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The Highly Articulate(d) Crusader: Mezco’s One:12 Collective Batman

Peter Keehn's Emulation of Frank Miller Art Highlights the Highly Poseable Nature of Mezco's One:12 Collective Figures

Peter Keehn’s Emulation of Frank Miller Art Highlights the Highly Poseable Nature of Mezco’s One:12 Collective Figures

Going Batz…
It could not be more appropriate during a week that began with a night of dodging real bats in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, during an Atlas Obscura Society H.P. Lovecraft event, to wake up to the news (thanks to Ken Pierce) that it’s Batman Day. Yes – the Arkham connection is not lost on me.

Mr. Mezco Risin’…
Not to let the occasion of the 75th year since the publication of Detective Comics #27 go by unheralded, I’m happy to share with you Mezco Toyz just announced Batman: The Dark Knight Returns action figure. This is the vanguard reveal for Mezco’s newest collector toy line called the One:12 Collective that will offer fans 6” clothed and highly articulated representations of some of their favorite characters. In addition to Batman, the company has plans for other DC Universe heroes, Universal Monsters, and specifically Judge Dredd. They’ve also hinted at a few surprises as the series evolves, with several models planned to hit the shelves during the year, starting in fall of 2014.

Black and Blue Cowled Variants and lots of cool weapons and tools for Mezco's Dark Knight (Photos: Peter Keehn/Courtesy of Mezco Toyz)

Black and Blue Cowled Variants and lots of cool weapons and tools for Mezco’s Dark Knight (Photos: Peter Keehn/Courtesy of Mezco Toyz)

This digitally sculpted, highly detailed, figure has the great brawny look of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight, and an array of weapons to fight crime throughout Gotham. Surprising for it’s 6” scale the product features 32 points of articulation and offers “40,000 possible poses” according to Mezco. This and the precisely tailored garb are at the heart of the One:12 Collective initiative. Company president “Mez” Markowitz explains, “I think we are offering a fantastic product that both satisfies the customers desire for articulation as well as the ability to hide it all in a extremely realistic way. Another great aspect to the line is that we are striving to present high quality product that is in line with 1/6th scale (12” figure) collectables while taking up far less display space and at a much more reasonable price point.”

Photo: Peter Keehn/Courtesy of Mezco Toyz)

Photo: Peter Keehn/Courtesy of Mezco Toyz)

Skeletonpete Says…
If you’re attending San Diego Comic Con this week seek out Mezco’s booth (#3445) for a first hand look at the One:12 Collective DKR and all of their other awesome products and exclusives. Otherwise enjoy photographer Peter Keehn’s evocative images courtesy of Mezco Toyz.

Sugar, Spice and Rockin’ Good Times: The Beatrix Girls Are More Than Meets the Eye

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When I was growing up, the message I heard over and over again (and hear all too often, even now) was, “Girls can’t rock!” It was all too clear. It was OK for boys to be bass players, drummers, lead guitarists and frontmen, but my aspirations to become the next Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, or Freddie Mercury were frowned upon. After all, you can’t play rock and roll and still be a lady, right? Wrong… so very wrong. Ultimately, it didn’t stop me from joining a band when I was in college (playing with both male and female musicians), but I wonder how much sooner I might have pursued my dreams had I been encouraged, rather than completely disregarded.

What They Are…

Media executive and cartoon veteran Sherry Gunther Shugerman (SimpsonsFamily Guy) must have wondered the same thing when she came up with The Beatrix Girls.  The Beatrix Girls are 12 inch fashion dolls, with brightly colored hair and cool outfits. These adorable dolls are definitely made to appeal to young children, and while still feminine, they’re not too adult (suitable for ages 5 and up).

Why They’re Cool…

What sets this line apart is the fact that it is driven by original music (featuring the writing talents of some of today’s top pop stars), which kids can collect. Each doll is a member of a rock band. The Beatrix Girls band members are Brayden (Guitar), Ainsley (Drums), Lark (Bass) and Chantal (Keys). Each Beatrix Girl has a unique personality and look, as befitting a budding rock star. The Beatrix Girls even have their own fan club and webisodes.

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The idea behind The Beatrix Girls line is to empower young girls to be so much more than just pretty faces. Though fashion-conscious, The Beatrix Girls were created to encourage girls to discover the joy of music and to inspire them to create their own as well. Through friendship, collaboration, hard work and determination, The Beatrix Girls gig, work and play together. Pretty ideal if you ask me.

As if that weren’t enough, the line has partnered with Peavey Electronics to create a customized Peavey-branded guitar geared toward smaller frames (reminiscent of the Daisy Rock line of guitars).

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The Beatrix Girls collection initially hit stores in the Fall of 2013. This Fall 2014, we’ll be seeing The Beatrix Girls London Collection, inspired by the British subculture Mod Movement of the 1960s.

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Andy Says…

I love this concept and hope to see more variety as the line continues to grow. I can only imagine, since the girls have their own webisodes, soon they’ll be starring in their own cartoon. If you liked Jem and The Holograms, or Josie and The Pussycats, why not The Adventures of the Beatrix Girls?

I truly enjoyed getting a closer look at these beauties, and others, at my first Blogger Bash, SweetSuite 2014 Toy Event in NYC last week. Thanks to The Big Toy Book and SkeletonPete for inviting me to the event. Hopefully, it won’t be my last.

The Beatrix Girls are available at Toys R Us and Amazon.com and their songs can be found on Pandora, iTunes and Spotify.

