Navigate / search

REVIEW: BlowUpDolls Series 3

buds series3 19


The BlowUpDolls line is Jamungo’s uber-popular platform figure line. First released in 2006, it’s one of the more successful blind-boxed series available. And with the recent release of BUD Series 3, they’ve added some new sculpts, different artists and plenty of impressive characters to the line.

buds series3 17

The Facts

BlowUpDolls Series 3
Series: BUDs
Manufacturer: Jamungo
Material: ABS Plastic
Dimensions: 2.75” to 3.75” tall
Points of Articulation: 8 (neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, and legs) Designs/Artists: Gohsted/FERG (8.0%); Crappy Cat/VANBEATER (7.0%); BUD 3/VANBEATER and FERG (8.0%); Son of Ar/KENN MUNK (8.0%); Doom Drip/AESTHETIC APPARATUS (4.0%); Red Devil secret/MUTTPOP (2.3%); Nitro Hell/JIM KOCH (8.0%); Flame Trooper/FRANK KOZIK (3.0%); Assistant for Cosmic Perception/JESSE LEDOUX (8.0%); Rowdy Buddy/YUCK (8.0%); Hurley Magic Vomit Mouth/JON BURGERMAN (8.0%); Leif/PEDINI (8.0%); Le Big Bang/SAUERKIDS (8.0%); Acid Bud/SUPERDEUX (8.0%); not pictured – The Mighty Dinero/MAD (2.6%) and Secret Chase/BRIAN MORRIS (1.0%)
Outfit: Gohsted – mini G hoodie; Doom Drip - cape
Accessories: Each bomb design includes a match; Crappy Cat – broken bottle

buds series3 01
buds series3 02


Like the two previous series, Blow Up Dolls Series 3 is blind boxed in a sturdy, rectangular cardboard box. There’s a trippy BUD design on three of the sides, and an illustrated list of the figures you might pull on the fourth.

Inside, the figure is packaged within a metallic bag (a pre-cut notch makes them easy to open). Each piece includes a card that shows the various figure possibilities, the artist, name of the design and odds you’ll get that design.

buds series3 16

Our Opinion

I’m often indifferent when it comes to blind-boxed lines. But Jamungo’s BlowUpDolls has always been a personal favorite. And while some lines have lost their luster with time, Ferg and Van Beater have concocted a recipe for success – release a new series every one to two years and make sure all of the designs are kick-ass. And it’s those reasons why Series 3 is the best BUDs series to date.

So, if you look at the very first photo at the top of the review, I’ve actually assembled the figures from favorite to least. Below, I’ll run down some things that I liked about specific designs. But, I first wanted to give a brief overview of the line. While the majority of the designs use the bomb head template, there are some flame head figures, and the addition of two new heads – Crappy Cat and Gohst.

buds series3 09

It’s no surprise that our first three designs are from Ferg and Van Beater. These are their babies, so it makes sense that they know how to use the design to perfection. The Gohsted is my personal fave due to the great little removable hoodie that covers his GID body. I actually like this smaller version of Crappy Cat much better than the large vinyl iteration. And how cool is the BUD3? The plastic actually has red glitter specks mixed in, to give it a great look.

While plenty of the other designs were impressive, they couldn’t compete with these three. Frank Kozik released his FLAMETROOPER, and if you remember, Series 1 had a BUDTROOPER and Series 2 saw the NADETROOPER. The Doom Drip character added a cape with an elastic collar, which brings another element to the line. And Kenn Munk’s design is possibly the best use of the flame head I’ve seen.

buds series3 05

So are there any duds? (No pun intended) I can only point to the Superdeux design. And that’s because it’s hard to miss. I believe George from Toy Break mentioned that his first impression of Series 3 wasn’t positive because of this one design. And I agree that this one figure really draws your gaze because of the bright colors used.

However, I’m still super impressed with this lineup. Platform toys rarely have consistently strong series. But Jamungo appears to be hitting their stride with their BlowUpDolls Series 3.

buds series3 11

For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

You can pick one up at the following:

Dragatomi: $9.99 ea.
Frozen Empire Toys: $8.95 ea.
Tainted Visions: $8.95 ea.

BlowUpDolls Series 3 Grades

Figure Quality: 8/10
    Sculpt: 8/10
    Paint: 9/10
Accessories/Outfit: 9/10
Packaging: 8/10
Durability: 8/10
Fun Factor: 10/10
Value: 8/10

Overall: 9.4/10
Gohsted/FERG: 9.5/10
Crappy Cat/VANBEATER: 9.3/10
BUD 3/VANBEATER and FERG: 9.3/10
Son of Ar/KENN MUNK: 9.2/10
Red Devil secret/MUTTPOP: 8.9/10
Nitro Hell/JIM KOCH: 8.8/10
Flame Trooper/FRANK KOZIK: 8.7/10
Assistant for Cosmic Perception/JESSE LEDOUX: 8.4/10
Rowdy Buddy/YUCK: 8.4/10
Hurley Magic Vomit Mouth/JON BURGERMAN: 8.3/10
Leif/PEDINI: 8.1/10
Le Big Bang/SAUERKIDS: 7.9/10
Acid Bud/SUPERDEUX: 7.3/10

buds series3 03
buds series3 04
buds series3 06
buds series3 08
buds series3 10
buds series3 12
buds series3 13
buds series3 14
buds series3 15
buds series3 20
buds series3 21
buds series3 22
buds series3 07
buds series3 18
What do you rate these figures?

