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Pic of the Day > Mezco Scary Tales Red Riding Hood & Wolf action figures by splittyhead

Mezco Scary Tales Red Riding Hood & Wolf action figures

Mezco Scary Tales Red Riding Hood & Wolf action figures by splittyhead

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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: 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 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

Review > Martian Commander (Mars Attacks, Mezco)

My fondness for Mars Attacks is a bit random. I never owned any of the cards as a kid, and my interest in the franchise came about solely due to the hype around Tim Burton film – which, it turned out, I hated. I’m not going to get into whether it’s actually a bad film or not – for all I know it’s got some sort of cult following now – but when I saw it, I strongly disliked the goofy, humor-based approach Burton took. From the cards and comics I got the impression Mars Attacks was all about over-the-top gore, black humor (not just dark, but black like a charred heart in a smoldering fire), sadism, and military-style action.

Burton’s film had goofy gore, dark but not black humor, and silly action. He made a film that was a homage to the science fiction B-movies of the 1950s. But the 1962 Mars Attacks card set was all about taking the the clichés of those films – aliens shooting ray guns at humans, giant insects, attempted interspecies rape – to a realistic extreme that is merely suggested in the films themselves.

Pic of the Day > Mezco The Wolfman – Wolfman [7 Inch] by Ed Speir IV

Mezco The Wolfman - Wolfman [7 Inch]

Mezco The Wolfman – Wolfman [7 Inch] by Ed Speir IV

Pic of the Day > Untitled by (Talyn)


Pic of the Day > Jason Voorhees by Mezco Toyz by Police-Box-Traveler

Jason Voorhees by Mezco Toyz

Odds ‘n Ends > Toy Fair Items of Interest & More

  • A few other things that caught my eye at Toy Fair:
  • Mezco’s stylized Universal Monsters figures. OAFE reviewer and occasional PGPoA contributor Rustin Parr could not possible be more excited for these–he’s planning to get two of each. I’m in for the Gillman, of course, as he’s my favorite UM. They’re due out around September (according to at least one site). Pics at Battlegrip.
  • Jay Cochran of TNI seems concerned about the future of Bandai’s ThunderCats toys; there was nothing new at Toy Fair this year, and the staff wouldn’t comment on its future. The cartoon show has been a moderate success and reportedly renewed for a second season, and from my own observation the toys seem to sell decently, so I’m a bit surprised by this.
  • There will be Play Arts Kai Mass Effect figures, starting with Shepard, Ashley and Garrus. Garrus is great, but Shepard is less exciting since everyone creates their own character, and Ashley? Why no Miranda? Miranda was way more interesting. And–ahem–hotter, for a CGI character anyway. BBTS has these up for preorder.
  • Of course there’s also PAK’s upcoming Arkham Asylum figures. I note that Phil Reed of Battlegrip made sure to get an upskirt of Harley Quinn (prediction: that will be my most-clicked link today. You’re welcome, Phil!).
  • I have to admit to being kind of excited by Mezco’s Mars Attacks figure. I just hope it has decent articulation. It appears to have hinged elbows and knees, but the real question is whether the hips/thighs are ball joints. I’m guessing not the thighs at least, since the feet don’t appear to be articulated.
  • TNI has more pics of the classic Turtles, including the packaging, which is wonderfully nostalgic. They’re due in stores in August at about $15 apiece, so it’ll cost you $60 to put together your Fab Four.
  • In non-Toy Fair news, Poester Chris Pearce sent me a note regarding his blog Teachable Moments, which has been running a series of posts called Thrift Store Finds. He’s reviewed a number of vintage MOTU items recently such as children’s books, coloring books and magazines, all of which you can check out using this link.
  • PGPoA art director Mecha-Shiva pointed me to this neat YouTube video of a self-proclaimed “Greatest Toy in the Universe.” It’s created by a UK company called Wow Stuff, and it looks rather like the vintage MOTU toy Spydor. I dislike radio-controlled toys, but I’ll admit that thing is pretty neat.
  • Finally, I just want to thank JediCreeper again for helping out with the Toy Fair coverage this year. Maybe we can get him a real press pass next year…

Sponsor News > DCAS, ThunderCats, Robocop at BBTS

Just a few interesting items from BBTS’s latest newsletter.

First up is their preorder for wave one of DC Universe All-Stars. This is a really odd line-up, isn’t it? Due out in May 2012.

Next is this incredible badass 14″ Mumm-Ra from Mezco, a companion piece to their 14″ Lion-O. It’s up for preorder for $35 and hits in May.

Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai line is rapidly becoming the Hot Toys of the under-12″ scale. I’m waiting for their Arkham Asylum stuff myself, but they’ve also got Solid Snake and Ninja coming from the first Metal Gear Solid game.  Up for preorder, due in February.

Pic of the Day > Goon & Frankie vs. Slackjaws by FA

Pic of the Day > Necromorph attack on Meg by sabatomic~

Necromorph attack on Meg

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