has the names of a lot of the compatible figures. The packaging is nice, but is really geared to a more mass market line. Displaying the last two waves of figures and worse yet, four play sets is rather silly since the oldest product, the Military Antique Shop came and went over a year before this set. Including them made sense back when the packaging was designed and products were shipping fast enough and in large enough numbers that products remained on shelves. But at the end of the line it is more like a retrospective of the previous year.
Sculpting - Town Square 3/10, Jebediah 5/10Jebediah is turned out well. He is well scaled to the other figures, taller than Homer but due mostly to his hat. But the half lid eyes conceal a little too much of the eyeballs in my opinion. They have a slightly droopy look to them, as if Jebediah were getting sleepy or stoned.
I could talk about whether this set is on model or not. But since the town square is one of the oldest Springfield locations, going back at least to the first season in "The Tell Tale Head" episode, there isn't one correct version. But what we did get should satisfy most fans. But the set does suffer from one major problem, scale. It is far too small, as most of the play sets have been. Comparing the size of the Jebediah figure to the size of the statue should make the problem evident. But the problem is worse than that. The tree in the back is so short that Homer can graze on it. And the Bench along the back was only made half width so it looks more like a chair. The entire set reminds me of the car insurance commercial about the reality show in a house built to 1/2 scale. Granted, all of the play sets have had to face this problem in one way or another, the results for the town square are easily the worst of the series. (It does work well for the Blocko figures.)
Paint - 7/10Jebediah is a pretty simple paint scheme, but is extremely well done. The color matching between the chest, legs and sleeves in particular turned out very well with very even tones. All of the paint is clean and consistent. But the pupils for the eyes are set a little too wide apart, furthering the dazed look of malaize on Jebediah's face. The play set is just as well done. The sticker for the backdrop which depicts the court house is excellent. And the addition of the mobsters playing keep away with Mayor Quimby's briefcase adds a needed touch of life and the off beat Simpsons humor to what would otherwise be a dull vista. I do wish that Playmates had painted the plaque on the statue to make it look like bronze or brass, though I have also seen it in the show as part of the stone base so it isn't incorrect.
Articulation - 3/10Jebediah is the first in the new series of super articulated Marvel Legends style Simpsons figure. Right. Wanna buy a bridge? Jebediah has the standard four rotating joints for a WOS figure: neck shoulders and waist. But the neck is extremely limited due to the sculpted hair.
Accessories 3/10The town square set is one of the weakest ones in the entire line in terms of accessories with just two, Bart's backpack from the tell tale head episode and the removable statue head. But Playmates did a great job with them. The backpack is sculpted with the overloaded look from the episode. The straps are flexible enough for bart to actually wear it, but barely. And best yet, the head of the Jebediah statue can be removed and placed into the bag. The head of course suffers from the same scale problem as the rest of the set and it becomes painfully obvious when it is removed and placed in Bart's hands or bag. Playmates also made a goof in the design of the head. There is a peg in the neck of the statue on which the head fits. But it leaves the peg standing up when the head is removed. They could have put the peg in the head and the hole in the neck and it would have looked like a hollow statue, the way it was depicted in the show.
Value - 4/10The retail price for the play sets was $20 through most of the life of this line. But as retailer support dried up, the few specialty retailers who supported the line at the end had free reign to raise prices. You were not likely to find the set for under $25. The set pops up on Ebay for around $50 these days. This set takes a beating here compared to other sets. Part of that is obviously due to the likelyhood of having to pay a much higher price. But the set itself includes a figure that isn't really part of the population of Springfield (being as he is long dead) and a play set that doesn't display well with the existing figures due to the scale problem.
Happy Hunting:The final play set has come and gone at retail. The secondary market is your best, if not only, bet at this point.