You hear that?
That unpleasant scraping sound?
That's the bottom of the barrel. Playmates has finally reached it with Series 14 of their surprisingly long-lived World of Springfield line. Specifically, with the Sarcastic Man figure.
Who's Sarcastic Man? He's the guy with the nasally voice that usually taunts people from offscreen. "I've got a film for you, Fatty! 'A Fridge Too Far!'" Yes, he's appeared in person a few times, as a limo driver, a store clerk or any number of other menial jobs, but he is more often a voice than a face. Though he was given the name "Raphael" in Day of the Jackanapes, this wiseguy is, like the Pimply-faced Teen or businesswoman Lyndsey Nagle, actually a whole slew of different characters in one model sheet.
Yes, the character is funny. Yes, the wiseass things he says are part of the Simpsons' charm. But he is by no means a character that anyone was demanding be released in plastic form.
Still, with all their worthwhile characters far behind them, Playmates had to find someone to fill a space in the newest cases. The Sarcastic Man stands just under 5" tall and moves at the Springfield Four. He's wearing a light teal shirt, a maroon tie and matching pants - a very non-descript "store clerk" outfit. His mouth is open, taunting someone. His accessories are a fairly forgettable bunch, mostly taken from his time in the "Miscellaneous Etc." store: a cap that doesn't actually stay on his head, a modified World's Best Jacket that doesn't do anything (it's a solid piece, and mostly unpainted), a pair of night-vision goggles and a quote-unquote "Ultimate Belt."
Okay, so the tactical pants-retaining system is nice:
it's got everything seen in the show, including the compass, matches, whistle, saw, panic button, squirrel snare, radon/lie detector, sphygmomanometer and turn signals. True, most of those are just little pouches molded on the plastic, but I bet if God wore pants, he'd have a belt like this. As it should be, it's far too small for the Comicbook Guy, but will fit Bart (or, y'know, "Raphael" here) nicely.
Sadly, the Sarcastic Man has come out far too late in the line. If this was Palisades, he might've been in the third or fourth series. Right now, he only talks on the Aztec Theater and the Military Antiques Shop, which is far too little - this guy should be yammering all over the place! Sarcastic Man is all about the voice; if he'd come out long ago, and was compatible with a dozen sets, it might be worth a purchase. As it is, though? "Scrape, scrape, scrape..."
Theoretically, Playmates could only go up from here. But you know they won't. To what depths will they sink next? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.