Getting a Buzz…
OK, I admit I’m late to the gate on this one but thanks to Toy Insider’s review merchandise from Sweet Suite 2017 (AKA “The SWAG Box”) I’m now hip to the joys of Netflix’ Beat Bugs series. After encountering a HiJinx Toys’ Fab Figure with a blister pack touting “inspired by music made famous by The Beatles” I just had to know more.
To the Mez-Cave… Mezco Toyz’ 2015 Pre-Toy Fair press event afforded us an unfettered look at their newest licensed and original collectibles. An icy journey to the Mezco sanctum sanctorum paid off as Ken Pierce (www.piercingmetal.com) and I, along with many other enthusiastic reporters, found ourselves surrounded by shelves filled with some astounding toys. Things you all are going to love.
The highlight of the reveal was an opportunity to unbox and inspect the first production line models of the One:12 Collective Batman Dark Knight Returns figures.
Play and Display…
We’ve been tantalized by the images the company has teased out over the last few months, and impressed by the prototypes on view at New York Comic Con last fall, but actually handling the beautifully constructed Batman affirmed the exceptional fit and finish that the images suggested. Millenary work on the cloth costume is clean and classy. The weigh, balance, and firm articulation of the six inch figure make it addictive fun to pose.
Collectors will appreciate the impressive display box with it’s multiple slip cases and great graphics and molded compartments. It’s a well thought out design that allows for the toy to be removed for play, and easily returned between adventures. Accessories include a Bat Signal stand and an expansive array of swappable hands and weapons, plus neat unexpected details like the extra boot with ankle holster.
At its $65.00 price point One:12 Batman is quite a deal. It has the feel of a much more expensive item. It easily makes this a great gift choice for fans of all age ranges. Most importantly it’s a great TOY that deserves to be played and imagined with, not just perched on a shelf. So think “out of the box.”
Leader of the Pack…
Every good superhero needs a cause and a villain to thwart. Frank Miller’s Dark Knight was pitted against the Mutant Gang. Hot off the 3D press and ready to rumble with the caped crusader Mezco showed us the just approved prototype for that gang’s monstrous leader.
With One:12 Batman as the “proof of theory” Mezco has what I believe to be a grand-slam product line reaching well into the future. The already announced Judge Dredd, has added a sweet ride of a cycle, and the One:12 catalog gives us a hint of what is to come. They’ll be more DC Universe heroes, Universal Monsters, Mortal Kombat Klassic, Thundercats, Star Trek. It’s especially exciting is too see the logos for Hanna-Barbera’s Alex Toth designed Space Ghost, Thundarr, The Barbarian and – wait for it – The Herculoids listed.
Mezco showed us much more of their upcoming fare, with Chucky, Living Dead Dolls, Mortal Combat, Sons of Anarchy, a 24” classic 1940’s Bug Bunny, and I’ll be posting more as the days lead up to the 2015 New York International Toy Fair.
Let’s Get Small…
Fans of DC Comics‘Batman, Lil Gotham series have some welcome merchandise on the horizon. Scheduled for June 2015, a selection of seven characters will be brought to collectors by toy maker Kotobukiya.
Quite appropriately the Lil Gotham figures are – well – little. They average 2 inches tall and are made of soft PVC. They’ll be sold blind bagged, two to a package, in any one of six bright colors. Represented are Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, all as envisioned by artist Dustin Nguyen.
Do You Believe in Magic in a Young Girl’s Heart…
New to Kotobukiya’s line of Bishoujo styled statues, which cast well known heroines in the playful “pretty girl” manga look, is DC’s Zatanna. The Mistress of Magic should be ready for her first reveal at the New York International Toy Fair.
Kotobukiya is noted for their high quality ArtFX statues. They have licensed products that span the DC and Marvel Universes, Star Wars, Mass Effect and more. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing many of them on display at recent fairs and conventions. Please enjoy the gallery below.
Here Comes The Judge…
Hot on the heels of their One:12 Collective Dark Knight Returns Batman action figure Mezco Toyz keeps the gears grinding with the announcement of an equally stupendous Judge Dredd on the horizon.
These Boots are made for Stomping…
Like the Frank Miller based Batman, the digitally sculpted character closely adheres to comic book portrayal and features a real fabric uniform with working zipper. Mezco lists a treasure trove of accessories and interchangeable parts to keep things interesting in play and on display.
