The Simpsons Gift Collection, from Vivid Imaginations, is an exception to my rule of not displaying boxes. Why this? I don’t really know. I just found it still boxed, and it seemed like if I wanted to open it in the future I could, but I could never unopen it.
Weirdly, I’ve noticed that when this set is being sold online, it’s almost always still in the box. Why is this the one thing that absolutely everyone was reluctant to open?
Well, everyone except for the original owner of this extra, individual Krusty figure I have.
The Almighty Creator himself, Matt Groening, was immortalised in plastic for the first time in 2012, to commemorate the show’s 500th episode. This 6-inch figurine was released by Kidrobot, and is just one of a huge range of licensed collectibles, including several different lines of Simpsons characters.
They’re awesome, but unfortunately this is the only one I have. There’s just too many of them, and they aren’t cheap. I’ll add them to the collection someday.
This set is from those vending machines you see in shopping centres, where the toys are dispensed in little capsules. The company that produces them isn’t written on the base of the figures, but some Internet sleuthing told me that Tomy, TYC and Gacha are all involved… somehow. I couldn’t find details on who does what, as companies like these never really provide information on their back catalogue, and only focus on current products.
Anyway, these figures are pretty highly detailed, especially considering how small they are. There are several sets of Simpsons capsule toys, and the ones I have are all of pretty good quality. This one, featuring the family sitting in cinema seats, was released in 2007 as part of the big merchandise line promoting the release of The Simpsons Movie.
Between 2006 and 08, McFarlane released a few lines of really nice, detailed figures and “box sets”, based on various iconic moments from the show.
This one depicts the classic scene where Homer steals the Lard Lad statue’s donut, shortly before the town’s advertising mascots come to life, in the Treehouse of Horror IV segment, “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores”.
A favourite episode of many fans (including myself), this makes for a favourite item of many collectors (including myself). Having a large-scale Lard Lad like this is an attention-grabber, even among the rest of the Simpsons merchandise in the room.
The McFarlane Box Sets, highly detailed recreations of classic scenes from Simpsons episodes, will crop up in a lot of collections, although usually still in the boxes. As I’ve said, I don’t collect boxes, and a series that looks this good deserves to be observed without the plastic covering.
This one features Itchy & Scratchy as seen in their cartoon “Spay Anything”, from the fifth season Simpsons episode “Cape Feare”. It’s probably the most iconic moment from an Itchy & Scratchy episode that could have been chosen to be immortalized in plastic.
Another item I can’t place to a set or company, my girlfriend found this tiny Homer figure in a second hand store. His back is marked with the Fox trademark and the year 2007, which leads me to believe he’s probably from some set promoting the movie – pretty much everything released in 2007 was.
My guess, based on his small size, is he’s from one of those capsule vending machines you see in arcades and shopping centres. I’ve searched through capsule toys online, but couldn’t find this figure in any of the sets.
If anyone has any idea where he belongs, please let me know. Until then, he remains in my mystery pile.
These rubber figures were released in the kids meals at Burger King in the USA in 1989, and at Hungry Jack’s in Australia in 1990, which makes them one of the first (if not the very first) Simpsons fast food sets.
They have a camping theme, after the first season episode, “The Call Of The Simpsons”, in which the family loses their RV, stranding them in the woods.
They originally came with cardboard “diarama” backgrounds. I’ve seen pictures of them, but I’ve never seen them for sale or on display anywhere. The figures are fairly common in my experience, but if you have or find any of the backgrounds, don’t let them go!