Sunday, October 5, 2014

Vintage Friday! McFarlane Toys' The Phantom of the Opera Playset (1998)

The Phantom of the Opera Playset in the Package

Released in by McFarlane Toys in 1998, as part of the "Todd McFarlane's Monsters" series, The Phantom of the Opera Playset comes with two action figures, a pipe organ, balcony, and chandelier set piece, and several additional accessories.  Let's check it all out after the break, on this bonus Sunday edition of Vintage Fridays!

The Playset by Itself

The McFarlane Toys Phantom of the Opera Playset is scaled for 4 inch figures.  It comes with two figures of it's own, and also looks great with other figures in the 3 3/4" to 4" size range.  The main piece is a pipe organ and balcony set piece, with an overhanging chandelier.  There is a red cloth curtain that parts on the balcony, and small platform on the back of the balcony, so action figures can emerge from behind the curtains in to the balcony .  The playset comes in several pieces that snap together very easily to assemble the set.  The chandelier has an action feature, as it is designed to drop down on to an action figure like a deathtrap.  Basically, the chain is attached to a peg that sits loosely in the overhanging beam, and you simply use your thumb to pop the peg loose and the chandelier drops.

Close-up of the Pipe Organ

The set also comes with two 4 inch action figures, The Phantom of the Opera and Major McMustache (not quite sure I got the second dude's name right).The figures are nicely sculpted with a lot of details, but they are preposed in dynamic positions and have extremely limited articulation, and are more like figurines than actual "action" figures.  Both figures have only 3 points of articulation, at the shoulders and neck, and even that articulation is limited.  The Phantom's neck joint is at an angle, so his head doesn't run right or left, instead it rotates like a clock.  Major McMustache arms are blocked by the sculpt of his coat, so they can't rotate a full 360 degrees.

The Balcony

The figures do feature some nice accessories, though. Both characters have removable headgear, and they both have swords that they can hold and sheathe on their belts when they are not holding them. 

The Phantom Plays the Organ

The playset itself has lovely, ornate details and is very dramatic looking.  It's perfect for The Phantom of the Opera, whether it's the McFarlane version that is included, or a vintage Remco Phantom, a modern ReAction Phantom, or any other melodramatic 3 3/4" to 4" action figure villain with delusions of grandeur, like Dracula or Cobra Commander.   It's great by itself, and could also work as the centerpiece to build a diorama around.  I'd pick this up for the playset itself, not the action figures, but the figures aren't bad, really, for what they are.

The Phantom Poses With His Sword and Mask

Major McMustache Surveys the Scene


The Phantom Reveals His Hideous Visage

The Phantom Prepare to Drop the Chandelier on Major McMustache

Surprise, You've Been Deathtrapped!

1 comment:

  1. Man, I love this line. I have everything from it and I really, really wish McFarlane would revisit this concept. Each set is a ready made display!

    They're just so beautiful and fun! I had this on my list to cover during 31 days of toy terror, but I might just pick one of the other sets for now...