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Invader Zim
by yo go re

Don't make her angry; you wouldn't like her when she's angry.

Gaz, the younger sister of conspiracy theorist Dib, knows that her brother is right, and that Zim is attempting to take over the Earth... she simply doesn't care. In fact, it takes a lot to phase Gaz... but once Gaz does get freaked out, stay out of her way!

We started our review of Doggie Suit Gir by pointing out the poor grammar on the figure's bio. Well our hero, Travis J. Allen, strikes again: that should be "faze" Gaz, not "phase" her. The moral of the story is, if they're going to give you credit on the packaging, make sure you do a job you can be proud of. Or make sure the credit they give you doesn't imply that someone else's crappy, halfassed work is yours.

Gaz, as a character, seems to be a cross between two of Jhonen Vasquez's previous comicbook creations: she's got the hair color and generally sunny outlook of Devi, from I Feel Sick, and shops at the same clothiers as Pepito the Antichrist, compatriot of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac's next-door neighbor, Squee.

The sculpt is great. Her conical black dress drapes down over spindly pink legs. Or leggings, more accurately; her legs aren't pink. She's got gray sleeves and a little skull hanging around her neck. Weird hair obviously runs in the family, because Gaz's purple 'do is just as strange as her brother Dib's mighty spike. It's all square and pointy, and from the right angle it looks like the jaw of some large beast, ready to bite. Her squinty eyelashes are 3D elements, and she's got a slight painted frown for a mouth.

Articulation is good. Gaz moves at the neck, shoulders, wrists and hips. She's sturdier than Hot Topic Gir, because nothing has broken. Her shoulders are balljoints, allowing for the widest range of motion. Her head is too big and heavy for her neck and legs to get the same treatment, but the peg joints work just fine.

Some have called Palisades the Kings of Accessories, and this line isn't the one to change that perception. Gaz has a can of Poop (it's a brand of soda), a yellow Blast-O wiffleball bat, a very familiar-looking slice of pepperoni pizza (more on that later) and a yellow and tan version of the laptop computer that came with Series 1's Dib. The computer is displaying the Game Over screen from "Nano Zim."

We get our first version of Dib and Gaz's dad, Professor Membrane, though it's not a figure: it's the floating viewscreen he uses when he's too busy with science to actually spend time with his children. The contraption is detailed really well, and hovers via the same clear stand as the Robo-Parents.

Of course, there's no way Gaz would be complete without her Game Slave 2 portable handheld electronic gaming system device. It's bright pink with grey detailing and a black screen - kind of a problem, since it was the old Game Slave 1 that was pink, not the new model. You can get Gaz to hold it with some effort, but not very well. Just sort of tuck it into her left hand and pose her right hand near the other side with the fingers underneath.

Gaz has a large display base, though it doesn't really belong to her - it's just on loan from Zim. Buy enough of Series 2 and you'll be able to build the front of Zim's house. Nifty idea, that. Gaz has the front yard, complete with sidewalk, lawn and fence. There's not much to it right now, just a multi-color trapezoid, but it'll probably look really boss when the whole scene is assembled.

Shortly before Series 2 reached shelves, Palisades released a set of exclusive figures with mall goth-shop Hot Topic. Gaz is usually a squinty little thing, but this version is definitely not: her eyes are bulging out of her head. Is that terror on the face of our favorite goth? Surprise? No way! You see Gaz's eyes, that's just one emotion, baby: furious anger. Her furrowed brow backs up that assessment, as does the mighty snarl on her lips.

You look at this figure and she doesn't seem right, but that's just because when Gaz does flip out like this, it's not a permanent change - you just get brief flashes as she emphasizes her point.

When the change made to your exclusive figure is minor, as with Hot Topic Gaz, then the accessories better be really cool. Does Gaz measure up? Not entirely.

To help Gaz rain down her great vengeance, she's got a Blast-O baseball bat - it's a woody brown as opposed to the safety yellow. Between that and the giant eyes, you can really make her look threatening. If Palisades ever makes an Iggins, that kid is in for some serious trouble. She's got another can of Poop, a really neat box of crayons and three drawings of pigs from the opening scenes of "Bloaty's Pizza Hog" and an Irken monitor in new colors. This Gaz has a purple Game Slave 2 - its proper hue.

Her final accessory is a box from Bloaty's. This was a really great accessory... two years ago when we first got it with Rizzo. Heck, it won a ToY award back then, so seeing it reused isn't anything terrible. But the fact is it was done better then.

The box is brown rather than white, like the one included with the variant Rizzo, but instead of the logo being painted on the lid, it's a sticker. Why's that bad? Because anytime you've got a sticker, you've got bubbles under it. Open the pizza box and you'll discover that the pizza is upside down. No, it's not glued in wrong; the sticker has just been sized for the bottom of the box rather than the lid. The stringy cheese that we praised so much before is now the same color as the crust, the color of the molded plastic. Yeesh. It's not awful, just mediocre - but we expect better than this from Palisades.

Exclusive Gaz may not be substantially different from her standard version, but at the end of the day, it's still Gaz. Gaz! How can you not own her?


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