Tag Archives: muppets

Toy Collection: The Muppets & The Simpsons

6 Jun

You don’t quite realize how much crap you amass over time until you have to pack it all up into dozens of boxes and carry them each up and down a flight of stairs during a move to a new place. But if most of what you’re packing is action figures, at least it’s a lot of fun to unpack and display all those toys again! I recently moved into a new apartment and I just set up my Simpsons/Muppet shelf. Oh boy!:

simp mupp

photo 3photo 1   “Bobo, I know I say this every century, but I’ll never leave you behind again.”photo 2  photo 3

photo 2“Uh oh… Zoot skipped a groove again.”

photo 4photo 1“No, I don’t believe we’ll be telling them that.”

I began collecting the World of Springfield Simpsons toys from Playmates as soon as they were released back in 2000. They produced pretty much all of the characters necessary for a thriving toy version of Springfield and I was excited to see which characters would be in each new wave. I’m still trying to track down the rarer figures that were released near the end of the production, such as Frank Grimes and Jim Varney’s Cooder character.  The great feature of these figures was the voice-chip activated playsets that interacted with the toys. What’s better than quoting Simpsons jokes yourself apart from hearing the lines spoken by the actual voice actors?

The Palisades Muppets toy line, however, I had to play a lot of catch-up to collect. I remember seeing the toys on shelves around 2002 but I was either in a collecting-slump or simply didn’t have the money. I was a high school student, after all. Of course, compared to the prices that the figures are going for now, the original sticker prices seem like nothing. But they’re worth every penny – the incredible detail and obvious love that went into the production of these figures is very rare in today’s toy market. It’s a darn shame that Palisades Toys went bankrupt in 2006, right about the same time they obtained the license to produce Sesame Street toys. Just think of the beautifully perfect figures we missed out on….


The Animated “TTT” That Never Was

8 Apr

Adventure Kermit

During my time as a Video Editor at Wizard Entertainment, I created five Twisted ToyFare Theater animated shorts which were all based on previously-published strips from the print magazine. Our sixth animated TTT was going to be an original one, though: An Indiana Jones parody starring The Muppets. Unfortunately for the project, I was laid off (along with the rest of the Wizard video department) before I could finish it. I thought that I’d at least release a bit of the progress I had made on it, and perhaps one day I’ll even finish it! (Probably not.)

I believe the writers involved included Adam Tracey, TJ Dietsch, Justin Aclin, Jon Gutierrez, and Zach Oat, but there may have been more, I can’t remember. As a lifelong Muppet fan, I was very excited to work on this. The script had some great gags, like Indiana Frog running away from a legion of wild Koozebanians, the Swedish Chef wielding his cleavers a la the Cairo Swordsman that Indy shot, and a dead Rizzo the Rat (poisoned by bad dates.) There was also this gem:

KERMIT: “Throw me the whip!
LEW ZEALAND: “I only throw fish!
KERMIT: [looks into camera with scrunched up face]

The scene I was most eager to work on was an Ark of the Covenant recreation, though. We had Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, his assistant Beaker and Gonzo the Great as Toht and two German soldiers, respectively, and just the audio alone of those guys screaming as their faces melt/blow up still cracks me up. Speaking of the audio, EVERY CHARACTER’S VOICE was provided by Zach Oat in this episode, he just nailed every one perfectly. It really is a shame I never got to finish this, but at least I can publish the little bit of video I had completed, along with the full audio track here to showcase Zach’s awesome performance. Just close your eyes and imagine the fun Muppet-mation that could have been…