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Lionel Hutz
Blue-Haired Lawyer
Courtroom w/ Judge Snyder

World of Springfield
by yo go re

Frivolous lawsuits? Step right up!

Whether freezing your brain with an ice-cold Chutney Squishee at the Kwik-E-Mart, choking down imitation fruit beverages at Springfield Elementary or drowning your sorrows at Moe's, you can't help but drink in the radioactive charm that is Springfield's alone. Yes, a visit to Springfield brings a glow to the heart - that never, ever goes away!

Gone a-courtin'

The legal system in Springfield, like everything else, is a study in obsurdity: with judges ranging from conveniently lenient to preternaturally strict, you might as well settle all legal disputes with a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Good old rock. Nothing beats rock.

Works on contingency?  No, money down! The first lawyer we got from the show was everybody's favorite loser, Lionel Hutz (AKA Miguel Sánchez, AKA Dr. Nguyen Van Thoc). A specialist in the art of "enhanced" testimony, Lionel studied at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Oxford, the Sorbonne and the Louvre before opening his office, "I Can't Believe It's A Law Firm" in the Springfield Shopping Mall.

Part of the short-lived Celebrity Series of figures, Hutz was voiced by Phil Hartman. He first popped up when Bart got hit by a car in the Season 2 episode, "Bart Gets Hit By A Car." He was a nearly omnipresent force in the world of Springfield, available to babysit, sell realty or even cobble shoes when the need arose.

Looking just like his counterpart on the show, Lionel's wearing his usual blue suit. His giant plastic smile is... well, a giant plastic smile, and his hair looks as good as anything combed with a fork should. His accessories include his briefcase, his combination sponge/business card (If you don't win your case, you only pay attorney fees!), his diploma from the Knight School of Law and a Smoking Monkey. A Smoking Monkey that, for this figure, isn't smoking.

Lionel Hutz moves at the Springfield Four and talks when connected to a compatible environment. In the Courtroom, he says, "If I hear "objection" and "sustained" one more time today, I think I'm going to scream!"

Taxi! Mr. Hutz' most frequent opponent seems to be that reedy defender of upperclass interests, the unnamed Blue-Haired Lawyer. One of the ten high-priced lawyers Mr. Burns keeps on retainer (and behind a panel in the wall), this law talking guy always seems to be arguing circles around the competition.

He's wearing his usual gray suit with red tie and handkerchief. His glasses perch precariously in front of his half-closed eyes, and every strand of his blue hair is in place. He can hold his briefcase, legal pad, pencil, evidence tag or even the little brown bottle of Colonel Kwik-E-Mart's Kentucky Bourbon that Marge accidentally shoplifted.

The Blue-Haired Lawyer talks only in the Courtroom for now, but he does have two phrases: "Let the record show that the witness made the 'drinky-drinky' motion" and "Your honor, I move for dismissal." His nasal voice comes through well, perfectly suited to the sometimes tinny sound produced by such small speakers.

With this pair of Springfield's fine barristers, having a courtroom just makes sense. Measuring 6 3/4" tall, 8" wide and 5" deep, the courtroom is a fine little set. We have a bench for the judiciaries to preside from, a witness stand and even a little section of floor in front. Each of those areas has a foot peg that allows figures to "talk" when plugged in. The rear wall has faux faux wood wood panelling, two stately columns and a judicial seal featuring the scales and a key. A flag plugs into the floor next to the judge.

On the right wall is a large sticker portraying the jury: Apu's brother Sanjay, Herman the one-armed arms dealer, music teacher Mr. Largo, Bernice Hibbert and SNPP retiree Jack Marley. Plus two guys trying to sneak out the exit, presumably part of the set's design team.

Who?

This set also includes a figure of Springfield's own Judge Wapner, Judge Snyder. Standing 4 1/2" tall, Judge Snyder moves at the Springfield Four. He includes a nice little gavel to bang, and the set also comes with a book of Springfield Law and a verdict written on a cocktail napkin.

Here come de judge! Judge Snyder may vacillate wildly between a friend of big business and protector of the little guy, but that just suits him for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. The figure included with this set is a wonderful representation of the Judge we've often seen briefly in the background of scenes; receeding hairline, a slight beard and a disapproving frown all above a big round body - whoever said black is slimming never saw Judge Snyder in his robes.

Like all the Simpsons figures, Judge talks when you put him on a compatible playset environment. And since he comes with one of those environments, you just know he's gonna talk there. Put him behind the bench, press the button and he says one of four phrases in his usual marbley-mouthed tone:

grr... "Let the opening statements commence."
"Mr Hutz, do you know you're not wearing any pants?"
"Order! Order! We don't care about your blintzes!"
"This verdict is written on a cocktail napkin. And it still says 'guilty!'"

The characters that are compatible with the Courtroom are Homer, Marge, Barney, Moe, Lionel Hutz, the Blue-Haired Lawyer, Mayor Quimby, Chief Wiggum, Lou, Eddie, Snake, Don Vittorio, Gil, Kirk Van Houten, Krusty, Sideshow Bob, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Larry Burns and Rainier Wolfcastle. These 20 characters have 31 different phrases between them. Press a button without a figure on the base, and you'll hear the gavel pounding three times.

This is a very well designed environment: the three figure areas are nice, particularly the Judge's bench and the witness stand. The foot pegs are wired weird, though, with the pegs that would seem to activate the witness instead providing the voice of the figure standing before the judge. You get a nice variety of character voices in the Courtroom, even if they each only have one or two lines each. Final verdict? I recommend this set as I recommend all the other World of Springfield offerings: if you're a fan of the show, or just want to purchase this for someone who is, you can't go wrong. Case dismissed!


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