Friday, November 23, 2012

Whether She Is The Taster Of Pork Or Not, The Gaz Series 2 Of Doom Invader Zim Figure Is Pretty Cool!


The Good: Great sculpt, Good accessories, Fair collectible value
The Bad: Severe balance issues, Vastly over-accessorized
The Basics: The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Gaz figure might have play problems, but it makes for a very cool display piece!


As those who read my many, many reviews might have figured, my home looks pretty much like Geek Central. I have a ton of toys as d├ęcor, exclusive DVD cases, and statues of genre characters and situations pretty much everywhere. My wife’s interests are, sadly, far less represented in our home decorating, not because of my lack of interest in her things, but because most of the things she has an interest in are not extensively or interestingly merchandised. Add to that the thirteen years I have on her were spent with me acquiring crap and she was hopelessly outnumbered when we moved in together.

But, on a recent trip downstate, we were visiting a comic book shop and when she saw the action figure of the Almighty Tallest Red from Invader Zim and there was no hesitation when I asked her, “Would you like me to get that for you for a future gift?” The enthusiastic response of “yes!” told me that I had finally found an interest of hers that had a product that she wanted to start collecting. Being, however, a cunning giftgiver, I went online to start buying up other figures from the collection and I made sure that the first one I presented to her was not the one she knew was forthcoming!

So, for our housewarming party, I gave her a Gaz figure. From the Palisades Toys Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom action figure set, Gaz is the primary version of the Goth sister of Dib and a pretty neat, if problematically balanced, action figure.

Basics

The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Gaz figure is a 3 1/8" hard plastic representation of Gaz as she appeared in most of the episodes of Invader Zim (reviewed here!). This version of Gaz is made of hard plastic, save for her blockish purple hair, which is made of softer plastic.

The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Gaz is a pretty impressive sculpt based on the two-dimensional representation of Gaz on television. Fleshed out well into the three dimensional figure, the Gaz figure makes it hard to swallow the idea that she ever complained about Dib having a big head! Gaz is sculpted accurately, which means that her legs are tiny and end in little black pyramids and her arms are also very thin with disproportionately large hands. Her skull necklace is sculpted on and this version of Gaz is sculpted with her eyes closed. The three-d effect of her eyelashes with the closed eyes is actually very cool.

On the coloring front, Gaz is exceptionally easy to render correctly and Palisades Toys did an excellent job with her. Because she is based on a character created with monotones, things like skin depth and shading do not apply. Instead, Palisades kept the figure appropriately with solid colors for her little black dress, bright pink leggings, gray sleeves and bright purple hair. On the coloring front, Gaz is perfect and her accessories match the level of detailing the action figure has.

Accessories

The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Gaz comes with a two inch wide plastic stand, a slice of pizza, baseball bat, can of Poop cola, Game Slave, Game Slave 2, and Professor Membrane accessories. This figure also comes with a section of lawn for building Invader Zim’s house. This stand is a simple black oval disc that is 2” wide and 1 1/2” deep. It has a single peg which fits either of the holes in Gaz’s feet and is essential for getting the figure with the massive head to stand!

The Poop Cola is a 3/4" tall cylinder that looks like a little soda pop can, complete with molded on pop top. It is, however, far too wide in diameter to allow either of Gaz’s hands to actually hold the can. While this would have been an ideal accessory for the figure, given how Gaz is frequently seen with Poop Cola, the accessory is not able to effectively interface with this figure.

The baseball bat, however, which is not iconic to Gaz, is a 2 1/2" long Blast-O baseball bat that fits into either of Gaz’s hands. This is adequately detailed and looks like the bat from the television show!

Gaz is often seen with Pizza, so it makes perfect sense that she would come with a single slice of pepperoni pizza. The 15/16” long wedge is incredibly detailed for this style of figure, complete with molded crust, pepperoni, and texture for the cheese. Its three colored detailing fits well with the rest of the figure. This accessory fits in either hand, but is ideal for the left hand.

The laptop computer Gaz comes with may be the Game Slave 1 she tosses in the trash and Palisades Toys actually made a hinged laptop computer, which is pretty cool. Detailed to include the keyboard and the words “Game Over” on the screen, the laptop computer does not easily fit into either, or both, of her hands.

Similarly, the Game Slave 2 that Gaz comes with does not fit her grip. The bright pink computer is not hinged, either, but looks fairly cool regardless.

One of the key selling points of the Gaz figure on the accessory front is the Professor Membrane monitor figure that the toy comes with. Professor Membrane was frequently seen in Invader Zim as a distant person on a floating monitor with antenna and jet propulsion, is embodied that way as an accessory with the Gaz figure! Attached to a clear plastic stand that allows the monitor to look like it is levitating, the Professor Membrane accessory is a very detailed monitor with a sticker of Gaz’s scientist father on it! This compliments the figure exceptionally well and is perfectly stable.

For an added selling point (as if one needed one for a figure of Gaz!), the Gaz Series Two figure comes with the front yard to Zim’s house. This is a molded base 6 3/8” long, 8” wide (at its widest point) and having a 1 1/2” tall fence around the green yard. There is a gray sidewalk and this also includes the front step to Zim’s house. There are four holes for the defensive gnomes, which come with the Human Disguise Invader Zim figure. The third part of the house comes with one of the other Series Two Of Doom figure. The only real drawback of this accessory is that it lacks additional pegs so Gaz could actually stand on this “playset” without her stand.

Playability

The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Gaz is a very problematic toy on the playability front. First, the figure is incredibly poorly balanced, which makes sense given the physics of the figure. The body of Gaz is disproportionately small relative to her head, so it makes perfect sense that the thin legs would not hold her up. Off her stand, it is impossible to get her to remain standing. On her stand, though, she is entirely solid and that helps make her a great display piece, if not a very playable toy.

The Series Two Of Doom Gaz has pretty limited articulation, which is also based in part on the limitations of the sculpt. This Gaz comes with only seven points of articulation: legs, wrists, shoulders and head. I was pleasantly surprised that the arms are attached by hinged ball and socket joints, which allows for greater articulation and a decent range of motion. The legs, wrists, and head are on simple swivel joints, so they basically rotate, without providing much else on the poseability front.

Collectibility

This figure seems to be one of the easier ones to find and it is one of the few Invader Zim action figures (from either series) that is easily found under $20. I’m not at all sure why Gaz would not have exploded in value (as she is my favorite character), but this is an affordable, easy to find figure for fans of Invader Zim!

Overview

Palisades Toys got a lot right with this action figure and for anyone starting an Invader Zim action figure collection, this is a great place to start!

For other action figure reviews, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Sydney Bristow from the Alias episode “So It Begins” action figure
Justice Wave 3 Wonder Woman
Cordelia from Angel

8/10

For more toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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