MIKE MILLS (2014)
Continued from Part 2
Okay, so now that I’ve rambled on about R.E.M. for 2 posts I’m finally ready to start reviewing the figures. These toys are based on the group’s appearance in the 2001 episode titled “Homer the Moe”. In the episode Moe changes his tavern into a chic Euro-bar. Homer retaliates by opening his own bar in his garage. He gets R.E.M. to come play “Its the End of the World as We Know it” by telling them they’re playing to benefit the rainforest. I barely remember the episode but the synopsis on the back of the packages jogged my memory. They do have a drummer in the scene but apparently the band decided to have the animators include one of their session drummers rather than include their former drummer Bill Berry into the show. It’s a shame as I’d kind of like to have all four founding members. On the plus side his exclusion saved me twenty bucks.
All 3 figures do a great job of replicating the look of the band from the episode. They translated from 2D to 3D very well. All of the figure only have 3 points of articulation. They turn at the shoulders and at the waist. This was the standard articulation for most of Playmates’ Simpsons figures so this line blends in with that one flawlessly, which is appreciated, but I do wish they could turn at the hips and neck as well.
The Michael Stipe figure is the one I wanted most because he’s the front man and the member I know the most about but it’s the plainest of the bunch. He’s wearing blue jeans that are bunched up a bit around his shoes and have seams up the side. His T-shirt is plain purple. His head sculpt is not recognizable as Michael Stipe but it works within the limits of the Simpsons style. He has small dots painted on his head and around his mouth to give the appearance of stubble which actually works pretty well. For accessories he has a grey and black microphone. I’d give Michael Stipe a 7 out of 10.
The guitarist, Peter Buck, is in the middle of the pack for me. It’s a much more interesting figure to look at than the Michael Stipe. Peter is wearing a black suit with an open jacket and an off-white dress shirt underneath. The shirt has a big sculpted collar which I like. The head sculpt isn’t necessarily a dead ringer for Peter Buck but at least you can tell this is supposed to be somebody. It’s a unique looking face in the Simpsons universe. His shaggy black hair is well sculpted. For accessories he’s got a nice-looking black guitar with brown, silver and white paint apps. The guitar is removable and is held in place by a small peg on the strap which plugs into his back. The only issue I have with this figure is that he can barely stand on his own. His feet are positioned in such a way that he’s leaning back too much and he’s too top heavy to stay upright. It is possible for him to stand on a perfectly flat service but I just know I’m gonna have issues with him toppling over and taking the rest of the band down with him. The bad stance keeps him at a 7 out of 10.
Bass player Mike Mills is actually my favourite of the bunch. He’s by far the most unique looking. He’s got purple pants and a blue button-up shirt. The shirt has a wild pattern on it that is probably supposed to be floral but it also reminds me of the Simpsons clouds from the start of the show. I wonder if that was intentional. Mills has been known to wear some crazy stuff so this shirt suits him quite well. The head sculpt is really great. I would say that this figure is recognizable as Mike Mills, provided you know who Mike Mills is. Its got wavy blonde hair and dark rimmed glasses with clear plastic lenses. Even the nose and lip shape look the most true to the real guy out of the 3 figures. He comes with a removable two-toned brown bass guitar with silver highlights. He looks great and he stands just fine on his own. 9 out of 10.