Hank Scorpio was featured in one of my favorite Simpsons episodes: Season 8's "You Only Move Twice." When Smithers turns down his generous job offer, he turned to Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's next senior employee, Homer Simpson.
Meet Hank Scorpio, the "boss" that befriended Homer,
the man behind the master-planned Cypress Creek community, and the super-villain with the forward-thinking fashion sense to have first worn jeans and a sport coat. With nothing but a down-to-earth style, a dream, and a doomsday device, he not only succeeded in his conquest of the East Coast, but along the way, built Globex - a corporation that specialized in international extortion... and offered a very generous benefits package.
Hank, voiced by Albert Brooks, was scheduled for Series 3 of the Simpsons Celebrity Series - a line calculated to provide figures of the many, many celebrity guest stars that have knocked the dirt of Springfield off their shoes. The line faltered (Jackie Mason withdrew his approval of Rabbi Hershel Krustofski), then died (Cooder and Llewellyn Sinclair became mail-away exclusives) with Hank Scorpio shuffled into cases of Series 10.
Cut from classic Bond-villain cloth, Hank Scorpio showed us the softer side of global domination. He cared for his employees, and wanted to create the best environment for their productivity to thrive. He wanted Homer to follow his dreams, even if that meant he had to leave the company. Sure, he wanted to crush all resistance, but he cared about his team. If only more bosses were like him!
Hank found his way into this newest series (alongside Dr. Marvin Monroe, Wendell, Resort Smithers, Scout Leader Flanders, Sunday Best Marge and Maggie, and Stonecutter Homer), but just barely; he's apparently the ultra-rare chase figure. Not "yellow Daredevil" rare, but he's not in every case, either. Good luck with that.
Looking just like his counterpart on the show, Hank's wearing blue jeans and a purple jacket. He's got a sly grin beneath his full beard, and his perfectly coiffeured hair is swept back. His accessories include a remote detonator, a grenade, and (in what may be the coolest WoS accessory yet) a full-sized flamethrower that comprises both the tanks on his back and the gun in his hands. Tres cool.
Hank, of course, moves at the Springfield Four. Attach the figure to a peg on Main Street or Burns Manor, and hear one of several phrases. For instance, on the street:
- "I don't like things that elevate me above the other people. I'm just like you. Oh, sure, I come later in the day, I get paid a lot more and I take longer vacations, but I don't like the word 'boss.'"
And in Burns Manor:
- "You have 72 hours to deliver the gold, or you face the consequences!"
Hopefully future playsets will add some more lines for him, because that's not very many.
The "Superstar Voices" sub-line may have been a failure, but Playmates isn't giving up on the idea. Any future celebrity figures will be part of the actual line of figures, hopefully in larger supply than poor Hank. He's a great character, and a pretty fun toy, but his scarcity means that a lot of fans won't get the opportunity to own this laid-back criminal mastermind.