RUDOLPH AND THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS (PLAYING MANTIS)
Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer. Wait, wait, sorry, that was last year. Yes, it’s Christmas once again. So, to those of you that celebrate, Merry Christmas. And to those of you that don’t Happy Holidays! Last year was A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, it’s the other big Christmas special, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Of course, I’m not looking at Rudolph himself. No no, that would be too obvious. Instead, I’m looking at his best pal Hermey, the elf who dreams of dentistry. Because why not? You do you, Hermey. You do you. Let’s get onto the figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hermey was released in the first series of Playing Mantis’s Rudolf and the Island of Misfit Toys line from 2000. As with many of Playing Mantis’s lines, Hermey was available as a single packed figure, as well as in a multi-pack with Sam the Snowman and Yukon Cornelius. My figure was the single release. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 10 points of articulation. Not the most posable figure ever, but he was actually pretty innovative for the time. The hip articulation in particular is very clever, and pretty much entirely hidden. Hermey’s sculpt is all-new to this particular figure. It’s not a 100% accurate recreation of the stop-motion model from the special. The head’s a little more rounded, especially around the chin, and his neck is a bit shorter. That being said, he’s a pretty darn close recreation, and it seems the changes that were made were mostly in an effort to make the figure a little sturdier, which I can certainly appreciate. The level of detailing on the sculpt is quite impressive. The hair in particular is very well rendered. The figure originally sported a removable hat, which mine is sadly missing. It was actually pretty cool and it was secured on his head via a rather discrete set of raised ridges on the back of his hair. Hermey’s paintwork is pretty solid work. Most of it’s just pretty straightforward color work, but the face and hair sport some quite effective accent work, which offers the sculpt some “pop.” Hermey included two large teeth (removed from Bumble), a pair of extracting tongs, a book on Dentistry, and a small hammer, which is a very nice assortment of extras.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked up Hermey when he was new. I believe my Dad and I were running an errand to Target just prior to setting up the usual Christmas decorations, and I was allowed to pick something out for said decorating. What a shock, I went for the action figure. Yeah, I know. Who’d have guessed? Hermey’s always been my favorite character from Rudolph, and this figure’s a pretty darn good representation of him. Playing Mantis had a tendency to take outside of the box properties and turn them into some pretty awesome toys, so it’s a shame that they aren’t still around.