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Vampire Brothers

Nightmare Before Christmas
by yo go re

In his bid to give the residents of Halloween Town their own Christmas, Jack Skellington was not alone. Oh, he was the mastermind, the ringleader, the Svengali if you will, but he involved everybody in the fun. Everyone had their part to play, and we got to see that the town was more than just Jack and Sally.

There are four Vampire Brothers (though five were seen playing hockey at the end), and Jun Planning has included them all in one package - NECA, by comparison, only ever made one vampire, though he did have the benefit of coming with the evil teddy bear.

Brother number one is the largest of the family, standing just over 4" tall (not counting the height added by having his arms raised over his head). His lower edge is 3½" wide and 2¾" deep. His head is bald, and wider than it is tall. The collar of his shawl is fairly restrained: it doesn't rise higher than his head, or spread out beyond his shoulders. His enormous girth and hairless head make this vampire looks like the oldest of the bunch.

Brother number two is tall and thin. His head is actually a bit higher than previous vamp's, but he's thin as a rail and not even 1½" in diameter at the widest point - the part that touches the ground. His head is tall and rather football-shaped, and his hair grows in a jagged widow's peak. His overbite is also more prominent than the others'. His collar is a symmetrical, coming up higher on the left than on the right.

Brother number three stand 3¼", but would probably be more if he wasn't leaning over so far. While the others have been fairly upright, he looks like he's moving forward briskly. His collar isn't very tall, but it still manages to rise higher than his head, and it's extremely wide: it measure 1½" wide, and his lower edge is only 2" at the most. He has a long, pointy chin, large eyes and although his widow's peak is more pronounced than his brother's, the hairline is much smoother.

Brother number four is the runt of the litter, not even reaching 2¾" tall. And heck, he's almost the same diameter at the base! Yes, this vampire is another fatty, though in his case it makes him look young. Maybe that's an effect of his plump, round face and fullhead of hair. Just like the tallest brother, this little guy's collar is short and narrow, but it's not symmetrical.

All four vampires have the same articulation: a swivel neck, double-swivel shoulders, and swivel wrists. The shoulders are a clever way of getting the range of a balljoint into a thing piece: one horizontal peg connects the shoulder to the body, while a vertical peg connects the rest of the arm to the shoulder. Each brother has a slightly different range of motion. thanks to their body types, but it's the same basic idea. The set includes two umbrellas, which One and Four can hold: just pop their left hands out, and slip the new ones in.

The sculpt is good, even beyond the different faces. Their black robes have a rough texture, and a ragged lower edge, but their big bat-wing sleeves are smooth. The brothers' bodies are hollow, like a bell, and to give you an idea of the size difference between the various vamps, the smallest one can fit underneath the biggest one completely.

The sacrifice we make for getting four vamps in one set is a logical one: size. Looking at the film, the biggest brother is supposed to be the same height as Sally, but here he stands . No, it's not strictly accurate, but it's a change I can live with: after all, better to get four toys than one, right? Besides, Halloween Town is positively drenched in German Expressionism, so size doesn't matter as much as mood and intent, and in that regard the Vampire Brothers work wonderfully.


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