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The Muppets
by Shocka

If you were to make a list of all the common mistakes companies make when it comes to creating action figures, the sensational Muppets line by the ever-missed Palisades avoided to them all. Frontloading the line with the popular characters so later series warm the pegs with B-tier characters? No! Subpar sculpts that barely look like the characters they represent? Not a chance! Dismal articulation that limits play? Nup! Poor joints that break with the smallest amount of movement? Nein! Few accessories, with heavy re-use and some with little to do with the character? Hell no! Figures that can't stand, and don't include a base? Nevermore!

Rolling back to that first one, it's no wonder the Muppets are so fondly remembered, and so hard to get nowadays; in addition to making some of the most well-crafted action figures you'll ever buy, they covered nearly every character you can imagine across the Muppets' many years on TV and in movies. Including someone like Beauregard.

Job: Stagehand & Custodial Engineer
Special Talents: Rope pulling, scenery pushing, mopping, polishing, sweeping, sweating
Likes: Reckless driving, competitive stage weight tossing
Dislikes: Thinking too much, waxy yellow buildup

Beauregard appeared in the seventh series of the Muppets line, the only character in this series to appear consistently across the Muppets' history. Of the other figures, Johnny Fiama was a singer feature prominently in Muppets Tonight, Captain Smollet was Kermit's role in Muppet Treasure Island, the Frog Scout Robin was a version of Kermit's nephew's character. Mixing up each series allowed Palisades to serve all masters, offering popular characters and variants from every part of the Muppets universe. It's unusually clever and respectful of the property, essentially a worthy tribute to the beloved Jim Henson creation.

As a taller character than most of the Muppets, Beauregard stands an impressive 6⅛" tall, and his sculpt wonderfully captures the dim but loveable character. His expression is perfect, and Palisades were the best on the market in capturing the look and texture of the felt used to create the puppets. As always, the detail here is astounding, with perfect paint across the character's clothing, including the plaid shirt he's wearing underneath of his jacket. As perfected with so many of these action figures, Beauregard's hat is removable, held on by a small magnet in his head.

This is only one of several terrific accessories. As a janitor, where would Beauregard be without his mop and bucket? The mop is as terrific as expected, but the pièce de résistance is that bucket. It's got a working ringer which moves exactly as a real one would, that fits on the bucket and can be removed. The bucket has a similarly realistic handle and wheels that actually roll. It is, essentially, a real mop bucket that you could fill with mop water to clean a room. It's better than the actual mop and bucket I have at my home. Beauregard also includes his signature broom, with similarly terrific sculpt and detail. We see pushbrooms like this sometimes with wrestling toys, and they're always done in soft PVC and have a minimum of detail; this one is stiff ABS and has individually sculpted bristles.

All of these would be useless if Beauregard couldn't hold and use them, but as usual, Palisades schools the competition giving Beauregard all the articulation he needs and more. Beauregard has a balljointed neck and shoulders, swivel joints at the biceps, wrists, waist and hips, and hinged elbows. The lower-body articulation is secure enough that he's never at risk of toppling, and you can replicate the desirable poses with his mop or broom with ease. Plus, all of these joints are very durable and will stand up to play.

So, Beauregard is a tremendous figure. If you can find one, now, a decade onwards, you simply have no choice. There will never be better Muppets figures, and there will never again be a company like Palisades.

-- 02/21/16

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