My love for actor Lon Chaney runs so deep that I had to make sure I didn’t already write this article before gearing up to write this article. Though nearly two years ago here on Toy Wizards, I wrote a piece about Lon Chaney toys I’d like to see as six inch figures. Today I say caution to the wind, gimme any scale, thanks.
It’s no surprise that the majority of Lon Chaney toys out there are from his depiction of The Phantom in Universal’s The Phantom of the Opera. The license on those Universal Monsters is very widely spread and available in Toy Land and thus the character is very visible. But if you haven’t actually seen the 1925 film or its 1929 recolor, you’re missing out. It’s truly a spectacular horror film.
I’m not sure which Lon Chaney role was the first I saw at this point– I became a fan nearly 20 years ago at this point and watched every single film that I could find, even both versions of The Unholy Three. The talkie version is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, I seriously loved it. Only the movies that are considered lost, such as London After Midnight, or the movies where Lon Chaney plays an Asian man have evaded me.
And for the record– Lon Chaney Jr.’s Wolfman is not a suitable replacement for his dad. It’s such a bummer when product listings mix the two men up, but what can you do– if you’re not in the club, you’re not in the club.
So today, we are checking out some Lon Chaney toys that are readily available for purchase today…and some you have to hunt a little harder for.
Universal Monsters The Phantom of the Opera Masque of the Red Death 3 3/4-inch ReAction Figure – $17.99 – In Stock
Note: My only hesitation with this model kit is that it might be unpainted and for me, that’s a pass. I wish the listing had more pictures but if you’re willing to take a chance, dive right in!
Now for some that we can’t get…not without paying some hefty third party prices.
Mego’s Phantom of the Opera Action Figure – Out of print – approximately $35 on eBay
Funko’s Phantom of the Opera Pop! Vinyl Figure – Out of print – approximately $50 on eBay
Sideshow Collectible’s Lon Chaney as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Expensive.
Sideshow Collectible’s London After Midnight Statue – $600+ and out print
London After Midnight premium action figure – out of print and hella expensive.
Lon Chaney (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930), nicknamed “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” was an American actor during the age of silent films. He was one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema. He is best remembered for his characterizations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with film makeup. Chaney is chiefly remembered as a pioneer in such silent horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and most notably The Phantom of the Opera. His ability to transform himself using self-invented makeup techniques earned him the nickname of “Man of a Thousand Faces”.