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Invader Zim
by yo go re

What do you think FBI Agent Fox Mulder was like as a kid? Think he sat up Christmases, trying to uncover the truth about Santa Claus? Did he try to convince his more science-minded friends that it was possible for rabbits to lay eggs? Did he even have any friends, or did the other kids shun him for being too weird? If Dib Membrane is any indication, it was probably the last one.

Dib Membrane Dib is the only Skool kid who is able to realize that Zim is an alien, and he becomes obsessed with sharing it with everyone. Fortunately for Zim, Dib is unpopular at Skool, and none of the other kids will even listen to him, let alone believe what he says. Dib quickly becomes Zim's biggest enemy, and will stop at nothing to deter Zim from conquering the earth.

Every hero needs a villain. Of course, in this case, "hero" and "villain" are subjective terms: Zim wants to take over the Earth, and Dib wants to stop him. Yet we root for Zim. Go team! Actually, that's Nickelodeon's doing: Jhonen's idea was to have Dib as the underdog, but Nick wanted him to be more of the scapegoat.

Dib is wearing his usual outfit: black shoes, black pants, blue shirt and black coat. Really, I'm surprised they allow a student to wear a black trenchcoat to class any more, especially as high-strung as he is. One more crack about Dib seeing Bigfoot in his garage and the poor boy is liable to snap.

it's HAIR-o-dynamic! Palisades did a good job creating the look of Dib's strange haircut. Mostly flat, with one big spike rising from the front, Dib's hair seems to have come from the Ed Grimley school of beauty. It rests squarely on top of Dib's giant head, flaring out as it goes back.

Dib is pretty sturdy, thanks to the wide-legged stancee he has. He moves at the neck, shoulders and wrists. The shoulders are balljoints, though, so that helps his posing options. Even with that gargantuan head, Dib will stand without any assistance.

Palisades, already known for its flood of cool accessories, has gone above and beyond with this line, giving each figure a complete display base to fill out the card. Dib gets his World Invasion Defense Workstation: what you or I would call a "desk."

cleaner than my desk

The desk is sculpted with a keyboard on top, and a port to attach the large computer monitor. There's even a little Post-It note on there. Nice detail. The floor beneath the desk has a random pattern in the floorboards, and a rug covering one corner. To help the desk stay level, there's a hole in the rug to allow one of the legs to drop in - unfortunately, the hole is deeper than the rest of the floor, so it still leaves you with wobbly furniture. Of all the bases, Dib's is probably the least impressive.

aww, lookit the little pictures! Additionally, Dib comes with a bunch of computer stuff: external hard drive, media stack, that sort of thing. You know, the usual. He's got a laptop, headphones, file folders featuring many unexplained creatures (ghosts, bigfeets, vampire lemurs) and stickers for his monitors, including ones of the control readouts for Future Dib and the shadowy form of Agent Darkbootie.

Angry Dib Before the line's official debut, Palisades offered a set of five variant figures available exclusively at pseudo goth/punk shop Hot Topic. Dib's brilliant scientist father must have created his son's glasses for him, because they flex and change shape with Dib's expressions. The Hot Topic exclusive Dib is angry, as evidenced by his squinty little eyes. The glasses are a seperate part of the figure, thin pieces glued in place. His mouth looks to be open in a small growl - perhaps he's threatening Zim through clenched teeth.

now I have proof! They'll have to believe me! The Hot Topic figures have unique accessories designed to complement those included with the regular figures. Exclusive Dib has his laptop (different color than the regular version) and satellite dish from the pilot, a camcorder, a briefcase and top secret photos of Mars. The computer and briefcase are both hinged nicely - no flimsy plastic just waiting to break - and the photos fit inside the case perfectly. So do the file folders from the regular release. The insignia of the Swollen Eyeball, Dib's conspiracy theorist support group, is printed on the briefcase.

Dib is pretty sturdy on his own, but the set includes a black disc to help him stand if you so choose. He broke at the wrist pretty soon after opening, so be careful with these small joints.

Since Hot Topic is the only place to get the exclusive figures (duh), they don't face any price wars with other retailers; that means that they get to charge $16 for Dib and we have no choice but to grudgingly pay it. Does the offering of a new head and a few new accessories really make the price worth it? You'll have to judge that for yourself.

What's your favorite nutball theory? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.


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