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Hide – Go – Bleak: Mezco Toyz’ Annabelle Scavenger Hunt @ Ripley’s Odditorium

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Dolorous Dollies…
The Mills Brothers once sang “I’d rather have a paper doll to call my own, then a fickle-minded real Iive girl.” They may have had second thoughts had they met Annabelle. Not since The Twilight Zone’s Talky Tina has there been such an unholy host. Introduced to audiences in The Conjuring (2013) the doll has become a pop culture icon warranting a self titled film in 2014. On August 11, 2017 New Line Cinemas and Warner Brothers will reveal the backstory of the menacing muñeca with the release of Annabelle: Creation, directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out & the upcoming DCU Shazam).

Finders Weepers…
To celebrate the film’s imminent arrival Mezco Toyz – sole authorized maker of the official Annabelle prop replica – and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square – the fine folks who pride themselves on displaying all things weird and wonderful from across the globe – partnered for a special scavenger hunt. On August 4, all intrepid Ripley’s visitors had chance to track down 13 Mezco Annabelle replicas hidden throughout the maze-like Odditorium complex.

Of course Ms. Annabelle was in fine company surrounded by the over 500 unique items on view at the Believe It Or Not! exhibition. The collection of curiosities now known worldwide began in the 1920’s as a newspaper feature created by illustrator Robert Ripley.

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Polk Salad Annie (belle) – Gators got your granny. Chomp! Chomp!


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Hellish Glare and Inference: Mezco “Living Dead Doll” Series 31

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This little fellow gives a whole new meaning to blood, sweat and tears.


The Light That Never Warms…
What’s that wheezing under your bed? Peering, gape mouthed, from that crack in your closet door? Tap, tap, tapping in your crawl space? It’s likely Mezco ToyzLiving Dead Dolls Series 31 figures. This group of five represent the theme of all the things that thrive in the dark. Night lights won’t help as these nocturnal kiddies dart from shadow to shadow.
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Mezco’s Living Dead Doll Series 31. When darkness falls these creepy kids emerge from their hiding places.


They Are Legion…
Series 31 features, Umbral, Kreek, The Dark, Bea Neath, Thump, who join the legion of LDD’s brought forth from the twisted creative minds at Mezco over the last 18 years. Collectors can expect this individually coffin boxed group of 8 inch tongue tied and tongue eyed spirits to emerge from their pitch black sanctum later this spring.
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Nacht, Nacht. Who’s There? Mezco’s Exclusive Walpurgis LDD

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San Diego Comic Con exclusive, Walpurgis joins Mezco Toyz Living Dead Doll ranks.

Our friends at Mezco Toyz have just released a look at their exclusive San Diego ComicCon 2015 (SDCC) Living Dead Doll. From behind her mask Wicked Walpurgis will invade your dreams leaving bloody footprints on your brain.

Germanic Panic…
Previously available only in Germany where Walpurgis Nacht (also known as Witches Night) is celebrated on April 30, Walpurgis is now being offered in this limited edition “re-imagining.” You can add her to your Living Dead Doll collection whether or not you’re attending the convention. Mezco will open preorders on Monday May 18th at Mezco Walpurgis Pre-Order. Items are expected to ship the week of July 6, 2015.

All photographs courtesy of Mezco Toyz.

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“You will preorder.” Unmasked Walpurgis casts a spell on you.


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50 Shades of GREEN: Mezco LDD “Creach” Gets a Makeover

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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.
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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.

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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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Book of the Dead: Mezco’s LIving Dead Doll Art Book

Mezco Publications "Art of the Living Dead"

Mezco Publications “Art of the Living Dead”

Party Doll…
As noted in previous features, 2014 marks the Sweet Sixteenth year Mezco ToyzLiving Dead Dolls have graced the planet. The continuing collection of creepy creations was conceived by Ed Long, Damian Glonek, and Mez Markowitz, who have thus far unleashed 28 multiple doll series encompassing every hobgoblin imaginable. The company has conjured up several interesting ways to pay tribute to the monstrous muñecas this year, including a “time capsule coffin” event, and the LDD party continues with the publication of The Art of Living Dead Dolls.

Over the years Mezco’s putrid progeny have found a home in the hearts of many talented artists and the new book showcases their LDD inspired works. An impressive list of over 100 artists share their unique views of the LDD universe across the book’s 80 pages. The wide array of styles and varied media (oils, gouache and acrylics, to pen and ink, screen print, and digital) produce a visually arresting experience for the reader.

There’s plenty here to peruse and enjoy. I’m currently enamored with Louis Russomanno’s graveyard as schoolyard scene, Emily Yoshizawa’s LDD populated doll house, Becky Bray’s “Rain,” and Chris Garafalo’s Calavera print.

Mezco's Mez, Damian and Ed received Living Dead Doll World Record Award at NY Toy Fair 2014.

Mezco’s Mez, Damian and Ed received Living Dead Doll World Record Award at NY Toy Fair 2014.


Chop Shop…
Also featured are photos from the Mezco’s 2006 Living Dead Dolls Art Show, in which participants transformed the dolls into their own hellish visions. There are lots of striking manipulations (mutilations?) including Damien, Mez and Ed’s own iconoclastic dioramas, but it was Randy Falk’s King Diamond LDD remake that made me laugh out loud.

The softbound first edition has an embossed cover which adds a nice touch of depth to Joshua Hoffine’s backwoods at witching hour tableau. The interior color is vibrant and saturated and art reproduction is ace. The book’s foreword is fittingly offered by artist Basil Gogos whose cover paintings for the original Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines virtually invented the modern monster art field.

Living Dead Dolls Series 28, all dressed up and ready to party.

Living Dead Dolls Series 28, all dressed up and ready to party.


Fan Dance…
In my experience fans are always in the forefront of Mezco’s doings and they aren’t left out here. Rounding out the book is a full section of art from fans of all ages, as well as a tattoo chapter chronicling the body art of those who have dedicated a stretch of their own flesh to the Living Dead Doll phenomenon.

Mezco will further furnish fans with an exceptional opportunity built around the 2014 NYCC Superweek. On October 10th @ 8PM they will invade their favorite haunt, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, for a signing by the LDD team and select artists represented in the book.

Limited Edition Ripley's Collector Coins ensure your entry into the Superweek Book Signing

Limited Edition Ripley’s Collector Coins ensure your entry into the Superweek Book Signing


Event Details…
Mezco says, “One of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Times Square Odditorium rooms will be sealed off and transformed into a haven for Living Dead Dolls fans. On display will be an assortment of rare and one of a kind Living Dead Dolls artifacts direct from the Mezco archives. Many of these items have never been seen by the public, and a select number of them will be available for purchase, including hand painted prototypes, and concept art.

The first 200 attendees will each receive a free Living Dead Doll themed goodie bag plus a chance to win a test shot set of Living Dead Dolls Series 28 dolls. Test shot sets are seldom released to the public, making this a rare chance for a fan to acquire one of the most sought after collectibles in the Living Dead Dolls universe.

Each of the 200 goodie bags will contain a set of special limited edition art prints available only at the event along with carefully curated selection of other Mezco and Living Dead Doll themed items.”

Be Aware…
You’ll have to show the secret sign of three Ripley’s Collector Coins for free entry – be sure to check out the details at the Ripley’s website.