POE GHOSTAL: So, Dan, a few weeks back you tweeted that Mutagen Man would be appearing on the new TMNT series. He was a favorite of yours, as was Mosquitor (for readers who somehow don’t know, Dan is a HUGE fan of Mosquitor and was campaigning for the character to be added in MOTUC for years). This prompted me to reply that I really wanted Ray Fillet – that he was, as I put it, My Mosquitor. This prompted a discussion as to what other people’s “My Mosquitors” are, but after getting some rather high-profile characters as suggestions, we began discussing a stricter definition. We’ll get to that in a minute, though – let’s get some background first. Dan, why are you such a fan of Mosquitor?
PIXEL DAN: It’s a total nostalgia factor for me. I remember always being completely enamored with Mosquitor as a kid. I loved my MOTU figures, but he always stood out to me as a favorite. I think the liquid blood feature had a lot to do with it. I just thought that was so cool as a kid, and as a result Mosquitor was always with me on my adventures. Even when I wasn’t playing with my He-Man figures, Mosquitor was still usually in my hand.
PG: And what about Mutagen Man? What drew you to him? I think I can see an affinity for “blood” and “guts” here…
PD: Ha! Yeah, it seems like it. I’ve always had a weird fascination with toys that were clear/translucent, shiny, filled with liquid, or glow in the dark. Mutagen Man has two of those going for him, which automatically puts him above the rest. Something about his design was just so appealing to me. I loved that not only could you see his insides, but you could fill him with water and watch his insides float around! Gross? Yeah, kinda. But come on, little boys love that sort of thing!
PG: So before I get into my own “Mosquitors,” I was thinking we should try to define what it means. Initially I thought My Mosquitor for MOTU was Trap Jaw, but while he is my favorite figure that’s a pretty lame choice, since he’s an iconic character and there was never any question he would be made for the line. I think a true #MyMosquitor has to be someone who’s at least a little obscure. He can be a fan-favorite, but not a cult favorite, i.e. Boba Fett – because again, there’s never any question you’re going to get a Boba Fett figure in any given Star Wars line. But there’s no guarantee you’ll get, say, Amanaman.
So: One’s Mosquitor has to be a second-tier or third-tier character, someone whose chances of being made in a toy line are not 100% or even 90%, but more like 60% or less (though obviously those chances go up the longer the toyline goes on). Some examples from various franchises:
Transformers: Nightbeat, (??)
G.I. Joe: Tunnel Rat, SciFi, Doc
Batman: Killer Moth, Red Robin
TMNT: Mutagen Man, Ray Fillet, Genghis Frog (I’d say 70% of the 1980s TMNT toyline could be someone’s #MyMosquitor)
What are your thoughts on this definition?
PD: I think that’s pretty much spot-on. Your Boba Fett example is a good one, but I must say that after thinking about it, I think Boba Fett at one time could have been classified as a My Mosquitor candidate. But through the years he sort of rose above that and became an icon. Amanaman is definitely a good My Mosquitor now.
Everyone has their “favorite” figure in any given toy line. But I think you’re right in that “favorite” doesn’t necessarily translate to My Mosquitor. Another good way of explaining it may be saying it’s sort of a “guilty pleasure” character. A figure may not be popular with everyone else, but there’s something about it that YOU love.
PG: All right. Now that we’ve defined it, let’s have some fun. Here are some of My Mosquitor picks:
TMNT: Ray Fillet. I loved this guy when he was still called “Man-Ray” in the Archie TMNT comics in the ’80s. The original figure was great, but I’ve always hoped to see him look a bit less cartoonish and a bit more heroic as he looked in the comic. I think a TMNT2012 version would probably do that, so here’s hoping he shows up.
S.H.MonsterArts: Titanosaurus. This kaiju is actually fairly popular among American fans who grew up on UHF Godzilla flicks. Terror of Mechagodzilla, the film in which Titanosaurus appears, played in fairly heavy rotation back in the late ’70s and ’80s. But he’s not very popular in Japan (in fact, he only got a 6″ Bandai vinyl in 2002 because American fans demanded it). He’s a fan-favorite but hardly a lock to be made as an S.H.MonsterArts figure, unlike, say, Showa Mechagodzilla or Anguirus, and thus he’s My Mosquitor for this line.
Star Wars Black: Grand Moff Tarkin. Despite being a major character in the first film, he’s only had two or three figures in the 3 3/4″ line, I think, so he’s definitely My Mosquitor for SWB. I’ve always thought he was a much scarier character than Darth Vader. Unlike Vader, who’s a larger-than-life supervillain, Tarkin is someone you can imagine ordering the deaths of millions in the real world.
Aliens (NECA): Now that NECA is tentatively branching into Predator figures inspired by the Kenner figures of the early 1990s, I would love to get a new Gorilla Alien.
DCUC/Batman: My Mosquitor for this line already got made: Red Robin. I don’t know why but I’ve always loved that look. It bums me out it came so close to becoming Tim Drake’s regular look until the New 52 reboot.
MOTUC: After thinking it over, I realized that My Mosquitor candidate for MOTUC hasn’t actually been made yet – it’s Eldor. I love old-man wizards – Gandalf, Merlin, Dumbledore, Elminster, Ogeode, Ringlerun – I love ’em all. Unfortunately, at this point I think it’s pretty unlikely Eldor be made before MOTUC ends. It bugs me a bit because he’s a character we have an actual vintage prototype figure for. I’ll have Demo-Man and Vikor figures in my collection, but no Eldor.
PD: Okay, here are my picks.
TMNT: Mutagen Man. I’ll just start here since that was sort of the basis for our whole discussion. For the reasons mentioned above, I loved this guy as a kid. In a line full of wacky looking characters, Mutagen Man is definitely one of the more obscure. A lot of folks I’ve talked to over the years didn’t even remember this being a TMNT figure. He made a few brief appearances in the original cartoon series, but I wasn’t real happy with the way he was portrayed. But man did I love that figure. When word of a new TMNT line got out, I immediately thought how cool it would be to see a new Mutagen Man, but I assumed the chances were slim to none. Imagine my excitement upon finding out that he will have a decent-sized role in the new cartoon, pretty much guaranteeing we’ll see a new figure!
Marvel Legends: Moon Knight and Scarlet Spider. If we were to talk about our favorite Marvel characters, these two would not really rank there for me. But I have always had a weird fascination with both of them, especially when it comes to action figures. Truth be told, it has everything to do with their costume designs. I’ve loved the look of both of these characters since I was a kid. Toy Biz gave us a Scarlet Spider figure as part of the Spider-Man Classics toy line that pre-dates Marvel Legends, but he was a cheap exclusive that was basically a repaint with a cloth hoodie that was the wrong shade of blue. Toy Biz also gave us a pretty decent Moon Knight figure towards the end of their Marvel Legends run. But now that Hasbro has brought back Marvel Legends, and doing a pretty good job with it, I really wouldn’t mind seeing updated figures of both of these characters, especially a Scarlet Spider with a proper looking costume with accurate colors. I feel like I’ve been waiting an eternity for that.
Transformers/Go-Bots: Boulder. Ok, ok…this one is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. As a kid, I didn’t have a lot of Transformers figures. I did, however, have a few more Go-Bots, including the Rock Lords. Say what you will about a toy that turns into a rock, but I loved those figures! I still do! And Boulder was always a favorite figure of mine. Hasbro now has the rights to the Go-Bots name, and I assume the characters names as well. Even though we’ll probably never see proper Go-Bots characters done in their Transformers line, I would love to see Boulder somehow make a cameo appearance!