Palisades' fantastic Invader Zim line has made for one of the best and most popular lines of toys of recent times. Between scoring mentions on every reviewer's Best Toys of 2004 list and selling out everywhere, Palisades has shown everyone just how to make a series of cartoon figures with great sculpts, excellent articulation and accessories that catch the humor and appeal of the original series. Palisades deserves their success, and as the release date of the second series draws closer, the Wizard Exclusive Double Pack has come to sate our Invaderly desires.
The blokes at ToyFare tried something different for this exclusive - rather than just list him in their magazine, they posted a tiny ad directing customers to check out eBay on Saturday, April 16.
Starting at 9am (Eastern Standard Time - that's a nice "screw you" to the rest of the world, isn't it?), they'd be putting 200 of the sets up on the auction site with a "Buy It Now" price of $19.99: you could get your set without the wait to see if your order form made it through the mail on time. In theory, this sounds like a good idea but, as yo can attest, it turned into quite the headache.
Instead of putting all 200 figures online at once, Toyfare put them up in groups of nine at a time, with a limit of three per customer. This meant that, on average, only three people could place an order per individual auction. And since everyone loves the Zim line, the entirety of the fanboy community desecended on poor little eBay all at once. Slow, slow, slow auction site. ToyFare'd post another set of 9, you'd click your way in, hit "Buy It Now," confirm your bid and get a message that the auction was no longer available. Annoyance!
All these people fighting over the 200 eBay auctions missed something, though - the sets weren't exclusive to eBay, they were just available there first. The set is limited to 1,500 pieces, so the remaining 1,300 would be offered through Wizard's Website. No hassle, no sniping, no overloaded servers... no time to read the fine print, guys?
The set ships in a white, purple and orange window box with piccys of Zim and Gir on the sides. The interior tray is the big pile of pipes and tubes that will one day engulf the Earth - in Zim's daydreams.
Although the body sculpts are the same as the first series, both have excellent new head sculpt. Zim's showing his angry "soon to explode" expression, showing his teeth in an adorably furious underbite, somewhere inbetween the normal Series 1 Zim sculpt and the Hot Topic Exclusive.
But the real star is the adorable silly Gir, with one eye slightly smaller than the other and a tiny tongue painted under his mouth, making him look totally cute. Definitely the best Gir we've had thus far, this head captures the character perfectly. Doody!
Keeping the same bodies from the previous released, they have the same articulation too, fortunately it's really quite good. Figures this size don't need to be super-articulated, and the articulation they do have is great; Zim has balljointed arms, neck and then peg midsection and wrists. His spindly arms could probably have been bendy, but as they are he can hold any of his original accessories with ease, and he fits onto the Series 1 Zim's monitor base or Gir's giant piggy.
Gir has tiny balljointed arms and neck, then upper-arm peg joints to swivel his arms. It doesn't sound like much, but he really doesn't need any more movement; his legs are fine and stable, and a midsection joint wouldn't work. My only change would be a small joint to straighten his hands or have them bent - the pose they're currently in isn't the most common on the show, but still looks great.
Sadly, the figures are seriously lacking accessories - featured in the package is an array of tentacles and screens that'll fit with either Series 1 Zim or the Tallests, but there's definately no new display base or anything fun for Gir to eat, or store in his head (which opens ala the other Girs). Both Zim and Gir do have their little black stands, needed for Gir, not so much for Zim.
I love these figures; this two pack made me break my "No Toys Until Series 2" rule, just for the adorable Gir face. Although sharing the same body sculpts of already released Zim figures, the amusing and characteristic head sculpts of these two figures are different to what we've seen previously, which makes them ideal for those who missed the first series, and just what the doctor ordered for fans of the almighty ZIM!!
What do you think of ToyFare's eBay plan? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.