Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Meatwad, Master Shake, Frylock, Ignignokt and Err
2 Inch Scale
By: Palisades
2004
$40.00

Aqua Teen Hunger Force started as the precursor to Adult Swim on Cartoon Network and in a lot of ways set the standard and formula for what Adult Swim would eventually become. It has went on to spawn a movie, video games and remains the longest running show on Adult Swim, with 7 seasons and over 100 episodes under it’s belt. It’s also gut bustlingly hilarious, crude and absurdity at it’s finest.

Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad – solving mysteries was dropped in favor of intentionally incohesive storylines, improvised dialogue (often laden with non sequiturs), and absurd visual gags. Situations often involve the Aqua Teens being visited by strange monsters and extraterrestrial beings, most of which are of little power or consequence. An initially structured plot is often abandoned as characters’ actions take the story far afield. Little continuity exists between episodes: regularly appearing characters frequently die in an episode, only to appear alive and well in the next.

Like so many Adult Swim shows, it’s targeted at the exact same demographic of people who collect action figures, yet sadly really doesn’t have a lot of “toy” merchandise. In 2005, fledging but awesome toy company Palisades picked up the Aqua Teens just before they really hit their height in popularity. Unfortunately before the line could ever really get going, Palisades went bust and the only was to get these core characters was at San Diego Comic Con that year. Today I’m looking at these figures in all their glory.

Packaging:
Palisades had an interesting idea with the Adult Swim brand in that they were going to release a whole line of toys based off of each property, but label it as one toyline. The end result is a bunch of unfinished toy lines. These figures were made to preview what “could have been” and are considerably smaller than the toys that eventually faded off into obscurity.


It came in a plain, but effective window box. Poor Err can barely be seen inside the box. If this set could have found a way to get Carl in, I’d consider this the “core” guys. Without Carl, it’s almost complete. There’s definitely room in the box for Carl.


You can’t really see it in the box, but when you pull it out the backer card is pretty sweet. It’s plain yellow, but has the Aqua Teen logo nicely on the center. It’s a cool little thing, but the package overall is a bit bland. A similar set released only as a three pack, briefly appeared in some Hot Topics. It did not contain the Mooninites.

Sculpt:
Because of the Aqua Teens unique shapes, you can’t really expect these figures to be much more than PVCs. Even on the show the characters don’t exactly move a bunch. So capturing the essence of each character in the design is key.


Thankfully Palisades, known for their Muppets toys, were up to the task. Master Shake is very similar to his larger release, with a great annoyed smirk on his face. He’s a milkshake container. It’s not exactly the most complex design, but it’s well done here.


There is a special SDCC 2005 logo on the back of Shake. He’s the only one that bares this. Interestingly there are also singe bagged Shakes that they gave out as freebies during one of the cons with this same marking.


I really imagine that Palisades could have had some fun with Meatwad variants. Thankfully this is just regular Meatwad. He’s basically just a meatball. His face is as adorable as it is in the cartoon. Meatwad rules.


Frylock is the brains of the bunch and he’s also the most complex design. We’ve never learned all of Frylock’s secrets, but his design has always been a bit unique. As expected, Palisades has perfectly captured all of his intricacies.


Back when this figure was released, I don’t think we’d seen much of the jewel on the back of Frylock, so it’s great to see how accurate it is here. Again, this is a perfect representation of the on screen character.


One the show, Frylock flies. While they were able to flatten Meatwad’s bottom half to make him stand up, there is nothing to make Frylock stand. He doesn’t have legs. This means the only way to get him vertical is to set him on the ledge of something.


Also included in this set are the two pre-8 Bit villains, the Mooninites. You may remember these two causing mass terror on the streets of Boston when some fans made signs of them that glowed prior to the release of the ATHF movie. It’s hilarious that these two are basically terrorists legit and that they’re from the moon.


They come in a formation for their Quad Laser, of which there is no escape, but you can break them into two as well.


Sadly there’s no way to get rid of their little guns. That means these two aren’t quite as good as they could be. Again, no doubt in my mind that Palisades could have done some great stuff with these two characters had the toy line continued.


Amazingly, yes they are flat as they are on the cartoon. Meaning that these two are impossible to stand. I love that they went the extra mile and made these toys accurate, even though they fall over and crap as a result.


They’re pretty small, but if you collect any of the pocket sized heroes, these guys will go great. The Kid Robot Chicken Brittle fits right in scale with them as well, but sadly the Carl figure does not. Bummer about that.

Articulation:
There isn’t a single piece of articulation in the whole set. That really doesn’t mean much though. You can still get them into a variety of setups where they look good. I love these little guys as a result. I think the bigger ones would have had some articulation and the larger Shake has a couple of points, but they’re not on this set.


I have heard that Shake’s straw can turn, but I didn’t have any luck with it.

Accessories:
Palisades gave the larger sets some great accessories. Unfortunately none of these came with anything. Not that anything was needed though. It’s a good simple, five figure set.


Value:
I believe at the SDCC this set was like $20. It was a bit expensive at that price, but understandable. Now these things can run upwards of $80 on the secondary market. I’m in awe that no one has made anymore Aqua Teen figures, aside from the aforementioned Kid Robot mini vinyls. It seems like a license to print money. They make ATHF hats, shirts, stickers, etc but why no other company has opted to make more figures is beyond me. I really wish we could have seen all what Palisades would have done.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 10
Articulation – 0
Accessories – N/A
Value – 6
Overall – 7 out of 10


No true Aqua Teen fan should be without these guys. Sadly the high prices definitely make them not worth it to most. As toys they aren’t the best, but a lot more of that is because of the designs of the characters themselves, moreso than laziness on Palisades part. As a con treat, these are fine little toys and I really wish the whole Adult Swim line could have continued under Palisades because I think as ATHF got huge, it might could have helped the Palisades company stay afloat. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Thankfully we do have these guys and that’s good enough for now.

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