Sculpting - ***1/2
Again, Playing Mantis shows what they can do when they set their minds to
it. These sculpts are more detailed and complex than the Peanuts line,
and while the claymation wasn't all that complex, the details that were
there are all included. Areas like Santa's beard, the Chief Elf's
costume, or the bodies of the reindeer all have the appropriate level of
Paint - **
The paint ops on this set isn't as nice as the previous years. I've
heard that PM is aware of the issue and took steps to resolve it, making
sure that later shipments were improved.
I had to be very particular picking out my set to avoid rub
marks, very sloppy lines, or spot completely missing paint. The
problems were on both the figures and the accessories, so be very careful if
you are buying from the early assortments.
Articulation - ***
PM has done an great job again giving most of these figures all the
articulation they need.
Young Buck Rudolph and Comet have joints at the top of all
four legs and the neck. The leg sculpts were done to give the figures
a nice, walking appearance, and the sculpt works with the level of
Skinny Santa has neck, shoulders, cut elbows, wrists, and
hips, while Mrs. Claus has neck, shoulders, wrists and ankles.
Chief Elf has neck, shoulders, wrists, ankles and the same
interesting slit leg joint that Hermey had. It allows for a wide range
of motion, and a lot more positions than you'd expect. His nose also
turns, although that doesn't actually do much for changing his look.
Charlie is the odd ball, as he has bendy arms, and is
attached to the inside of the box with a spring. That means he bounces
around, looking as if he just popped up.
Accessories - ***1/2
Each figure comes with a two or three sensible, well designed accessories.
Santa has a set of jingle bells, which he can easily hold, and a 'baby'
Rudolph. Baby Rudolph has the same articulation as the big version,
and he looks terrific. His hat is removable of course.
Mrs. Claus (what is her first name?) comes with a mixing bowl and
spoon, and the misfit flying fish with a big fishbowl. The design on
the misfit fish is really terrific, allowing you to pose him on the top edge
of the bowl just like in the show.
Charlie in the Box is the lightest, as he only has the misfit
plane. However, the plane was designed to stand, displaying his face
on the underside.
The Chief Elf is well outfited, with his baton/pointer, paint brush,
paint jar, toy wagon, and train blueprints. His hat is also removable.
Comet has his coach's whistle, along with the misfit boat. His
baseball cap is also removable.
Teen years Rudolph only comes with the misfit jelly squirt gun, but he
has the light up feature similar to the original. Push down on his
tail, and his nose lights up. Mine works alright, although you have to
mess with it a bit. The original version did work slightly better,
requiring a simple touch.
Value - ****
In the boxed sets, these figures are only $5 each, which is a great price
for a well sculpted, nicely articulated figure with some terrific
accessories. Even at the carded price of $6 each, they are still a
pretty good deal.
Overall - ***1/2
The only disappointment with this set was the poor paint application,
and if you're careful you should be able to find ones that don't have the
problem. Also, I'm glad to hear PM has recognized the issue and have
supposedly resolved it with future shipments.
I'll be reviewing the deluxe King Racer and Dog Sled set
soon as well. This is one of the best seasonal lines ever produced!
Where to Buy -
They are hitting most K-marts already, where the carded figures are $6
and the deluxe figures are $10. I've also found them at Kohl's,
where they had the boxed sets for $15 and the deluxe figures for $9.
Both Target and Toys R Us should be getting them in soon.