When Series 2 of the Invader Zim figures was announced, someone asked on Palisades' message board asked whether Almighty Tallest Red would just be a repaint of Almighty Tallest Purple. Someone else, who obviously didn't know much about Zim, laughed at the question. They're different characters - it's entirely feasible that they could have different sculpts. But they don't, so we're just recycling our old review.
Irken leaders are determined by their height, with the tallest having the most power. Interestingly enough, there are two equally tall Irkens who are the largest on the planet, and together they serve as co-dictators.
Almighty Tallest Red is very typical of creator Jhonen Vasquez's art style: he's long and lean, with strange angles all over. To look at his uniform, you'd think there was no way that a body could even fit in there. In fact, had the show continued, it would have been revealed that the Tallest were anything but - they were actually just figureheads for the empire's real leadership.
Red's got on a long skirt (which is probably a ceremonial robe, but come on, it's a skirt) that reaches down to his dangly black feet. His waist is a thin, twisted tube with three rings rising around it. He's got a large chest, big round armor on his shoulders and rounded gauntlets on his wrists. All that bulbous armor contrasts with his spindly arms and fingers.
Almighty Tallest Red moves at the waist, torso, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists and neck, and most of those are balljoints. Balljointed elbows! He can gesture as wildly as you'd like him to.
Just like Zim, the Almighty Tallest Red has eyes molded from translucent red plastic with a few pink highlights painted on the surface. That's a better choice than solid eyes, because it makes them look more biological by catching the light and giving the eyes some depth.
The Almighty Tallest don't really walk around, instead floating everywhere they go. So that your Tallest can hover appropriately, he comes with a clear peg to hold him off the ground. The peg fits into the bottom of ATR's skirt, but in order to assure a tight fit, the hole isn't empty - you have to actually force the peg in, pushing the soft filler material out of the way. It's not as tight a fit as we got with Purple in Series 1, but it supports him more than well enough.
The peg fits easily into any of the ports on the floor of ATR's base, the Mobile Command Platform Thingy. All the Zim figures come with a huge display, kinda like having a whole line of Simpsons playsets (without the electronics or solid molded parts). It's actually half the command platform - a sticker on the package points out that "base connects to Tallest Purple's base to form Thingy!" Go Thingy!
The circular dias is about 7" in diameter, and has a shin-high railing. Each half has six ports on the floor, two on the rim and one on the control panel on the railing. Red's is, of course, detailed with red highlights. No surprise there.
The set includes four Irken monitors and a handful of connector pins and tentacles. There's no "right" way to build the base: all the pieces are modular, so you can connect and build it however you want. ATR's monitors are tan and purple, rather than the two-tone green his co-ruler had. There are no stickers included with this set, but since there were more than enough included with Series 1, you'll still be able to decorate all the screens as you like.
The Irkens are a gentle, snack-loving people, so Red has a few more accessories of his own: an Irken soda, an Irken burrito, a bag of chips and a large Irken popcorn.
A few of the choices for accessories are really smart, and reflect well on Palisades. First are two small connectors to join the two halves of the Thingy's railing. If they'd given us one with Purple and one with Red,
nobody would have known what they were, and would have incorporated them in their monitor set-ups. When they realized the pegs were needed for the display base, the fanboys would have been in an uproar about having to "ruin" their monitors. Nerds.
The other nice thing is that Palisades included two of the clear hover stands that keep Almighty Tallest's feet off the ground. Why's that good? Because the one included with the standard Purple was poorly sized and wouldn't support the figure. Palisades heard the complaints and provided a replacement.
Almighty Tallest Red's skin is surprisingly dark, much darker than it was on the show. He's got a really odd expression on his face: his mouth is open wide, exposing his teeth and his little worm-like tongue. We know he's not yelling, however, because his eyes are half closed, so he looks annoyed rather than angry. Just put one of the snacks in his hand (if you can) and pretend he's about to take a bite. Or in the first syllable of calling for a laser strike on Purple.
Despite these flaws, Almighty Tallest Red is a decent figure, and once you pair him up with ATP and link their bases together, they look absolutely awesome. Get yourself a pair.
Who's your favorite Tallest? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.