My Collecting Holy Grails: The Simpsons and The Muppets

Posted 8 years ago by Toys

Dad, What's a Muppet?

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers
This post is Top Hat Sasquatch’s first attempt at participating in The League of Extraordinary Bloggers, a weekly series of blog posts started by Brian over at Cool and Collected. Make sure to check out his site and join in the conversation if you run a blog!

I don’t have any one holy grail when it comes to collecting, mainly because I don’t really consider myself a collector. Sure, I have a lot of old TMNT toys and a tub full of random action figures, but I mainly just like to pick up weird pieces here and there and add them to my shelves. In my office you’ll find a 23 year old box of Batman cereal sealed sitting next to Krang’s Android Body and a ton of LEGO minifigures.

As much as I’d love to have every TMNT toy ever made, I know that’s not going to happen until I have a lot of extra spending money and even more free time to spend scouring ebay. That’s why, when I think of what my holy grail of collecting is, I think of two things. Well, two toy lines to be specific.

I want every toy ever made in The World of Springfield Simpsons line by Playmates and The Muppets series of action figures by Palisades Toys. Every one.

Dad, What’s a Muppet?

If there’s any consistency to my life so far, it’s that I’ve been a die-hard fan of both the Muppets and the Simpsons for as long as I can remember. Both are filled with a ton of memorable characters, great writing, and humor that is right up my alley. Who knew that both properties would produce the most amazing lines of action figures (and playsets) ever made?

The Simpsons action figures were released from 2000-2004 and had over 200 figures and 40 playsets. I was a freshman in High School and was at the peek of my Simpsons obsession (until recently) when these started to come out. Since I wasn’t into online shopping yet and I lived in a small town, my only source for these toys was a small, expensive CD store called On Cue. I barely had any money and probably bought about 15 figures and the Comic Book Guy playset before calling it quits.

The line encompassed practically every Simpsons character you could possibly imagine, all in perfect action-figure form and packaged with awesome accessories. The playsets had built-in voice clips that you could trigger by placing the figures on little pegs, and they came with exclusive figures and awesome detail.

I was an avid reader of Wizard Magazine and Toy Fair, and seeing the rest of this series unfold on those pages and not having them in my collection was torture. Now that it’s all over, it feels like a massive undertaking to track down every figure and playset, not to mention an expensive one. In fact, what could be worse?

The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me

The Muppets line of action figures by Palisades was released from 2002-2005, and I remember seeing the first wave hit the shelves right around the time I ran out of money for this kind of thing, and it was a major bummer not being able to pick these up. The rest of the line came out as I was finishing High School and attempting college, all while broke.

The Muppets series had about 50 figures and a few playsets, and the level of detail was even more amazing than the Simpsons figures. Each toy looked almost exactly like the puppet it was based on and came with great accessories. The playsets were awesome and there were a ton of exclusive figures, which makes this series difficult and expensive to find now.

I never owned a single piece of this line until this Christmas, when my wife surprised me with one of the most rare figures, Jim Henson. Now, as the most expensive and meaningful toy in my collection, it’s sitting on my shelf begging to be surrounded by the rest of the Muppets line.

It will probably take years and way more money than I want to admit, but someday I hope to have both of these series on my shelves. Should I try to find them in the order that they were released, or just grab random figures when they’re at a good price? These are the things that will keep me up at night during my epic journey.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.


Posts From The League

Members of the League of Extraordinary Bloggers have been posting about their Holy Grails this week and there are some great posts.

Head over to Cool and Collected to see the whole list.

  • Dex

    Best of luck completing The Muppets line! That will be a long road.
    And welcome to The League!

    • Yeah I know, hopefully I’ll finish before I retire!

  • Brian Adams

    I would love to see a full collection of those Simpsons figures. I really think that the Simpsons merchandise is going to be a hot “collectible of tomorrow,” but the problem is that they flooded the market with so much merchandise that there’s just too much of it out there. I think if I were to start a collection of the Playmates figures, I would focus on a single character or maybe just the first series, because like you said, there are over 200 figures!

    • Yeah I doubt I will ever get close to having that many, but there are so many side characters that I love and it would be awesome having them as figures.

      I also don’t really have room for the playsets, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll win the lottery.

  • Yeah, there was a time when I tried to keep up with the Simpsons figures, but finding new waves at the stores around here was tough.  I’d love to get my hands on the Treehouse of Horror figures, but they sure are expensive….

  • Cody Mix

    I remember the Simpsons line fondly back in the day, I think I was in HS as well and read all about them in the pages of Wizard/Toyfare (when it was a rad magazine). I think I still have the comic book store playset and Monty Burns & Smithers somewhere.

    I have the same feeling towards my TMNT collection, luckily still have a lot of them from when I was a kid. I never felt the urge to acquire the “holy grails” as some have, such as searching for a Scratch figure or a transport module in box. Pretty happy with what I do have plus my wife says I have reached my allotted space in the house.

    • I wish I still had the ten or so figures I bought in HS so I don’t have to get them all over again.

      And yeah, I don’t have much room for anything else either but I would like to have a few more TMNT toys. Unfortunately I sold a lot of my old stuff in garage sales as a kid.