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Deep Space Homer

World of Springfield
by Shocka

Playmates' "World of Springfield" line has to be one of the most successful action figure lines of all time, if not just for profitability, for covering basically all of the characters in a large and expansive property. There are literally hundreds of figures across the line, with most of them unique characters with excellent sculpting and accessories. For collectors, this meant the opportunity to own a full cast of characters from what has become a major part of popular culture for many decades, as well as different versions of star characters. Playmates successfully mixed popular character variants into each series alongside new and beloved characters, guarenteeing the line staying power. Some of the variants were based on single episodes, such as today's review, from the fifth season episode "Deep Space Homer," but nearly all of the variants are interesting and unique takes on the characters, making them a good addition to the collection.

Scientist: "People, we're in danger of losing our funding. America isn't interested in space exploration any more."
Assistant: "Maybe we should finally tell them the big secret: that all the chimps we sent into space came back super-intelligent."
Chimp: "No, I don't think we'll be telling them that."

This is Homer Simpson in a space suit, one of the more unlikely variants one could have expected from the line. The sculpt is fine, but not without its faults: compared to the source material Homer's suit is definitely too thin, contrasting to the slightly oversized helmet. The suit lacks some detail, such as the American flags on the arms with the pockets too high, and although the paint is well-applied it is completely inaccurate. Where there should be red or dark colors, there is instead an aqua blue, which doesn't look too bad but doesn't look like he did on the episode, making the choices baffling.

Homer has one basic pose, and it's a good one: rather than standing straight like most of the World of Springfield, he is posed walking forward. One small step for humans, one giant belch for Homer-kind? In an unusual turn of events, Deep Space Homer has leg articulation, giving him one extra point of movement to the usual Springfield Four (neck, shoulders, waist) but losing the standard midsection articulation. Unfortunately moving his legs will cause him to topple, and his arms are somewhat restricted due to their pose; fortunately, he can hold accessories in both hands and he feels mighty durable - there's plenty of play in this one.

Accessory-wise, Homer comes with some of the best in this series: he features a bag of Salty Snax, and the heroic inanimate carbon rod that saved the day in the episode. This might sound amazing, but it's really just a plastic rod painted green. [AND HEROIC! --ed.] More exciting, though, is that he includes the super-intelligent monkey from the episode, complete with skates and pipe!

The monkey is sadly as inanimate as the rod, with no articulation; this is a bummer since Playmates reused this sculpt from a previously released PVC set, and there it did have shoulder articulation. No excuse, Playmates! The figure also comes with the same talking feature as the rest of the World of Springfield, which... isn't really good. Deep Space Homer shares the same chip with every other Homer figure, meaning that he'll say the same things he would if he was in normal garb. Which makes no sense, if you think about it, but whatever - most collectors have removed the batteries from their playsets and just use them for display, to avoid battery corrosion.

Is Deep Space Homer a good toy? I'd say yes, though he's got plenty of faults. He's also a relatively difficult figure to acquire now, courtesy of the smaller and smaller releases of the World of Springfield line towards its end. For me he's a better variant than, say, Sunday Best Homer, even though we only ever saw him in space suit the once. Plus, it means you can do this.

-- 02/12/12

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