Now Playing Mantis has treated us to a new
Rudolph toy - Santa's Workshop! The workshop is scaled to work with
the small PVC figures, also produced by Playing Mantis. It's a Toys
R Us exclusive, and costs $50. There are also three exclusive PVC
figures included; the little girl elf, the Chief Elf, and Mrs. Claus.
Packaging - ***
It's a big box. Hey, this isn't really the kind of toy anyone keeps
MIB, so the packaging isn't quite as crucial here. But it's still
important that it's attractive and colorful, and true to the source
material. If it isn't, it can hurt sales.
No problem on that score, and
the box will be sure to catch your eye as you wander through the Christmas
section of your local store.
This score is based on two areas - the sculpting of the playset, and the
sculpting on the three included PVC figures.
I were simply rating the sculpting and style of the workshop, I would have
rated this at least a half star and perhaps a full star higher. The
doors, windows, and external surfaces are terrific, and while the interior
might seem a bit simplistic, it fits the source material very well.
the same can't be said for the PVC's. Unlike last years action
figures, these PVC's aren't up to the level of sculpting and quality you'd
Of the three,
Mrs. Claus is the best, but all of the little girl elves I saw already had
very bent legs, and the sculpts on her and the Chief Elf are very soft.
The pastel colors and clean lines really make this set look great.
There's a nice wide variety of color being used, but the set itself isn't
so busy as to take away from any figures placed within.
folks may be turned off by the interior pastels though, as it may remind
them a little too much of a Barbie playhouse.
The quality of plastic used in this set is extremely good.
Everything is quite sturdy, and while breaking off a piece is still
possible, it's been built for normal play.
were several stickers however, and I'm never fond of stickers. While
most of them went on okay, I found the flag stickers extremely annoying
and difficult to apply. Getting the two halves to line up properly
was tough, and will certainly require adult assistance.
There are a ton of neat accessories included with the set. From the
basics, like several stools, a table, a bed and a bookcase, to more
extravagant items like Santa and Mrs. Claus chairs, or the small toys and
tools, everyone is well made and look terrific.
logs for the fireplace, and a pair of ladders to climb to the top of the
shop. The Christmas tree includes a strand of garland and a
removable star. I was very happy with the nice variety.
Factor - ***1/2
This playset was built for play, and kids will get a lot of fun out of
it. Pick up the set of PVC's and you'll have a great toy for kids of
The set takes a bit of a hit on the value side. While I like the
style, construction and accessories, fifty bucks is still a pretty steep
investment. I'm not complaining too loudly, mind you, but at around
$40 I would have felt like I'd gotten an appropriate value. Perhaps
leaving out the PVC's would have helped.
This set was almost a ***1/2, but the price along with the poor sculpting
on the PVC's brought it down slightly.
bought this for a special purpose however. As you can see by the
pictures, I have a ton of figures already in the set, and they certainly
aren't the PVC's. These are the Enesco ornaments, and they are right
in scale with the playset.
ornaments are a far cry better than the PVC's, as you can see by the photo
comparing the two Chief Elf figures. I needed a good place to
display these, and wasn't coming up with much. But when I heard this
castle was coming out, I knew I'd found my answer.
works perfectly with the ornaments, and the 8" Bumble is in scale as
well. Overall, I think it makes a terrific display, and now I just
have to hunt up the last three or four Enesco ornaments to finish it off!