In the world of Noferin, Jac Jac and his fellow PECANPALS live on Carrara Island, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. In the toy-realms, the 5 principle characters of Pecanpals have been made into wooden toys, with the first Colored Series sold out, and the second NATURAL WOOD Series [tagged] set for a launch on May 5th @ 3pm (PDT). Via the generosity of Candy and Nicho, TRE has the honor of hosting Jac Jac in Singapore! CLICK THRU for more images and a TRE-Review of Natural Wood Series Jac Jac - to perhaps give you a pause for consideration for when the series launches soon-ish :)
PECANPALS-FACTS: The Natural Wood Series is limited to only 300 friends each design. Each figure is hand-crafted and made from 100% wood and feature articulated joints. 5 Characters in total, with the smallest Pandacake standing at 4.5 inches tall, to the tallest Pecan at 6.5 inches tall - each Pecanpal is priced at US$45-per.
[5-Images of Packaging Box]
PACKAGING: A truly lush box with cut-thru window display on a flip-open lid, fastened with matching brown colored stretch-elastic-band down the front / top side. And this is not some flimsy cardboard-box, but of a decent thickness - also giving it very much a "bound-book"-feel, IMHO. The entire print and earth-tone / warm colors chosen for the exterior of the box gives it a "vintage"-vibe, compared to the colorful child-like innocence in the first Colored Series - as well as a very apt tone to match the "Natural Wood" theme in this series. A part of me might wish there was a lush wooden-boxed for a full-set of Pecanpals, but realize that might be a tad overkill :p .. anyways...
To sum it up: It was the understated class of this non-flashy packaging that appealed to me personally. And as a person who has a "stigma" about final escalated cost of product due to fancy packaging - this product packaging felt apt.
[6-Images total for Box Interior]
BOX-INTERIOR / OPENING-THE-BOX: The "book" theme carries into the exterior panel of the box-lid, with the story of Pecanpals - quite appreciative off this actually, as it gives more to the package than just a "toy" within (but that's just my personal preference for "toy stories"). Within the flocked plastic--tray sat Jac Jac and his wooden-accessories. When I first flipped open the box, some of the smaller bits had dropped into the crevices of the tray, as they were not fastened down (what mass market toys do, stuck down with sticky-tape or wire-ties = *urgh*). So don't freak when you see an empty space where a tool is supposed to be. Double-check the insides first.
The entire plastic tray and it's contents were actually shrink-wrapped in plastic when I opened it. If that is the case for all of the products, then there is no need to fear if anything had "dropped out", IMHO.
One suggestion is to have an image of Jac Jac printed out in a card or slip of paper or tag, and kept inside the box - to basically show what Jac Jac comes with and how the items are to be worn. Of course anyone who bought them off the internet would know where to go for visual reference - and this is moreso for folks who might have the opportunity to pick it up somewhere else. Yes, there is a cost involved, but tis just a thought (me pretending to know how Jac Jac looked like with tools before working it out logically LOL)
[7-images total of Jac Jac's head]
ARTICULATION: Jac Jac's "head" is attached to his body via a sole wooden-stick inserted thru a hole in the main-body top. The wooden stick seems sturdy enough and I did not try to bend or break it (I would've been utterly mad to have tried, innit?). This gives Jac Jac a pretty whimsical turnable head, and was nigh fun and funny to me - in a good way, I insist! What I really liked about the removable head, was that the Noferin-logo and text were printed on the surface of the body's top (refer image in slideshow).
Other articulation were at both his arms. The legs seemed a tight fit and I did not attempt any further to make them swivel.
Also loving the character design especially with his two-buck-"tooth" sticking out.
[5-Images total of Jac Jac's Body]
MATERIAL: Everything in the figure set is crafted from wood (except for the fabric x felt sling-bag) - with all it's visible grains and imperfections that are characteristic to wood. This made mean slight color differentiation at some portions. Mine was generally wood-tastic, with a slight darkened area on one of the arms, no biggie at all really. The tools are painted tho, and in pretty decent detailing too, IMHO.
FACTS ABOUT THE WOOD USED: Noferin-says: "Something we forgot to tell everyone with the last release, Pecanpals are made from 100% sustainably harvested wood. They are made from rubber tree wood that would otherwise go to waste. Rubber trees are planted for their rubber, and after about 20 years, their rubber yields start to diminish. We use this beautiful wood, thus saving it from the fire pit."
TOY-FEEL: The tactile weight, as well as the "bare" finish-look of the Jac Jac Pecanpal Natural Wood series - gives it a heavy sense of "craft" versus "toy", like a little character carved out of wood and is meant to be played with, and not just left in the display case, IMHO. Not to say that this item is not a treasured collectible, but rather it's "purpose" goes beyond "just" a collectible toy, and as much as the box-label states this item is not meant for kids, perhaps what it does (and it certainly has for me) is to bring out the "child in you", or rather the childhood innocence of "play", IMHO.
[9-Images total of Jac Jac with his Tools & accessories]
TOOLS / ACCESSORIES: As the box states - this is not for kids - as there was lil swallowable bits for hungry-lil-tykes, so do keep away from them wittle hands. The thing about the "hand-held" accessories are that they are (at least for Jac Jac) "held" by way of poking the stick thru the hole in his "arms" - which may make for a tighter fit - which perhaps gentle twisting might help, but I'm all thumbs here :p
I really like the little sprout of "grey" grass, but I KNOW it would be the first thing I would lose, so I kept it in the sling-bag (whose strap had a minor tear - refer slideshow image). I lurv the buzzsaw and think it would make a swell 1:1-scaled plush saw one day :p
[6-Images total, including Dookie-Poo who is obviously over-reacting to the buzzsaw ;p]
TRE-IMPRESSIONS: Pecanpals Series One (Colored) was one of my personally most desired toys of 2008, and sadly they have sold out. Very reasonably priced at US$45 per Pecanpal, it is comparable to other vinyl toys available in the market and scene - with one thing that trumps them - longevity of the material, and it wouldn't melt under a spotlight or sun! LOL - But seriously, it is a refreshing change from the urban-street-themes of art toys, as well as a healthy-dose of arts-innocence that is not as widely seen in the current scene or Toy-Culture, IMHO.
Coupled with the story surrounding the characters and the care in which Nicho and Candy have crated their world, elevates these Pecanpal wooden toys beyond any possible stigma of "wood arts and crafts" versus "collectible art toys".
I am thoroughly enjoying my Jac Jac and wish I had the ability to procure the entire crew of Pecanpals, nuff said! - Get it and don't cry about missing out on it laters!
(Thanks, Nicho & Candy!)