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Rizzo

The Muppets
by yo go re

How can a 6" figure be 2" tall?

Rizzo Rizzo's been kicking around the Muppetverse for quite a while now, having first appeared as part of Kermit's whisper campaign in The Muppets Take Manhattan. He swiftly became a regular part of the gang, palling around with Gonzo and acting as ambassador for any other rats that might make their way into the story.

In Muppets From Space, poor little Rizzo was a resident of a government scientist's laboratory, where his ability to discern the difference between cheese and poison made him a local rodent hero.

Muppets from Space was set in the "real" world (as opposed to character work like A Muppet Christmas Carol or Muppet Treasure Island), so the film gives us normal versions of the characters. Rizzo is seen here wearing a fairly standard red and yellow jacket (there's also a variant in blue, but I thought the red looked better) over a white tanktop and so will fit in with the more mundane Muppets.

Boca Raton The sculpt on Rizzo, like all the Muppets, is superb. Palisades really pays attention to the texture of the puppets these figures are based on, and they go the extra mile when the character is covered in fur: swirling strands of dark brown sculpted hair cover Rizzo's tiny body. He's got six stiff whiskers glued at the end of his nose, and the paint apps - while not supremely sharp - are an improvement over the disappointing Series 3. Despite his small size, Rizzo is articulated at the neck, shoulders, wrists, waist and hips.

tons of crap

Rizzo's accessories - a table, plates, a hunk of cheese, a fruity drink, telescoping boxing glove, radio headset and a tiny little baseball cap (complete with sculpted stitches) - are pretty fun, and all crafted extremely well, Mmm, pizza... but one item does stand out above the rest: a pizza box, open to reveal the pizza (ordered from Bork Bork Pizza) inside; the cheese has stuck to the lid, and so is sculpted to be stretching down to connect with the crust.

These strings of mozzarella are a testament to both sculpting and design. Molded from soft, rubbery plastic, the pizza and cheese are one solid piece (two, actually - the pizza is cut in half for molding purposes), glued to both the top and bottom of the box. Their springy nature allows the pizza to flex, so the box can close tightly. This is really a lot more than you'd expect from an accessory like this, but it works well and is a great bonus. The paint apps here are very good, with the red of the pepperoni confined carefully to the small discs; there's even one removable slice of pizza that counts as a seperate accessory.

So how can a 6" figure stand 2" tall? Easily - Rizzo is in perfect scale to the rest of his foam and felt brothers. If Palisades had made him "full-sized," he would have been incredibly out of place. Knowing that the design team has worked so hard to make sure that everthing fits together, I wonder if they have a plan in place should a figure accidentally get mis-tooled and come out too big or too small for the scale.

Cuz clamshell is teh s uck This is the first series of Muppet figures to come in the much-hated clamshells. You know, it was bad enough when McFarlane's already-statuesque figures started coming in the things; now Palisades has made the mistake of switching to them, too? What were they thinking? It's Palisades - the company whose motto is "Play With It!" not "Keep It on a Card!" Maybe Michael Horn is gunning for the Worst ToY award that Todd got last year?

I like the blue - it's a nice change from that orangey red we've had so far - and I like that the packaging now points out from which movie or series the figure comes: that's a nice bit of cross-marketing. But guys, get your toys out of the clamshells. Those things are almost universally a terrible idea, and your stuff deserves better.


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