RADIOACTIVE MAN & FALLOUT BOY (w/ LUNAR BASE)
WORLD OF SPRINGFIELD (PLAYMATES)
Though their main claims to fame may be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Trek, I think Playmates’ most impressive success story comes in the form of their Simpsons toys. Sure, the show was at the top of pretty much everyone’s lists back in the mid-90s, but it’s a series about “normal” people, and it runs on like 90% pop culture references, which can be a real licensing nightmare. Nevertheless, Playmates made a real impression on the toy market, producing over 200 figures and more than 20 playsets to go with them. Today, I look at one of the playsets, though certainly one on the smaller side, with Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy, packed with the Lunar Base!
THE SET ITSELF
The Lunar Base with Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy was released in October of 2001, as an Electronics Boutique-exclusive offering from Playmates’ World of Springfield line.
Where most such sets had the primary focus on the actual playset part of the thing, the Lunar Base is far more low key. It’s really just a small chunk of Moon, with a transparent green banner that says “RADIOACTIVE MAN.” Unlike other sets, which were designed to interact with other figures, this one’s really just designed for its two included figures, and subsequently it only has two spots, as opposed to the usual three. The sculpted details on the set are actually pretty great, as are the painted accents; they really make it look like a chunk of rock. The set included a flag, a script, and a bottle of acid (though only the flag is seen here). Compared to other playsets, the talking feature is much less of a selling point for this one. It’s only got seven available lines of dialogue between the two included figures, and isn’t compatible with the rest of the line.
Not to be confused with the Marvel supervillain, this guy’s the real selling point of the set. Radioactive Man is a fairly recurrent fixture in The Simpsons, and is seen here as portrayed by Rainier Wolfcastle in the eponymous “Radioactive Man” episode. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has the same 4 points of articulation that every other figure in the line had. His rigid stature means he’s not really built for much outside of a standing pose, though that was kind of true for most of the line. The sculpt is reasonably close to his animated counterpart, though I think Wolfcastle is one of those characters who has a little bit of trouble making the jump to three dimensions. Radioactive Man’s paintwork is bright and clean, which are definitely the two most important things for the character. His eyes are just the slightest bit off-center, though. Don’t know if that’s just limited to this figure, or if it was a line-wide thing. Overall, a pretty solid offering, though.
Not to be confused with the musical group, Fallout Boy is the Robin to Radioactive Man’s Batman. And, like in the episode “Radioactive Man,” he’s portrayed here by series regular Millhouse. He stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation. Like Bart before him, Fallout Boy isn’t really properly scaled to the adults in the line, due to the need to work in the talking feature, resulting in a slight upscaling. The original Millhouse release was the same way, so its not really a surprise he was done in this same fashion for this figure. Like Radioactive Man, he’s really only good for a basic standing pose. Perhaps something more action oriented might have been cool to mix up this set a little bit, but the basic standing thing was definitely the line’s style, and you wouldn’t want to break from it too much. Millhouse seems to be more accurate to the source material than Radioactive Man. He may be helped slightly by the larger size, but I’d guess he’s also helped by Millhouse’s comparatively more cartoony design. Like the standard Millhouse, this figure’s glasses are a separate piece, glued in place; you can even make out his eyes squinting beneath the lenses, which is a cool touch. Fallout Boy’s paintwork is bright and clean, just like Radioactive Man’s. The blue and green is a nice combo, and contrasts well with the red of Radioactive Man.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I noted back when I reviewed Bart’s Treehouse, despite its heavy presence at retail around me back when it was new, I never really got into the World of Springfield line, due mostly to me not being super into The Simpsons. I vividly remember seeing every assortment pop-up in ToyFare, however, and I remember eyeing this set up. What can I say, I’m an easy mark when it comes to super heroes. Though it doesn’t have the surprise wow factor of the Treehouse, I do think this set makes for a pretty nifty display piece, if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for.
This set was loaned to me for review by All Time Toys, and is available for purchase via their eBay store. If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.