In addition to their variants of all the Series 2 figures, Hot Topic has another Invader Zim exclusive. This one, like Pustulio Zim, is episode-specific, coming to us from the Season 1 episode "Germs."
Watching a crappy War of the Worlds rip-off with Gir, Zim is introduced to the concept of microscopic bacteria. While he first laughs off the idea that a superior alien species could be felled by something as pathetic
as germs, a bit of research reveals that the movie was right. After a free five-second demo of germ-spotting micro goggles, Zim panicked and went into full-on Howard Hughes mode, setting off on a one-man war on filth.
To protect himself against his invisible enemies, Zim used Earth's indigenous materials to cobble together a hazmat suit - a showercap, overalls, rubber gloves and tissue boxes on his feet. FLAWLESS!
For this figure, Palisades has delivered a Zim that is almost 100% new sculpt - the only things that might remotely be re-used are the upper arms. The folded ends of the tissue boxes are sculpted in, as are the ovals on each side. A few tissues poke up at his ankles, his suspenders are buttoned to his pants and his yellow gloves each have three fingers - oddly enough, one more than Zim usually has.
The goggles are very well detailed, not that we would accept or expect any less from Palisades. Zim has a new expression on his face, with his mouth open slightly and his teeth clenched. The figure is topped off nicely by his frilly pink shower cap - a non-removable piece, sadly.
Zim is paired with the source of most of the germs in his base, Gir. This is Gir in his doggie suit, and head to foot he's the exact same sculpt as the standard version. What makes him different is his paint app. This is Gir as viewed through Zim's goggles, so he's positively swimming with bacteria! He's got a few stripes of light green circling him. Very filthy.
The accessories in this set are few,
but they're pretty decent. Both Zim and Gir get stands, but those don't really count. We'll start with the Mac Meatie burger, covered in light green paint just like Gir. It's a shame that the bun doesn't come off, to reveal the completely germ-free patty within, but if it did, how would it ever stay together in the first place? Oh, right, magnets, Palisades' favorite little trick.
We get two free-standing germs, both with the same sculpt. These are the germs as viewed through the goggles' extreme magnification. The spots are actually carved into their little germy bodies, and their eyes are screwed shut in a violent coughing fit, questioning their fate as Zim doused them with disinfectant spray. Poor little things. That'll learn 'em not to go where they're not welcome.
The final accessory is a can of Germ Away. The spray can looks really nice, and the label is actually painted on, rather than a decal. Love that. Zim's gloved hands are sculpted perfectly to hold the can, so he can help disinfect your home, just like he did his own.
As an exclusive, this set costs about $10-15 more than it should. Still, this is a great version of Zim (and Gir, to be honest) and it's sure to find its way into most fans' collections. The real payoff to "Germs" came later, as a throwaway line in Season 2's "Battle of the Planets": Zim's anti-germ meatsuit ended up fusing to his flesh, and he almost went blind when it invaded his eye sockets. Who knows, maybe we'll see that in a future wave. But for now, with Hot Topic's Germ Zim, lemony fresh victory can be yours!