5 Inch Scale
$40 (price varies now)
With the Muppets making their big screen return this week, i thought it might be fitting to take a look at some of the old Palisades Muppets figures. Today we’re looking at one of my personal favorites, Sweetums. He originally made his debut as a monstrous giant in a Muppet Show play on Jack and the Beanstalk, but it was the 1979 Muppet Movie that really made me love poor Sweetums. In the film, he serves as a “jack” at Mad Man Mooney’s car lot. When the Muppets offer to take him to Hollywood, he runs off to get his bags, but the gang mistakes that for disinterest and leave ol’ Sweetums behind, presumably to continue working slave labor for Milton Berle.
I actually know a guy who looks a lot like Sweetums. I think the less that’s said about that, the better.
This figure was a Oh My God, Cheap New Figures Online exclusive back in the day, with a very limited run of about 10,000 or so. OMGCNFO.com is out of business today and so is Palisades, so I guess this didn’t work out too well for either party. At least we got a pretty fantastic figure out of the deal, although he’s not without some problems.
Sweetums comes in a big window box that’s typical of the Palisades Muppets gear. It has all the familiar logos alongside a marking that lets you know it was a OMGCNFO exclusive.
The back has a nice little bio, including the line from the Muppets Movie about Jack not being his name, but rather, his job. There’s also a ton of cross-sell on here, showing off the incredible Palisades Muppets line. Oh how I would love to have all these figures.
As far as Muppets go, Sweetums has a pretty complex design. It would make for a hard figure to create, especially for a cheaper company that would take shortcuts. Thankfully, Palisades was never that company and the level of detail here is pretty impeccable.
The likeness is really good, with huge sculpted tuffs of hair giving him that appropriately monster-like look. However he appears to be made out of a very rubbery material that still to this day does not feel “dry”. It’s a bit annoying and it can also lead to damage. Joints can get stuck and in my case, I actually gouged part of his moveable eyelids with my thumbnail… Something that wouldn’t happen if this was a harder plastic.
That said, it’s hard to complain too much. This isn’t some cheap rotocast figure. This guy is HEAVY! He’s solid. If you threw this at your kid sister, you’d knock her out. Palisades spared no expense in making sure that all the details were there and that makes this guy quite appropriately hefty.
I do have a problem with his size, however. He’s just too damn big. At nearly 11 inches tall, he’s a tad out of scale with the rest of the Muppets line. It’s excusable in the sense that Sweetums is supposed to be a hulking giant, but he probably should have been 7-8 inches in height, not 10+.
“It’s true, it does cause hairy palms!”
There is a ton of detail throughout and the paint applications are just as nice as the sculpting. Palisades had a tough task in making figures of Muppets actually look like, well, Muppets. Somehow they managed to do it and the little things like the stippled texture on the face make him look like he’s made out of foam and not plastic. The tattered clothes and rope belt, also look more like real material than rubber.
Still the complete package is pretty impressive and it’s hard to complain about too much. He’s huge, he’s detailed and he’s surprisingly well put together. He didn’t like, fall apart or anything… And hey, I’ve seen it happen.
For a figure this big, some companies would make him rotocast and say that they couldn’t include much articulation… And because it’s limited run, we would just accept it. Not Palisades! They went the distance here and included a ton of articulation, although not all of it works great.
The eyebrows and jaw are both on hinges and you can get his mouth almost completely shut and his eyes almost completely closed. This allows you a great range for expressions.
He has a DCUC-like set of hips and legs which give him a ton of movement in the lower region. He also has swivels on the feet, but they don’t move much. In fact one of my feet is stuck and it’s not worth breaking free, because the other foot moves so little. He has a small torso joint and swivel-hinge ball knees.
You get a nice ball jointed neck and swivel-hinge ball shoulders and elbows. The elbows don’t work as well, because the sculpt of the shirt gets in the way. His wrists are also simple peg swivels. Still, you can move him around pretty good.
These were $40 originally and you can find them for around that price or cheaper today. I think I paid like $10 for mine a few years ago when Big Bad Toy Store had them on clearance. Shop around if you want this guy, but remember that he’s not without a few minor issues here or there.
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – NOTHING
Value – 7
Overall – 8 out of 10
Sweetums is a great
little big figure. He’s not perfect, but few toys are. For an obscure character like this, to have a plastic incarnation this good, is pretty amazing. All credit goes to Palisades who put so much love, heart and attention to detail in their Muppets line. Hopefully we’ll someday see a Muppets return to the toy aisle, but with previous offerings like this… It’ll be hard to beat.