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Go Figure: Mezco Toyz 2017 “One:12 Collective” Preview

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Strange Days Indeed. This beautiful rendition of Marvel Comic’s Dr. Strange will join Mezco’s One:12 Collective.

The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) 114th North American International Toy Fair in New York City is less than 24 hours away and as always we are preparing to bring you coverage of the newest products and toy trends for the latter year gifting season. Cameras are packed, lenses are polished, and we’re stocking up on energy bars for the 4 day foray that encompasses the entire Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and parts beyond.

Another Fine Mez…
Thanks to the fine folks at Mezco Toyz we got an amazing head start. Their recent sneak peek event (held at their outer borough Fortress of Solitude) afforded the opportunity to grab lots of unfettered photos of their upcoming offerings. This post will reveal the additions to their One:12 Collective, but you can expect plenty of pix of Living Dead Dolls and other licensed goodies to appear here as well. Keep in mind this is an advance look and many of these prototypes are still pending licensor approval.

Great for Play, Great for Display…
If you’ve spent any time on this site over the last couple of years you already know that I’m a big fan of Mezco’s One:12 Collective line. These approximately 6 inch figures are fully articulated, incredibly detailed, and come with an expanded selection of extras. They are boxed in nicely designed display cases but you won’t want to leave them in the box because they are so much fun to pose and play with. Extra heads and hands expand the posing possibilities and specialty items like The Joker‘s chattering teeth gag, Superman‘s bottled City of Kandor, Shazam‘s Mr. Mind, and Evil Dead‘s flipping-you-off corpse hand are pure gold for collectors.

mezco toyz, one:12 collective

Shazam’s Mr. Mind and Mr. Atom are just a couple of examples of the extras that make the One:12 Collective so special.


This Is A Gurl’s Wurld…
2017 will see the release of the first two One:12 female characters with film versions of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. Harley has a fun, bubble gum blowing, alternate head and her full regalia of tattoos are transcribed. I think it likely that Mezco will add their various comic book continences in the future.
mezzo toyz, one:12 collective, toy fair 2017

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, prepares to beat on the brat with a baseball bat. One:12 Collective “Suicide Squad” version.


So Far Out, You’ve Never Been In…
The modular nature of the product line allows the company to offer multiple versions of characters like Captain America, Daredevil and The Flash and also to dive deeper into the nooks and crannies of pop culture than ever before. So, while we are treated to an array of classic DC and Marvel Comics characters we also get a chance to own the slightly left of center Space Ghost and Popeye, which was an unexpected and welcome surprise.

mezzo toyz, one:12 collective, toy fair 2017

Super criminal Diabolik shows off his dangerous knife wielding skills.

Caveman in a Spaceship…
Your space age bachelor pad (that’s a 1960’s “man-cave”) won’t be complete without the outre cool Diabolik, the duplicitous pulp comic hero/criminal created by Angela and Luccianna Giussani and brought to the screen in Mario Bava’s 1968 action flick Danger: Diabolik. Seeing this character on display at NY Comic Con last fall made me realize that anything was possible in this product line. Thanks Mr. Mez.

BTW, since we’re dipping into 1960’s Euro comic and film characters I’ll put in my bid for a Barbarella (and the angelic Pygar for good measure) – please, please, please.

SkeletonPete Says…
If you’ve never seen Danger:Diabolik, you owe yourself a view. It is the epitome of 1960’s Euro-Psychedelic-Spy films. It’s ablaze with director Mario Bava’s color design and maestro Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack is one of my favorites.

For aficionados I recommend Roman Coppola’s tongue in cheek CQ, (2002) which tells a fictionalized behind the scenes tale of the production of such a film with an awesome modern homage soundtrack by Mellow.

Mezco One:12 Collective Galleries

mezzo toyz, one:12 collective, toy fair 2017

Mezco Toyz One:12 Collective Preview 2017

One:12 Collective – Marvel Comics

One:12 Collective – DC Comics

One:12 Collective – Film and Television

Flying Fickle Fingers of Fate: Dark Horse Compiles Ditko’s Warren Works

CreepyDitko
Creepy Presents Steve Ditko
The Definitive Collection of the Artist’s Work From Creepy and Eerie

Dark Horse
Release Date: August 7, 2013

Dark Horse expands it’s Creepy and Eerie franchise with another single artist anthology. This time Steve Ditko’s post Marvel works for Warren are the focus. Ditko’s outre dimensional pastiches, informed by equal parts Salvador Dali, MC Escher and H.P. Lovecraft, perfectly lent themselves to these titles as did his idiosyncratic, angular, take on human form and his faces imbued with hysteria and madness. Fans of Marvel’s Dr. Strange will instantly feel at home in the signature prismatic dreamscapes, and faces subtly conjure Peter Parker, J. Jonah Jameson, Sandman, Dormamu, and other Ditko rendered characters.

Where Dark Horse’s previous anthologies featuring Richard Corben and Bernie Wrightson give readers a view to each artist’s growth, Ditko came to Warren fully formed in the panel art field. In this tome we get an interesting look at the artist weening himself away from strict black and white line work required for color comics to form filling ink washes, crosshatching and zip-a-tone sheeting.

The forward by Mark Evanier (Kirby, King of Comics) draws historic attention to the circumstances that led to Ditko’s freelance Warren strips, his work method, and aforementioned evolution in the solely black and white medium. That said it might have been more enlightening to group these stories in chronological order rather than a Creepy/Eerie title split. Considering at least one of these stories, “Demon Sword” was inspired by Frank Frazetta’s painting, an appendix of the cover art for each issue these appeared in would have been a nice addition.

The bonus is that it’s not just Ditko’s artwork that shines here. The 16 stories authored – all save one – by Archie Goodwin are top notch archetypes of the “beware of what you wish for,” twist ending horror/suspense genre popularized by EC Comics and Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. They include some of Goodwin’s best scenarios for Warren Publications. Like the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, they have a timeless quality that peeks into human obsession. For instance, while “Fly” could easily be the origin of the Breaking Bad episode of the same name, it is also certainly tinged with the mania of Poe’s seminal “The Tell Tale Heart.”

Not all of this works. To my taste Ditko was not specifically suited to several of the sword and sorcery derived yarns, although it is noted by Evanier that he pitched the genre to Goodwin. For example, his attacking vultures on the splash page of the Thane episode “City of Doom”, and the scorpion monster in “Where Sorcery Lives” are antagonists better suited to a more cartoon oriented setting, like Paul Coker Jr’s designs for Rankin and Bass productions.

SkeletonPete Says…
This visually enticing compendium was an instant time trip for me. I purchased all these stories one by one as issues of Creepy and Eerie hit the newsstand in their time and absorbed them thoroughly. In retrospect this body of work was pervasive in my discovery of the surrealist and Dada movements.

What particularly struck me when I perused the review copy was how many of these panels had stayed with me. The visuals of black winged demons dragging a victim to a toothsome disembodied maw, the bulging orbs and sweat beaded brows, the Ditko hand gestures with splayed fingers poised in malocchio devil horns, all appear to be indelibly etched on my brain cells.

Along with his extremely idiosyncratic work on the Gorgo and Konga film spin-off books this group of stories are my personal favorites in Ditko’s canon, and I highly recommend adding it to your art book collection. This hardcover edition is available for pre-order at $19.99.