Muppets Electric Mayhem Playset
1976 was notable for several reasons. It was the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in the United States. It was the year that a peanut farmer from Georgia won leadership in the same country, and the last year of leadership for the only President that was not elected to the office. In music a new band came upon the scene, with a new sound and a new look. The band made their first appearance on The Muppet Show, and the band was Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
The band gained its moniker from three things - the use of electricity, their penchant to cause mayhem, and the leader of the band. Dr. Teeth is the head of the band, and the core group consists of Teeth on the keyboard, Animal on percussion, Floyd Pepper on bass guitar, Janice as lead guitarist and Zoot on the sax. Two other members have worked with the group, Rowlf on piano and Clifford adding vocals, bass and percussion.
Dr. Teeth was released in the first series of Muppet action figures, and the rest of the band is working its way into the lineup. In series two, Floyd Pepper and Animal make their entrances, and Zoot and Rowlf are slated for series three. The Electric Mayhem playset follows the Muppet Labs set from series one. In series three there will be a Swedish Chef's kitchen to join the other two sets. Series three figures and playsets are scheduled for Feb-Mar 2003 release. For Clifford and Janice we'll just have to wait until Palisades reveals more official announcements about future releases.
Rock stars are always thought of as acting like animals, but Animal is the only one who really has a good excuse. He's an animal, basically. He has the same wants as other rock stars - women, food, music, women, sleep and women. He may seem like a bad boy on the surface, but at heart he's a gentle soul who enjoys women, food, music, women, sleep and women. He never takes out his anger on others, and prefers to channel that energy into his music - a cacophony of percussive sounds. He also cries every time he watches 'Ole Yeller', but don't tell the other guys.
Animal must see the same chiropractor as Crazy Harry, because he's got the same hunched over appearance. He could easily be six inches tall if he stretched out, but his posture keeps him at only five and a half inches. He carries a pair of drumsticks as his weapon of choice. He has spiked anklets, bracelets and a big collar around his neck. The collar has a metal chain attached to it so the band can reign him in when he gets out of hand. With all that metal you can see why the band has a bus for traveling and stays away from airports.
The articulation for Animal is well designed, and most of it is hidden in seams for clothing so it can maintain a high aesthetic and have play value. He has ball-jointed shoulders and neck (for head banging) and his mouth can open and close. The biceps can twist and this is hidden under the shirtsleeves. The wrists and thighs twist, as does the waist and the feet. The most innovative articulation for Animal is highly appropriate, and his eyelids are designed so they can be shut together. They are one piece, so you can't make him wink, but it's a very cool feature and one you will miss if the toy is never opened.
Animal is one of the many Muppets performed by Frank Oz. Aside from Jim Henson, Frank is the best known of the Muppeteers outside the core fans. He stays busy directing real live humans in movies nowadays, but over the years he's built a strong group of characters including Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, Bert and the Cookie Monster and Jedi Master Yoda for the Star Wars films. He has absolutely nothing to do with the series 'Oz' on HBO, even though Muppets Inside might be a surprise hit.
Raven Hood has an animalistic name, and the ability to sculpt an animal - Animal. Animal joins Floyd Pepper and Dr. Teeth as band mates sculpted by Raven, and Crazy Harry is also on the list (which may explain the posture). Eddie Wires, a man whose last name conjures electricity, created the paint scheme for animal.
Every band needs a stage upon which to play, and the Electric Mayhem are no different. For them the centerpiece of the group is Animal's huge drumset that drives the pounding pulse of the band, and this is the subject of this playset. The set is big, at over ten inches tall, ten inches wide and eight inches deep, so you'll want to make sure you stake out a large enough area for the stage. Be sure to leave a little extra room for any other members of the band to hang out.
The stage is built around an elaborate drum set used by Animal. The entire setup has several cymbals, snare and bass drums and a high hat. Overall it's a realistic drum setup for Animal, and the cymbals have stands that let you move them around. There isn't a chair for Animal to sit on, contributing to his bad posture. Kids, you should sit up straight and have enough support! The drums don't really play, but you can hit them with the drumsticks that Animal has and make some sounds. Just don't expect music to be the result.
The framework of a stage surrounds the drums, and the frame has six removable stage lights. The stage lights and swivel and turn, and they clip onto the framework so you can design your own lighting solution. There are also two speakers that go with the stage and they must be for someone else, because Animal has no trouble being heard! Heard is one thing, listened to is another.
The highlight of the stage design is the piping all around the stage to simulate the neon lights for the band. The band's logo has been created in neon, and the pieces are molded in clear plastic with glitter highlights to give them a very realistic look of neon tubing. The piping covers the large logo behind Animal and at other parts of the stage. The front has a nice image of Dr. Teeth's mouth, inspired by the lips of the Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger might be a 'Sir', but he's no doctor!
The stage was designed by Ken Lilly and then brought to life by Johnny Apokolips for the sculpting and Eddie Wires for painting. Neon is one of the Noble Gasses, and some might argue the noblest of the group. There isn't any solid evidence that neon has helped an old lady across the street, and since neon tends to frequent bar signs those who argue for neon just might be wrong.
Electric Mayhem was product designer Ken Lilly's first choice to play his wedding reception but they passed when he demanded they audition '101 Polka Hits' for him. That and they will not play the Macarena. Ever. In lieu of that reception, take a look at some images of the Electric Mayhem playset dressed out with the rest of the Muppet figures playing a little gig for your enjoyment!
Pictures of Animal
Pictures of the Electric Mayhem Stage
Pictures of the Muppets on the Stage
|Where to buy the Electric Mayhem playset: The Electric Mayhem playset with Animal action figure retails in the $19.99 to $29.99 USD price range, and is available at stores like Toys'R'Us, Electronics Boutique, Suncoast, and Musicland, as well as various online toy retailers.
Several such online stores are RTM sponsors AisleSniper.com, Big Bad Toy Store, The Outer Reaches, and NHAtoys. (Be sure to check the other RTM sponsors, listed on the Shop Center.)