Reindeer Games Rudolph
So I was in Toys R Us the other day when I came across some Christmas merchandise, specifically for Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.
Like most everyone, I love the special it was based on. Is it my favorite Christmas special? No: Charlie Brown and The Grinch both have it beat, and there are two or three other Rankin/Bass stop motion productions that I think are at least as good. But Rudolph also has a special place in my heart.
"Reindeer Games Rudolph" is one of several figures produced by "Forever Fun," a company I know next to nothing about... but am interested to see more of. There were several other figures in the same line, and I'm planning on picking up at least one or two others.
Appearance: 7 out of 10
Rudolph's score is dragged down by the articulation and the battery compartment - not that I'm complaining. Well, okay, so I am complaining, but what do you expect from a review? I'll make it up to Rudolph when we get to the "Play and Display" section.
The knee joints do hurt the over all look a bit - not that I'd trade them, but that's later. Likewise, the panel and screws on Rudolph's stomach are visible.
Other than that, he's a good approximation of the character. The head sculpt looks fine, and the proportions look right.
I should add that you want to take a close look at what you're buying before you buy it: some of these had problems with the paint application for the mouth. I found a few that were fine and a few that weren't: just look closely at the figure and choose one that looks like it should.
Packaging and Extras: +2
The package is attractive enough, though it appears a bit generic. There's an opening in the pack, so you can try out Rudolph's nose. I could do without this, though, since it means children could have run down the battery. I like the inclusion of other figures from the same line on the back, though, especially since I'm still deliberating which others to pick up:
Next, there's the base, which isn't necessary for Rudolph to stand but does open up some additional posing possibilities. The stand looks fine, nothing exceptional, but it certainly does the job. I wish it was big enough to hold the woodland pals or, even better, if it opened and contained a spot you could fit the nose cover... but that would be asking an awful lot.
Play and Display: +2
The articulation on Rudolph is good, though somewhat limited. The knees are connected by ball joints, but the joints connecting the legs to the body somewhat limit your options. Likewise, the head can turn, but not as far as you might expect. The tail isn't articulated, because it serves as a button for the light-up nose.
The package boasts that Rudolph is "super-poseable", which is an unusual description. It's also fairly accurate: while Rudolph doesn't have a huge amount of articulation, he'll hold the pose you give him. His base includes small pegs which fit into his feet, opening additional options. You want him standing upright? No problem!
In addition, Rudolph has a light-up nose. Press on his tail, and it turns on. Unfortunately it goes off the second you stop applying pressure. I'd rather if it stayed on for a few seconds, but it's a minor complaint. The light itself is bright red and looks great: well worth not having an articulated tail.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 10+/10
Over the last year we've seen prices increase across the board at toy stores. Well, apparently someone forgot to send Forever Fun the memo, because Rudolph is selling for eight bucks. That's not a clearance price or a sale: that's full retail.
And that's a good deal. While this is clearly being marketed to a large audience, the quality of the figure and its accessories is on par with collectibles costing twice as much. This is an excellent figure, and I'm thinking about picking up one or two more from this line.
I also want to add that while I'm picking these up as collectibles, they'd also be appreciated by kids who like the special. The light up nose and accessories make it a great toy as well as a great display piece.
When all's said and done, Rudolph gets a score of 10+. If you're a fan of the special, you owe it to yourself to check these out.
Any questions or comments can be directed to The Middle Room, my tribute to all things geek.