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The Wolfman

Nightmare Before Christmas
by yo go re

Last week we reviewed a werewolf from McFarlane Toys that wasn't sculpted by the Four Horsemen; this week we review a werewolf not from McFarlane Toys that was.

When the full moon shines on Halloweentown, the Werewolf comes out of hiding. His hairy face may look scary, but don't worry, he's just out looking for a howling good time!

That text is from the back of the packaging on the original 1993 Hasbro Wolfman - there's nothing like that on the back of this release. NECA actually did put that figure out at one point: when they got the Nightmare Before Christmas license, they began by doing re-releases that we functionally identical to the original releases; it was a great way to cater to the retro fans while simultaneously testing the waters for a real release. (Spoiler alert: the old toys were in huge demand, the re-releases were in similar demand, and collectors ate up all six series of the new toys. So it kinda worked out for the best in the end.)

One note about that bio, though: when would it not be a full moon in Halloween Town? It's always snowing in Christmas Town, and it's always at maximum creepiness in Halloween Town. Come to think of it, that may answer our question. When is the moon not full in Halloween Town? When it would be scarier for the moon to be a crescent. Or blacked out. Or shaped like a bat. It's a magical moon, hanging over a magical town - it can do whatever it wants. Which has to wreak havoc on a guy like the Wolfman. And also on the tides.

The Wolfman was sculpted by the Four Horsemen's Eric Treadaway, and he looks as much like the werewolf puppet in the film as it's possible to look without actually being the werewolf puppet in the film. He has a long, pointed snout that makes him look more rattine than lupine, and clearly turning into a wolf has bulked him up, because he's tearing at the seams of his shirt and the buttons look ready to burst. Clearly growing skinny little dog legs has made his pants fall off, because he's "Donald Duck"ing it here. His fur is detailed, just like you'd expect, but his shirt has a fine texture that you can miss if you're not looking for it.

The paint on his shirt is pretty impressive. He's wearing a yellow and brown plaid shirt, and the pattern runs over him perfectly. Looking at stills from the movie, the brown should probably be closer to grey, but the stripes on this toy fall exactly where they did on the prop. That is some nice attention to detail, right there! His eyes are yellow and rimmed in green.

Wolfman has balljoints (true ball-and-socket balljoints) for his neck, shoulders and elbows, swivels for his forearms, hips, waist, and tail, and a hinged jaw. He has no knees or anything, but that just means that he can stand by himself. To make sure that a minor jolt to the shelf won't send him toppling, the set includes a black oval base that can be plugged into his feet. Paws. Whatever. It's not something he absolutely needs in order to get by, but it's a nice bonus to have when you want it. Safety first!

To help fill out the clamshell, Wolfman is paired with a monster more ghastly than any seen in Halloween Town: a Christmas Elf. The elf stands about 3⅜" tall, thanks to his ridiculous hat, and has a massive smile on his creepy, creepy face. His outfit is white with red gloves and buttons, and green shoes, scarf, and the ball on the end of his hat. He has swivel shoulders and a balljointed head, and he manages to come with two more accessories than the Wolfman does: a piece of sheet music he can hold to sing from, and a red package tied up with a yellow ribbon. Fanciful!

The NBX Wolfman was released in Series 3 of the line, which came out in 2005. And knowing me, I probably snapped him up the instant I saw him. Good thing, too, because this is a great werewolf toy, and would probably not be anywhere near this good if it were being made today.

-- 10/09/13

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