PINKY & THE BRAIN
ANIMANIACS ULTIMATES (SUPER 7)
“They’re Pinky and The Brain
Yes, Pinky and The Brain
One is a genius
The other’s insane!”
First debuting as a recurring skit in Animaniacs, the wacky gene-spliced lab mice Pinky and The Brain proved to be quite a breakout pairing, and, in 1995, the duo gained their own spin-off series, with a rather impressive 65 episode run, brought to an end largely by the network’s insistence at adding a third cast member, Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toons, which kinda broke the show’s format. Whatever the case, Pinky and The Brain is, like its parent show, quite a classic. There was some merchandise available at the time of the show’s run, but nothing of note on the action figure front. Last year, Super 7 picked up the larger Animaniacs license, and has launched a line under their Ultimates umbrella. The first assortment gives us all three of the Warner siblings, as well as the titular duo from Pinky and The Brain. I’ll be looking at the later pairing today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Pinky and The Brain are part of the first series of Super 7’s Animaniacs Ultimates line, which started arriving in February of this year. The two are sold individually, rather than as a pair, but I’m reviewing them as one, because, you know, how could you not?
First up is Pinky, voiced in both shows by Rob Paulsen (who also voiced Yakko Warner in Animaniacs). You might believe he’s the “insane” one, but if you actually follow the formatting of the lyrics and pay attention to Brain’s characterization on the show, might just be the genius. Really makes you think, right? Or, he’s just really dumb. Could be that too. What ever the case, he’s the taller of the two figures, standing about 6 1/2 inches tall and sporting 27 points of articulation. Clearly, given the sizing, these two are in a different scale than the Warner siblings, since proper scaling would make it hard to justify that Ultimates pricing. Articulation is an area where Super 7 can struggle a little bit, but Pinky’s a bit on the better end of things. He’s not crazy posable, but most of the joints at least have a passable range of motion. The elbows are a bit restricted, but not as terribly as some of the Ultimates have been. His sculpt does a solid job of recreating the design from the show, which isn’t an easy feat. There are three different heads included, and they all three nail the look of the character pretty much spot-on, and are also good at covering the basics on what you might need for Pinky’s expressions on the show. Of the three, I think my go-to is going to be the laughing one, but I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the one with the goofy eyes. The body sculpt is a bit more basic and rudimentary, but it gets the basic shaping down right, and it manages to work in the articulation in a way that doesn’t look totally awful and obvious. As far as color work goes, things are pretty basic, following the set-up of the design from the show. The actual paint is really confined to the heads, which get a decent enough application. As is usual with Super 7, there’s a little bit of slop and unevenness, but nothing too crazy or glaring. In addition to the extra heads mentioned earlier, Pinky is packed with five pairs of hands (three styles of open gesture, a pair of flat grip, and a combo of round grip and pencil-holding), a photo of Pinky’s “girlfriend” Pharfignewton, a notepad, a grapple hook, some sort of scientific device with a light on the top, a beaker with a bunsen burner beneath it, and a pair of connected beakers. He has trouble holding any of the beakers in any of his hands, but the other accessories work well with him, and provide a nice selection of posing options.
Now we’re onto The Brain, voiced on both shows by Maurice LaMarche, who described his voice for the character as somewhere between Orson Wells and Vincent Price. The Brain is certainly the more obviously intelligent of the two, but he’s also definitely unhinged, so those descriptors in the theme song are still up for debate. The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. The Brain is overall much shorter than Pinky, and his head makes up so much of his stature. He’s appropriately smaller in scale, making him pretty decently scaled to Pinky, even if he’s not really scaled to anything else. In terms of movement, he’s less mobile than Pinky, on a few fronts. Most notably, the smaller size of his body means he lacks the knee joints (Brain honestly wasn’t seen moving at the knees that much on the show, again due to the shortness of his legs), and the different proportions, especially that larger head, mean that what articulation he has doesn’t quite have the same range. Also, on my figure, one of the ankles joints is a bit loose, which makes balancing him a bit tricky. That said, it was my only issue with any looseness on either of the figures, which is pretty good for Super 7. Brain’s sculpt is pretty much on par with Pinky’s in terms of quality and ability to capture the show design in three dimensions. He only gets two heads, rather than three, but they’re both pretty spot-on. I’ll probably be sticking with the calmer one for display, but I really like the angry one. The only thing I’m not crazy about on the heads is the rather noticeable seam where the face joins with the rest of the head. The body sculpt is very similar to Pinky’s, but with the changed up proportions. The tail on my Brain figure is rather loose in its socket, causing it to pop out a lot, so be mindful of that. Brain’s paint work again matches closely to that of Pinky; it’s a bit sloppier on the faces, though. In addition to the previously mentioned second head, Brain is packed with nine different hands (a pair of fists, a pair of relaxed, a pair of loose grip, a pair of tight grip, and a gesturing right hand), a paper clip, a pointer, a set of blueprints for a plan to take over the world, three different beakers, a globe on a keychain, and his large magnet device. The magnet is the star piece here, with the ability to rotate, as well as a moving lever. It’s also just really big, so it gives him this extra feeling of value.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I watched Animaniacs in passing when I was a kid, but I was a pretty religious viewer of Pinky & The Brain, which I frequently watched with my mom in particular (though she really never could get into those Elmyra episodes). So, I’ve got a pretty deep-seated nostalgia for the pair. While I was able to steer myself clear of getting the whole set from Super 7, there was no way I could turn down these two. I know Super 7’s been coming under some fire as of late about the quality of their figures, but they’ve really turned things around with some of these more recent releases, and Pinky and The Brain are figures that very much play to their strengths with the Ultimates stuff. They’re not perfect, but they’re a lot of fun, and certainly the best merch we’ve gotten based on the characters.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures to review. If you’d like to see a video of these two in action, I helped out with one for All Time’s YouTube channel, so please check that out. And, as always, if you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.