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Convention Exclusive Nerd

Robot Chicken
by yo go re

We already congratulated the Robot Chicken guys on getting one of their creations, Mo-Larr, turned into a real action figure. What could possibly be better than that? How about an entire line of figures!

In the first week of January, 2009, SOTA announced they'd landed the Robot Chicken license and would be making a Humping Robot action figure that April, with real humping action! Yeah, a year and a half later, we're still waiting. (Sidenote: we miss you, Jerry!) This March, they announced they'd be releasing a Humping Robot keychain, no longer with any humping action, real or fake. Hmm, mysterious. Then, a scant seven days before this year's SDCC, Jazwares, of all people, announced they were making Robot Chicken toys, and the debut figure would be available at the con, a Toys Я Us exclusive available at the Entertainment Earth booth. The figure is sold on a normal blister card, though the entire thing is smooth and rounded - like, say, an egg? A... (robot) chicken's egg? Clever!

The inaugural figure is that stalwart Robot Chicken character, the Nerd. Introduced in episode 14 of Season 1, "Joint Point," the nerd has become one of the show's regulars, appearing in more than a dozen sketches. In his debut, he was called "Gary," but since then [adult swim] has tried to convince everyone his name is actually "Arthur Kensington, Jr." Maybe he's like the Sarcastic Man or the Squeaky-Voiced Teen, and there are just scads of nerds who all look alike. [If you've ever been to a Magic the Gathering tournament, you know that's not far from the truth. --ed.]

This figure is officially the "Convention Exclusive Nerd," because presumably there will be a non-exclusive Nerd at some point in the future. He's wearing black pants, black shoes, and a blue Comic Con T-shirt. The shoes are gloss and the pants matte, and the con logo is very crisp. It even has the year, in case you forget.

On the show, the Nerd is voiced by Seth Green, doing his Neil Goldman voice from Family Guy. He has the traditional puppet-show Nerd Glasses - like The Muppet Show's Scooter, his pupils are actually a part of the lens, not something on his face. He's got bigger ears than Obama, and buck teeth to complete the look of a loser. His eyebrows arch up, making him look afraid, and his hair is plastered down against his scalp.

The Nerd stands 5⅛" tall, which is fine, since he's just a teenager - when the Mad Scientist comes out in Series 1, he'll be in 6" scale. The articulation is surprisingly good, especially considering everything we knew about Jazwares before. He has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, balljointed hips and swivel/hinge knees. That's plenty for a little dork like this, and it's much better than you would have expected from this company. His accessories include a white top hat, a sandwich on a plate, and a jar of magical unicorn "mayonnaise."

The coolest accessory, though, is the [adult swim] swag bag. If you've ever been to a con, you know how important a good bag is - and if you've ever walked though a mall at Christmastime, you know what good advertising a bag can be. Thus, every year at SDCC, companies give out huge logo bags that often become some of the must-get items of the show. This [as] bag is smaller than one of those bags, perhaps, but it's still packed with goodies: a couple rolled posters, an alien mask, a thick tpb and some undetailed box - maybe an exclusive toy?

It's a little bit weird that Jazwares is releasing Robot Chicken toys when the last thing anybody heard was that SOTA had the license, but it's not unprecedented: Jazwares and SOTA have some mysterious connection. Remember when SOTA was making Street Fighter toys, and Jazwares was selling those less-articulated knockoffs at KB? Only way they could do it was with SOTA's permission, so it's not like the companies have never had any connection before. Maybe it's like back in the early '00s, when Art Asylum and Play Along were, in some ill-defined way, in bed together. Whatever the story is behind the scenes, this figure is a lot better than the name "Jazwares" lead us to expect, and bodes well for the future of the RC line.

-- 09/01/10

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