As you may or may not have heard by now Jazzwares has a new line of 6 inch and 3(ish) inch Hanna Barbera action figures based on the classic cartoon properties. My excitement at this was high. For my money Hanna Barbera is the best cartoons get, many of my fondest childhood memories stem from HB cartoons. Space Ghost, the Herculoids, Wally Gator, Birdman, Yogi Bear, and many more are some of my all time favorite cartoons. My excitement was tempered by the fact that Jazzwares was making them, a company not really known for great toys. I went to TRU the other day picked up Tom and Jerry here to test the waters of the line a little bit, and despite some problems I am decently happy with them. Let’s take a look at Tom and Jerry.
Tom and Jerry are the classic fighting cat and mouse duo that have graced big and small screens since the 1940’s. They come from a time before cartoons were they way they are now, before violence was such an issue in the world. Nothing quite beats the awesomeness of watching a cat hit a mouse with a giant hammer, or watching a mouse blow a cat to a charred mess with little to no consequences. Like i’m sure most of you out there I have spent hundreds of hours in my life watching these two go at each other. I don’t have any children myself, but if I did they would be watching as much Hanna Barbera cartoons as humanly possible and Tom and Jerry would be right at the top of that list. These figures are sold individually for $6.99 each, but as you can’t have one without the other I decided to review them together.
Tom the cat:
As a cat lover Tom has always been my favorite of the duo, even if he usually gets the short end of the stick in his constant battle with Jerry. One of the highlights of this line is the likeness of each character, and Tom here looks great with his maniacal smile. They really nailed his body and colors making this a great Tom figure.
QC on this line doesn’t seem very great; I had to inspect all the Toms they had to find one that looked decent, and even them my Tom has a few issues. Most of his paint looks good, but there seems to be a lot of it slopped on his hands that came off on the handle of his hammer after only a few times holding it. He also has a gash in his ear that looks pretty unsightly. Also the manufacturers stamp on his (and Jerry’s) back doesn’t really look too good either. Most of Tom is molded grey so there aren’t a lot of issues really.
Articulation on this line appears to be all over the place. Tom has swivel/hinge shoulders and hips, hinges at the ankles, wrists, and elbows, a swivel at the waist, and a head that turns left and right. Not the best articulation but serviceable, his posing options are pretty limited at the end of the day.
Tom comes with 2 accessories, a giant mallet, and a mousetrap with cheese on it. Seeing how out of scale Jerry is (more on that in a bit) I really think they should have included a pack in Jerry that was to scale with Tom, but being Jazzwares that was more than likely never an option.
Jerry the mouse:
If you have watched any T&J cartoons then you know Jerry is kind of a Jerk, sure Tom is trying to eat him all the time but Jerry seems to always take it too far. In the cartoons Jerry is much smaller than Tom, but this figure is woefully out of scale being almost the same height as tom. I’m sure articulating a Jerry that was in scale would have been hard to do, but even a slightly smaller Jerry than the one we got would have worked better in my opinion. Despite that small caveat this is a pretty good Jerry figure. He has a great look about him with that iconic Jerry smile that he always seems to have.
QC on my Jerry is ok, but once again I had to look through all of them to find one that didn’t have some kind of defect. Other than an excess of pink paint on his ears (what is up with Jazzwares and putting a ton of paint on things?) he looks great. HE also has the manufacturers stamp on his back that would have been much better hidden under his feet, if there hadn’t already been a bunch of black text down there.
Articulation on Jerry is different than Tom; he’s got swivel /hinge shoulders, hips, and wrists, a swivel at the waist and head, and hinged ankles. Why they decided to not give him elbow articulation is beyond me, but at least he has wrists that can swivel.
Jerry also comes with two accessories, a stick of dynamite, and a piece of cheese. The downside of the accessory department is that he can’t hold either one of them; sure you can kind of get the cheese propped between his two hands if you’re really careful, but the dynamite isn’t going anyplace but on the ground or stuck in the crook of Tom’s tail. Come on Jazzwares you couldn’t have given us at least one gripping hand on Jerry?
Overall these figures (and the whole HB line it seems) really are not that great, but if you are a hardcore Hanna Barbera fan then your options for toys are pretty limited. On the plus side these figures are relatively cheap so if you feel the need to fill your shelf with some classic HB characters then you won’t be losing much. I would say I’m not going to buy anymore of these figures, but they do have a Space Ghost so I will be picking that up for sure. I would really like a decent company to get a hold of the HB license and make some figures we could be proud to own, but that isn’t bloody likely anytime soon. So if you are listening Jazzwares step up your game and make the toys the late Hanna and Barbera deserve to have made.