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They Call Me MEZter Sulu: Mezco “One:12 Collective” Expands

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Mezco Toyz will add Star Trek’s Mister Sulu to their excellent One:12 Collective product line. (Photo courtesy of Mezco Toyz)

Solo Sulu…
Oh boy, we were already really excited about Mezco Toyz‘ One:12 Mister Spock, but this morning’s communiqué from the land of Mez ups the ante. The company has just announced the addition of George Takei‘s character Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the Starship USS Enterprise, to their line of original 1960’s Star Trek figures. Mr. Hikaru Sulu ultimately captain his own Starfleet ship, the USS Excelsior, in the Trek franchise and Mr. Takei has gone on to distinguish himself with a currently running Broadway play, Allegiance, that assays his time in a United States internment camp during the second world war.
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50 Shades of GREEN: Mezco LDD “Creach” Gets a Makeover

mezco toyz, living dead dolls, creature from the black lagoon, universal monsters

Mezco’s Living Dead Doll Creature gets a new design.

Tipping the Scales
Last year at this time we were treated to a look at Mezco Toyz’ early prototype for a Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll which quickly went on my must have list. Since then the company has done a design rethink on the figure and gave us another early look during last week’s Pre Toy Fair press event.
Mezco Toyz' LDD Creature in original un-produced retro "jump suit" style design

Mezco Toyz’ LDD Creature in original un-produced retro “jump suit” style design

The little Creature’s head sculpt still presents a child like look in keeping with his Living Dead Doll siblings but he has lost the Mego style cloth jump suit that represented his scales in the original design. The rethink gives the doll a nicely sculpted fully molded body more in line with Mezco’s stylized lagoon monster released last year. I was lucky enough to score an all white pre-production “test shot” of that guy, seen in the photo below, at Mezco’s vault clearing sale.
mezco toyz, living dead dolls, creature from the black lagoon, universal monsters

At the Mezco “Vault” sale I grabbed this unique all white “test shot” of their stylized Creature.


Due in July 2015, the “creach” will join the Mezco’s other Universal Monster LDD’s Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride. Preorder the prehistoric gill-boy here.

mezco toyz, living dead dolls series 29

Mezco Toyz Living Dead Dolls Series 29, the Nameless Ones

Damned If I Know…
What’s In A Name? Well, that which we call a rose might wither in the hand of any of one of Mezco’s long running and award winning Living Dead Doll line. New Series 29 will introduce us to the The Nameless Ones. Fresh from interment these 5 children of the damned are garbed in a variety of togs from party dresses to morning and mourning gowns.

Follow the Jaundiced Brick Road…
Along with their original LDD designs, like the new Grim Reaper kissing booth ghoul, Mezco continues to spin up licensed merchandise in some of the most sort after fan franchises. Leafing through their beautifully laid out 2015 product catalog reveals some interesting surprises ahead. In addition to Child’s Play‘s Chucky (design still pending licensor approval) and The Conjuring’s Annabelle, I’m most excited to see the announcement of Wizard of Oz themed dollies joining the Living Dead roster. Dorothy and her companions The Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Man dolls are first up, but I’m hoping for an LDD Flying Monkey easing’ on down the road.
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Peek-O-De Gallo: Mezco’s Gus Fring Limited Collectible

mezco toyz. breaking bad, bobbleheads, amc series, better call saul, gustavo fring, giancarlo esposito

Mezco Toyz’ Gustavo Fring collectors figure cinches up his tie for the last time

Buzzed…
OK, I admit to being one of the few who actually enjoyed “The Fly” episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad series. The Poe-like plot of obsession fondly reminded me of a Steve Ditko strip from an early Creepy magazine, with the character being equally hounded by a mosca-terrible.

All Guss-ied Up…
That said, I think anyone would agree that the best visual in the entire series is drug lord and fast food chicken king Gustavo Fring’s emergence from an explosive meeting with Don Hector Salamanca. That series defining moment, as the fastidious Fring straightens his tie one last time, is captured in plastic for posterity by Mezco Toyz’ 3 inch collector figure. Gustavo, as portrayed by actor Giancarlo Esposito, is available now in two flavors, standard and slightly scorched and comes with a mini-bucket of his Pollos Hermanos batter fried chicken.

mezco toyz. breaking bad, bobbleheads, amc series, better call saul, gustavo fring, toy fair 2015

“Test Shot” Gus is Mezco’s Toy Fair 15 Limited Edition specialty item.


