Toy Review: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Santa Clark

First of all, let's get this out of the way: I'm not exactly this movie's #1 fan. That being said, it's become one of the most iconic Christmas comedies of all time, so as both a Christmas geek and a toy collector, I became interested when NECA announced this as a follow-up to their Home Alone figures from last year.

Still, I had no interest in spending $30 on something I only kind of wanted for the occasional display or holiday toy picture. But while $30 was pushing it, I was willing to drop $15 when FYE unloaded these after the holidays.

To recap from the Home Alone toys, these are in an 8-inch scale and feature removable fabric clothing. Stylistically, they're meant to be reminiscent of Mego action figures from the 70's with realistic modern sculpts.

Or at least the Home Alone figures were. Clark features a more cartoonish looking head, which I found a bit disappointing compared to the earlier figures I picked up from this company. To be fair, the Weird Al figure I got a while back is in a fairly similar style, but I find it far more appropriate there.

After comparing the figure to screenshots, I think the main issue is the shape of Clark's head: NECA sculpted it thinner on top to make the included hat fit better. He does look better when it's on, though there's still something off with his eyes. I kind of wish they'd just sculpted the hat as part of the head - it probably would have worked better.

The outfit is somewhat mixed. It's not quite screen accurate - in the movie, he was wearing a blazer under the Santa coat, and his tie had a design on it. This does a decent job creating the right impression, but you can tell where corners were cut.

But the largest disappointment by far comes in the accessories. The figure includes his hat, the moose mug, and the model swimming pool. The hat looks pretty good, though the difference in appearance between the sculpted plastic fur and the trim on his coat is distracting. The mug is fine, though it looks a little small. No complaints on the pool, though - that's an interesting and unique addition.

The issue here is that you're not getting anything else. The Home Alone figures each came with an alternate head sculpt, and the absence of that is pretty noticeable here. They've gone with the gleeful, excited expression, which is fine, but it would have been nice to also get either a depressed or scared version.

I also feel like they missed a huge opportunity in not including the squirrel, which played a central role in the scene this outfit was from. Of course, to do that justice they'd also have needed another head, as well as the missing coat on under the red jacket (since a big part of that sequence started with Clark pulling it off in an effort to catch the squirrel).

It's not a bad collectible, but between the light accessories and mediocre sculpt, it's not on par with NECA's earlier holiday releases.