A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Hey! It’s Christmas! So, to those of you who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas! To those of you who don’t, I offer a more generic, but still fully sincere Happy Holidays! Coming up with Christmas-themed figures to review is sometimes a little difficult, since I tend to go for more year-round applicable stuff in my collecting. But, I do have a small little pool of various holiday-themed stuff. One of the classic Christmas specials is A Charlie Brown Christmas, which marked the second time the popular comic strip characters made their way into animation. Generally speaking, a bunch of normally dressed kids don’t make for the most toy-etic property, but there have been a few tries at translating the characters into plastic form. In 2003, toy company Playing Mantis (who are sadly no longer in business) did a rather expansive line of honest to god action figures based on the characters, which included a whole set devoted to the Christmas special. Today, I’ll be looking at their version of the titular character!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Charlie Brown was part of the A Charlie Brown Christmas line of figures from Playing Mantis. He was available as both a single release figure and as part of a three-pack with Linus and Sally. Mine is the single release. In addition, he was available with two different facial expressions: a fairly basic smile, and a singing expression, as seen at the end of the special. This figure is the latter. The figure stands 4 ½ inches tall and has 10 points of articulation, which was actually quite a step up from the movement on the non-Christmas figures. The Peanuts characters have a pretty distinct look about them, which is pretty largely linked to them only being seen in two-dimensions. That being said, this figure’s sculpt actually a pretty great translation of the mid-60s look of the character. The head shape in particular is pretty spot-on, and looks great from just about every angle. The one real inaccuracy of the figure is the hands, which forego the usual shaping of the hands in place of more functional hand meant for holding accessories (though none of Charlie Brown’s accessories…). For the most part, Charlie Brown’s molded in the proper colors instead of using paint, but he does have a few painted details. His face is a good match for the look from the cartoon, and the work on his hair and shoelaces is pretty solid. Charlie Brown includes his signature hat from the special, as well as two versions of the classic tree, both spindly and fully decorated, as well as snowy display stand. The trees are pretty cool, because the fully decorated version can be cracked open, so that the smaller tree can be placed inside it, and its one ornament shows through the outer tree, just like in the actual special.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, Charlie Brown isn’t actually mine. He’s kind of a joint possession of my entire family, along with the rest of the A Charlie Brown Christmas figures. We pull them out and set them up every Christmas season. For a Christmas decoration, he’s actually not bad. As an action figure? Eh, he’s reasonable. The articulation’s not exactly the most extensive, but it’s good for a few basic standing poses. Plus the actual look of the guy is pretty great, and he has a cool selection of accessories.