Fring Fling…
Mezco Toyz has cooked up a batch of limited edition Gus’s to commemorate the Toy Association’s 2015 New York International Toy Fair and the company kindly gave us a peek at them as part of a special preview event. These one time preproduction mold quality checks or “test shots” have the character’s head and hands produced in white plastic and it’s blister pack mounted on unprinted card. Although Toy Fair is an industry only event and the limited edition earmarked for select attendees, Mezco is making a few of these extremely rare items available to collectors through the webstore. Your chance to preorder is a click away.
mezco toyz. breaking bad, bobbleheads, amc series, better call saul

Mezco Toyz’ “Breaking Bad” Bobbleheads


SkeletonPete Says…
With AMC’s Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul, poised to keep the franchise afloat, Mezco is at the ready with an array of licensed action figures, bobble heads, and ephemera available and in the works.

More to Come…
Mezco’s Toy Fair preview event offered us look at their entire line of new and announced collectibles and included a hands-on session with the first One:12 Collective Dark Knight Batman figures. Keep posted here in the next few days for more information and photos of these neat treats.

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To Die For: Dark Horse Expands “Game of Thrones” Figure Selection in Time for Season 4

Dark Horse Daenerys Figure Was Released in January 2014.

Dark Horse Daenerys Figure Was Released in January 2014.


(Andy and Pete give you the old “one-two punch” for Game of Thrones Season 4 Premiere night)

Andy Says…
Today, fans worldwide are dusting off their family crests. Well, not their family crests, but whether you belong to house Targaryen, Lannister or Stark, you’re bound to be excited about the Season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones, debuting tonight on HBO in the US and tomorrow night in the UK.

What it Is…
Based on the books by American author George R.R. Martin, (dubbed by some as the modern-day Tolkein) the fantasy series set in the middle-earth-like isle of Westeros has everything you can ask for – drama, political intrigue, epic battles, swords, sorcery, and zombie-like white walkers.

Mid-Summer Will see 5 More Figures Including this Likeness of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

Mid-Summer Will see 5 More Figures Including this Likeness of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister


Who They Are…
Martin’s characters are complex, with many layers, motivations and conflicting emotions. You love them. You hate them. Are they good? Evil? He takes his time crafting their inner-worlds (giving us each character’s point of view in the books) with as much detail as their outer worlds. With characters like the initially-innocent child-bride-turned-Mother-of-All-Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) and the brilliant, often insightful, imp, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), the tomboyish and tough Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), and the morally ambiguous Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey – Sarah Connor Chronicles), we’ve become invested in each one’s journey – whether we like them or not. In Westeros, only the hardest and most ruthless seem to survive. That’s what it takes to rule a kingdom. Even then… any weakness can be exploited. Fortunes and destinies can turn on a dime. The outcome is never certain.
Robb Stark Figure will Arrive in Early August 2014.

Robb Stark Figure will Arrive in Early August 2014.


Personally, with Starks (my chosen house) dropping like flies (if you haven’t heard about “The Red Wedding” by now, I have little pity if I spoil it for you), I’m starting to get a little nervous. Unlike many of us who have read ahead to the bitter end, there are still folks out there who were shocked and horrified by the deaths of Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and his mother Catelyn Stark (Michelle Farley). If you vowed to stop watching at that point, really, who are you kidding? You know you’ll be back for more heart-stopping thrills, chills and heartbreak this season.
Dark Horse "Game of Thrones" Wave 1 Jon Snow Figure.

Dark Horse “Game of Thrones” Wave 1 Jon Snow Figure.


SkeletonPete Says…
If “All Men Must Die,” here’s news and views of some items that Games of Thrones fans will be dying to get their hands on. Joining the previously released Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen figures Dark Horse has several more characters at the ready to celebrate HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere and beyond. These plastic cast models offer a big bang for the buck with a refined elegance usually reserved for items several times their cost. The sculpts are minutely detailed and delicately painted. David Scroggy, head of product development for Dark Horse, noted “…we decided to make these non-articulated, in order to capture all of the small details that would be at risk in a traditional jointed action figure.” They stand approximately 7.5” tall and are sold in a windowed display box. The Spring 2014 release included Tyrion Lannister, Khal Drogo and Ned Stark and will be followed in August by Cersei Baratheon, Robb Stark, Jaime Lannister, Arya Stark, and the White Walker. At a suggested retail price of $24.99 USD they make exceptional collector’s pieces and easy gift choices for the GoT fan in the family.
Limited Edition of Sandor "The Hound" Will Have A  Unique Hinged Hood Feature.

Limited Edition of Sandor “The Hound” Will Have A Unique Hinged Hood Feature.


Hounded…
Also spied at Toy Fair 2014 was a spectacular spin on The Hound, in bust format replete with hinged helmet. The likeness of character Sandor Clegane (portrayed by Rory McCann) is a hand painted and numbered edition that comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity. This one is scheduled for mid-summer release. Also on the limited edition list will be an Arya figure.
Life Sized Map Marker Set Includes Large Map to Plot Your Strategies.

Life Sized Map Marker Set Includes Large Map to Plot Your Strategies.


Map Quest…
Just released this past week is a life sized role playing Map Marker Box Set. Dark Horse press explains the origins, “In the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones, we see Robb Stark plotting the movements of opposing armies using a map of Westeros and a set of sculpted map markers, each hewn into a representation of one of the house symbols. We have reproduced these items in their true size, using the actual props as reference.

The six individual map markers range from 4.5” to 6” in height, and mimic different materials. Each is hand-painted. The map itself is full size, 50” x 35.5” cloth material with a paper backing, reproduced in color. The big size allows the owner to move the map markers in scale and formulate strategic situations or reproduce those from the show. The map markers and folded map are stored in a deluxe, heavy-duty, 14″ x 4.75″ x 18″ hinged-lid presentation box, protected by a full-color, thick-stock sleeve.”

The Weirwood Snow Globe is Ultra Limited to 1200 Pieces. You'd Better .Shake Up a Pre-Order

The Weirwood Snow Globe is Ultra Limited to 1200 Pieces. You’d Better .Shake Up a Pre-Order


Nothing Shakin’ But The Leaves on the Trees…
As if all this weren’t enough April 16th will see another limited edition piece, the Weirwood snow globe. Its blush of blood red leaves atop the face carved trunk will make striking contrast to blowing “snow” inside. Its base is inscribed with the “I Am the Sword in the Darkness, I Am the Watcher on the Walls…” quote. Only 1200 of these unique hand painted items will be minted and like other Dark Horse LE’s they will be boxed with a certificate of authenticity.

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Mad About The Ghoul: Rankin/Bass Monster Rally Redux

Diamond Select Toys depicts "Mad Monster Party's" Count

Mad Monster Party…
This year the season of shadows is being ushered in with a large dose of kid friendly “scares.” The likes of Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman, and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, instantly reminded me of a favorite film of similar demeanor, 1967’s Mad Monster Party. Created by Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass, whose most famous productions like Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer have become Christmas season perennials, Mad Monster Party was a stop motion animation monster rally of epic proportions.

The film features character design by the legendary Jack Davis, the voices of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller, and its plot-line, co-authored by Mad Magazine’s Harvey Kurtzman, plays like a mash-up of Universal’s Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and AIP’s The Ghost In The Invisible Bikini. Its original poster art was rendered by none other than Frank Frazetta in the multi-character chase motif similar to his Night They Raided Minsky’s, Fearless Vampire Killers and After The Fox advertisements. Though the featured tunes don’t reach the classic repeatable nature of Rankin/Bass Christmas songs, Maury Laws score captures some late 60’s swinging Pink Panther-esque moments.

For Your Video Shelf…
Mad Monster Party is a very fun guilty pleasure that should be nestled in your pile of seasonal viewing musts. It is unquestionably the great grandaddy of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Blu-Ray edition was just released at the beginning of last month with plenty of extras.

For Your Collectibles Shelf…
Diamond Select Toys will release their first wave of 7 inch character figures just in time for Halloween. Diamond promises additional characters down the line. Hopefully the wiry Gillman is on the short list. Of course anyone who played in a group called The Skeleton Crew (that would be me) is chomping at the bit to get a guitar wielding skeleton band member.

For Your Book Shelf…
The final word on all things Mad Monster Party can be read in Rankin/Bass aficionado Rick Goldschmidt’s book. It has just gone into its second printing and you can order directly from Rick’s Rankin and Bass website. He will even specially inscribe it if you like.