Look, I’m fine with Happy Holidays, but today is December 25. Christmas. And I am reviewing a rendition of Frosty the Snowman. And you know what? If you’re offended that I am acknowledging Christmas on Christmas day while reviewing a Christmas product, then maybe the problem isn’t with me. Just saying. I have absolutely no problem with “Happy Holidays” in principle, because there are lots of holidays, but when you are clearly celebrating a specific one, say it. If you show a menorah, say Happy Hanukkah. If you are showing off a manger, say Merry Christmas. Showing imagery unique to a specific holiday and then pretending that you are giving a general holiday wish is disingenuous. Say Happy Holidays, but don’t do it with Christmas stuff. Or say Merry Christmas. Really, I’m too busy being jolly to get in a snit over it.
Anyway, McFarlane’s Monsters was a pretty good illustration of Todd McFarlane’s downfall. It started out with some insanely awesome and fun play sets (like The Mummy), and then graduated to larger, gorgeous monster toys. Then, for some reason, it went off the deep end, with historical murderers, a screwed-up Wizard of Oz, wrecked fairy tales, and Twisted Christmas.
Of course, if not for the stupid things like musclebound Vlad Tepes, S&M Dorothy, and Molested-By-A-Spider Little Miss Muffet (ewww), we wouldn’t have this: the best Frosty the Snowman Ever!
Sadly, it seems that Todd McFarlane couldn’t get the rights to Frosty’s name, but it should be really obvious who “Snowman” is meant to be. Seriously. I have had this figure since it first came out in 2007, and have put it out every year among the Christmas decorations! In fact, I’ve put photos from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 in this review, as well as a picture I took back when I lived in a place that had snow once in a while.
Hey, look, a stock photo! I took mine out of its box years ago. The Snowman comes in a typical McFarlane clamshell, which protects it pretty well and shows off the figure. The only thing is, all of Frosty’s biographical info is missing from the package – you had to go search it out on-line, which is a missed opportunity.
This is the greatest toy ever. I mean, sure, it’s technically a gimmick piece, but I still get just as much joy out of it as I did back in 2007. Six years now, and every time I look at this thing I start laughing. I can’t wait to bring it out every holiday season.
The Snowman is a horrible, twisted creature, hunched over and cruel. Four big snowballs make up his body and head, lumps of coal form his buttons and eyes, he has six gnarled branches for arms, a twisted carrot for a nose, a ratty old hat, and rows upon rows of sharp icicle teeth. He trails Christmas ornaments and bones behind him, all that remain of the children who woke him from his slumber. For you see:
“There must have been some magic in that old hat we found. Unfortunately, it was black magic, and Frosty ate our souls.”
Anyway, McFarlane’s sculptors really went all out with this guy. His body looks like snow – uneven, lumpy, slushy, snow. The snowballs that make up his body are smushed together, not perfect, distinct spheres. The trail behind him even looks like leftover slush. His teeth are a great effect, with his jaw opened so wide that it melds into his body. His arms look like wood, with the bark stripped here and there. They are twisted in various directions, scattered enough to look chaotic while still generally menacing forward. And of course, his hat looks like fabric. Old, tattered, ruined fabric, but fabric nonetheless.
They did something really impressive with this snowman’s paint job, and that is how they managed his body. Instead of just making him flat white, or white with sparkles, Frosty is cast in semi-translucent gray plastic, and sprayed over with a layer of white. The result is that he looks like dirty, slushy snow – and because of the way the plastic was cast, the colors clearly go further than skin-deep. This makes the figure come alive in-hand or on display, though he does stick out a little bit in clean, white snow.
As for the rest of the paint, it’s crisp and clean where it needs to be, while still looking dingy. The hat has a subtle wash making it look threadbare, while the carrot has clearly seen better days. It’s a ratty, messy snowman, and he looks even meaner because of it.
This figure came out when McFarlane was obsessed with producing immobile statues, not articulated action figures. That said, the Snowman has six swivel arms, a removable hat, and can come off his base. There are a few good poses for those arms, which gives him some variety, and you can do a lot with that hat – just take it off and place it over his base to make it look like he melted! But even though there isn’t much articulation here, there is only so much that a snowman can do. I don’t mind the lowered articulation for what is essentially a big Christmas decoration.
Aside from his removable hat, Evil Frosty comes with nothing. This is too bad, as those hands of his should have something to hold – a tattered Santa hat, a broom, a severed child’s head, something! Come on, guys!
This figure will cost you anywhere from $10-$30. Pay what you think it is worth to you.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Those arms are kind of spindly, but mine have been durable and held up over the years. Still, when I moved, I popped them out of their sockets and wrapped the whole thing up carefully.
About that – the arms pop in and out without much difficulty. You don’t even have to use hot water or a blow dryer, though you may want to just to be on the safe side.
WHERE TO BUY:
As this figure is old, I will suggest eBay as the best place to find one.
This is as close to a Calvin & Hobbes Snow Goon as we are ever going to get. And I thank Todd McFarlane for making it. I am serious when I say that this is one of my favorite figures ever, even though it’s just a gimmick – there is something so hilarious about a truly horrifying Bad Mr. Frosty that even with the poor articulation and lack of accessories, I still love it to death! Pick one up for your own display – you won’t believe people’s reactions (hint: they get scared and upset)!
Okay, maybe they get too scared and upset. Some people are wusses.
Merry Christmas to all, from everybody at Nerditis.com!