Funko Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington (Early Bird Figure) Funko, 2014
Day #1,001: September 4, 2014
Jack Skellington (Early Bird Figure) Four known Jack heads exist - only this head comes on the "preview" version
Nightmare Before Christmas Comic-Con 2014 Exclusive
Item No.: No. 04377 Manufacturer:Super7 x Funko Includes:Foil-etched packaging, Zero sidekick figure Action Feature:n/a Retail: est. $15.00 Availability:July 2014 Other: One of four variant heads - the other 3 are in the basic retail line.
We first got word that there would be three heads on this character, but Funko's Jack Skellington (Early Bird Figure) gave us a fourth - and I suppose technically first - head on this body. The regular retail heads include a smiling, surprised, and devilish head while this convention-exclusive edition sports an open, affable mouth similar to Hasbro's 1993 original.
Taking design cues from the original head, Jack is the figure I wish I had in 1993 - when I first saw him and his pals in Tomart's Action Figure Digest, I expected something more figurey. The very tall Hasbro figure was an articulated bendy figure - due to his size and proportions, the included display stand didn't do much to keep him standing. Thankfully this 3 3/4-inch scale figure is taller at only 4-inches tall, putting him at Chewbacca and Darth Vader heights. The head, as mentioned above, is patterned on that original Hasbro head with one major difference: mouth deco. The original toy has an unpainted interior and yellow painted teeth. This version has a black mouth interior and no painted teeth, which arguably makes it closer to the movie in appearance and leaves a crack in the door for Funko to re-release this mold in the future with that 1993-style deco.
The deco of this figure is simpler than the original - the stripes on his suit are straighter and less jagged, departing slightly from the look of the movie and earlier toys. This is a great minor detail - much like how Kenner got close, but not exact, on Cantina aliens little "errors" like this add a sense of faux authenticity to the line which it sorely needs. The hands don't feel particularly like vintage 1980s or 1990s sculpts, but everything else is pretty much what I needed.
One thing I found most displeasing about the deco was how it hurts articulation. White paint applied to the neck sloppily caused it to fuse with the head - you have to "break" paint as a bunch of white paint functions as an adhesive, preventing head movement. Carded collectors will never notice this, and odds are many openers won't either. It's painfully obvious when you try to display him, though, and Zero seems to have a similar problem - his head is a separate piece, but won't turn.
Jack has no problems standing, sitting, or passing the Landspeeder TestTM, making him a surprise winner. I love how they made his limbs a bit thicker to be stable, and how he can stay on my desk and not tumble over like most of my modern figures. Funko did a wonderful job changing up the proportions to meet the requirements of this kind of toy while doing their best to stay true to the character.
Zero is, at this time, exclusive to this set. Cast in white plastic (could clear or glow versions be far behind?) Zero has one theoretical point of articulation but mine is so stiff, I'm afraid I'd break him if I keep twisting it. The sculpt is, fortunately or unfortunately, wildly modern. It doesn't ring true as a 1990s or 1980s collectible - the nose has an exquisitely sculpted jack-o-lantern nose, painted orange. His eyes and mouth are painted black, and the flowing ears and "sheet" make him seem positively alive. Were this a modern take on the figure, I'd declare it a big winner - they did too nice of a job here. The nose being orange alone would be enough to warrant a win in the retro sculpt field. Fewer waves in the ears, a more streamlined look, may have helped here. I realize this is a strange criticism, but it's true - it's tough to emulate the 1970s and 1980s, and this looks like it came smack dab out of last week. On its own it's gorgeous, and the deco is equally good. Granted, in 1993 the only company that really gave us sidekick figures was Playmates, and in the 1980s we got some with Hasbro G.I. Joe figures. And neither had any deco - you got unpainted, unarticulated figures with no undercuts. And we liked it! (We did not like it.)
I don't know if it sold out at Comic-Con, but Entertainment Earth blew through their allotment in a few days. If you just want a Jack Skellington, there will be three heads for the normal version but that version doesn't come with a small Zero. Because Zero is awesome, I would suggest getting this version if it doesn't break the bank - but remember, a Zero-free version is only ten bones. Because "Bone Daddy." Yes? Anyway - I love this figure, get yourself a Jack because it's awesome. Funko seems to be doing the best with creatures and helmets so far, as human heads are a little off - but hopefully by next year, they'll all be perfect.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.