Four Horsemen Studios certainly has a distinct design aesthetic to our work. In many cases, we are hired for projects because of this design style! For other projects, however, our job is not about putting our spin on a property, but rather capturing another distinctive aesthetic and translating it into awesome figures. This was the case when we had a chance to work on the Nightmare Before Christmas line from NECA.
Welcome to Halloweentown!
Tim Burton’s the Nightmare Before Christmas was a property that we honestly never expected we’d get a chance to work on, so when NECA came to us back in 2003 asking if we would be interested in helping design this line of figures, we were thrilled to be able to say “YES!”
Not only are we big fans of the Nightmare Before Christmas, but this line also had something we love to see in the properties we work on – a deep roster of unique characters that will make for a diverse line of toys.
This line also was an interesting one for us because of the source material we were working from. While we’ve done many figures that were translated into 3-dimensional toys from 2-dimensional sources, including movies, animation, and comic books, the Nightmare Before Christmas was unique in that it came from a movie that featured stop-motion puppetry for all the characters. Basically, it was a movie made with action figures, so being able to develop toys of those characters was a very cool experience.
Getting Deep Into the Roster of Characters
While we knew we would end up tackling the main characters of this story, including multiple versions of Jack Skellington along with Sally, Oogie Boogie, the Mayor and others, we were also thrilled to be able to explore some of Halloweentown’s lesser known residents, like the Harlequin Demon, the Clown with the Tear-Away Face, and the Melting Man. In many cases, the figures we designed for this line would be the very first representations of these characters in plastic form.
Ultimately, NECA released a total of 6 series of figures in this line (24 total packaged releases, with some packages featuring two packs of smaller figures), as well as two figures that were exclusive to San Diego Comic Con which we actually did not work on (Pirate Jack in 2006 and Vampire Jack in 2007) . There were also a handful of larger, boxed figures like Oogie Boogie with his roulette wheel and Jack with his snowmobile, as well as larger figures in both the 1/6 and the 1/4 scale sizes! Running through the entire list, we did a total of 38 different characters or character variations for NECA’s Nightmare Before Christmas line. This article contains photos of at least some those figures, which we think look great even 15+ years since these first started hitting stores!
A Few Rareities
Many people who collected the Nightmare Before Christmas line from NECA may not actually be aware of a few of the rarest pieces from this line, including one set that was never actually even sold at retail! While we did not work on these, they are worth mentioning here as a full look at this line.
Made of metal, the Mayor's Car was limited to just 1500 pieces and it is the rarest of all the pieces NECA sold from this property. Still, the exclusivity of this piece pales in comparison to another set that was produced from this.
An exclusive 2-pack of Jack and Sally in wedding outfits was presented to guests at the October 2007 wedding of NECA President Randy Falk. This set was limited to just 250 pieces and was obviously never sold at retail. Few collectors of this line are even aware of this set's existance, much less having ever seen one or had a chance to buy one for their own collections!
Published on 06.12.20