Pete Fowler's Monsterism Island Volume 3: the Woodland
With the third installment of Pete Fowler's Monsterism Island figures we get a look at the residents and wildlife of the woodlands. Fowler's quirky, fun style is translated wonderfully into vinyl figures. The world he has created is one rich with simple yet intriguing designs and with this new (and bigger!) line we are treated to some really great characters.
The first four figures of the series come in two packs and as stated are a bit larger than the past denizens of Monsterism Island. The sculpting on each is really nice. When a wood grain is needed, it's not just painted on, it's cut into the sculpt. The eyes are always either inset or protruding from the figure and facial features are sculpted. The paint application on each figure is really tight: there are no smudges or missed places. Also, the mostly earthy palette of the line really is a good choice and works extremely well. The artist's vision was treated with care to preserve the look of the original character illustrations and it really comes off well. And the figures in the two sets available now (A & B) each have an accessory! I don't know if this will continue with the rest of the line, but I'll be sure to let you know. I'm going to be collecting the entire 12 figure series. Now a look at each figure.
Ranger has a log-like helmet over his head and sports a sweet green striped shirt with Woodland Dept. printed on the back. Both of these were issued to him when he took up the coveted job of Ranger in the Woodlands. These protectors of the forest make sure that everything runs smoothly from unfurling budding flowers and standing fallen saplings back upright; to sacrificing nuts to a tree god to keep the peace of the forest. The figure's arms swing and his waist twists. Fowler's style is strong in this guy. His eyes are offset (which I love in illustrated characters and toys) and his sleeves are too long and flop over his hands. Below his helmet a beard protrudes giving this guy the added detail that pushes him over the top. The icing on the cake is that he comes with a guitar that fits into his hands with a little work. Even though this is one of the smaller figures on my shelf, he is the one that many of my friends gravitate towards. There's something about this guy that speaks to people.
Farm girl sports a blue hoodie and brown skirt and seems to be more interested in having fun than staying clean. I say this because she has mud on her feet, hands, and clothes. She probably got this way while constructing the Woodlandss skate park. The figure's arms swing and she twists at the waist. She has two sticks going into her head (or hair) and I didn't realize at first but they are removable. Also, she comes with a skate board, but it's a Woodland deck: a log sliced in half. The details on her are subtle but nice. She has a slit on each of her sleeves and there is flesh tone painted there. I love this figure because she looks so much like someone I would be friends with. I have known gals who look a good bit like this and she makes me smile for that reason.
Jogger is an old lady who moved to the Woodland to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. Her new home doesnít have a gym like her last, so she's taken to jogging the woods of the island. At first, she was turned off by the dirt but she now loves the Woodland and never wants to leave. This lady may have moved to the country, but her style is still in the city. She has on a bright pink running suit with "Call Me" printed on the back and white trim on the sleeves and legs. Also, her hair is pretty big and she never forgets to show off her beauty mark. She sports huge horn rimmed glasses that are removable! When she has them off, she's sorta scary. This figure has the most articulation of the series thus far with four points: head, arms, and waist. As an accessory she comes with a squeeze bottle that snaps into her hand very tightly. This ol' gal was the one I was least excited about, but after looking at her a bit more she's starting to grow on me.
The Jeer have an uncanny ability to make their face translucent in the night. They do this to attract mates or scare away predators. Kinda weird that what some would be frightened away by, these things think is a turn on. Anyway, to show this abilitym the figure comes with interchanging faces. One is skin covered, the other a skull. Iím torn over which I like better, but I'm leaning toward the skull. On the back of the figure's head are tribal like markings going down its neck. He only has one point of articulation giving his head a twist. However he is VERY top heavy and when turned, it's easy for the figure to fall over.
The box has a window display that is covered by a flap. On the inside of the flap is an illustration with each of the Woodland characters and a little welcome note. The outside of the box is painted in a wood grain fashion. This just adds to the feeling these figures give you of actually living in a forest. The two pack idea didn't seem to go over as well as expected so the remaining 8 figures will be released in blind packing and released simultaneously in July. I'm glad that I'll be able to get all 8 figures at once (even if my checking account isn't!), but I really liked the packaging of these figures.
I don't know if this was intentional, but these figures' body parts are interchangeable. Each of the points of articulation are actually pegs and holes where they fit together. So you can place Farm Girl's arms on Ranger's body with Jogger's legs and Jeer's head... or any other combination you can come up with. I fell in love with this idea. This really makes these figures "playable" which isn't too often found in Designer Toys.
These figures are really fun and even though they sport a simple design, they are truly thought out and well made. I've been a big fan of Pete Fowler for some time now and I believe this series could be his best work yet. I'm in the minority in being a little disappointed that the rest of the series will be released in blind packs, but I'm excited none the less.
Check out monsterism.net to get the latest news on Pete Fowler and bios on some of his characters.
You can pick up these guys (and other Pete Fowler toys) at kidrobot!
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Article ©2005 MillionairePlayboy.com unless otherwise noted. All characters are property their original owners.