Poe’s Note: I wrote this as a preamble to my Mars Attacks Martian Commander review before deciding it was a bit too off-topic. Still, I hate to throw away content, so feel free to read and discuss.
It’s been a long time since I bought a Mezco figure. Mezco was arguably my favorite toy company from 2004-2006, when they were producing their amazing Hellboy movie and comic lines, as well as their line based on The Goon. But shortly after the Hellboy comic line ended with one last figure (the Abe Sapien exclusive), Mezco embarked upon a run of toy lines based on properties that were mediocre-to-flops: Heroes, The Spirit, The Wolf Man, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,* The Green Hornet – for a brief time you could almost predict the failure of a movie at the box office by whether Mezco had the license. Even Mezco’s figures for Hellboy: The Golden Army were of pretty bad quality, both in the plastic used (trenchcoats that look and felt like individually-wrapped cheese slices) or construction (skirted figures with no legs, i.e. salt-shakers).
To make matters worse, for many of these lines Mezco decided to move backward from the rest of the industry** and incorporate less articulation than they did for Hellboy or the Goon (though this was most likely due to the higher cost of licenses).
But Mezco seems to be getting back on track. With the mega-popular Living Dead Dolls keeping the toy company going, they’ve started branching out to things like the mini-urban vinyl DC Mez-Itz (which I’m not that fond of, but seem to be popular) and their large–scale ThunderCats figures. We’re also starting to see the return of some six-inch scale figures based niche-but-cool licenses and including decent articulation. One example is Earthworm Jim, who had great upper-body articulation though he lacked any leg articulation. And now, Jim is followed by the Martian Commander from Mars Attacks.
* To be fair, the Scott Pilgrim figures were based on the comic (though clearly timed to coincide with the film’s release), and were reportedly pretty cool figures.