JACK SKELLINGTON, OOGIE BOOGIE, SALLY, DR. FINKLESTIEN, & THE MAYOR
NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS MINIMATES
Hey! It’s Halloween! And, uhh, well these things are Halloween-y, right? Sure, Nightmare Before Christmas is ostensibly a Christmas movie (as the title notes) and is set after Halloween. But the main characters are residents of Halloweentown, are they not? So…yeah.
I’ve seen NBX a few times over the years, and I enjoy it, but I’ve never really gotten into any of the toys. So, what got me to break? If you guessed Minimates, you guessed correctly. Nightmare Before Christmas is an interesting choice for Minimates. Typically, Minimates try to stick to properties where most of the characters can be built on the base body and preserve the “aesthetic” of the brand. NBX has more than a few very unique character designs, so it’s definitely one of the more different lines of ‘mates out there. The first series of ‘mates are hitting most places now, so I’ll be looking at the five basic figures from the line today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These five figures are available blindbagged, both from specialty stores and Hot Topic, as well as in two-packs through Toys R Us. My set are the specialty blindbag versions, but I believe these five are pretty much the same in all the releases.
Jack’s kind of a given here, what with being the star of the film and all. This is actually his second time as a Minimate, after having shown up as a promo-mate last year. This one’s pretty much the same as that one, though there are a few minor differences. The figure stands a little over 2 ½ inches tall and he has the standard 14 points of articulation. While he’s mostly built on the standard Minimates body, his main torso piece is actually taller and thinner than the average ‘mate’s, which better captures Jack’s skeletal nature from the film. It’s a piece that DST has used a few times before, and it works pretty decently here. The rest of the main body pieces are just the standard parts. Some people have expressed some dismay at the normal head being used in place of something more spherical, but I think this works pretty well. He’s also got some new add-on pieces for his tie and the tails of his coat, both of which are pretty great. The paintwork is what really makes this guy. He’s obviously monochromatic, which is certainly different, but he’s got some great detailing for the pinstripes on his suit and his face represents the character very nicely. Jack’s one accessory is a clear display stand.
Oogie’s kind of a late player in the film, but he’s certainly an important one. His figure goes the furthest away from the standard body. He gets an all-new head and lower arms (but no hands, so that loses him two points of articulation, pelvis, and legs (without knees, so that’s another two points gone), as well as an add-on piece for his upper torso. The pieces are decent enough, though they lack any sort of the burlap texturing that Oogie had in the film, so he’s a little bland, and honestly looks a little like a plucked chicken. But, it’s not like he doesn’t look like the character. Paint-wise, he’s really just one consistent beige color, with black detailing for the face. Once again, some texturing would have been cool, but the face at least looks pretty decent. Like Jack, all he includes is a clear display stand.
Sally here fulfils the patchwork creature slot of the classic horror tropes, but subverts the usual traits of such a character by actually having a personality and managing to be the only real character in the film to ever think anything through. She ends up sticking mostly to the basic body, though she does get an all new torso piece, as well as add-ons for her shoulders, skirt, and hair. All of these pieces are pretty well sculpted, especially the dress, which has some great stitching texturing. The paintwork on Sally accents the sculpt very nicely, and continues the great patchwork texturing to her arms and legs, as well as capturing her face pretty well. She also has the notoriety of being the most colorful figure of the bunch, which makes her pop pretty nicely. Once again, the only accessory here is a clear display stand, but that’s pretty reasonable.
This guy is the reason I didn’t watch this movie for years after it was released. Seriously, this dude gave me nightmares. He freaked me out so much. I was four, so I think I have an excuse. He starts off with the standard ‘mate body, but gets his own unique head, complete with sculpted glasses and a flip up cranium, revealing his brain, just like in the movie. He also gets a pair of fairly standard flared gloves, as well as a piece for the bottom section of his coat. The coat is sculpted so that he’s permanently stuck sitting (so no Dr. Horrible quick customs from this one…), but given the whole wheelchair bit, that seems reasonable. Speaking of the wheel chair, that thing is definitely the main focus of this guy, because it’s pretty darn awesome. It’s very nicely detailed and suits him very nicely. The wheels don’t move, which is a bummer, but it’s still a cool piece. Paint-wise, he’s pretty straightforward, being mostly off-white, but what’s there is clean and accurate to the film.
He’s definitely the most minor character of the five looked at here, but the Mayor is definitely a present fixture in the film. He’s essentially walking exposition, which is nice in a movie like NBX, which could be a little confusing otherwise. Though he may not look it, he’s actually mostly made from the standard ‘mate parts. He has the “kimono” sleeves from the Marvel line’s Mariko, as well as the shortened kid legs we’ve seen a few times. Other than that, the hat and coat are add-ons, and pretty decent ones at that. The open sides on the coat are a little weird, but they aren’t that bad. The Mayor’s paint is pretty good overall, though there’s a bit of slop here and there. The best part is definitely the head, which accurately represents the Mayor’s two-faced look. The Mayor is the only figure in the set to get more than just the display stand, also getting his signature megaphone, which looks pretty cool.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
These are blind bagged figures, but I didn’t feel like going through that again. So, I said screw it and paid a little extra to buy an already opened set from Luke’s Toy Store. I’m glad I decided to get them because this is actually a pretty fun set of figures. I’ll certainly be tracking down a few more.