Ghosts of Christmas: Past, Present & Future
5 Inch Scale
By: Memory Lane
$19.99 (Back in the day)
My final review for the Toy Review Advent Calendar is a real doozy as it’s three figures in one set! And not only are these three different figures, but each figure is of a character playing another character! We’re getting into real “dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude” territory today.
I mentioned a few years ago in my Uncle Scrooge Review that as a youngster, I was blessed with a “taped off TV” VHS tape of Mickey’s Christmas Carol. This was the version that aired on ABC and had the little opening sequence with extra Disney Christmas cartoons on it. It was an annual tradition to watch that worn out old tape in my household, and I still have the tape to this day. Sadly it doesn’t play as well (plus my VCR is buried under other things I don’t use anymore) so I have to settle for the abridged DVD version.
Even so, I love Mickey’s Christmas Carol and was elated to get the whole collection of figures a few years ago. I’ve reviewed pretty much everyone here on the website, except for the Ghosts of Christmas. At least until now! The Ghosts of Christmas set came out shortly after the figures and was the only “deluxe” set put out by Memory Lane. It included all three ghosts (past, present and future) as well as a smattering of accessories.
As with all the Mickey’s Christmas Carol figures, this is a top notch set that makes me miss not only my childhood, but the days when toys like this could be readily bought on the shelves. Continue reading
So I don’t have the packages for either of these two, so I’m going to do a quick spotlight photo review. Mickey Mouse stars as Bob Cratchit in the Mickey Christmas Carol and Morty Mouse, one of the Mickey’s small friends, is Tiny Tim. Each of these figures were packed on a single card, they were not a double pack.
Mickey looks great as Bob Cratchit and as with the other figures, Playing Mantis put a lot of attention to the details on his outfit. The hat unfortunately just sits on the head and is prone to fall off with even the slightest ant fart.
The scarf is removable and underneath is a nice little suit coat.
The back has several details painted and sculpted.
Mickie however, unlike Minnie, is an important character in the story and a much needed addition to the set.
He comes with a coal bucket, one piece of coal (not pictured), an ink quill that needs to be thawed out and a home sweet home sign. All things that were seen in the film.
I didn’t even know the mouse who played Tiny Tim had a name. I don’t really recall seeing Morty in anything else, but I guess he is a established Disney toon character.
He is pretty adorable as Tiny Tim and it’s an important figure to have for the collection.
He has a slight lean so that you can use his crutch. His hat, unlike everyone else’s, has a groove to fit the ears and it sits on his head pretty good.
Since Morty was smaller than everyone else, they gave him a ton of Tiny Tim accessories. He comes with the little bear he gets at the end, a stool, a barrel, a Christmas tree and two different presents.
Both figures are worth picking up, but can be a bit costly to track down. They make a nice addition to the set, but otherwise they could also be used as decent Mickey Mouse figures. Playing Mantis’ Memory Lane line was really good and it’s a shame these figures came and went so suddenly.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Minnie Mouse as Mrs. Cratchit
5 Inch Scale
By: Playing Mantis (Memory Lane)
Minnie Mouse isn’t a very interesting character. That makes her perfect to play the role of Mrs. Cratchet in Disney’s take on the Christmas Carol story, because Mrs. Cratchit isn’t a very interesting character either. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily make her much of a cool toy. Playing Mantis decided to include her in the set anyway, so here’s a review of the lovely lass!
The packages are simple bubble cards, but look really nice. The plush red coloration with the gold highlights and Mickey’s Christmas Carol logo come together nicely. Although it’s a pretty standard bubble, it has enough charm that you definitely could see collectors displaying as well. Minnie’s accessories are under a separate bubble attached the to card, behind the figure.
K-Mart seemed to be the only place to sell these when they hit in 2003, but it looks as though they found their way to the clearance aisles. I guess all Christmas stuff does, eventually though. Nobody shopped at K-Mart in 2003. Probably part of the reason nobody knows these figures exist.
The back shows off the other figures via animation stills, including Mrs. Cratchit. They also have a brief summary of one of Mrs. Cratchit’s handful of appearances in the film.
As a bit of an added bonus, the inside cover has a animation still from the film. Minnie’s is actually a big pot she had on the fire. You’d think it’s food, but it’s actually Scrooge’s laundry. The Cratchit’s are hella poor, yo!
Even though Minnie Mouse and Mrs. Cratchit are both dreadfully boring, the Memory Lane line did provide a decent sculpt. Minnie has a cloth kerchief, which helps to add some flare to an otherwise boring design.
Minnie looks good, which is about all you can ask for. Again, she makes the transformation from 2D to 3D fairly seamlessly.
A handful of details have been sprinkled throughout the sculpt, but it’s nothing that will knock your socks off. Her heels and feet are appropriately big, making her quite stable. I wish Scrooge stood this good!
Basically she’s background fodder for your display, so she’s not got a lot going on. She could have been cheaply made, but she looks decent enough that it won’t drag your display down.
Minnie doesn’t have a lot in the way of articulation.
She has cut wrists, a cut neck, cut waist, cut shoulders and cut legs. It’s kind of strange that the elbow hinges are absent on her, but I guess it was a cost cutting measure. If you’re going to scrimp out on someone, might as well be her.
To try and add some value to an otherwise dull character, Minnie comes with a fair amount of accessories.
She has a full dinner set, including 5 plates, 2 opening display bowls (?) and an extra goose.
The turkey thing is kind of cool, because in the beginning they’re eating a tiny bird, but then Scrooge comes and gives them a giant goose for Christmas.
It’s actually hollow on one side, so you can fit it over the little bird. Points for creativity!
