Shrek Swamp Buddies Review

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Playmates and I have a mixed relationship. After years of adoring their original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I was sucked back in with the TMNT 2K3 figures. While the first wave was impressive, the figures dwindled in quality. Instead of getting Marvel Legends like toys, we got some barely articulated oddballs. So Playmates recently acquired the Shrek license and decided to cash in with their own take on the minifigure world.

The Shrek Swamp Buddies are 2 ½ inch tall figures based on the Shrek franchise. Given that a fourth Shrek movie recently came out (I think), Playmates made some classic figures and some newer ones. Of course, almost all of my experience with Shrek comes from Shrek Super Party on the GameCube which may be one of the greatest party games every created. Between games like HeadKicker (the game claims you kick helmets, but we know better) and Pushing-Your-Friends-Into-Lava-While-Running-Away-From-A- Dragon, it’s a great game. It’s even better than Dokapon Kingdom.

Shrek stands around 2 ½ inches tall, making him slightly larger than most Super Hero Squad or Action League figures, but it works well for the giant ogre. Instead of just mimicking the style, Shrek has oversized arms, a giant head and tiny feet. He looks different, but still fits in well enough with other lines.

The sculpt is incredible. When Playmates wants to, they’re capable of making some fantastic looking toys and the level of detail here blows me away. Shrek’s linen shirt is textured and his vest shows off the individual scales in the leather he’s wearing. The parts of him that are uncovered are done in a style that’s a cross between the Action League and the Hasbro Heroes, slightly angular but still cartoony. Shrek’s giant head is sporting the classic DreamWorks’s face, which is fitting.

Articulation is better than expected. Shrek moves at the shoulders and wrists and his head can kind of twist to show some expression off. The paint work is impressive too. The tan and browns used on his clothes are well done with almost perfect applications. The shade of green used on his skin looks great and his face is perfectly done with everything from eyebrows, complex eyes and even an off-color nose.

Shrek doesn’t come with any accessories, but his packaging serves double duty. The clear plastic bubble is actually shaped like half a barrel with a removable lid. It’s solidly constructed, but clear barrels seem kind of weird. The other item in the bag is the one fool proof way to hook a kid and annoying parents: ooze! Containing a bag of bright green ooze, Shrek can get slimed just like some of the greatest toys of old. The packaging even shows trapping Shrek in the ooze filled barrel which is great in concept.

But really lacks in execution. Given how intricate Shrek’s sculpt is, the ooze refuses to come off him! It keeps sticking to him instead of just falling off. Also, the ooze leaves a lot of film on your hands that I don’t remember the old ooze doing which is a shame.

Shrek is a good figure and I know that some ooze is a great selling point, but the price tag is going to keep a lot of people away. This single figure originally retailed for $8! I picked one up on clearance when it was 50% off, and it still feels overpriced. Shrek isn’t some little brand and Playmates isn’t like Mezco who is working with a weird license, so the price gouging hurts. He’s a fine figure if you want a little Shrek, but he isn’t worth full price. If they had made Thelonius though, that would be a different story.

Written by jestergoblin

September 11th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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