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Mars Attacks Review Addendum: The State of Mezco

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: HeroesThe SpiritThe Wolf ManScott 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 largescale 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.

**Except McFarlane

Monster Month > Poe’s Past Monster Reviews

In celebration of Monster Month, here are some of my past reviews of monstrous toys:

Poe’s Halloween Display

For Halloween this year, I decided to just throw as many monster/horror figures as I could fit along the shelf above my desk at home.

From left to right:

  • Diablo 2 Diablo by Blizzard
  • Dark Alliance Lucifer by Art Asylum
  • Ghostbusters Slimer by NECA
  • Silent Screamers Graf Orlok by Aztech Toys
  • G.I. Joe Zombie Viper by Hasbro
  • Attack of the Living Dead Earl by Mezco Toyz
  • Silent Screamers Golem by Mezco Toyz (they had changed their company name by the time it came out)
  • MOTUC Skeletor by Mattel w/ Demo-Man alternate head
  • Throne from Marvel Select Mephisto
  • Dead Space Necromorph by NECA
  • AvP: Requiem Alien by MECA
  • Evil Dead II Henrietta by NECA
  • Nightmares of Lovecraft Cthulhu by SOTA
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy by NECA

Just a quick note regarding the site design…

My wife mentioned my site didn’t look any different to her, except switching to green about halfway down. It turned out she needed to clear her cache in Chrome before the new images appeared. So if the logo of Poe at the top of the blog isn’t like the one directly above, try clearing your browser’s cache (here’s how).

October is Monster Month at PGPoA!

So as you may have noticed, things are a little different around here. In celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, October is Monster Month at PGPoA! (Big thanks to Wyatt Jones for that great logo!)

I had originally planned to post a review of a monster toy every single day before realizing just how ridiculously impossible that would be for me at this point in my life. So I’ve scaled it back a bit – there will definitely be monster reviews this month, but sprinkled among other, non-monster-y reviews and assorted fun stuff.

Quick Question (Toy Hunter)

I only have so much time per week (as the recent dearth of posts indicates), but I am curious whether people would be interested in write-ups on the show Toy Hunter? Is this something I really should be watching?

Hangin’ with Mr. Parr & Poe’s On Vacation

This past weekend I hung out with my good friend Rustin Parr of OAFE, as well as Power Pals PrfktTear & the rarely-seen Sped. Rustin enjoyed his visit and bought something at nearly every place we went to, from a Lego store to Comicazi. I’m sure he’ll write them all up in a Rustin’s Spoils over at OAFE in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.

The most memorable stop was at a Five Below, where Rustin spent fifteen minutes feeling up blind-bagged Playmobil packages to figure out what was inside them.

The store’s security guard kept pacing nearby, as if this represented the most interesting thing that had happened at the store this month. The good news is Rustin was able to find what he was looking for with only a modicum of his dignity impaired.

In other news, I’m on vacation for a week starting tomorrow. I’m going to try to set up some posts to go up while I’m gone, and I may write a post if something important comes up while I’m away, but PGPoA will be on hiatus until a week from Thursday.

Poe & the Four Horsemen: How It All Began

I’d intended to post this on July 3, which would have been the tenth anniversary of the day I received the email below–but then I completely, utterly forgot. Better late than never!

I’ve saved every email I’ve sent and received since 1998. Until recently, most of them were just burned to a disc, but a few weeks back I dumped them all into a secondary Gmail account I created. While searching through them, I discovered this little treat.

Way back when the Millennium Masters of the Universe was first revealed, a lot of fans on were disappointed with the designs. The discussions could be intense–as online discussions often are–and I was one of the strongest defenders. Then, one day, I received this private message via the forums on July 3, 2001:

Hi, Poe.

We’ve been monitoring several message boards for quite a while now,
and we wanted to thank you for all of the support that you’ve given to
both us and the new Masters of the Universe line.

We’re really grateful to have people like you behind us, and we hope
to see you at the San Diego Comic Con.

Thanks again, and we’ll see you soon.


I didn’t make SDCC that year, but I did meet the Horsemen when I visited their studio that summer. To use yet another cliché, the rest, as they say, is history.

Desperately Seeking Santa


I generally try not to take advantage of this blog for my own ends, but occasionally I come across something I want but just can’t find–not even on eBay. Such a one is this talking Santa Claus toy.

It was made in 1994 by the Kurt Adler company and has an electronic talking feature. It was probably sold in drug stores and so forth. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever found to a “realistic” six-inch-ish scale Santa Claus.

If anyone has one of these or sees one at a flea market or whatever and would be willing to sell or trade it, you’d make a Christmas-loving toy blogger very, very happy. Honestly I don’t have much hope…it’d be a Christmas miracle!

A brief comparison of the original MOTUC He-Man vs. the reissue


While the first MOTUC He-Man took weeks to sell out, the second release–which had a much higher production run–sold out in less than a day. Evidently Masters of the Universe Classics has drawn in a significant collector following beyond the diehard MOTU fans whose enthusiasm drove the line’s creation. For all the complaints about the price, it’s clearly not that hard to swallow for many people.

The first He-Man re-release had a few problems: reversed shoulders (though I could hardly tell), a fairly glossy texture, and a reddish shading around the eyes that made it look like He-Man just watched the scene in Wrath of Khan where Spock dies.

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