Archives

Blood Relations… Mezco Revisits Roots with Nosferatu One:12 Action Figure Bundle

Just another Spooky Sunday

nosferatu, mezzo toyz, one:12 collective, action figures

Mezco Toyz announces Nosferatu One:12 Collective Bundle (images courtesy of Mezco)

Fangs for the Memories…
Mezco Toyz is harking (or is it Harkering?) back two score years to their gnarly roots with a very special One:12 Collective figure of Orlock, the vampire Count of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s 1922 silent film Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror.

Before becoming the world renown creators of Living Dead Dolls Mezco Toyz released a small series of action figures called Silent Screamers. Under the business banner of Aztech Toyz the company paid homage to two classic films of the early 20th Century, the aforementioned Nosferatu and the expressionist thriller The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. (1919).

Graf Orlock was the first of the four characters. He was companioned by a highly stylized rendition his insectivore minion Knock Renfield. Caligari was represented in the collection by the corpulent doctor and his gaunt night stalking henchman Cesare.

The original Silent Screamers came with oodles of extras, setting the quality bar high. The unique blister packs offered historical details, film sprocket framed graphics and package art by Alex Ross. Style appropriate dioramas made a perfect display for each of the figures. So, it’s no surprise Mezco has gone whole (wart)hog on this 20<sup>th</th> Anniversary revisit. The One:12 Collective Nosferatu comes in a metal lunchbox loaded with accessories, including a wooden coffin, lantern, crypt keys, his natty turban, and plenty of plague rats. There’s even a screen printed commemorative T-shirt.

Sculptor Chu Ka Wa’s brand new renderings of Nosferatu include three replaceable head portraits in varying moods and of course there’s a group of creepy claw-like hands, all faithful to the still scary visions of original designer/producer Albin Grau.

mezco toyz, Aztec toyz, nosferatu, silent screamers , action figures

Original Silent Screamers from 2000, were released under the Aztech brand name.(photos/collage Peter Parrella)

In a Historical Vein…
As a thinly veiled and wholly unauthorized version of Bram Stoker’s 1895 novel Dracula the film Nosferatu has a history riddled with intrigue. Florence Stoker, the author’s widow and heir to the copyright (licensing of which kept her financially afloat) launched a suit against the producers of the movie and won a verdict that included the order to have all prints destroyed worldwide.

The film’s total obliteration was averted by copies squirreled away in private collections which, legalities aside, ultimately proved to be a gift to cinematic history. By the mid 1960’s film buffs and monster kids like myself could actually purchase a version of the by then public domain movie on 8mm film.

For a work that was nearly lost, Nosferatu has enjoyed a protracted artistic journey and earned an iconic place in popular culture. It was remade by director Werner Herzog in 1979, perfectly casting Klaus Kinski as the rabid count. The same year, actor Max Shreck’s rat-fanged make-up was mimicked for the TV version of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

The original film has seen latter day scoring added. Most notably by Peter Steele & Type O Negative. Blue Oyster Cult penned a song detailing the germanic vampire tale for their Spectres album, with the chorus “Only a woman can break his spell. Pure in heart, who will offer herself – to Nosferatu”

My personal favorite riff on the original is director E. Elias Merhige’s (Begotten) Shadow of the Vampire (2000) which fictionalizes/reimagines the film’s production. It features John Malklovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe as its very suspect lead “actor.”

Adding to this long list the Mezco gang has created an animated promotional video for their collectible that is itself a mini-masterpiece. It’s a labor of love tribute that bolsters their motto “for collectors, by collectors” to be true.

SkeletonPete Says…
[Editor’s Note] As of this posting (July 2020) the first limited edition bundles have sold out, but you can join the waitlist for the next round which is scheduled for November-December 2020. I think this figure a must have for any horror film buff and/or toy collector and will be worth the wait.

For those who would like more historical detail about Nosferatu and the theatrical life of Count Dracula I highly recommend David J. Skal’s still definitive Hollywood Gothic: the Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen, as a source book on the subject.

