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Nightmare Before Christmas Trading Figures Series 1
Jun Planning

Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning


I always check the Target seasonal aisles at Halloween and Christmas, because they often have special toys for those particular holidays. This year is no different, and as I was snagging some series 2 Lego mini-figures for my son, I noticed that they were carrying series 1 of the Jun Planning Nightmare Before Christmas trading figures.

This series includes Jack, Sally, Oogie Boogie, Dr. Finklestein, Lock and Barrel (together), and Zero and Shock (also together). That makes six packs, but eight characters.

These are in the same aisle as the other Halloween toys and candy, right by the monsterized Star Wars bobble heads (which are fairly unique in their own right). They were $4 each.
Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning
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Packaging - ***
While these little boxes are fairly basic, with some simple photos of the six different figures and the most economic of text, they do get big points for NOT being blind boxes. Regular readers now how much I despise blind box packaging, where the manufacturer gives you no indication which figure you're actually getting inside. That's a common trait with trading figures like these, and one I'm glad is not present with this series.

In fact, each box has the name of the included figure printed on it prominently, both on the top and on the front. You can easily go pick up the six and complete the series with just one trip - assuming you can find all six.

I noticed that they aren't packed evenly, with a shortage of Oogie's and the Shock/Zero pack. At least you won't buy up the other twenty boxes trying to get them, like you would if they were blind packaged.

Sculpting/Design - Dr. F ****; Sally, Zero ***1/2; Oogie, Jack ***;  Lock, Barrel **1/2; Shock **
There's quite a bit of variability in these figures, at least when it comes to the assembly process.

Some, like  Oogie, go together great. His parts fit tightly, and stay in place once he's completed. Others, like Lock, Shock and Barrel, have a tough time getting put together in the first place, and a tougher time staying that way.

I'm also not particularly keen on the designs for those three. The blades obscure the face of Shock, and the extreme pose of Lock and Barrel means that keeping his small feet on the stand and the chain in the ankle is almost impossible. Worse, keeping Shock's arms on him WAS impossible. 

I marked Lock, Shock and Barrel a lower than the others here simply because getting them together and then coming them together was way too difficult and frustrating. I recommend using glue with these guys at least, because the short pegs and small extremities can make you miserable.

The others don't have these issues. Jack's proportions seem a bit wonky, and Oogie needs to be larger, but these are fairly minor nits considering the scale.

The scale here is fairly small. Jack is just 5" tall, and he towers over the others, as you'd expect. Sally is just a bit over 4", and Oogie is just over 3". Oogie is the only one that seems out of scale with the other figures, at least to me. He's a character that should be much larger, but more plastic required for his bulky nature was probably more than the $4 price tag could absorb.

The other likenesses are good as well, and I was particularly impressed with the translucent wine bottle in Sally's basket. It's a nice touch, and unexpected in this scale.

Finklestein gets the highest score not just because his overall sculpt is the best (it is), but because the top of his head is removable, allowing you to expose his brain. What better way for scratching an itch?

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is solid across the entire set, even with the more annoying trio of little guys. Most of the lines are clean, with just a little slop here or there

There's some nice use of washes to bring out details, as well as what looks like possibly dry brushing. There's tons of small detail work as well, and considering the small size of the figures, the paint ops are fairly impressive.

Articulation - Jack, Dr. F  *; Everyone Else Bupkis
These aren't intended as articulated action figures, and even where there are joints because of the assembly, these joints don't turn. This is because the posts are shaped to fit in specific ways, to avoid you doing it wrong. That helps when it comes to putting the figure together, but it also means that legs and arms don't turn.

Jack and the good Doctor get a score though, because they both have minor articulation. Jack's head can turn, and the wheels on Fink's chair turn as well. It might not be much, but it's something. 

A few other joints looked like the should work (like the doc's neck), but I didn't want to force them. The limbs are so thin and fragile, that it would be quite easy to twist something right off.

Accessories - Bupkis
Technically, there are no true accessories, since all the pieces are designed to fit together as a complete mini-statue. You can combine some of the figures though, like adding Shock to the Lock and Barrel display, or Zero to Jack's setup.

Fun Factor - **
These aren't really intended for 'play'. They tend to fall apart (some more than others), and the lack of articulation and slightly fragile nature makes them more of a display item. They'll look great on your desk for Halloween, though!

Value - **1/2
While four bucks seems a little steep, you have to realize that the Kubrick's trading figures are more expensive, and other series like these have been in this same price range for several years now.

Things to Watch Out For -
Don't force the pieces together. The joints have special shapes so that a piece should only go in one place and one way, and if you force them, breakage is likely.

Overall - Dr. F ***1/2; Oogie, Jack, Sally, Zero ***;  Lock, Barrel **1/2; Shock **
My favorite character in the film was always Dr. Finklestein. This is largely due to the character design, not his actual role in the film. That tends to mean I lean towards liking him more when it comes to plastic versions as well.

This time, he deserves it. The removable brain, rolling wheels, and easy assembly (just pop him in the chair!) all make him the best of the set.

But Oogie, Jack, Zero and Sally are all well done too. The fact that you can combine Jack and Zero makes for a nice touch, and while I wish Oogie was bigger, I can live.

Lock, Shock and Barrel were a disappointment, I would have skipped them entirely if not for the inclusion of Zero with Shock. Unless you're a particularly big fan of these three, I'd pass them by.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting -  Dr. ****; Sally, Zero ***1/2; Oogie, Jack ***; Lock, Shock, Barrel **1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - Jack, Doctor F *; Everyone Else Bupkis
Accessories - Bupkis
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall -  Dr. F ***1/2; Oogie, Jack, Sally, Zero ***;  Lock, Barrel **1/2; Shock **

Where to Buy -
Target is the place to be, and more specifically, the Target Halloween section. Check out the 'monsterized' Star Wars bobble heads and series 2 of the Lego mini-figures while you're there!

Related Links -
It's been awhile since I checked out any NMBC product, but there's been plenty in the past:

- NECA had their excellent figures, and you can see series 5 here.

- before that, there was a guest review of the Lock, Shock and Barrel set, and a Quick Stop review of the Jack/Snowmobile deluxe set.

- I also reviewed series 4, series 3, Jack/Oogie Boogie boxed set, and the 14" Jack with multiple heads.

- the second series of figures, with Santa Jack, the Witches, Harlequinn Demon and Dr. Finklestein was one of my favorites.

- I also reviewed the first series of figures, with Jack, Sally, the Mayor and the Vampire

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Nightmare Before Christmas NMBC trading figures by Jun Planning


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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