To Infinity 2.0 (and Beyond): Disney Adds Marvel Heroes

Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via "power discs."

Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via “power discs.”


The Disney Infinity Game line amps up the play action this fall with the addition of Marvel Super Heroes to the mix. The Infinity 2.0 game pieces expand the “Toy Box” of the previously Disney-centric character set to include beautiful three dimensional game pieces based on Marvel’s Avengers and Spiderman universes. Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman, Nova, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Venom, Iron Fist, and Nick Fury will all be part of the Wave 1 roll out scheduled for September 23, 2014.

Although the new character set will not work with the previous Infinity base or software, all original characters will be recognized and playable on the 2.0 system and may even include power-up “skill tree” enhancements.

There will also be another group of Disney film characters coming to the shelves before the 2014 holiday season. These include Merida, Tinkerbell, a very Angelina looking Maleficent and Stitch, all pictured below. All characters are playable in all worlds so die hard purists will need to bring their sense of fun and an open mind to game play that could ultimately pair the Incredible Hulk with Tinkerbell. I believe kids will not blink and just go for it.

The Mighty Thaw, Um Thor…
I have always been a fan of The Mighty Thor from my earliest off-the-newsstand comic buying days and was thrilled to learn that The Avengers game story will pit them against Loki and the Frost Giants to save New York City from a frozen doom. Disney says the play maps are 4 times the size of the cityscapes offered in the original game.

Power to the People…
Power Discs will add other dimensions to the screenplay and come in two flavors. Placing a character on top of a Circular Power Disc (or 2) can for instance change a character’s uniform, add an on-screen helper character (like Falcon or Winter Soldier for Captain America) for a short “team-up” period, some will add a vehicle like the Spiderman dune buggy, or a motorcycle.

Hexagonal Discs offer “Play Sets,” these are game experiences with hours of story or task based action when placed on the Infinity base. While each starter kit will come with Power Discs, discs will also be sold mystery box style to encourage collecting and trading between gamers. 80 separate discs have been announced.

Building your own worlds inside the “toy box” area will also be enhanced so gamers can more easily create unique experiences. We were told those end-user built worlds could eventually be shared online via Disney to others around the world.

SkeletonPete Says…
It was great to get an up close and personal sneak peak of these temping collectible game pieces at the Blogger Bash’s SweetSuite 2014 Event in NYC this week. Like Activision’s Skylanders they serve not only as game tokens but excellent display items that deserve shelf space.

Thanks to the kind folks at The Big Toy Book for giving co-editor Andy Melendez and I the opportunity to cover this fun event.

I strongly suggest you visit Marvel’s website for detailed info on the deep set of gaming capabilities offered in Infinity on a wide range of platforms.

Too Much Monkey Business: NECA Shapes “Apes” Series 1

NECA's 7" Caesar, King of the Apes Action Figure

NECA’s 7″ Caesar, King of the Apes Action Figure


Mr. Mojo Risin’…
20th Century Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens July 11, 2014 and early reviews are promising a spectacular addition to the solid reboot of the much loved franchise. I will admit that after the misstep of the 2001 “re-imagining” by Tim Burton I was skeptical about future films, but the James Franco and Andy Serkis performances in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes won me over and I have been looking forward to this sequel.

Since the denoument of the original 1968 film revealed the apes’ planet to be Earth itself, the question was always “how did we get there.” “Rise” and “Dawn” tell that story in a thoughtful and effective narrative. A third, currently untitled, installment is set for summer 2016.


Sneak peaked at last winter’s New York Toy Fair, NECA Toys already has their first wave of articulated action figures on the shelves. Series 1 includes 6 inch renditions of Caesar, Koba and Maurice. Each comes with interchangeable hands and appropriate weapons. Check out NECA’s site for some really great posed studio shots of these three.
Dr. Zaius, as played by the late Maurice Evans, is perfectly portrayed as part of NECA's Classic "Planet of the Apes" Series 1.

Dr. Zaius, as played by the late Maurice Evans, is perfectly portrayed as part of NECA’s Classic “Planet of the Apes” Series 1.


Classy Classics…
NECA is also poised to release beautiful likenesses of the original film characters this month. Planet of the Apes Classic Series 1 includes 7 inch Cornelius, Dr. Zaius and an armed Gorilla Soldier.

Skeletonpete Says…
Follow NECA on Twitter for their #monkeymonday communiques and news about their other great collectibles.

DST’s Best Bust Yet: Going “Meta-loony” for the Mutant

DST's Metaluna Mutant Bust Bank is due Halloween 2014

DST’s Metaluna Mutant Bust Bank is due Halloween 2014

I love Diamond Select Toys‘ range of Bust Banks and back in February at the New York Toy Fair I got a sneak peek at the prototype for this one but could not reveal the details. It’s my favorite so far, for its great sculpt and killer color palette. So I’m thrilled to share DST’s notice for what I think is the best bust bank yet, the quirkiest of Universal Monsters from This Island Earth, the Metaluna Mutant.

Brain Change….
DST’s official communique says “The Universal Monsters are not dead yet! This year, Halloween will bring one more vinyl bust bank to join the monstrous line-up, the Metaluna Mutant! Whether you love him from This Island Earth or the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 takedown, he’ll make a big impression on your shelf, with high-quality sculpting and paint details. Plus, his brain alone will hold several dollars in change, thanks to the coin slot on his back! Packaged in a clear polybag. (Item #JUL142037, SRP: $22.99)”