Hank Scorpio was featured in one of my favorite Simpsons episodes: Season 8's "You Only Move Twice." When Smithers turns down his generous job offer, he turned to Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's next senior employee, Homer Simpson.
Meet Hank Scorpio, the "boss" that befriended Homer, the man behind the master-planned Cypress Creek community, and the super-villain with the forward-thinking fashion sense to have first worn jeans and a sport coat. With nothing but a down-to-earth style, a dream, and a Doomsday device, he not only succeeded in his conquest of the East Coast, but along the way, built Globex - a corporation that specialized in international extortion... and offered a very generous benefits package.
Hank, voiced by Albert Brooks, was scheduled for Wave 3 of the Simpsons Celebrity Series--a line calculated to provide figures of the many, many celebrity guest stars that have knocked the dirt of Springfield off their shoes. The line faltered (Jackie Mason withdrew his approval of Rabbi Hershel Krustofski), then died (Cooder and Llewellyn Sinclair became mail-away exclusives) with Hank Scorpio shuffled into cases of Series 10.
Cut from classic Bond-villain cloth, Hank Scorpio showed us the softer side of global domination. He cared for his employees, and wanted to create the best environment for their productivity to thrive. He wanted Homer to follow his dreams, even if that meant he had to leave the company. Sure, he wanted to crush all resistance, but he cared about his team.
Hank found his way into this newest Series, but just barely; he's apparently the ultra-rare chase figure. Not "yellow Daredevil" rare, but he's not in every case, either. Good luck.
Looking just like his counterpart on the show, Hank's wearing bluejeans and a purple jacket. He's got a sly grin beneath his full beard, and his perfectly coiffeured hair is swept back. His accessories include a remote detonator, a grenade, and (in what may be the coolest WoS accessory yet) a full-sized flamethrower. Tres cool.
Hank, of course, moves at the Springfield Four. Attach the figure to a peg on Main Street or Burns Manor, and hear one of several phrases. For instance, on the street: "I don't like things that elevate me above the other people. I'm just like you. Oh, sure, I come later in the day, I get paid a lot more and I take longer vacations, but I don't like the word 'boss.'"
The Superstar Voices series may have been a failure, but Playmates isn't giving up on the idea. Any future celebrity figures will be part of the actual Series of figures, hopefully in larger supply than poor Hank. He's a great character, and a pretty fun toy, but his scarcity means that a lot of fans won't get the opportunity to own this laid-back criminal mastermind.
What's your favorite Simpsons episode? Who do you want to see as future celebrity guests? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.