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Invader Zim
by yo go re

Science fiction is full of robotic sidekicks. Tweaky, C-3PO and their like have always been there at the heroes' side, helping fight for right. Really, other than Marvin the Paranoid Android, there hasn't been a useless robot sidekick until Jhonen Vasquez's Invader Zim.

Gir Each of the Irken invaders is given a SIR, a robot whose function is to assist in invasions. However, in their efforts to rid themselves of Zim, the Tallest construct a special GIR unit for him, made from spare parts and loose change. Gir, of course, proves to be less than useful to Zim's "conquest" of Earth, where Gir blends in with his green doggy suit.

As far as they knew, the Almighty Tallest were just sending Zim off to empty space, so they didn't want to waste a perfectly servicable SIR Unit on him - that's why he got Gir, instead. While "SIR" stands for Standard Information Retrieval Unit, not even Gir knows what his G is for.

Palisades' Gir figure is not an exact representation of how he looks on the cartoon. Jhonen's art style doesn't necessarily lend itself to three dimensions easily. For instance, on the cartoon, Gir's legs don't actually connect with his body: he just sort of floats above them, so in this case, I think we can forgive the sculptors for taking some liberties.

I miss my cupcake Gir's tubular little body looks good - his head positively dwarfs the rest of him, and while he's not the most mobile figure around, he does have a balljointed neck and shoulders, plus tiny tiny peg joints in his arms. The segment lines on Gir's arms are all sculpted in, which is much better than if they'd just been painted on.

In a great little nod to the cartoon, the top of Gir's head pops off, revealing a giant cavity within - perfect for cupcakes! Too bad Palisades didn't make one. They're usually pretty on the ball with these things, but this time they really missed the opportunity.

They did make up for it with the included base, however. Each of the Zim figures comes with a large display base that showcases the figure, but Gir's is more a second set of accessories for Zim than anything for himself.

It appears to be some form of symbolic greeting!

Gir comes with a grassy knoll, perfect for making your JFK action figures nervous. Actually, it's the park where Zim crashed the Voot Crusier after careening off a bee. This is the next day, after Desmond Flapp has started his UFO convention, as evidenced by the large "UFO Convention Today" banner near the back. There's a crowd-control rope in the front, and an 1 1/2" tall pedestal in the center. What goes on this pedestal, you ask? Why, it's a giant pig!

Faster my pig! Faster! Okay, so yes, it's the Voot Carrier disguised as a giant pig, but it's a giant pig none the less. The saucer morons were sure that the pig form represented mankind's... piglike affinity... for exploration, at least until Government Man told them that it was a government pig. The pig is 6" from nose to snout, and a square hole on its stomach allows it to attach to the pedestal.

There's a cockpit in the pig's back, from which Zim can steer. There are no pegs to hold him in place, sadly, but his hands fit on the handlebars perfectly. The Hot Topic exclusive Screaming Zim looks best at the controls. Behind the cockpit are two little nubs, spaced to fit in Gir's legs and hold him on the back. Now you can recreate Zim and Gir's thrilling escape through the streets of their city!

suck that monkey! So that's the base, and it's all for Zim. There are a few accessories to keep Gir entertained, including a saucer moron hat, a bag of Krazy Tacos (you won't find a krazier taco) and a purple SuckMunkey cup. Nice stuff.

Duty Mode Gir Before the line's official debut, Palisades offered a set of five variant figures available exclusively at pseudo goth/punk shop Hot Topic. Every so often, Gir will actually follow Zim's instructions like a real SIR Unit would. On these occasions, his normally teal eyes turn red, and he looks competent - for a few seconds, at least. Invariably something grabs his attention, taking his little button-filled mind off the task at hand. For the Hot Topic exclusive figure, Palisades gave us Duty Mode Gir.

gimme a low-five! Gir's eyes are squinted, giving this little automaton a look of concentration. His right arm stretches and swoops up to salute his small green liege. Of course, since the arm is now about three times longer than normal, saluting is about the only thing you can do with it. Gir's red eyes are matched by his chest, shoulders, wrists and antenna.

TACOS! The Hot Topic figures also have unique accessories designed to complement those included with the regular figures. Exclusive Gir has an Irken monitor, a connector tentacle, a squirrel, three doughnuts, a pizza slice, two Krazy Tacos and the "I Eat Food" poster that hangs above the toilet in Zim's kitchen. The food is mostly small enough to fit inside Gir's hollow head.

I saw a squirrel!  He was goin' like this: The squirrel's a little odd. Though it looks like the ones on the show, it's not balanced at all to stand on its own. Though it's supposed to be holding an acorn, I got a defective one - he's nutless!

The monitor and connector can be added to the Almighty Tallests' mobile command platform, making it even more cluttered than it would normally be.

Hot Topic is shamelessly gouging their customers for these figures - though Gir comes with fewer accessories than the regular version will have, they're charging $16, a whole lot of money for one little figure. But still, it's Gir: everybody loves Gir! Sure, you could just buy two of the regular figure and paint one red, but there's more to Duty Mode Gir than just a paint app (admittedly, a sloppy one). Hot Topic may be overcharging wildly, but Palisades did their best to make the figure worth it.

What's the G stand for? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.


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