Review: Nightmare Before Christmas: Behemoth (with Bunny)
Once again, we're delving deep into the depths of toy lines past. NECA's Nightmare Before Christmas line has long since faded away, but the toys themselves survive on the shelves of toy stores and, of course, in the digital realm of Ebay, where nothing is truly lost forever.
Today's review is not, unfortunately, a toy I got at a bargain price: I had to pony up $15 for this, which is more or less what I could have gotten it for when it first came out. I found these in a store in Massachusetts that sells old, used, and new toys for reasonable prices.
Technically, this is a Behemoth, and the bunny's an accessory. But, frankly, the bunny's almost as big as the Behemoth and was the real reason I wanted this set. So I'm treating these as a two pack.
The one tragedy of this line, in my humble opinion, is that NECA never made a Santa Claus. But, oddly enough, they DID make an Easter Bunny. This character is only in one scene, but it's a memorable one. Of course, the Behemoth gets one of his most memorable moments here, as well, when he points at their startled "guest" and cries, "Bunny!"
This set allows us to recreate this moment in motion picture history.
So help me: I'm not just a geek, but a nostalgic one.
Both of these figures are a joy to look at. They're colorful, bright, and leave no doubt as to their origin. Really great work.
Of course, they could be better.
Some of the joints interrupt the sculpt here and there - not that I'm complaining: I like the articulation.
The real problems, though, are the mold lines. While not awful, they're very apparent, and they drag down what are a pair of otherwise excellent figures.
Everything else is fantastic. The sculpting work is up to NECA's standards, and the coloration (which is really a mix of paint and good choices for the underlying plastic) really shines through. I'm betting there are a few collectors out there who are going to disagree with my assessment on the Behemoth, though. Be aware that NECA has gone with almost a light gray which almost borders on a pastel blue, depending on the lighting. Personally, I like this interpretation, as it stands out better on the shelf. But I can certainly imagine why this might be an issue for some.
One of the Easter Bunny's most notable features is his expression: this is one angry rabbit. As I recall, he went through a few emotions in the movie. While his look of fear might be a bit more memorable, this one's a lot more fun.
Seriously: looking at his expression, I don't know whether he's about to dive back in the trick-or-treaters' sack or start picking off his abductors with painted eggs.
Really, look him in the eye and ask yourself if you feel lucky.
Packaging and Extras: +2
Ah, the clam shell. I'm so happy it's gradually moving towards extinction.
Any toy collector who's been at this for a while has a story or two of clam shell packaging that's taken bite out of them. Some of us even have lingering scars.
A pair of scissors will get through though, so it's no big deal. I just like to complain (if I didn't, I probably wouldn't bother reviewing things).
Now, onto the accessories....
This one was a tough category to wrap my head around. Here's the problem: fundamentally, there is only one "real" accessory: the nutcracker. But that's highly misleading. Then again, so is the packaging, which implies the axe is removable.
Lets look at the nutcracker. There are really only two moments with the Behemoth that stuck with me. The first is his scene with the Bunny. The second is the moment of childlike wonder that occurs when Jack hands him a nutcracker and his eyes light up: he knows exactly what this is for.
The nutcracker looks good: NECA's pretty much perfected the art of making anything look good in this scale. On the downside, it doesn't actually work, but... what were you expecting?
So, is the nutcracker worth two bonus points? Nope. What then are the points for?
The Bunny, of course. Or, more specifically, the fact that these are a two pack, at all. You really are getting two figures for the price of one. Don't believe me? Check out the new Jun Behemoth figure: he looks about the same size, and (if you're lucky) you'll see him at around the same price. But... where's the Bunny?
Play and Display: ----
I went back and forth on this one and almost handed over a bonus point. As it is, I'm not sure I made the right call.
Lets start by discussing articulation.
The Behemoth has a cut neck, cut wrists, legs attached in a "V", and ball jointed shoulders. The leg articulation is pretty much useless for anything other than balance. The head gives you a few decent poses, but turn it too far and the plastic underside becomes visible. The arms and wrists are much better: these let you choose whether you want him pointing at the Bunny, holding the nutcracker, or just hanging out. And he looks pretty natural in any of these poses: not too shabby.
The Bunny gives you moving legs and ball joints on the arms and head. The arms are a bit limited, since he's going to look a little odd if at least one paw isn't on the basket handle. The head is good, though if you try moving it too far it'll pop off (it goes back on easily enough).
Both of these figures balance well enough, though you aren't going to get a huge number of poses out of them. This is a little disappointing with the Bunny, who I'd have liked to be able to pose leaning forward.
With this teetering on the line between getting a +1 or not, it's the lack of posing options that determined the outcome.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 10/10
There aren't a lot of lines I like as much as NECA's Nightmare Before Christmas, and I don't know that there are any I like better. While not every figure is a winner - a good thing, too, since there were a lot of these, and my funds are limited - several of my favorite action figures are from this line.
I've been wanting to pick up this pack since it first came out, but I always hesitated. It felt like every time I stopped by a toy store, there was either something I wanted a little more or I'd already spent too much that week. Eventually, I'd held off so long, I decided I should just wait and see if it went on clearance.
Well, one day I stopped by the comic store which always had these in stock. I was thrilled to see they'd placed their Nightmare Before Christmas figures on clearance... until I realized they'd sold out of this pack. I bought a few others and headed home.
During a visit to Massachusetts a while back, I came across this for fifteen bucks, about what I'd passed on time and again. Since I wasn't sure if this might be my last chance, I picked them up. Like I said, this is a pack I'd been eying since their release.
So. Are they worth it? I'd say so. You really are getting two full size figures here. I should mention that the Behemoth feels hollow, but he looks fine on the shelf (which is all that really matters).
They came up short of the coveted 10+ rating, but a "perfect" 10 is still pretty good.