"Up yours, children!"

How good of a school can it be? Even its two best students have been in the same grade for ten years.

Whether freezing your brain with an ice-cold Chutney Squishee at the Kwik-E-Mart, choking down imitation fruit beverages at Springfield Elementary or drowning your sorrows at Moe's, you can't help but drink in the radioactive charm that is Springfield's alone. Yes, a visit to Springfield brings a glow to the heart--that never, ever goes away!

Springfield Elementary; through its hallowed halls pass the future leaders of Springfield. God help them. At long last, this bastion of lowest-cost-possible learning comes to three-dimensional life from Playmates Toys. Part of the World of Springfield line, the Springfield Elementary School playset measures 8" wide, 5" deep, and 6¾" high. Press any of the three buttons on the school's floor, and you'll hear sounds from the show.

While the set is referred to as Springfield Elementary, it's really just a single classroom. Since the blackboard (or at least the sticker that represents it) has one of Bart's many show-opening punishments written upon it, we can assume this is Mrs. Krabappel's room. The room features her desk, complete with cup of pencils and a stack of books, a radiator, clock, flag, and windows. Like the blackboard, stickers on the windows reveal the playground outside. There's also a sticker of a handwriting chart above the blackboard.

This set also includes a figure of that stalwart educator, Armin Tamzarian. No, wait, Skinner! Principal Seymour Skinner. Standing 5" tall, he's got the same four points of articulation as all the other denizens of the Springfield: neck, shoulders, and waist. Principal Skinner includes yet another version of Springfield's most reused accessory, a clipboard. His has a list of "Things to do today:"

  1. Catch Bart vandalizing school property.
  2. Call Mother.✔
  3. Stare out the window.
  4. Make announcements.
  5. Address cafeteria roach infestation.✔
  6. Give out detention slips.

Skinner may be an uptight, outdated educator and a luckless, paranoid Vietnam vet with an overbearing mother, but... but... I don't have anything to follow that up. He's an uptight, outdated educator and a luckless, paranoid Vietnam vet with an overbearing mother. That's who he is! The figure included with this set is a wonderful representation of the Skinner we see on the show; the aqua suit, the lavender shirt, the haircut that could put a man's eye out... it's all there. He's even got a disapproving look on his face, surely expecting Bart to foul up or Lisa to barge in with more complaints.

Like all the Simpsons figures, Principal Skinner talks when you put him on a compatible playset environment. And since he comes with one of those environments, you just know he's gonna talk. Press the button, and he says one of four phrases:

  • "Ah, is there nothing so intoxicating as the school hallway at early morn'?"
  • "Attention, children!"
  • "God bless the man who invented permission slips."
  • "You just fell for our sting and won yourself three months' detention."

The characters that are compatible with Springfield Elementary are Bart, Lisa, Homer, Marge, Grampa, Groundskeeper Willie, Mrs. Krabappel, Otto, Martin Prince, Milhouse, Nelson, Ralph, Krusty, and Ned Flanders. These fourteen characters have thirty-nine different phrases between them. Press a button without a figure on the base, and you'll hear the school bell ring.

I went back and forth about this set; I saw it a few times in person before finally making my purchase. Basically, I wanted a place for my Mrs. Krabappel figure to cut loose with her trademark cynicism. I recommend this set as I recommend all the other World of Springfield offerings: if you're a fan of the show, or just want to purchase this for someone who is, you can't go wrong. Viva la Simpsons!

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