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Bob's Burgers
by yo go re

Today we review a smart, strong, sensual woman. With an itchy crotch.

The eldest daughter of Bob and Linda Belcher, Tina is 12 years old and right in the middle of puberty. While most TV shows drop their female teen characters into one of two categories - either instantly super mature and functionally an adult, or unattractive and sexless - Bob's Burgers lets Tina have her own sexuality: she's crazy about boys (and butts) (and also zombies, because Bob let her watch Night of the Living Dead when she was 8) and curious about sex, but it's done in a way that's never meant to be sexy to us, the audience; she's not framed in the male gaze, she's just going through her own life.

And part of that may be because of the character's origins: like her mom, Tina is voiced by a man; but in her case, it's not because he had an existing funny female character, but because the original plan was for the oldest Belcher child to be a boy named Daniel; the writers felt he was too similar to Gene, so they just pulled a Ripley and changed the gender in the script. Actor Dan Mintz didn't even change his delivery of the lines at all, using the same voice for Tina that he did for Daniel.

Tina's eyesight isn't great, so she wears thick glasses. Unlike Linda's, which were just frames sculpted onto the toy's face, Tina's are thick enough that they're done as a separate piece attached to the toy's head. Unfortunately, the lenses on mine ended up askew when the piece was glued in place, so it looks like Tina fell and bent her frames.

If you look at most cartoon-based toylines, you'll find that companies don't really seem to care about scale. I'm pretty sure Bart Simpson isn't as tall as Homer's chin, but according to the World of Springfield line he is. PhatMojo may not be a company anyone's ever heard of, but they've at least gotten this part right. Tina stands a little more than 3½" tall, which makes her perfectly sized next to her parents. See, every other company? It's not that hard. Accurately re-creating the shapes of a character isn't enough, if you re-create them at the wrong size. I know there's that whole thing about A&W restaurants offering third-pound burgers to compete with McDonald's quarter-pounders, but Americans not being smart enough to know that ⅓ is bigger than ¼, but dang, toy companies: we're not idiots, we know kids are substantially smaller than adults.

Unfortunately, the plastic they saved by making Tina smaller did not go to giving her any better articulation than her folks: she has swivel joints at the neck, shoulders, waist, and ankles, though in her case the "ankle" joints are higher up the leg, where her legs disappear into her solid skirt. This minimal level of movement really doesn't add much to the toy. What's she suppsed to be, turn slightly to the side to look at something? Raise her hand in class? Get in a fight with Kurt Angle and turn her foot around completely backwards? Designers need to do better.

Tina's usual attire is a light blue T-shirt, a navy blue skirt, white socks with a red stripe near the top, and black sneakers with white soles. The shoes should come up higher, like high-tops, rather than stopping at the ankle. That would also have afforded them the opportunity to paint on her laces. She wears a single yellow barrette in her hair, making her a rarely non-symmetrical cartoon character.

Being a typical young girl, Tina's interests include horses, which is why her accessories also include horses. There's a plastic horse toy of a plastic horse toy, which is black with white legs like her imaginary horse Jericho, but is lacking the white on its nose. Also, the legs are molded in such a way that the horse can't stand up on its own. Great work. There's also her horse poster, which is just a printed piece of cardboard that's been glued to the tray, so be careful you don't rip it trying to get it free. Tina spends a lot of her free time writing erotic fan-fiction - so much so that she's run out of shows and movies to do, and has started writing erotic friend fiction. Stories about people she knows. Mainly Jimmy Jr. So the final accessory is the pink notebook she's got the story Buttloose written in. It has a handle on the back, so she can hold it in a completely unrealistic manner.

Given her size, Tina could easily have come with more accessories, but what? Some of her other horses? A full set of Equestranauts? More posters? More notebooks? The figure's great, for the $5 GameStop had it on sale for, but much more than that would be disappointing. And really, between the bad articulation, the poster being glued to the tray, and the horse that can't stand up, it really feels like PhatMojo specifically designed these toys to not be opened. Come on, guys, that foolishness went out of style in, like, 2005.

Gene | Linda | Bob | Tina | Louise

-- 08/19/20

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