The Simpsons Franklin Mint collector plates

Year: 1991-1993
Line: Franklin Mint collector plates
Set: 6The Simpsons Franklin Mint platesThese plates are too beautiful to ever eat off of, and it’s a good thing too, since a note on the back warns that “pigments used for color may be toxic.” Not that anyone would risk scratching or staining these beauties, anyway. This set of six Franklin Mint collector plates was available in the early ’90s, primarily through mail order – there are ads for them in The Simpsons Illustrated magazine series. Each one comes with a certificate of authenticity stating that it “is crafted of fine porcelain, and is bordered and individually hand-numbered in 24 karat gold.” I have the full set of six plates, but unfortunately, I’m missing the certificate for “Caroling with The Simpsons.”Simpsons Franklin Mint plate Family for the 90sSimpsons Franklin Mint plate Family backReleased in 1991, the first in the set depicts Our Favourite Family in one of the most commonly recurring locations: on the couch, in front of the TV. It’s the only plate in the set which doesn’t feature a specific scene, but rather a commonly-used stock image. It proves The Simpsons truly are a “A Family For The ’90s” (and the ’00s. And the ’10s. And…)Franklin Mint plate Caroling with The SimpsonsSimpsons Franklin Mint plate Caroling backAlso released in 1991, “Caroling With The Simpsons” captures the classic family shot from the very first episode, “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire.”Simpsons Franklin Mint plate Family TherapySimpsons Franklin Mint plate Family Therapy backReleased in ’92, “Family Therapy” shows the Simpsons in Dr Marvin Monroe’s electroshock therapy session, from the season one episode, “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”.Simpsons Franklin Mint plate Maggie and the BearsSimpsons Franklin Mint plate Maggie backAlso out in ’92, “Maggie and the Bears” shows a scene straight out of the classic “Call Of The Simpsons” episode, where the family get stranded in the woods.Simpsons Franklin Mint plate Three Eyed FishSimpsons Franklin Mint plate Fish backThe unimaginatively-named “Three-Eyed Fish” plate captures the moment Mr Burns’ political career went belly up, as Marge and the family serve Blinky for dinner, in the second season episode, “Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish.”Simpsons Franklin Mint plate Lisa and her SaxSimpsons Franklin Mint plate Lisa backOnly slightly-more-creatively-named, “Lisa And Her Sax” rounded out the Franklin Mint’s Simpsons collector plate set. Released in 1993, it shows Lisa and her jazz mentor, Bleeding Gums Murphy, jamming out on the bridge, as seen in the iconic episode, “Moaning Lisa”.

The Simpsons Party tablecloth

Year: 1990

The Simpsons Party tablecloth 1990I don’t know much about this, apart from the fact that it’s a tablecloth from 1990, featuring the family in weird, apparently-mid-dance poses, with a logo proclaiming this is “The Simpsons Party”.

I’ve seen other party favours, like paper plates and hats and everything, from around the same time, but this doesn’t seem like it’s part of that set: most of those follow the pink colour scheme they used a lot in the early years of the show.

Anyway, expect to see a LOT more of this around here. It’s going to be the background for basically all future photos.

Hungry Jack’s 20th Anniversary Couch Set

Year: 2009
Line: Hungry Jack’s Kids Meal toys
Set: 4 – Lisa, Marge, Homer, Bart/Maggie

The Simpsons Hungry Jack's couch toyThis four-piece snap-together couch set came in Hungry Jack’s in 2009, to celebrate The Simpsons 20th anniversary. One piece was available in Kids Meals each week for four weeks, and all together it looks pretty damn nice.

The Simpsons Hungry Jack's couch toy back

Since Hungry Jacks is the Australian equivalent of Burger King (the different name is due to a trademark issue back in the 1970s, apparently), this set might have been released in Burger Kings in other countries, but I can’t find any record of it.

The Simpsons Hungry Jack's couch toy LisaThe Simpsons Hungry Jack's couch toy MargeThe Simpsons Hungry Jack's couch toy HomerThe Simpsons Hungry Jack's couch toy Bart Maggie

 

Homer and Marge salt and pepper shakers

Line: Lion Brush Ltd 
Year:
2000
Set: 
2 – Homer, Marge

Homer and Marge Salt Pepper shakers

This pair of ceramic Homer and Marge salt and pepper shakers is too fragile for my clumsy hands to ever actually use, but damn they look nice on a shelf. Released in the UK by Lions Brush in 2000, Homer stands at 9cm, and has five holes in his head, while Marge towers over him at 12cm, but has just one hole in the top.

So which one’s for salt and which is for pepper? That question keeps me up at night.

Gift Collection figure set – Vivid Imaginations

Year: 1997
Line: Vivid Imaginations
Set: 7 – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Krusty, Homer badge

Simpsons Gift Collection Vivid ImaginationsThe 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.

Simpsons Gift Collection Vivid Imaginations Krusty

 

The Simpsons Pez Dispensers

Line: Pez
Year: 2000
Set: 
5 – Homer; Marge; Bart; Lisa; Maggie

The Simpsons Pez dispensersAah, Pez. With its own enormous following of devoted collectors, it was inevitable that these two pop culture juggernauts would intersect one day. This line of Simpsons Pez dispensers came out in 2000, to the delight of both camps of collectors.

They’ve since been retired, but they’re still really common on eBay and wherever else.

A couple years later, Pez also released giant versions of these same dispensers, because why not?

Cinema Capsule Toy set

Line: Tomy/TYC/Gacha vending machine capsule toys
Year: 2007
Set: 5 – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie

Movie Capsule toys setThis 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.