The expression ‘an elephant in the room’ has been used several times by people to describe a reality that people hate acknowledging. When it comes to The Simpsons that elephant took over the room more than 10 years ago, then became a woolly mammoth that took over the village, than a brontosaurus that destroyed the city, and is now Godzilla. Of course the elephant or the reality I am referring to is the lack of originality and humour that has surrounded The Simpsons for more than a decade. The show simply sucks now. The jokes are dry, storylines are written by lazy writers that look to gossip shows for inspiration, characters aren’t faithful to their original idiosyncrasies, and too many episodes are dedicated to boring Lisa or Marg. Case in point: whenever Homer breaks their heart and has to spend an entire episode trying to make it up to them by showing them how much he loves them.
Fortunately re-runs and DVD’s take me back to the good old days when the show was brilliant. I call this ‘the Phil Hartman slash Conan O'Brien slash traditional cell animation slash still has some balls’ days. I figure as long as I stick to watching these classic episodes from season1-10 (and some exceptions from later seasons) this show will always be gold. Besides Homer my favourite character from the show is Ralph Wiggum. (Though I can’t forget Lionel Hutz, Comic Book Guy, Jimbo Jones, Bart Simpson, Homer’s monkey, etc...) For some reason I have always liked the dumb slow characters on shows; such as Butters on South Park and Bobby from King of the Hill.
When the Simpsons first appeared in the late 80’s early 90’s merchandise from the show was everywhere. From t-shirts, coffee mugs, stickers, underwear, video games, pyjamas, and music CD’s just to name a few. Though toys were also made it wasn’t until the year 2000 when Playmates came out with a line that became popular and continued for numerous series. This line gained momentum when it became collectable because people started buying them in multiples and collecting every character. I remember the one character I wanted to buy was impossible to get, Ralph Wiggum.
Yet this collectable period was short lived because as the show declined in quality so did it start to lose numerous fans, and as such resulted in a wave of discount sell-off of figures on eBay. I took advantage of this wave last year by finally being able to purchase a Ralph Wiggum toy for real cheap. Ralph’s accessories include a bottle rocket, keys, school books and a Radioactive Man comic book. The toy itself is well done with the paint job not having any mistakes, and the sculpture being true to what Ralph looks like. I’m really glad I was finally able to add him to my collection, and hope to add more World of Springfield characters later on.
World of Springfield toys: