Like any good toy dork, I was keenly aware of The Nightmare Before Christmas months before anyone saw it thanks to Tomart's Action Figure Digest - arguably the best thing you could read in the pre-internet world, just because of how much information it threw at you that you didn't realize you needed to know yet. The movie itself was a wonder, a mix of old-school holiday TV specials for kids with something that is largely hard to find elsewhere, notably that it's thematically older-skewing as it explores themes of failure and one of the worst things that happen to us as we grow up: being forced to examine and acknowledge our limitations. Sally was one of the film's leads, and unlike the film's hero she actually does get to grow more as a person and exceed her creator's intent by going from a sort of a ragdoll/Frankenstein's monster hybrid.
The figure itself has more in common with 1983 than 1993, but it does retail some elements of that original Hasbro release. Of course, with the dress' t-crotch joints and 5 points of articulation she feels more similar to Princess Leia Organa in Bespin Gown - which was a good choice. She can stand and sit quite nicely, and she can pass the Landspeeder Test. Maybe not the Bechdel Test, but it's a test.
While most takes on Sally had sculpted, and painted, stitching this version does not. The elements are clearly tooled on the figure, but they're unpainted. Her eyes and lips are decorated, and her dress is vibrant and surprisingly off-model. I don't mean that as a hit against it, if anything it makes the figure truer to the ideals of what Kenner often did and that was to deliver a figure that looks like the character, but they weren't exactly hung up on getting everything correct. Today that sort of lack of attention is usually cause for a riot, but here it works. Things are basically where they should be, but remixed a bit and just a little bit off - I wouldn't have it any other way.
One knock against this format is that things like long hair impose limitations on movement. She has a working neck joint, but the hair prevents the range of mobility from being too good. It may as well not move, but I appreciate that they at least tried. That long, red hair is an important and memorable part of her character.
ReAction has delivered some interesting figures, but precious few accessories - and even fewer that are really interesting. I'm a little surprised Sally got two, with a slotted spoon that fits into her molded-shut right fist and a basket that goes in her left hand with no real problems.
Deco is pretty clean, but not perfect - again, this is sometimes a perk with this kind of figure. If it's too good, it seems phony. Her eyes and eyebrows are incredibly tight, but her stripes socks seem a little funny and the color on her dress isn't quite perfect - and it works for a patchwork like Sally. Tiny, unpainted stitching on her dress allows her to come together just like the movie, only... not quite like the movie. Her skin is molded in blue, so in many respects she does feel sort of like a refugee from the late 1980s or early 1990s... this is a figure that doesn't quite seem to be a perfect match for any era.
$10 figures from this movie are something of a no-brainer and I assume most of them will do pretty well for as long as Funko decides to keep cranking them out. I didn't have the funds or the space to justify collecting the original Hasbro run, but I jumped in on this line and hope they keep it going with a few figures each year. If you want a $10 Sally figure, this is a great one - you should snag it!
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