Minnie isn’t too hard to find and she wasn’t ever very popular. You can expect to pay in the $10-$15 range for her. Of course, you could actually skip her altogether if you don’t need a complete set. I dunno if she was shortpacked because of her general unnecessary nature or not. That might make her rare.
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 5
Accessories – 2 Serving Bowls with lids, 5 Plates, Extra Cooked Bird
Value – 6
Overall – 7 out of 10
Minnie drops down to a seven overall. There’s nothing wrong with her. It’s just, she’s not got a lot to offer. For what she is, she’s quite well made and the accessories are pretty cool, even if we don’t really need most of them. Points for effort on this one, but she’s still kind of an afterthought.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Uncle Scrooge as Ebenezer Scrooge
5 Inch Scale
By: Playing Mantis (Memory Lane)
When I was a kid, my Uncle taped a bunch of Christmas cartoons in an era when everyone still didn’t have VCRs. Although we had a VCR, my parents weren’t technologically advanced enough to tape anything off of TV. So my Uncle’s tape of holiday cartoons became a staple around our house. In it was the NBC version of Mickey’s Christmas Carol. The feature itself was the same, but it was forwarded by a couple snippets of other Disney winter and Christmas cartoons. This originally was to give NBC an hour long run time.
To me, that is the only way to see the Disney Christmas Carol and it’s how I viewed it every year, without fail until two years ago when the worn out old tape finally started to screw up. Last year I searched out all the cartoons, but I couldn’t quite get it to work as well as the full program. This year, THANKFULLY, I found someone on YouTube had uploaded the entire NBC version and I will finally have it in my collection again.
What’s this got to do with Scrooge? Well he’s the star of the program. He’s also the hardest and most expensive figure of Memory Lane’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol line. Is he worth it? Let’s take a trip to ol’ Fuzziwig’s and find out.
The packages are simple bubble cards, but look really nice. The plush red coloration with the gold highlights and Mickey’s Christmas Carol logo come together nicely. Although it’s a pretty standard bubble, it has enough charm that you definitely could see collectors displaying as well.
Ebenezer is on display front and center. He’s not really posed like Goofy was, he’s just pretty basic in stature.
The back shows off the other figures, but does so by showing animation stills. I really like that presentation. The back is also designed like a page from a book and although it’s not a bio per se, it reads like a script from a scene. Scrooge’s scene is after he repents and realizes he hasn’t missed Christmas. I should add, that all the card art shows Scrooge in his red coat (he wore both a red and a blue coat in the show) and it might have made more sense to show Ebenezer in blue. Conversely, they should have released a red coat variant.
As a bit of an added bonus, the inside cover has a animation still from the film. Scrooge’s is from where he first sees the haunted door knocker. This is the mark of a toy company that loves it’s product.
I picked this figure up for dual reasons. One, I love Mickey’s Christmas Carol, but two, I’m also a huge Ducktales fan. Ducktales was the animated adventures of Uncle Scrooge and sadly, for reasons unknown, Ducktales never got a toy line. Now at least, I have the star.
Uncle Scrooge looks pretty good overall, with plenty of detail in his face and legs, but isn’t quite as “perfect” as Marley. For starters, mine seems to have warped legs and simply can not stand on his own. If Scrooge appears in weird angles in this review, that’s the reason. I do think this is an exclusive problem with mine, not every Scrooge, but I only have this one so I can’t say for sure. Donald (who has a similar sculpt) stands fine.
Scrooge’s overcoat is a bit out or proportion, but that tends to happen with soft goods on small scale. It’s not terrible, though. The coat is removable and I was hoping that Uncle Scrooge would have an outfit a little closer to his aforementioned Ducktales outfit… But sadly it’s not quite there.
The coat does seem to stain the neck a little (not much) but mine have been in package for seven years so that may have played a part in that. Regardless, it’s a minor issue. The glasses are actually drilled into his duck bill and it actually works well enough. It looks a little odd from the side, but it’s great from the front.
Overall the details on Scrooge and his accessories are quite nice. The sculpt and paint are definitely not among the minor issues with this figure. I think Memory Lane did a great job here and perhaps had they gotten to re-release these sets a few times like they did with other lines, any imperfections would have been smoothed out.
Uncle Scrooge has decent articulation, but a few extra points might could have helped his stability. Again, I think my actual figure is flawed somewhere, so it may not have been needed.
He has cut shoulders, a cut neck, cut wrists, swivel legs and hinge elbows. Considerably less than Goofy, but that’s more because of his design. It’s not like they intentionally cheaped out on Scrooge’s articulation. Adding articulation points to a duck, isn’t easy.
Whatever Scrooge lacks in articulation, he makes up for in accessories. He’s loaded to the
gills tail feathers with cool movie specific accessories. Not including his removable cloth jacket and scarf, he comes with the following:
A nicely made Santa sack. I’ve seen plenty of “Santa” bags through my years, but this is one of the nicest.
The candle that he uses through several scenes of the film.
A pile of coins, with some details on them.
A small toy solider. Painted well for such a small item.
The hat is an interesting item, as they sculpted two little grippers inside to grab on to his head feathers. Unfortunately it doesn’t work very well and does more harm than good. His hat is constantly falling off.
These figures ran about $7.99 in 2003, but finding Scrooge for that price in today’s market is next to impossible. He’s usually over $20 and in some instances, $45 and up. He’s definitely not worth that much, but the collection is incomplete without him. Ducktales fans could eat this guy up too.
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Hat, Coat, Scarf, Cane, Soldier, Candle, Trumpet, Coins, Bag
Value – 7
Overall – 7.5 out of 10
I bumped Scrooge down just a bit. The sculpt is still splendid, but I had an issue getting him to stand and some of the accessories don’t work quite as well as they should. He’s still a fun figure, but a few of the minor issues were quite the nuisance. Don’t be a Scrooge this holiday season and leave us a reply!