Author Topic: Question regarding the Phantom of the Opera Little Big Head figures  (Read 1575 times)

Agent Nero

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Hey, guys, I am a bit puzzled by something and I'm hoping that you guys can help me figure it out.

  I have the first series of the Universal Monster Little Big Head figures, which includes the Phantom of the Opera figure. This figure was clearly based upon the 1925 version of Erik the Opera Ghost. Now, the second series (which I have yet to collect) has another version of the Phantom of the Opera, which I always knew it had but I presumed would be a figure based on the likeness of Erique Claudin, Universal's 1943 version of the Opera Ghost.

 But it wasn't...the figure looks like this: https://www.sideshowtoy.com/?page_id=4489&sku=26034

  As you can see, it's labeled 'The Phantom of the Opera' on the figure's base but it's listed in the inventory of the toy store as "The Phantom (Mask of the Red Death) S2."  I was never aware that Universal had produced a version of "Mask of the Red Death"...to my knowledge, the film version of Edgar Allen Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" was from American International, and the crimson-cloaked harbinger of the plague in that film wasn't referred to as "The Phantom." This was the film that starred Vincent Price and was released in the 1960's, which was well after all of the classic Universal monster films had been released.

 So am I to understand that Universal never released such a film?  If not, then who was this particular series 2 Little Big Head figure based on?  What does "Mask of the Red Death" have to do with any Universal product?

  I was a bit confused over which section of this forum I should make this post...the one devoted to Classic Films or the one devoted to Toys, and even though this question straddles both categories I figured that anyone who had collected the toy in question may be able to answer this question, so I took a chance and posted the question here. 

 Thank you for any help! I really want to decode the mystery of who in the Universal film library this toy is based upon.  The skull-like mask the figure is wearing certainly doesn't resemble that worn by either Erik or Erique Claudin, and the Phantom I'm familiar with wore black, not crimson.

Chris N

The Phantom Creep

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Re: Question regarding the Phantom of the Opera Little Big Head figures
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 06:06:07 AM »
There is a color tinted sequence in the Chaney film where Erik, the Phantom, attends a masquerade ball at the opera house dressed as the Red Death from the Poe story.




Sideshow Toys also did an 8" and a 12" figure of this.
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Agent Nero

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Re: Question regarding the Phantom of the Opera Little Big Head figures
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 06:30:21 AM »
Thank you for solving this mystery for me, Phantom Creep :-)  I guess Sideshow has yet to create a figure for the Claude Rains version of the Opera Ghost.  That's unfortunate since I always thought that version of the Phantom had a really cool mask.

Chris N