New at Frozen Empire Toys – 12/09


New products available now at Frozen Empire Toys:

Bossy Bear - Green Milk & Cookies Guardian Edition by David Horvath / Toy2r $16.95
Crocadoca - Green Milk & Cookies Guardian Edition by David Horvath / Toy2r $16.95
Bossy Bear - Red Milk & Cookies Guardian Edition by David Horvath / Toy2r $16.95
Turtle - Green Milk & Cookies Guardian Edition by David Horvath / Toy2r $16.95
Terror & Magnus by Joe Ledbetter / The Loyal Subjects $92.50
Jibibuts - Wooden Mini Figures by Noferin - Blind Box $8.50
The Snow Yak Show - Microportfolio by Mark Ryden $12.50
Yoka Mini Figures Series 1 by Adfunture - Blind Box $6.95
Mini G-Robot Mini Figures by Adfunture - Blind Box $8.95
Blow Up Dolls Series 3 by Jamungo - Blind Box $8.95
Red O-No Sushi by Andrew Bell / DYZ Plastic $24.95
Kid Onion - US Edition by Easy Hey / Artoyz $37.50
Munnyworld DIY Toys by Kidrobot $9.95 each
Toyer-Z by Frank Kozik / Toy2r $79.95

Be sure to keep an eye on the website for frequent updates!

REVIEW: UP – Russell and Carl

up vinyl 23


One of the biggest (and arguably best) animated feature films of 2009 was Disney/Pixar's UP. Following the adventures of Russell (the Junior Wilderness Explorer) and Carl (the elderly man he needs to assist), the movie has already been nominated for a number of awards. Hot Toys acquired the license to produce figures based on the main characters, so we'll be looking at the vinyl collectible versions of Russell and Carl.

Russell is the most-prepared 8-year-old Junior Wilderness Explorer in Explorer history. Problem is, he’s never been anywhere except the Camping Museum downtown.

Carl Fredricksen doesn’t mean to be grouchy. But you’d be grouchy too if people just wouldn’t leave you alone.

up vinyl 10
up vinyl 12
up vinyl 13
up vinyl 14

The Facts

UP - Russell and Carl
Series: Vinyl Collectible Figures
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: Russell – 5.25”; Carl – 6.5”
Points of Articulation: Russell – 3 (arms and neck); Carl – 3 (arm, wrist and neck)
Accessories: Russell – two sticker sheets; Carl – quad cane

up vinyl 01
up vinyl 03


Russell and Carl and packaged in similar UP themed packaging. The front of the box (and one side) features a plastic windowpane. The character’s name is located on a tag on the front, and there is a pretty extensive bio on the rear panel (along with a picture from the film).

up vinyl 05
up vinyl 06

Inside the box, the figure is packaged in between dual, interlocking plastic trays. Each UP figure includes a colored background that features a scenic view from the film and a cutout floating house.

up vinyl 25
up vinyl 26
up vinyl 27
up vinyl 28

 Our Opinion

I’m often turned off by the CGI look of Disney Pixar’s film offerings. Call me a purist, but it often creeps me out. Still, I really wanted to see UP. I eventually bought the Blu-Ray and was fairly impressed with the story and illustration work. Although, I’m still not sure that just because it’s animated - that it’s for kids. The movie seemed directed more towards adults.

With that being said, I was glad to see that Hot Toys was releasing a pair of rotocast vinyl figures based on UP. The first time I saw the figures – Russell and Carl – up close was at Sideshow’s 2009 SDCC booth. And to say that they impressed might be understating it.

up vinyl 09

Russell – We’ll first take a look at young (8 year old) Russell. The little guy includes an enormous backpack strapped to his back. Attached to the backpack, you have a bugle, flag, net, flashlight, toothpaste, mug, knife, rope, bedroll, and some pans. Because the backpack has so much sculpting work, it needs a stand to help support the figure. Russell is sculpted in a saluting pose, and while the arms move…it’s extremely limited.

up vinyl 07

What’s very cool is that Russell includes two sheets of stickers. There are instructions that show what stickers go where. But you, basically, can place his little merit badges on his sash, and place the various Wilderness Explorer stickers around his shirt, hat and backpack. The drawback is that many of these stickers are supposed to go on curved areas. So you’ll find yourself smoothing over these stickers every couple of days.

up vinyl 17

Carl Fredricksen – Next up is the crotchety 78-year old Carl. This figure includes a removable quad cane walker (with those lovely tennis balls). The articulation with Carl is a little better than Russell, however, the elbow joint seems slightly loose.

Some things to look for on Carl include his wedding ring, Grape Soda cap button, hearing aid and eyeglasses. They pulled off the glasses pretty well. (Eyeglasses are often the downfall of toys/action figures)

up vinyl 16

While I’ve seen Hot Toys’ 1:6 scale and Cosbaby lines, these were the first rotocast vinyl figures that I’ve reviewed from the company. I was very impressed by the sculpting work on both Russell and Carl. There are some spots (Carl’s hands and Russell’s backpack) where you can see small lines, presumably from the mold.

They’ve done some interesting work with the paint applications. While there are some places where the paintwork isn’t tight (especially the backpack), they’ve done some very cool washes (Carl’s hair, Russell’s hat). Hot Toys has also done some very cool pink shading on each figure’s face.

up vinyl 20

I – for one – am looking forward to seeing Hot Toys produce most vinyl collectible figures based on their various film licenses.

You can pick one up at the following:

Sideshow: $64.99 ea. Wait List

UP Grades

Figure Quality: 9/10
    Sculpt: 9/10
    Paint: 8/10
Accessories/Outfit: 8/10
Packaging: 9/10
Durability: 8/10
Fun Factor: 9/10
Value: 8/10

Russell: 9.0/10
Carl: 9.4/10

up vinyl 03
up vinyl 04
up vinyl 08
up vinyl 11
up vinyl 15
up vinyl 18
up vinyl 19
up vinyl 22
up vinyl 29
up vinyl 24
up vinyl 30
up vinyl 31
What do you rate this figure?