In the year 2001, the Earth was invaded by one very special extraterrestrial.
And from his initial debut on Nickelodeon, Invader Zim skyrocketed in popularity and quickly became one of the most universally recognizable animated characters Nickelodeon has ever had a claim to, alongside Spongebob Squarepants. And of course, high popularity always brings a high demand for merchandise; a call which Palisades Toys was all too happy to answer.
ZimThe first Zim figurine, produced by Palisades Toys, features the titular Irken Invader in his original uniform. The figurine stands in a squat stance that makes it stable enough to stand on its own. It is posable at the neck, shoulders, waist and gloves, which is a considerable amount of mobility considering the figure's diminutive size.
According to reviews, the figure is well-sculpted with a good amount of detail, including eyes made of transluscent plastic that give them a nice look of depth.
Additionally, the PAK can be removed and replaced with an add-on that represents the PAK with its "spider legs" deployed; these are also posable at each joint, allowing for a very wide array of different postures. This feature is meant more for play than display, but it could easily serve either purpose.
AccessoriesThe Zim figurine comes with a display set (referred to in packaging as "Zim's subterranean base of DOOM"), which includes a peg on the floor for Zim to stand on and a console. Additionally, it featured holes in the sides where you could add on additional monitors that could be attached by flexible cables that plugged into the holes. Included were stickers that could be placed on the monitors to represent screen displays; these are not removable.
Hot Topic Variant
The exclusive Hot Topic variation of this toy features a much more expressive head molding, with Zim sporting a familiar kooky expression, as if he were in the middle of shouting at GIR or laughing triumphantly.
The Hot Topic set also features more accessories designed to compliment the ones already in the regular line. The Exclusive Zim has an Irken monitor, an artificial intelligence brain, two connector tentacles and one connector pin to expand the display set, and a "bestest friendz" card made for him by Keef.
Toyfare ExclusiveThis Toyfare exclusive version of Zim features a body identical to the others, but makes up for this with a very different facial sculpt. This exclusive version of the figure portrays Zim with a look of absolute rage, with furrowed brow, slitted eyes and a hilariously furious underbite with his lower teeth jutting out.
The other half of the 2-figure set is GIR - also featuring a unique expression that encompasses the soul of the character very well. Sadly this set lacks diversity in accessories, featuring only a multitude of cables, connector rods and monitors that will fit with any of the other Series 1 displays, but nothing really new.
GIRThe first GIR figurine, also produced by Palisades, features Zim's robot sidekick in a familiar neutral pose.. The one he usually assumes in the silence before he does or says something stupid - which is often.
The GIR figurine is a fairly faithful adaptation of his animated appearance, with the only notable difference being his legs, which are connected to his body instead of somewhat hovering; however, the sculptors of the figurine's design can be forgiven for taking some liberties in this regard, as this aspect of Jhonen Vasquez's animation style is impossible to represent in figure form.
This slight inaccuracy aside, the GIR figure has a good deal of show-accurate detail, and, while naturally having less posability than larger figures (being only posable athe neck, shoulders and arms), GIR's figurine is unique in that it has a hollow head that can be opened by removing the "lid" in the top, which can fit a muffin or cupcake pretty well.
AccessoriesGIR comes with a display area made to look like the park where Zim crashed the Voot Cruiser, complete with crowd-control ropes, a "UFO Convention" banner and pedestal with disguised Voot Carrier - better known as the giant pig that Zim and GIR rode in the climax of Attack of the Saucer Morons - it even features a pair of foot-pegs in its back for Zim and GIR to actually "ride the pig."
GIR also comes with a small array of accessories, including a Saucer Moron hat, a bag of Krazy Tacos, and a purple SuckMunkey cup, all perfect accessories to keep GIR entertained.
Hot Topic Variant
The Hot Topic-exclusive GIR features the robot in one of his rare moments of competence and obedience to Zim's commands, a brief window of time which fans often refer to as GIR's "Duty Mode." During these moments, his blue accents turn red - a feature displayed very clearly on this particular figurine. Along with the narrowed red eyes, this model's other unique feature is its right arm, which is stretched to about three times its normal size so that the robot may salute his alien master. However that leaves it pretty much useless for anything else.
DibThe Dib figurine features Earth's young defender in his usual outfit; black boots, black pants, black trenchcoat, blue shirt. Despite appearing extremely disproportionate (as per usual for Jhonen's style) the figure is quite sturdy thanks to its wide-legged stance. Unfortunately, its tiny joints make it easy to break, so it should be handled rather gently.
Palisades did an excellent job recreating Dib's strange hairstyle, which is a definite highlight of the figure.
Like many of the other figures in the line, Dib also comes with a display set featuring the desk and Swollen Eyeball rug in the corner of his room.
Dib also comes with a multitude of small accessories such as the case files from "Career Day", headphones, external hard drive and stickers.
Hot Topic VariantThe exclusive Hot Topic variant of this toy features Dib with a much different expression, though the molding of the body stays basically the same. However the Hot Topic version comes with many cool accessories, making it worth purchasing even if one already has a Dib figure.
The accessories include a satellite dish, Dib's laptop, a briefcase with the Swollen Eyeball insignia on the side, a camera, and plenty of little photos, which fit inside the briefcase nicely.
GazThe Gaz figurine features Dib's younger sister in her usual, neutral pose, with the typical squinty expression. The figure is generally well-molded and has a decent amount of detail.
The figure has limited mobility, and may be a little less than sturdy in the wrong position, but for the most part it holds up well.
And in true Palisades fashion, Gaz comes with a good deal of fun accessories, such as a can of Poop Cola, a Blast-O baseball bat, a slice of pizza, and the monitor to control the tiny ship in Dib's guts, as seen in the episode "NanoZIM". The normal variant of this toy also comes with one of the floating monitors that Professor Membrane uses to keep in contact with his children.
Hot Topic VariantThe Hot Topic exclusive variant of this toy features Gaz with an expression of seething rage, eyes wide and brows turned down in a scowl, lip curled to show her teeth. The rest of the figure is predictably the same, however it also comes with some pretty good accessories, such as some drawings of a "little piggy", another can of Poop Cola, an Irken monitor, and an extra Game Slave, this time in dark purple, its proper colour.
Almighty Tallest PurpleThe only Tallest to make a debut in Series 1 was Purple. The figurine is extremely faithful to the character's design, and is surprising ambulatory for being so spindly. It features Purple with a very demure expression, and comes with a support platform on which the figure can be placed to 'stand' upright.
The figure also comes with a fantastic display ensemble that can be arranged in any variety of combinations, depending on your preference.
Additionally, and expectedly, the figure also comes with many fun accessories such as some Irken snacks and stickers for the display's monitors.
Hot Topic Variant
The Hot Topic exclusive variant of this toy features Purple with a much more mischievous expression. While the original may seem reserved, this version is clearly hatching some evil plot or another. In an additional plus, it is also compatible with all of the accessories from the regular version- meaning that both versions can play with the adorable Tallest Red puppet.The Hot Topic exclusive also comes with its own set of accessories, including an Irken burrito, and an Irken sandwich.. Presumably the sandwich that was given to Zim as consolation for being kicked out of Operation Impending Doom II.