Before the Muppets got their own show, they starred in a series of specials, one of which was a retelling of the classic tale of The Frog Prince. Their version had a malicious witch, and the witch had an ogre: the giant, filthy pile of hair known as Sweetums.
Amazingly, Sweetums is one of the most obscure Muppets. Yes, he's a fan-favorite, but your average man on the street wouldn't know him at all. You'd think that a brown, furry behemoth would stick in one's mind, but apparently not. In his debut appearance, he first tried to eat Kermit's nephew Robin (the titular hero), then had a change of heart, and the two were the best of friends evermore.
Fans had been requesting a Sweetums figure almost since the inception of the Muppets line, but how do you put something so huge in a blister pack (or even worse, in a clamshell)? There's just no way. Sweetums would have to be boxed, and that would limit the stores that would carry him - which is why he's an online exclusive.
Sweetums is 10 1/2" tall, easily making him the most towering figure in your Muppet collection. The sculpt is great, with his wild mop of hair done beautifully. He's even shaggier than Animal, but nowhere did Palisades skimp on the details. His head and face are covered in fur, of course, as are his feet and the backs of his hands. They even put little tufts on his knuckles.
Never one for high fashion, Sweetums is wearing tattered rags - probably either sackcloth or burlap. He's got two layers, with the darker one on top, and cinches it in place with a rope belt. There's a slight texture to the outfit but, most likely owing to the figure's size, in a lot of places it still looks like clay.
Articulation is plentiful but strange. We'll start with the ankles, which are peg joints. We can assume they did this to help keep him standing, but who has feet that turn side-to-side but not up and down? His knees and hips are balljoints, and so is his gigantic combination waist/torso joint. More balljoints for the shoulders and elbows, though the sleeves of his tunic thing keep the elbows from moving very far. Sweetums just has peg wrists, but they're enough.
Particular attention was paid to the head. It pivots on a balljoint, and from any other company, that's all we would have gotten. Palisades, however, also gave us a point of articulation at the jaw and one for the eyelids. This monster's got expressions! You can make him look sleepy, since he's got those bags under his eyes, or drop his jaw in surprise, revealing his two little fangs. His skin, what little there is of it, has a stippled texture, like a lot of the Muppets, and his bright yellow eyes are unsettling.
Sweetums has no accessories, but come on, what do want? He's almost a foot tall and heavy enough to batter down a door! That should be enough to satisfy your crazy toy-lust. Okay, true, it should have been a no-brainer to pair him with Robin, even if it was an unarticulated figurine that just sat on his shoulder or something. Or maybe the carpetbag he wanted to take with him to Hollywood. Something.
We may be facing the tail end of Palisades' Muppet line, but figures like Sweetums show that they're certainly not going out quietly.
What unproduced Muppet would you have liked to see? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.