The vinyl cape is back! As a kid, I hated them - my Jawa had a cloth cape and my Darth Vader's cape started to split at the shoulders pretty quickly, requiring the fabrication of a felt replacement. It's a strange trick to add some depth to a figure that was more or less dead by 1981, so Funko's Phantom of the Opera is one of very few figures - along with Dracula in this line - to bring it back. It's one of those things that I can appreciate stylistically, because if this was a lost late-1970s figure it would have that cape. Since it isn't going into any vehicles, I've got no problem with it - but as a child, I can't tell you how much I disliked these.
With the plastic, deco, and cape, this is a really great figure. This is part of the problem - I love it in its cheap, charming simpleness but it is, once again, too good. The mouth alone has two colors of paint on it while most figures from this era were bare plastic - the figure has painted eyes, teeth, "mouth black," hair, and even bags under his eyes. Even the Emperor didn't get that much love in 1983 - plus he has white shirt cuffs, a white shirt, and some burgandy adornments in addition to his zombie-like ghoulish skin and bare black plastic outfit. Everything works together nicely - if you don't give it too much thought, this is another really wonderful figure. The black plastic is a little more glossy than most, which gives it more of an honest 1970s/1980s feel. I appreciate that.
His head is both simple and incredibly well-thought-out. Lon Chaney Sr.*'s head is well-sculpted, the combover giving the figure an even more artificial look. I love it. The cheesy cape only adds to the feel, but the cape proves that there is indeed a problem - in previous reviews I mentioned how the packaging has a sticky, tacky feel if you hold it in your fingers for more than a couple of seconds. The back of the Phantom's cape is sticky as a result of coming into contact with it - I'm curious what this means for long-term potential damage of the figure's cape by the packaging, or if you just need to wipe it down with a mild detergent down the road. For now, at least, a slightly sweaty index finger can wipe the residue off in a couple of swipes - I should have shot a picture of it before trying to clean it. Oh well, we'll get it right for Dracula.
Fun fact - this figure and the Wolf Man both feature "Chaney Entertainment" logos on the back - but they're not the same guy. Lon Chaney Sr. was the Phantom, but Lon Chaney Jr. - who changed his name in 1935, originally he was Creighton Tull Chaney. Despite being fixtures of Universal Pictures horror films, they're not the same Chaney.
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