May 19, 2006

PHANTOM PEANUT

(Click to enlarge)

Above is a photo that my pal Duane Dimock sent me of a wonderful "dime store" product. Just a few reasons why it's so awesome...
5. This character is known simply as "Phantom"
4. The colorful art on the header card indicates that Phantom is possibly a menacing giant with a grotesque head (or is it a mask?) who carries a skull scepter.
3. The actual figure looks absolutely nothing like the Phantom on the header.
2. Though it's no giant native mask-head, the hairy skull head is also cool.
1. The creators of this ghostly figure used the body from a Snoopy toy!!

UPDATE:
Fueled by a lead from commenter, Flamen Dialis, I went in search of the box art for Revell's Phantom model. Sure enough it was appropriated for this crazy toy conglomeration...

So the name is from the classic comic strip hero, the art is the Voodoo Witch Doctor from the model kit, and the body is Charlie Brown's beagle. The only remaining question.. who's head is that?! Thanks Flamen, for making this figure seem even cooler!

8 comments:

John Schaefer said...

Yes, Snoopy, but it also looks like a Schmoo!

Kirk D. said...

Indeed it does. I've been hunting down a photo of the "real" owner of the body. Wish me luck!

Flamen Dialis said...

Kirk,

I used to own that toy! A friend bought it for me as a birthday gift, from the Ben Franklin store in my area, back when I was a kid! I'm pretty sure that the body is a lighter, thin-walled blow-molded version of the Peanuts Snoopy Astronaut figure, much like a lot of the Mexican and Chinese knockoffs that were cannibalized from US molds to make these cheapies. Here's a clue to the whole "Phantom" thing, though - have you noticed the resemblance of the masked witch doctor figure on the header card to the painting that was used as the box art of the Lee Falk Phantom kit that was issued in the 60s (by Revell, maybe? I don't quite remember) I think that's the (rather erroneous) connection - the figure is related to neither! It's the same type of cheap product that the "Monster Trolls" were - a monster head popped onto a different body (in that case it was a cheap blow molded Norfin Troll body)! At that tiem I also owned cheaply-produced Chinese knockoffs of the Marx Johnny West figures (purchased from my local neighborhood Kroger toy section), which I added to my other figures. They were much lighter and were thin and hollow, but they were the same scale and they were cheap! I had two Johnny Wests - one was the legit West, the other I used as his sickly cousin or whatever! Great seeing this toy again!!!!
- Flamen Dialis

Anonymous said...

Let me modify that - after looking at the photo again, it appears that maybe just the torso and legs came from the US vinyl Snoopy Astronaut figure, because I think the hands were also flat bottomed - just the sculpted feet repeated - these arms appear to have been popped off another doll mold, molded in white plastic...

Kirk D. said...

Boy, thanks for the excellent insight on such a mysterious toy. Not only will I keep an eye out for the matching Snoopy body, I'll watch for the Phantom box.
This thing is a real Frankenstein!

Flamen Dialis said...

I seem to remember that the head was also one of those hollow vinyl skulls that were usually packaged by themselves with an elastic loop (for hanging from a car's rear view window, etc.) attached to the top. I can remember seeing them on the toystore shelves (or even as carnival game prizes). There were both black hair and red hair versions, both with the same poorly-applied black airbrush highlights..

Kirk D. said...

Yeah, that makes sense. One of those "voodoo shrunken heads." I have three different versions myself, just not the one on this toy. They sure were resourceful.

shawn said...

WOW! Cheezy toy with a killer header card! Gotta love it! I managed to pick up the actual model figure of the witch doctor by itself for a mere pittance of one dollar from an antique mall.
I was on cloud nine for a few days!