In 1997 Jun Planning were virtually unknown until they stormed on the scene in 1997/8 with a brilliant line-up of dolls, figures and trinkets based on Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.
Their first release was a variety of their popular J-Dolls. As with their Pullip cousins, manufacturing changed hands in 2009 when the Japanese branch of Jun Planning declared bankruptcy and the production of the dolls moved to Groove, Inc.
In the United States, Jun Planning and Groove seem to be linked, with Groove USA a subdivision of Jun Planning USA.
J-Dolls are highly articulated 9-inch plastic fashion dolls that are made by the same company that makes Pullip dolls. If you've ever admired a Pullip doll's style and articulation but been turned off by the oversized noggin, a J-Doll might be a nice alternative. In a nutshell, J-Dolls are Pullips with shrunken heads.
1997/8 Dolls in Boxes Assortment
• Evil Scientist
• Jack & Sally 2 Pack Japanese Exclusive
• Millenium Edition 4-pack gift Set
• Oogie Boogie
• Pumpkin King 1998
• Santa Claus
• Santa Jack, sleigh, skeleton reindeer (99) 2400LE
About a year after they first released their J-Dolls Jun Planning released a series of NBX Trading figures. These figures were sold in themed “blind” boxes and came in pieces that had to be put together but construction was not easy for many of them.
The small pegs and thin pieces made it hard to fit some pieces together, like Sally’s arms. In addition, it is difficult to get Shock’s arms to stay in place. Adding a tiny dab of glue to some of these figures is not a bad idea.
For the most part though, once put together, these figure stay together. Note though that these figures have no articulation.
1 Jack Skellington
3 Lock and Barell
4 Shock and Zero
5 Dr. Finklestein
6 Oogie Boogie
For their size, these figures were highly detailed. All the figures were painted, and most sport a paint wash. The most impressive paint jobs were on Sally and Oogie Boogie.
In Sally’s case, white paint with a blue paint wash effectively captures the skin tone from the movie, and contrasts nicely with the white paint on Jack.
Oogie Boogie is painted in a nice sack cloth brown with a dark brown wash for texturing in the folds.
In contrast, the paint on Lock, Barell and Shock is a little plain because of the lack of a paint wash. None of them though have a sloppy paint job.
Overall it’s obvious the figures were designed to either have texture or detail be the prominent factor in the figures’ appearance, depending on the strengths of the character design.
For example, Oogie Boogie, who doesn’t have a lot of features to include, does have a lot of texturing and paint wash to make the figure look good. Similarly Zero was molded in translucent plastic.
On most of these figures none of the joints are overly obvious or ugly. The exception is Oogie Boogie, whose arms and legs leave small gaps with the body that are highly noticeable on the brown body.
Together all these figures look great. As an added bonus, the stands of Shock, Lock, and Barrel fit together, and Zero can be attached to Jack’s stand. All together they make a nice Nightmare Before Christmas display if you aren’t interested in the larger figures.
Released in 2001 the Jun Planning action figures can on NBX themed blister packs, were very detailed and excellently sculpted.
However, they didn't sell very well and can still be bought on eBay for between $5-$10, well worth the price considering they originally retailed for approx $20.
Each figure was about 8-inches in height with 12-points of articulation, real cloth clothing and accessories relevant to that particular figure.
• Dr. Finklestein
• Pumpkin King
• Vampire Bros
2005 Stuffed Toys Series
• Oogie Boogie