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Flange Doozer

Fraggle Rock
by yo go re

For a time, HBO was the home for prestige original television. Intense, serious, adult dramas like The Wire, Sopranos, or Game of Thrones were touted as the pinnacle of showmaking. Which is why it's often overlooked that their first original programming was a kid's show about whimsical creatures living under your house.

Flange Doozer is a resourceful and capable worker, the husband of Wingnut, and father of Cotterpin. When faced with a radish famine he played an important role in bringing the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs together to realize how interconnected they all are.

Boss Fight Studio is doing a full Fragle Rock line, but they've released this figure as a special preview. The Doozers were the smallest species on Fraggle Rock - Fraggles themselves are only about two feet tall, and Doozers are about a quarter as big as that. There are dozens of named Doozers running around in the show, and likely scores more. Tomy made some wind-up toys in 1983, and there were some PVCs and plushes over the years, but this is the first real action figure.

All the Doozers basically looked the same, a spherical head mostly hidden by a large hard hat. The hats came in various colors (red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, pink, and white), with Flange's being yellow - a nice plain color for a preview figure. He also has a mustache beneath his bulbous nose, and if you take the helmet off, you'll see the tuft of red hair his pink antennae emerge from.

A Doozer's body is small and plump, with a tiny tail-nub in the back. Only the boots and work gloves are sculpted on, so we'll probably see this same body used for future Doozers as well; sadly, there's no texture sculpted on here, like there was on Palisades' Muppets... or if there is, it's too shallow to be seen or felt adequately. This is just a smooth little bug-man. At about 3" tall, this is a 1:2 scale action figure. The body is a minty green, with the clothing done in a very pale tan with yellow trim.

The tool belt is a separate piece slipped over the figure, which will allow Boss Fight to easily swap it out for other characters. Flange's version has pockets criss-crossed over the chest, loops where tools can be held, a coil of rope dangling on the left side, and a silver calculator. Where does a 6" tall insect-creature living in an underground world get a calculator sized for his use? Dunno, probably the same place as all the construction vehicles Doozers drive around when they're working.

The figure's accessories include two hammers (ball peen and regular), a wrench, rolled-up blueprints, and a walkie-talkie. The hammers fit into the loops on the tool belt, but only his right hand is shaped to hold anything, so there will always be at least two accessories that have nowhere to go. Make sure you save that tiny ziplock baggie they come in!

Articulation is fine for a figure of this size and style: a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel gloves, and balljointed hips. The boots are large enough to provide a fairly stable base for the toy even when he's just standing on one foot. The hard hat is a separate piece and doesn't attach to the figure in any way - no magnets or pegs or anything, just some small notches where the antennae can fit.

The packaging is fine, but what's really worth attention is the tray inside; when has that ever been the case? Fraggles and Doozers live in underground caves, right? Well, rather than a typical clear plastic tray like most figures have, Flange rests in molded pulp packaging material - you know, that rough, brown slush, like a stereo or computer equipment. Or a drink carrier you'd get at a fast food restaurant. Not only is this far more environmental than plastic, the rough surface and neutral color resemble stone, meaning the toy looks like it's actually in a cave. Clever work, Boss Fight!

The actual Fraggles aren't out yet, but unless they're each a foot tall, the Doozers aren't going to be in scale with them; of course, if the Doozers were in scale with any other figures, they'd basically be accessories, not figures in their own right. But as a preview for the line, Flange is a fun figure, and has us looking forward to the rest.

-- 03/03/24

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