Monday, March 25, 2013

So Many Breakable Parts . . .Ms. Bitters Might Be Cool, But She’s A Tough Invader Zim Figure To Recommend!

The Good: Great sculpt, Good accessories
The Bad: Severe balance issues, Vastly over-accessorized, Poor collectible value, Very breakable
The Basics: The Invader Zim Series One Of Doom Ms. Bitters figure might have play problems, but it makes for a very cool display piece!

When it comes to the Invader Zim action figure line, I am impressed. I am entirely impressed by the sculpts and the accessory quality and, for many of them, the collectible value. Unfortunately, not all of them hold their value and the physics of the absurd and oddly-proportioned characters did not translate so well to the real world. Ms. Bitters is one of the figures that is severely breakable and is one that is much more likely to require collectors to replace theirs given how many fine parts it possesses.

From the Palisades Toys Invader Zim Series One Of Doom action figure set, Ms. Bitters is the primary version of the mysterious, possibly mystical or alien, teacher of Dib and Zim and a pretty neat, if problematically balanced, action figure.


The Invader Zim Series One Of Doom Ms. Bitters figure is a 7 1/4" hard plastic representation of Ms. Bitters as she appeared in most of the episodes of Invader Zim (reviewed here!). This version of Ms. Bitters is made of hard plastic, save for her glasses and eyebrows, which are made of softer plastic.

The Invader Zim Series One Of Doom Ms. Bitters is a pretty impressive sculpt based on the two-dimensional representation of Ms. Bitters on television. Fleshed out well into the three dimensional figure, the Ms. Bitters figure is so detailed that she has tiny grooves for her upper and lower lip hair! Ms. Bitters is sculpted accurately, which means that her legs are exceptionally thin and end in little black shoes. Her arms are also very thin with disproportionately large hands, though her elongated head is almost a quarter of the height of her body. Her pulled back bun is accurately textured and the sculpt is detailed enough to include the three buttons on her dress. She even has a very large, conical hump on her back!

On the coloring front, Ms. Bitters 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, disturbingly sickly green skin and gray hair. On the coloring front, Ms. Bitters is perfect and her accessories match the level of detailing the action figure has.


The Invader Zim Series One Of Doom Ms. Bitters comes with a classroom playset, desk, work-infested apple, ink blot tests, name plate, and hall pass collar accessories. The Skoolroom Display Base comes in two parts and is 4 3/4" deep, 6 5/8” wide and a hair over 8” tall. The playset is a section of flooring, with a piece of wall from the Skool. The wall features a chalkboard with an image of a Normal Human Being and Zim for comparison and the letters of the alphabet above it. It has a single peg which fits either of the holes in Ms. Bitters’s feet and is essential for getting the figure with the tiny legs and poor balance to stand! This is one of the playsets that does not attach to the other playsets. However, all of Ms. Bitters’s accessories fit on the display base, which is nice.

The Desk is the main accessory for the base and Ms. Bitters. The desk is a monotonal lime green (with gray handles) desk that is 6 3/8” wide, 2 3/4” deep, 3” tall desk. It is blockish, has four drawers on the backside and looks pretty solid (though it is hollow). Most of the other accessories actually augment the desk more than they do Ms. Bitters (largely because she is not really able to hold any of them.

The Ink Blot Tests are three pieces of laminated paper, one of which is filled out and has all three of the results as “human slave.” The name plate is a 1 5/16” wide plate that sits on the desk and just says “BITTERS.” There is nothing extraordinary about that.

The Hall Pass Collar is a gray and black necklace that cannot possibly fit on any of the other character toys. There are green and red accents for the control lights. Ms. Bitters can cradle this in her hands, but not utilize it in any other way.

The most exceptional and detailed accessory for the Ms. Bitters figure is the Worm-Infested Apple. The Worm-Infested Apple is ¾” wide and tall, and 1” deep. The apple is a deep red with mottling that makes it look like an actual apple. Rather disturbingly, there are five ends of the worms, burrowing into the apple! This is really gross-looking, but fits the Invader Zim motif!


The Invader Zim Series One Of Doom Ms. Bitters 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 Ms. Bitters is disproportionately tall relative to her legs, 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 fairly solid and that helps make her a great display piece, if not a very playable toy.

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


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 Ms. Bitters would not have increased in value (as she is a pretty cool character), but this is an affordable, easy to find figure for fans of Invader Zim!


Palisades Toys made a cool Invader Zim action figure with Ms. Bitters, but given how easily the arms, legs, eyebrows and glasses can snap, it is a tougher figure to enthusiastically recommend, though it is neat!

For other Invader Zim action figure reviews, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Almighty Tallest Purple
Almighty Tallest Red
Hot Topic Exclusive Robo-Parents


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

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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