8 Inch Scale
By: Playing Mantis
$9.99 (Back in the day)
It’s time for another Toy Advent Calendar review! Be sure to visit the Toy Advent Calendar each day for a new toy review from a ton of different contributors! I was sleeping at the wheel with this one, but it’s a long time coming!
If you’re living anywhere like me, you’ve been hit by the frigid weather, icy conditions and a metric ton of snow this year. That must mean the old Winter Warlock is up to his tricks. Or at least, that’s how it seems. Back at the turn of the century, toy companies were able to crank out action figures of just about every property under the sun. That allowed Playing Mantis to create a line of figures devoted to the Rankin-Bass holiday classic, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
For a figure that’s over a decade old, this package would work just as well in today’s market. The bright red coloring is just the sort of thing you’d expect from a Christmas toy line. It also helps the Warlock stand out, because of the color contrast. Beyond that, it’s a pretty standard card.
The back has a nice little bio about how the Winter Warlock eventually became Old Man Winter and even shows off a promo for the DVD release of the film. It’s a nice little card back and hits all the important elements. These were available at K-Mart and places like CVS. They’re harder to find these days.
The Winter Warlock has a surprisingly nice sculpt. Right off the bat, you can tell this is the character from the claymation film. He looks very detailed and is quite striking in person.
His outfit is a nice mix of soft goods and real fake beard. It gives him that extra three dimensional quality that just wouldn’t work as well if he was all plastic. He’s a pretty large figure, with crooked fingers and a bent nose. Downright nefarious!
The paint work on the face is really top notch, with a nice mix of blue, gray and whites. His outfit is impressive as well, as it’s a bright white color, but in certain lights it has an almost opalescent blue tint.
Perhaps most surprising, is that underneath he has a full sculpted outfit. Playing Mantis could have easily skipped out and made his body just a very generic sculpt, but instead they gave him a whole outfit complete with painted details and patchwork.
Another surprising element of the Winter Warlock is just how articulated he is. Playing Mantis weren’t playing around (no pun intended) when it came time to articulate this guy. For a seasonal figure, he’s got more articulation than a lot of the stuff on shelves today!
The Warlock also has swivel arm battle grip, additional swivels at the upper wrist, swivels at the feet and waist as well as hinged legs. It’s more than enough to get all kinds of posing out of this guy.
Yes, the Winter Warlock even comes with accessories!
At $9.99 back in the day, these were a bit costly. Of course, in today’s market, he would be an absolute steal at that price. You can find him on the secondary market for a variety of prices, but I’d say $15-$20 is fair. He makes a great addition to any holiday scene and fits in well with other Rankin-Bass displays.
Even if you’re not a big fan of Santa Claus Comes To Town (And I’m not), this is a fantastic figure. He’s perfect for holiday displays of any type and he makes for a fun figure to play out in the snow with. Given this year has been such a white Christmas, it’s great to have the Winter Warlock on display!