Beginning this spring, the amazing and talented people at Diamond Select Toys have begun rolling out the first wave of Muppet action figures to hit the market. Aside from a few occasional Muppet figures produced to promote the Muppet theatrical films, and the Disney Parks line of Muppet/Star Wars action figures back in 2011, this is the first time since the Palisades Line of figures that such a detailed line of Muppet figures is hitting the market and that’s certainly something worth celebrating.
Though it’s been quite some time since the Palisades line hit toy-shelves, that hasn’t stopped fans from drawing comparisons from the highly popular Palisades figures to the new series from Diamond Select Toys. Though the spectacular and popular Palisades figures set quite a high precedent to be beaten, these new figures from Diamond Select Toys deliver perfectly what Palisades has to offer and even brings a lot new ideas and improvements that the Palisades had yet to get around to, if not for their bankruptcy in 2006. In many ways, Diamond Select picks up where Palisades left off and has much promise left in store for future series.
The first of the new series begins exactly where it should, with the core classic characters of the Muppets. The first wave of the series begins in character two packs with Fozzie and Scooter, Gonzo and Camilla and a three-pack with Kermit, Robin and Bean Bunny. All three sets include accessories, including Fozzie’s rubber chicken and Kermit’s banjo. I know it’s not fair to repeatedly put this series up for comparison against the Palisades figures, but the improvements begin right out of the gate, as this series allows the characters fantastic articulation previously unset by Palisades. For reference, Fozzie Bear only had five points of articulation with his Palisades counterpart, but with his Diamond Select Figure, Fozzie’s articulation points are up to eleven unique points. This gives each character a wide range of motion and abilities that no previous Muppet figure line have achieved.
Palisades comparisons aside, it’s clear that a lot of care went into making sure the representation of these characters in toy form are as true to the original Muppet Show source material it’s being pulled from, and though the puppets have changed pretty drastically over the past few decades, the Diamond Select team clearly pulled a lot of inspiration directly from the golden age of The Muppets. Some of the best details to come out of the series is the callbacks directly to The Muppet Show, like Scooter’s classic Muppet Show jacket and Gonzo’s trumpet make this a wonderful nostalgia filled series.
Now, for the nitpicky side of things, not everything is perfect about the first wave of these Muppet figures. One of the bit of annoying things is that not every character has the ability to stand on its own without any support. For example, Kermit is always a tough character to translate into action figure form and that’s very much the case in this series. Kermit doesn’t do a great job at standing on his own, which for fans that are looking to display the action figures on a desk or so will find that a bit frustrating. Luckily, Kermit comes with his own directors’ chair that helps with a good compromise for fans looking to display these characters. Aside from the fact that the two frogs have a bit of issues displaying themselves, and that were a handful of products that were released with incorrect eye focus for a few of the characters (which was later fixed by Diamond Select themselves pretty early on) the majority of the series is absolutely fantastic.
Overall, though Diamond Select Toys likely won’t reach the standards set by Palisades’ stunning set pieces and character variants, but Diamond Select Toys has really launched a really promising start to what’s going to come, and the massive amount of care that is being put in to crafting these characters to the best they can be is something we can’t wait to see more of in the next series. We couldn’t recommend picking up a copy of these figures enough.