BETTY HAYNES, PHIL DAVIS, & BOB WALLACE
IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS (EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE)
“IIIII’m dreeeaaming of a Whiiiite Christmas….”
Heyo, it’s another Christmas morning, and another day of me being a little bit festive here on the site! My family and I have a whole ton of various holiday films and specials we have like to watch during the season. The exact order is mostly free form, but the whole thing is always kicked off by the same film, which we always watch during out assembly of our main tree. That film is the focus of today’s review: White Christmas. It’s one of my very favorite holiday films (and really one of my favorite films in general), though it’s not necessarily the most toy-etic film in existence. Despite that, it still managed to get a set of figures courtesy of Exclusive Premiere, who built a whole company on releasing toys based on non-toy-etic properties. Perhaps surprising no-one, they didn’t go very far with that business plan. But hey, at least we got these guys, right?
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Betty, Phil, and Bob were all released in 1998 by Exclusive Premiere. It’s sort of an odd line-up. I mean, yeah, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Bing Crosby were all in starring roles, but there’s kind of a major character missing here: Judy Haynes, Betty’s sister, played by Vera-Ellen. Admittedly, she’s the least known of the four leads, but she’s still a major part of the story, and it’s a little weird she was left out…but like I said, it’s kind of a miracle they got made at all, so, I guess that’s the thing to focus on.
Betty’s the most unique of the three. She’s built on EP’s standard female body, standing about 8 3/4 inches tall with 11 points of articulation. The body was alright, I guess. It doesn’t have elbow movement, which is kind of frustrating, but there’s been worse base bodies. She’s got a unique head sculpt, which is probably the best of the three here. It’s got a passable resemblance to Rosemary Clooney. I’d hardly call it spot-on, but given the quality of the other likenesses put out by EP, it’s borderline amazing how well this one turned out. The tailoring on her dress is decent enough even the price point, and compared to the others. It doesn’t look terrible by any stretch of the imagination, and it hits all of the major design points of her on-screen dress. There are some smaller details that are missing, but the important stuff is all there.
Phil and Bob are both essentially the same figure, separated only by a head sculpt. It’s not the worst thing ever, I suppose, since it’s not like Kaye and Crosby were horribly different in build. That being said, the standard base body they’re both using is a little on the buff side for either of these two guys. They both stand 9 inches tall and have 13 points of articulation. At least their elbows can move. The bodies are kind of similar to the Playmates 9-inch Trek figures, which isn’t awful, but these are definitely of a slightly lower quality. The heads are decent, I suppose. I think Phil’s the stronger of the two. It looks kind of like Kaye, but not a ton. I guess you can figure him out in context, though. Bob’s…well, Bob looks a bit like a cartoon character. Like, I guess it’s Bing Crosby, but it’s more like the Genie as Bing Crosby caricature from Aladdin and the King of Thieves, and less like real Bing. There’s noooooo doubt about it. But, like Phil, you can kind of piece him together in context. Neither head is particularly helped by the hat that’s permanently glued to it, but I guess they won’t bet lost that way. From the neck down, they’re both wearing the same Santa suit. It’s not great. It’s really baggy, and lumpy, and sloppy, and not particularly accurate to the suits seen in the movie. This is probably due to this same exact suit being used on EC’s Miracle on 34th Street Santa Claus, where it was still inaccurate, of course, so I guess they just spilt the difference between the two looks.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like the previously reviewed Charlie Brown, these guys aren’t technically mine, but are instead more of a joint family possession that gets pulled out and put on the shelf every holiday season. They’re goofy as all get out, and even 20 years later, I’m still a little bitter that Judy got left out, but the novelty of just having White Christmas figures forgives a lot of sins.