Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas by Applause

 Do ghost dogs have a place in The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror? You bet your Kibbles & Bits they do! Today I'm looking at one of my all time favorite ghost dogs: Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas! As a kid I was typically kind of reluctant to blend toylines together, typically only doing so to fill in "gaps" in a toyline. One of the biggest gaps that I remember from a toyline I loves was the lack of Zero in Hasbro's 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas line. I was in grade-school when the movie came out and I eagerly snapped up the action figures and whatever memorabilia I could find (which wasn't much in 1993- now Walgreens has more Nightmare Before Christmas stuff on one seasonal endcap than every store combined offered when the film came out). While the Hasbro action figures could be found at most places that sold toys, a chain of stores called Suncoast (that were typically located in shopping malls) carried lots of The Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise released by the toy company Applause, who crafted the cool Zero figure I'm reviewing today. While Applause is no more, they definitely were a mainstay of gift shops and entertainment retailers in the 1990s releasing lots of licensed merchandise for properties like Star Wars, Batman, the California Raisins, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I've had this Zero since 1993 and he has always had a home on display in my wife and I's Nightmare Before Christmas collection. Let's check him out as our "terrifying" toy of the day, shall we?

 The Facts:

Height: 2 1/4 inches

Articulation: Swivel head, rolling wheels on bottom

Accessories: None

Year of Release: 1993
 The Positives:

* I love Zero's character design and while he's much more spirit-like in the film, I think Applause did a pretty nice job of translating him into a toy. The proportions of the head look good and the face is absolutely adorable. The ears are also flying about in a very free spirited manner that should charm anyone who loves dogs.

 * Yeah, the paintwork doesn't look that impressive up close, but this is my super macro lens. When looking at Zero's pumpkin-like nose with your naked eye, the paint and the actual sculpted jack o' lantern face looks pretty good. Being a sucker for pumpkins and dogs, this just absolutely rocks my world.

* Looking at Zero, he almost looks like he could be cast in glow-in-the-dark plastic. I'm pretty sure he isn't but the somewhat pearlescent plastic definitely gives off the same ghostly vibe.

* Zero actually has an action feature: Roll him across a smooth surface and his head turns left and right. This has never been too big of a deal to me but the presence of the wheels does make him appear to float, which is pretty cool, and does add a little bit of extra oomph to him.
  It's interesting to look at what toys I've decided to sell over the years and what toys I've kept. At this point I cannot imagine ever selling Zero. I've had him for nearly 25 years now! He's a really fun figure and a special part of my collection. I still remember how excited I was to add him to my collection as a kid and, every time I see him, I'm reminded of the fun of adding new, beloved characters to your toy shelf. Zero is a tough figure for me to be objective about in any way, so he gets an extra special Epic rating fueled by childhood nostalgia. Good boy, Zero!

This is the first Zero figure I've reviewed on Action Figure Barbecue! I have more Nightmare Before Christmas action figures though, including:

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Diamond Select Toys
Oogie Boogie (Toys 'R Us Edition)

The Nightmare Before Christmas by NECA (2002)

The Nightmare Before Christmas ReAction by Funko (2014)
Clown with the Tear-Away Face
Jack Skellington (Evil Smile)
Oogie Boogie
Pumpkin King Jack
Santa Jack

If you're looking for more thrills from 31 Days of Toy Terror, check them out here!


  1. Zero is super cool. I love when Disney does a dog compilation and includes him. Very cool.

    1. I want a buddy road film starring Dug from Up! and Zero. It would be incredible!


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