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Zero stuffed toy

Nightmare Before Christmas
by yo go re

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas has a long and storied histroy with action figures. There was a tie-in line released when the movie was out, of course, but it was produced in very low numbers and released in few stores. This scarcity, combined with the film's cult following, has given NBX toys a surprisingly consistent popularity among collectors. NECA picked up the license in 2004, and it ran through the end of 2007. Now if you're looking for merchandise featuring the residents of Halloween Town, Jun Planning is your source.

In addition to the standard things, like action figures and Bust-Up style figurines, they've also got new stuffed toys. You may not think solid bone would make for an easy conversion to a plush form, but hey, the same could have been said about alien metal. Of course, it helps that they're all done in a superdeformed style: that'll make anything adorably huggable. Series 1 includes Jack (in both normal and Santa versions), Sally, Oogie Boogie, the Mayor and Jack's little dead dog, Zero.

The stuffed toys are sold in two-piece plastic clamshells molded to look like a pumpkin. The front has a jack o'lantern face, while the rear has the Nightmare Before Christmas logo. There's a hole punched in the top so the package can hang, and a cardboard ring around the bottom so it can stand up. The figure itself bounces around freely inside the bubble, so no twist ties or rubberbands to worry about - just peel off some tape and he's free.

Zero is about 4¾" tall to the tip of his ears, and constructed from approximately 20 panels. He's filled entirely with stuffing, so he's not a beanie, but he retains his shape very well. Well, what shape there is: in the movie, Zero's "body" was a billowing sheet (he's a ghost, after all), so everything below his red collar is an amorphous blob.

Suiting the superdeformed style, Zero's head makes up about ⅔ of his entire size. His crooked ears trail out behind him, his eyes and smile are stitched on flatly, and his pumpkin nose is held up high. The pumpkin has a little green stem and black facial features; the seams between the panels stand in nicely for the gourdy texture.

There's not much we can say about the stuffed Zero that you can't determine for yourself. He's cute as a button, and you can probably tell just from looking at him whether this is something you want. It's okay, no one's looking: we promise not to tell that you like cute things; you can claim it's for your girlfriend or something. Zero's well-made, sturdy enough for some minor play (a kid could probably chew the nose off) and has nice packaging. The construction of the toy is up to par, meaning for once, you can base your decision on looks.


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