And… yes, I still have 3 of the four original Aztech Silent Screamers in my toy collection. Knock Renfield managed to escape my clutches. Yes, they’re still boxed. I should have bought 2 of each.

mezco toyz, Aztec toyz, nosferatu, silent screamers , action figures

Mez-Conan: Iconic Frazetta Image Gets Mezco Toyz’ One:12 Collective Homage

Mezco, Frazetta, Frazetta Girls, Conan, one12 collective

Frank Frazetta’s iconic “Conan the Adventurer” cover gets Mezco’s One:12 Collective treatment. (image courtesy of Mezco)

1960’s fantasy fandom hung heavily on author Robert E Howard’s 1930’s novels reissued in paperback form. Their affordability and portability put them in the hands of young readers who, though likely unaware of their prior lineage in pulp magazines like Weird Tales, loved them and craved more.

The Conan series, emblazoned with artist Frank Frazetta’s heroic and now iconic images of the fictional warrior solidified the rebirth of the sword and sorcery genre and those paintings are still considered the gold standard of the character’s portrayal.

Building on the already multitudinous offerings in their One:12 Collective universe, Mezco Toyz, in partnership with Frazetta Girls, has announced the release of their first Conan articulated action figure. Detailed down to every last battle scar, the figure is appropriately modeled after the image seen on Conan the Adventurer, Frazetta’s first cover for the Lancer Paperback series published in 1966.

Sword and Accessory Sorcery…

The One:12 Conan will come housed in a collector friendly display box, a perfect place to store the wealth of extras bundled with the figure.

Mezco, Frazetta, Frazetta Girls, Conan, one12 collective

THE ONE:12 COLLECTIVE CONAN FIGURE FEATURES:

One:12 Collective body with over 30 points of articulation
Two (2) head portraits
Hand painted authentic detailing
Approximately 17cm tall
Eight (8) interchangeable hands

One (1) pair of fists
One (1) pair of weapon holding hands
One (1) pair of grabbing hands
One (1) pair of posing hands

COSTUME:

Necklace (removable)
Crossbody axe harness (removable)
Cape (removable)
Two (2) interchangeable loincloths
Belt with carabiner hooks
Mid-calf boots

ACCESSORIES:

One (1) scimitar sword with removable sheath
One (1) broadsword with removable sheath
One (1) dagger with removable sheath
One (1) battle axe (fits into crossbody harness)
One (1) shield
One (1) One:12 Collective display base with logo
One (1) One:12 Collective adjustable display post

Preorders for the Conan One:12 figure and lots of other goodies are open at Mezco’s Website .

Mezco, Frazetta, Frazetta Girls, Conan, one12 collective

 

SkeletonPete Says…

Following their Diabolik, Popeye, and Ghostbusters figures, I’m thrilled to see Mezco continuing to move the One:12 product line outside of the strictly comic book based superhero zone. Collaborations like this one with Frazetta Girls are a sign of exciting things to come. This particular figure is just begging for a limited edition diorama stand that includes the lithe young lady and mountain of carnage portrayed in the original painting. Can some Frost Giants to battle be far behind?

Also in the works, and prominently displayed at New York Comic Con 2019, is an amazing mixed media 1:6 scale statue of Conan in full berserker mode. This beauty is due in fall 2020.

Mezco, Frazetta, Frazetta Girls, Conan, one12 collective

Mezco Toyz displayed this amazing Conan Statue, scheduled for fall 2020, at New York Comic Con 2019

Johnny is a Punk: McFarlane Toys Reveals Cyberpunk 2077 Action Figures

cyberpunk 2077, keanu reeves, johnny silverhand, mcfarlane toys, action figures

McFarlane Toys’ will release Johnny Silverhand as their first Cyberpunk 2077 based action figure.

Facts and Figures…
Read the rest of this entry »

Guides for the Merry Fan: NECA Gifts Geeks with Giant Action Figure Directories

neca, aliens, checklist, action figures

The full size version of this comprehensive guide to NECA’s Alien action figures is available to download from their blog site. FREE!

Read the rest of this entry »

Binge-Witching: Netflix The Witcher Series & DarkHorse Collectibles

dark horse, witcher

Video Game/ Graphic Novel and now TV character, Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher, depicted in this Dark Horse statue.


Read the rest of this entry »