Kingdom Hearts 2 Play Arts JACK SKELLINGTON
The Pumpkin King gets his finest figure yet...
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The first Kingdom Hearts game was released in 2002; one year after the Playstation 2 was released in the US. The new formula that combined the magic and characters of Disney with the style, design, and video game expertise of Square-Enix was an instant smash hit. Also unique was the new game play style that did away with the turn-based combat of Final Fantasy and allowed players to explore and battle in three-dimensional worlds, which were often those out of Disney films. One of the most popular worlds in the series is Halloween Town, based off the fictional holiday world from the cult classic film The Nightmare Before Christmas. While main character Sora has been given two figures themed to the spooky land, the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington, now joins the Play Arts figure series as only the second Disney character from the franchise to see release.
PACKAGING: The packaging of this figure is similar to previous serious of Kingdom Hearts figures, but sans the j-hook hanger. The box is primarily white with KH-inspired border designs on the various sides. The package has windows on the sides, top, and the front allowing a full view of the figure within. On the back, Jack is photographed against a backdrop featuring a silhouette of Halloween Town. On the inside of the box, the character is kept in place by a plastic shell and has a colored insert as a backdrop.
SCULPT & ARTICULATION: Fans of Nightmare Before Christmas are bound to ask themselves why they would want to pick up yet another figure of the film’s main character when so many have been released prior. We got several great figures during NECA’s series, and another so-so release with Jun Planning’s short-lived NBX line, so what makes Square-Enix’s Jack figure different?
Well for starters, the most noticeable difference in terms of quality is that the artists at Square-Enix sculpted the pin striping of Jack’s suit completely, whereas other companies have previously just painted or printed the lines on. The figure is very textured which is a welcome feature as it gives homage to the fact that the film is stop-motion and it makes the figure more natural, with less “gloss”. The head sculpts perfectly capture the personality and look of the character and can be swapped for different display options. But take care, as the joint is fairly tight, and it seems like it would be all too easy to snap off the neck joint if care isn’t used.
The figure itself is slightly meatier than previous versions, which is okay, as he still maintains his proper lengthy proportions. This change also gives him the ability to do something other Jack figures could not – stand. Other Jack figures have required the use of a stand to keep them up, but he can pull off a variety of poses that balance him enough to stay up. The figure features around 18 points of articulation including 4 points in the arms, three in the legs, the waist, and the neck. If there were any place where the figure has issues, I would say that because of the use of ball-joints in the shoulders, they come off as a little big and round.
PAINT: Jack consists of primarily two paints colors, black and white, with some small details painted here and there. He’s generally painted very cleanly, but the paint adds to the very organic look of the sculpt and brings out the texture even more. The stripes of his suit have been painted on using a wash to highlight the sculpting and detail had been added to his head sculpts using some airbrush work for shading.
ACCESSORIES: Jack really doesn’t include “accessories” per se, but he does feature some packed in extras that add to your purchase.
The biggest addition is his sidekick Zero, who is fully sculpted with lots of texture. Jack also includes three different heads to display including smiling, angry, and open-mouth smile heads. He also includes a clear display stand for added stability and more attempting more exciting poses.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Overall, I can say without a doubt that Square-Enix’s version of Jack Skellington is the best in terms of quality, accuracy and value. They have gone the extra mile to give NBX and Kingdom Hearts fans a figure they can be truly proud to have on their toy shelves. Unfortunately, it seems like this is the last Kingdom Hearts figure we will get for awhile as no new products were shown at this years’ Toy Fair. It would be disappointing if we didn’t see figures of characters from Birth By Sleep or more of the Organization XIII, but most importantly, main characters Donald and Goofy. The Kingdom Hearts 2 Play Arts Jack Skellington is available now from Square-Enix.
Review Sample Courtesy of Square-Enix
Review and photos by Michael Klein