One of the ideas behind Nerd Lunch is that as we three nerds go along in life, we find we have less time and money for those nerd interests we once enjoyed. There was a time when I bought a great deal of action figures. But before my recent G.I. Joe relapse, I went a few years without buying a single action figure. My last collection, one I still have prominently displayed, are my Palisades Muppets action figures. (Someday I plan to show off my Muppets collection here at Nerd Lunch.)
I love the Muppets and I love those figures. I managed to acquire every Muppet figure they made with a few minor exceptions and variants that I’m not interested in tracking down.
Although, there was one figure I never got. Palisades announced they were going to launch a Sesame Street line and in my book, those guys are Muppets, too. But, as the Muppet Show line was winding down and the Sesame Street line was starting, I saw it as my opportunity to get off the train before it crashed and decided that I wasn’t going to get any Sesame Street figures. And that included the Super Grover convention exclusive. Like Lays potato chips or G.I. Joe action figures, there was no “just one.” It was all or nothing and I had to choose nothing.
So, cut to four years later. I’m selling stuff on eBay and come to find out I have an out-of-print, highly sought after Conan trade paperback. I sell it for enough money that I decide to go after this missed acquisition and get the last Muppet figure. After two failed attempts, I finally manage to win a Super Grover that was packaged as Grover Kent, which meant there was less demand and he was easier to obtain. I didn’t care. I’d be opening it regardless.
What a great set and opening it made me a bit nostalgic for days five or six years ago. Also frustrated as it took me about three hours to open it. The box it came in is enormous, but has that really cool Alex Ross rendition of Super Grover. In the box is a body, two heads, a Grover Kent outfit, and a telephone booth.
By the end of the Muppet run, I had developed a love/hate relationship with Palisades. Their attention to detail and incredibly ornate sculpting made me a fan. The fragility of the figures and playsets drove me mad. Recalling that, I already worry a great deal about the arms on this figure. The joints don’t move as well as they should and the arms feel like they are made from a flimsier plastic than I’d like. This fragility means that Super Grover will be staying Super Grover. Grover Kent will be making no more appearances. Changing him is not worth the potential break. (I will say that changing his head was a lot easier than I had feared it would be.)
One of the first things I did was have Grover meet up with the only other Sesame Street character I have…Kermit. Kermit was the only Muppet to regularly appear on both The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. Other Muppets made the crossover from one show to the other and they all meet up in The Muppet Family Christmas, but Kermit and Grover have just as much history as Kermit and Fozzie. I must admit that was slightly disappointed to see the scale between these figures to be off. Super Grover seems considerably larger than Kermit while they really should be closer in size than this.
I wondered if I was looking at the figures the wrong way. I’m not used to seeing them from head to toe. Setting them up as a puppet stage seemed to help, but I still think Grover is larger than he should be. Although, it doesn’t really matter since he’ll be displayed away from most of my Muppets figures.
As usual, Palisades attention to detail and the amount of thought they put into these figures shows here. Super Grover has an open mouth while Grover Kent has a closed mouth meaning these two heads are completely different sculpts and not just the same base head with different stuff glued on.
The phone booth is a nice touch and from what I recall, very faithful to the phone booths often seen in Sesame Street. Just looking at it, I start hearing “Telephone Rock.”
The packaging, while large, is fine. The previously mentioned Alex Ross art makes it and the back gives a glimpse into what was to be the first series of Sesame Street figures. Other prototypes for later lines have popped up on the internet. It would have been a truly great line. And as a result, I’m glad it never got made. Easier that way and I don’t have the shelf space anyway.
Some may view the trading in of a Conan book for a Sesame Street figure as less than manly but in a fight against the two, I’ll put my money on Super Grover every time.