Here’s their breakdown:
The One:12 Collective Judge Dredd features:
– Iconic helmet with translucent visor
– Real leather-like fabric uniform
– Equipment belt with working compartments for grenades and ammo magazine
– Boots with holster and knife sheath
– Boot knife
– Lawgiver pistol
– Lawgiver ammo magazine
– Two grenades
– One set of fists
– One gun/holding hand
– One open hand
– One pointing hand
– One choking hand
– Display base and posing post
The deluxe easy removal collector’s box gives you the best of both worlds for display and archival purposes.Pre-orders can be placed here.
Street Fighting Man…
For print fans, the UK’s Rebellion/2000 AD is keeping collectors knee deep in Dredd, with their upcoming Mega-Collection. Here’s how they describe it.
“With stories that have never before been reprinted, The Mega Collection will give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the development of classic characters, scenes and storylines with specially commissioned feature content exploring Dredd’s world, interviews with the creators and previously unseen sketches and designs.
This is the definitive collection of Judge Dredd and his world, packaged in beautifully produced hardback editions whose spines, once assembled, form a special brand new image that will bring the law to any fan’s bookshelves.”
Gotham, on order…
We reported on the awesome Batman One:12 a while back, but here’s a few extra images from Mezco’s New York Comic Con booth to enjoy.
Van the Man… Diamond Select Toys is taking the opportunity to expand the monster line with a unique design of their own. DST’s Van Helsing, is an armed-to-the-teeth vision of the vampire hunter with a wizened and battle scarred countenance. With his axe, rifle, pistol and bandolero of wooden spikes he’s clearly a determined and formidable foe for the feral creatures of the night.
With many of us still cringing from the loopy Hugh Jackman misstep of 2004 Van Helsing was a risky choice. Fortunately DST presents him as an effective cross between the grandfatherly character portrayed by Edward Van Sloan in 1931 and Anthony Hopkins’ frenzied doctor of Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992.)
The Van Helsing “Select” version is the most ornate of the three new Wave 5 boxed packages. The base provides a cemetery scene with dual tombstones and vicious vampire bride Mina Harker pouching from her grave.
I’ve been stalking Diamond Select Toy’s fifth wave of Universal Monsters figures since they first appeared as early prototypes in DST’s Toy Fair Booth back in 2013.
These two newest 7 inch scale action figures present Boris Karloff as The Monster from Son of Frankenstein, and a new version of The Creature From the Black Lagoon. The Jean St. Jean sculpts are created with “super articulation,” giving the models many more poseable points of movement than their previous incarnations.
DST has announced these items in blister-carded Toys “R” Us Exclusive configurations (already on the shelves) as well as “Select” boxes, available shortly in comic book shops, or for pre-order. The “Select” versions add extraordinarily detailed bases and props.
The Monster is portrayed with a slightly more gaunt look than Karloff lensed in the original 1939 film. He is clothed in his signature “Son of” wooly vest, a look that will forever remind me of Sonny Bono’s preferred garb in the 1960’s. In addition to more articulation The Creature update trumps its Wave 1 predecessor with, to my eye, a sculpt more accurate to its film appearance and a glossier aquatic paint finish.
“Armed” and Dangerous…
The “Select” Son of Frankenstein comes with an awesome Kenneth Strickfaden inspired piece of electrical laboratory gear that will remind old school collector’s like myself of the similar rig that was part of Aurora’s classic Bride of Frankenstein tableau. No Son of Frankenstein collectible would be complete without the wooden arm of Lionel Atwill’s Inspector Krogh for the monster to swing around. For me it’s a must have, and I’m glad to report it comes in both packaging configurations, so you won’t be torn (hee, hee.)
While I’m happy to learn that Diamond Select will continue to offer Universal Monster figures in another wave next year, I also applaud the initiative to bring some of their own creative juice to the monster mix.
The Aurora Plastic Model Company did this quite effectively in late 1960’s. Their Forgotten Prisoner of Castle Mare, The Witch, and The Guillotine models were equally cherished by collectors. In fact they are the only intact original Aurora models I still have. The others succumbed to an ill advised tangle with a barrage of firecrackers one fateful Independence day.