Monday, October 31, 2011

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Hasbro)



"This is Halloween, this is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!" Okay, so the lyrics to the song don't transfer well into text. Either way, welcome to our second of three special Halloween posts.

You remember The Nightmare Before Christmas. No, I'm not asking. I'm telling you that you remember it. The movie hit theaters in 1993, and was a huge success, which Tim Burton got all the credit for, when all he did was produce it. Surprisingly for how big it was, it never spawned a sequel.

Hasbro launched a line of toys to coincide with the films release. Because there are so few figures, yet all of them are pretty unique, I'm going to do something a bit different this time. I'm going to talk about each individual one separately (after we go over the packaging).


Each figure came packed in a purple bubble package with a horribly drawn moon in the background to resemble the movie poster. The back of the package identified each character in the top right, and centered on the rest of the card were photos and names of the further available characters.

Going from top to bottom, left to right;

BEHEMOTH

I'm a little surprised that this figure was even made. The character was nothing more than a background presence in the movie, with the exception of his one liner, "Bunny!" The figures eyes shift back and forth to show the character is always looking around wondering what everyone else is contemplating.

EVIL SCIENTIST

More respectively known as Dr. Finklestein, the Evil Scientist figure sported a flip top dome on his head for when the good evil doctor wanted to scratch his brain.

JACK AS SANTA

See "Jack Skellington" below.

JACK SKELLINGTON

Oddly enough, the lamest figure out of the set was the main character, Jack (and Jack as Santa). He had no articulated joints, and standing eight inches high, was nothing more than a bendable figure.

SANTA CLAUS

The rarest figure in the set is the Santa figure. This solid hunk of plastic came with no accessories, no articulation, and was second to largest when compared in size to the Oogie Boogie figure - Gerth wise.

THE MAYOR

Much like in the movie, The Mayor came with the ability to turn his head 360 degrees. Each half was comprised of a different face (happy and angry) that you could display to show the character's current mood.

SALLY

Soon to be Jack's girlfriend, Sally was known to be a rag doll which could take her self apart, limb by limb, and then sew her self back together. While you couldn't sew the doll back together, her arms and legs did pop off to resemble her ability to dismantle herself at will.

WEREWOLF

This is another figure I'm surprised made it into the toy line as much like Behemoth, he was nothing more than a background character, but at least was featured singing in the opening song of the film, "This is Halloween." The figure has the ability to move its jaw up and down for real biting action.

OOGIE BOOGIE

The largest figure in the collection (about twice the size of a regular size character), and a pretty heavy one too, Oogie Boogie was a hefty one to lug around. Not only was this figure awesome to look at, but he also glows in the dark.


Hasbro also released a three pack of Lock, Shock and Barrel, the mischievous children of the film. Each figure came with their respective mask as seen in the movie. Disappointing was that they didn't come with their traveling bathtub to display them in.

The sculpting on all the figures in Hasbro's lineup were pretty accurate to their film counterparts, and it was a nice added touch that each figure was unique in its own way by incorporating things seen in the movie. It was also a nice added accessory that each figure came with a display stand. Something I wish more toy lines would do.

As was the case with most toys of the 90's, the series came and went fast. Collector's had yet to show their true colors for nostalgic collecting, and figures remained a common purchase for children, and not adults. However, these days, fans of all ages show their love of their toys, and while Hasbro may not be producing Nightmare Before Christmas figures, several other companies have tried their hand at it.

The toys still come and go from various sources to this day, and I'm sure as time goes by, only more will come and go based on this amazing cult classic film. Hats off to you, Hasbro, for being the first to produce toys based on these fabulous characters.

On a side note, when collecting this set, one must be very careful. NECA, who would later pick up the rights to produce toys based on the film re-released these figures in slightly modified packaging as "Limited Editions".

Don't forget to keep reading for our third and final Halloween post!

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4 comments:

  1. Some packages have the pieces attached to a square holder and some have them loose. Do you know which was produced first?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The loose ones were produced first.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a 1993 bendable Jack as Sabta figure who is not wearing the beard, but the beard is on his left in original pachaging. All the other jack as Santa from that year that I've seen are packaged with Jacj weating the beard. Can you explain?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The version you speak of is a known variant that Hasbro produced in 1993. There's not much to tell about it other than they produced a version with the beard packaged in to the left of the figure (as seen in our photos above), and a version with the figure wearing the beard. Neither version is considered to be more rarer than the other.

      As to which came first, we unfortunately couldn't say. Suffice to say that toy manufacturers are consistently making production changes to cut costs and/or simplify packaging. Again, we cannot say as to what the decision was behind Hasbro making this particular change.

      Delete

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