Archives

Posts Tagged ‘universal monsters’

Terrapin Terrors: Playmates’ TMNT Monsters + Mutants Figures

teenage mutant ninja turtles, nickelodeon, playmates toys

Playmates Toys’ TMNT Mickey Werewolf is on the prowl this Halloween

Spooky Sunday #3…
Our weekly Halloween advent continues with a look at Nickelodeon’s fifth season of Tales of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which ties up the Monsters + Mutants story arc. Our fearful feature is illustrated by home brewed photos of Playmates Toys awesome action figures that mirror the TMNT plot line.

Cow-Weird-Bunga…
It’s Halloween night, trick or treaters are afoot, but New York City is being attacked by real monsters. No one is safe. Even TMNT compadres April & Casey have been turned into vicious vampires. Not so surprising that the evil Savanti Romero is behind the mayhem. Aided by time traveler Renet, our heroes – those green teen pizza eatin’ machines – are back to battle classic creepers, Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy and Werewolf. Along the way we’re treated to a fast paced, pun filled, thrill ride that takes us through time and across the globe in an attempt to stop Romero from recruiting the creatures into his legion. It’s a concept not unlike Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, which is my all-time favorite seasonal story. Solid animation, visual nods to original source materials, and quality voice talent make the series a great watch for kids and parents as well. “Monster Kid” Dads and Grand-Dads will positively love it.

teenage mutant ninja turtles, nickeloedeon, playmates toys

Playmates Toys’ TMNT FrankenDon action figure is ready for his close-up.

Shell Games…
Playmates Toys let’s you bring the Mutants and Monsters action home with six figures based on the series.

Each turtle is presented in mutated monster form. There’s Vampire Raph, FrankenDon, Mummy Leo, and following in the footsteps of those other two Michael’s (Landon & J. Fox) is teenage Werewolf Mickey. Raphael and Leo are also available in their Van Helsing “Monster Hunter” personas. In true Nickelodeon “Stay 90’s” fashion the series harks back to TMNT’s previous Universal Monsters characterizations.

There are some fun accessories in every package. Werewolf Mikey sports a monogramed varsity jacket, a pair of boney nunchuks and the ubiquitous slice of pizza. In addition to his sarcophagus wrappings the Mutant Mummy Leo is ringed by a golden cobra and sports a scarab. Vampire Raph is accompanied by a companion bat which attaches to his shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. He wears a real cloth cloak. Man-made monster FrankenDon is ready to take a powerful energizing lightning charge through the single bolt on top of his noggin, and the power modules on his shell.

The approximately 5.5 inch figures are suggested for children ages 4 years and older. They have a nice chunky feel and plenty of articulation points. They are easy to manipulate and hold their poses quite nicely. I was able to get to them to stand on their own easily during the photo sessions. Sculpt details, like FrankenDon’s stitches and the garlic bulbs hanging from Vampire hunter Raph’s utility belt, are very nice touches that add lots of collectors item class to these reasonably priced products.

Monsters + Mutants figures can be found at major retailers including Walmart, Target, Toys“R”Us  and on Amazon for $8.99 each. They join Playmates’ recent portrayals of the turtle team as samurai warriors (with a great Yusagi Yojimbo tie-in) and as well known members of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.).

teenage mutant ninja turtles, nickelodeon, playmates toys

SkeletonPete Says…
With limited “studio” space at the SkeletonPete abode, tabletop toy photography is exactly that, an endeavor that engulfs the entire dining room table. The fun part of these projects is repurposing regular household items to serve as appropriate looking props. With attention to depth-of-field choices most items are blurred just enough to trick the eye.

Serendipity plays a big role, everything that happens to be within reach is up for consideration. For instance, a recent “paint night” canvas that my wife created, with its orange moon and indigo sky, served as a perfect backdrop for Werewolf Mikey. FrankenDon’s castle walls are foam core flats I painted for a Halloween gig Andy and I did years ago with our cover band Firing Blind. A purple gell over the background flash matched Donatello’s mask and the Kenneth Strickfaden inspired laboratory apparatus is a mix of candy jars, salt shakers, spray bottles and aluminum foil.

teenage mutant ninja turtles, nickeloedeon, playmates toys

Behind the Scenes: The dining room table doubles as toy photography studio.

Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman is one of my favorite Universal Monster movies. I remember as a pre-teen having a “Monster Flip Book” (think of it as a really old-school gif) that featured frame blow-ups of the two tearing it up during the film’s climax. I pretty much wore it to shreds. So I absolutely had to attempt my own version of a peak battle moment, when the Wolfman prepares to pounce as water from the burst damn begins to flood the laboratory.

I’ll definitely be photographing the Leo Mummy and Vampire Raph figures in the near future and will be happy to share the results here.

teenage mutant ninja turtles, nickelodeon, playmates toys

My TMNT Toy Photography homage to Universal Film’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman

Click Any Image to Launch the Gallery

Frank Incensed… Mezco’s 1st Universal Monsters One:12 Figure

mezco toyz, universal monsters, one:12 collective

Mezco’s thrilling evocation of Karloff’s Frankenstein Monster enraged.


October 2016 will see the release of the premiere Universal Horror Movie figure in Mezco ToyzOne:12 Collective product line. It’s only fitting that the first to appear should be the cadaverous creation of Dr. Frankenstein. The 1931 film (Frankenstein) launched the now classic series of monster movies that would grow to include Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, The Mummy and eventually The Creature From The Black Lagoon.
Read the rest of this entry »

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

living dead dolls, mezzo toys, ldd series 31

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.
living dead dolls, mezzo toys, ldd series 31

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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

mezco toyz, mister sulu, star trek, one12,

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
wizard of oz, living dead dolls,  mezzo toys