I hope to have a review of an actually-new figure tomorrow, but in the meantime, please enjoy this short-lost review from my days with The Toy Pirate, a short-lived Web venture between myself and Shocka of OAFE. It was originally published on July 9, 2005.
My photos are gone, but the kooky pirate method of grading the figures remains. Also, please remember that the thoughts written here reflect Poe circa 2005; opinions may have shifted during transport.
When it first came out, Family Guy kind of flew under my radar. I was in the middle of my college career and hardly watched any television. I remember catching it once or twice and thinking Stewie was pretty amusing, but it didn’t become a must-see for me. It wasn’t until last summer, when I moved into an apartment with two television-addicted roommates, that I caught the show regularly on Adult Swim.
I found the show funny, but to me, it didn’t have anything to distinguish it from other cartoon sitcoms like The Simpsons–until the infamous Chicken Fight in the episode “Da Boom.” Spoilers for those who haven’t seen the show: the fight occurs during one of the show’s many cutaways (“Remember that time…”) when Peter gets a bad coupon from a giant chicken (or maybe a guy in a chicken suit–it’s not clear). Peter attacks the chicken, and for the next two minutes (an eternity in cartoon sitcom time) Peter and the chicken duel it out, parodying many action-flick cliches in the process.
This was the moment Family Guy won me over, once and forever. Why was the scene so funny? Creator Seth McFarlane perhaps explained it best:
The chicken fight was a very complex scene to put together. It was one of those things that the longer it went on, the more we were laughing. We thought it could be a trademark for the show. It became the joke that begins, and it’s funny, then it goes on longer and it’s not funny, then it goes on even longer and it’s hysterically funny.
The so-long-it’s-funny sketch has indeed become the show’s trademark, and the Giant Chicken got a rematch this season (in the episode “The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire”).
While I love the show, I haven’t been collecting Mezco’s Family Guy figures (currently in their third wave). It’s not Mezco’s fault–I just have only so much money to spend on toys, and they’ll get my somewhat-hard-earned cash for their Hellboy and Goon lines. But there was no way I could pass up the Giant Chicken vs. Peter 2-pack.
The figures are well-displayed in the window box, and since these are basically pre-posed sculpts, it’s probably an even better deal for MOC collectors than the regular figures. The diorama behind the toys makes it even more appealing for the MOC crowd.
It’s not the flashiest packaging, but I’m giving it four stars (i.e., a treasure chest) because the diorama is removable, so you can display your figures inside it (see pic). It’s a nice touch, and another one of those little touches Mezco often includes with its products.
Peter and the Giant Chicken are pre-posed in a Matrix-style battle. I don’t think it’s an accident that the Chicken’s pose is almost identical to that of McFarlane Toys’ Agent Smith figure. While the poses aren’t taken directly from the televised fight, I think Mezco made the right decision in going with such a classic combat tableaux.
The figures are rotocast, just like the rest of the line, and with his yellow color, the Chicken seems a bit like a rubber ducky.
The paint applications don’t quite do justice to the sculpt. On my set, at least, there is some overspray around the eyes on the Chicken, and I’m not fond of the splotchy work on the purple of the Chicken’s eye. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the light-orange wash…it’s not really show-accurate, but since this set has a certain cinematic feel to it, it works, in a strange way.
Peter’s paint apps are similar, with a light gray wash around the shirt and cross-hatches all over the body. The purple around his eye is a bit nicer.
Since these figures are largely pre-posed, the articulation is predictably limited. However, the Chicken’s is actually decent: he has cut joints at the shoulders, legs, neck, tail, and right shoulder. The right arm and head are really the only joints that allow for any variation in display, but it’s appreciated.
Due to his angled legs, Peter only moves at the neck, waist, and shoulders. This allows for a little variation, but really, he’s just going to have to stick to his air-kicking routine; this is primarily a McFarlane-style display set.
It’s not much, but not much is needed, and I’m including the diorama as an accessory.
This is a great set. I’m not usually a fan of pre-posed figures, but this one won me over. It’s a must-have for anyone collecting the line, and I’m guessing there will be quite a few casual fans (of both the show and the toys) who won’t be able to resist this set.
The set averages around $25 at retail, which is about average for a large specialty store item like this.
Mezco’s star continues to rise in the toy industry, and with high-profile licenses like Family Guy and the newly-acquired South Park and their Hellboy and Goon lines coming out later this year, the company’s future looks bright.
Aw, I thought you were going to review this speaking only like a Pirate! Har har!
Not to toot my own horn, but I've been on the Family Guy wagon since the beginning. I remember watching the pilot right after the '99 Superbowl. I was a Sophomore in high school… seems like so long ago! Its hard to believe that its been ten years since FG premiered! I used to catch a lot of flack for bearing a certain resemblance to Peter.
I remember the Chicken fight vividly… that and I own the DVDs so I can view it over and over again. I remember the first time I saw it, and my reaction played out pretty much exactly how Seth McFarlane described. It started off so absurd that it was funny… but then it just kept going on, and on, and on, and on… and I stopped laughing, but it just kept going on, and on, and on, and on, and then it became so ludicrous that it was funny again.
I own a couple FG figures, the Secret Agent Astronaut Millionaire Cowboy and the Bionic Man. I don't know why but the regular figures never interested me. Hey, if they want to bring 'em back, thats great, I just hope they don't go hogwild with so many secondary B and C-list characters.
This is one of the all-time best moments in animation, it just hits so many references while being insanely funny, and the figures aint bad either.