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School Cafeteria w/ Lunchlady Doris

World of Springfield
by yo go re

Not even the Iron Chef could make something out of this kitchen.

It can't be easy preparing two healthy meals a day for an entire school's worth of children. Of course, Lunchlady Doris wouldn't know; "healthy" isn't in her vocabulary. Part of the World of Springfield line, the School Cafeteria playset measures 8" wide, 5" deep, and 6¾" high. Press any of the three buttons on the kitchen's floor, and you'll hear sounds from the show.

The School Cafeteria is one happenin' place; this set represents the serving line, with four dishes of food behind glass. There's a cabinet in the corner, with trays and a napkin dispenser on top. A shelf just below the ventilation system has a stack of plates and a cannister of Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel. There are two exits from the room: on the right, a door leads to the kitchen, revealing a filthy man smoking over his cookpot; on the left, a double door (half of which actually moves) leads to the cafeteria proper, where a food fight is underway.

This set also includes a figure of Springfield's own queen of the kitchen, Lunchlady Doris. Standing nearly 4¾" tall, she's got the same four points of articulation as all the other denizens of the Springfield: neck, shoulders, and waist. Apparently all the lingering nuclear radiation has, over time, robbed the town of its knees. Doris's sole accessory is a serving spoon. The set also includes a rather cartoonish rat and a sneeze guard that snaps onto the counter.

Lunchlady Doris' dead, gravelly voice is the siren's song to hundreds of hungry gradeschoolers. She's dedicated to her craft, whether serving horse testicles or surreptitiously sounding the Independent Thought Alarm. Playmates continues to do a wonderful job of capturing the characters' likenesses; Lunchlady Doris looks just like her animated counterpart, from the harsh bun on her head to the big bow on her buns. Her dress is white, and her apron beige. Just like on the show, she seems to lack any emotion, neither smiling nor frowning, sporting a blank look on her face.

Like all the Simpsons figures, Lunchlady Doris talks when you put her on a compatible playset environment. And since she comes with one of those environments, you just know she's gonna talk. Clip the sensor in her feet to one of the three pegs on the floor of the set, press the associated button, and hear one of seven phrases:

"I got your German grub right here!"
"The cafeteria staff is complaining about the mice in the kitchen."
"I wanna hire a new staff!"
"Thanks to the latest budget cuts, I'm down to using Grade F meat."
"There's very little meat in these gym mats."
"You've been nursing that thing for an hour."
"Yum. It's rich in bunly goodness."

The other characters that are compatible with Springfield Elementary are Bart, Lisa, Homer, Dolph, Kearny, Nelson, Martin Prince, Milhouse, Rod and Todd Flanders, Sherri and Terri, Uter, Groundskeeper Willie, Principal Skinner, and Superintendent Chalmers. These 17 characters have 35 different phrases between them. Press a button without a figure on the base, and you'll hear the appetizing plop of imitation gruel slapping onto a tray.

Once I started my Springfield United School District collection, I knew I would end up getting them all. really, I just wanted a place for Chalmers to scream "SKINNER!" I recommend this set as I recommend all the other World of Springfield offerings: if you're a fan of the show, or just want to purchase this for someone who is, you can't go wrong. Viva la Simpsons!

-- 08/14/02

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