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Click herespacerPalisades Toys Invader Zim
Hot Topic Exclusive
with Shocka

Today's reviewer is a writer from, another toy review site. You can read more of Shocka's reviews by clicking on the link above.

Finally! This December has seen Invader Zim brought to life in plastic form, a revival following the popular DVD releases earlier this year, which are selling like mad across the world. For those not in the know, Invader Zim combines the cutesy cartoon stylings of Saturday morning cartoons with the mad talents of cult comic-book artist Jhonen Vasquez (popular for Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee! - both completely unsuitable for children) to make one of the edgiest, funniest cartoons ever seen on TV.

Click hereCancelled prematurely by the maddening Nickelodeon, Invader Zim followed the exploits of Zim, a pint-sized Irkin Invader / alien / moron sent to invade Earth as some kind of joke to separate him from the real alien invaders, who are taking over the universe bit by bit. Matching wits with the young Dib, both a large-headed child and the only human not stupid enough to tell that Zim is an alien, Zim is accompanied by his insane food-loving GIR, a robot assistant much more interested in making waffles and hitting his head with things than helping.

When Palisades Toys picked up the license for this DOOMED!! cartoon, fans knew they were in for something special—Palisades took meticulous care in watching the show and consulting fans to make the best figures possible, and they've delivered an awesome result. Today I'm looking at two exclusive figures available from Hot Topic - Screaming Zim and Duty-Mode Gir. Each Hot Topic exclusive will set you back around $16, much more than the normal figures which will cost you between $10 - $15 and have much bigger, better accessories. Why the price escalation? Many theories have been offered—some hypothesise that it is because Hot Topic is greedy; others suggest simply that they are wankers.

None-the-less, these are exceptionally nifty figures, and Zim fans will likely want to grab Zim in his more usual "I AM ZIM!!" screaming look than in his calm and composed manner seen on the regular figure. Hot Topic Zim has that "pathetic human!" look in his eye, which is made of translucent red plastic for great effect. His sculpt is genius, one of many praises towards Palisades—Zim is captured perfectly. His bulging eye and bent tongue are faultless, with all paint and detailing following.

Click hereZim's also got as great range of articulation for such a small figure: ball-jointed shoulders, wrists and neck mean a fair amount of movement and play for the alien invader, and the joints (despite being very small) are durable. The arms even feel soft, as a malleable plastic that can be moved, which makes me wonder why Palisades didn't give him bendy arms. His legs have no movement, which we'd normally assume to assist with his standing, but due to the strange design of Jhonen's characters, both Zim and Gir are too top heavy to stand on their own, which is why both include little black bases to stand on, which are great for display.

Click hereWorm-babies are also likely to DEMAND!! Gir in both his normal lovable clueless look and here, in his YES SIR!! Duty Mode. His sculpt is dead-on and completely adorable, with his eyes curved in evil and his shoulders red with...evil, or something. His right arm is raised in salute, but can also be moved so he can carry his donuts or other snacks. All of his food fits agreeably into his head, which opens up to store things like monkeys or cupcakes. And, for such a little guy, the articulation is great—he has ball-jointed shoulders, upper-arms, and neck, which is something of a ball-joint as well. The upper arms will pop out from time to time, but easily pop back in, which makes me wonder why his long saluting arm doesn't have a normal arm to interchange with, especially with all the other many accessories the figures are loaded with.

Click hereGir comes with my personal favorite—a squirrel holding a little walnut—and a whole host of food. He's got donuts, pizza, tacos, even an "I EAT FOOD" poster. He also features a bendable tentacle and a little monitor-screen for use with one of the bases of the regular figures, either Zim's or the Tallest's. Zim also sports one of these nifty monitor-screens and some tentacle attachments, plus a friendship card from Keef and a human-brain-experiment thingy, which can plug into the regular Zim's base or attach to the monitor-screen as a separate accessory. IT IS NEAT!!

These are the toys Zim fans have been waiting for; great sculpts, great accessories, great movement, great fun. Kudos to Palisades for doing such good work, lesser kudos to Hot Topic for blowing the prices sky high, and a big middle finger to Nick for what they put Jhonen through. If you love Zim, you have to go out and buy these toys; if haven't seen Invader Zim yet, run out and buy the DVDs, then you have to go out and buy these toys.

"I'm gunna sing the doom song now! Doom doom do do doom doom, doom doom doom doom doom, doom do do doom doom doom, doom doom..."

You can pick up Invader Zim figures from Also check out our collected Palisades coverage page.

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All images and article ©2004

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