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 Toyz’ Living 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.
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.
16 Years and a Dead Dolls Chest…
The lingering ghost of winter touched one more frosty finger on NYC the morning of April 16th, 2014 but that didn’t stop Mezco Toyz devotees from beginning to cue up near Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Times Square Odditorium at the crack of dawn, or was it crack of doom? The shivering flock was there to insure a gander at Mezco’s Living Dead Doll “Time Capsule” and its contents before the toy company finds a long term resting place for it. The first 160 early bird fans were rewarded with limited edition LDD coins placed into their cold and clammy claws and a discount to view the fascinating curiosities that line the corridors of the Odditorium.
Sweet Sixteen, and Never Been Bitten?
The coffin shaped encasement commemorates 16 years of Living Dead Doll production. It’s a feat that earned the company special recognition at New York Toy Fair this past February for being the “longest continually produced series of collectible horror themed dolls” in the world. The casket will be loaded with series memorabilia including early production drawings, handmade and production dolls, mini figures, and more. It will also house all of the “What Living Dead Dolls Mean To Me” videos recently created by fans for the year-long anniversary celebration.
Don’t Fear The Reaper…
Series creators Mez, Damian and Ed were all on hand to meet fans, sign collector’s items, and play pall-bearers for the coffin which arrived on Times Square in the “Hearsula,” a tricked out Cadillac hearse. The skull adorned “Cadaveric Superior Hearse” by Joe Baxter and Reaper’s Rides Hearse Limo Service drew surprised stares from tourists and seasoned New Yorkers alike as it u-turned across 42nd street and pulled into the Ripley’s lobby. A lethal legion of gals and guys made up to resemble LDD’s invited unsuspecting passers-by to the event.
With the promotional panache of 1960’s film director William Castle (13 Ghosts, The Tingler) Mezco is earnestly and actively seeking an empty mausoleum chamber in New Jersey or New York for the Coffin Capsule’s resting place. The intention is to revisit its content in 2064 when the Living Dead Doll franchise will reach its 66.6 birthday. Any crypt owner with open space, who relishes the idea of sharing the long sleep entombed with these artifacts should contact Mezco at LivingDeadDollsCrypt@gmail.com with details.
The folks at Mezco clearly appreciate all of their fans and Ripley’s tie-in events like this one and last year’s 1966 Batman & Batmobile appearance offer an excellent participation factor for the collector community.
Stay tuned, there are plenty of things to explore at the Odditorium and I’ll be giving the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Times Square a close-up look in the near future.
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Hot off the Mez-itz 1966 Batmobile bash at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, Mezco Toyz held their first “vault sale.” The two day event was split between an August 15th by-invitation only media and sales gathering, while day two was an open to the public event. Archive items, including many pre-production tests lined the walls of the Mezco’s Long Island City facility. The vault clearing unearthed an array of unique and out of production items. These behind-the-scenes curios represented franchises like Hellboy, Friday The Thirteenth, A Nightmare on Elmstree, Halloween, Thundercats, and Universal Monsters.
Parts Is Parts…
Perusing the room on arrival was a sensory overload of all manner of production oddities. Mold “test shots” tend to be created with whatever plastics are currently in the machines, so the outcomes can range from unusual to outright psychedelic, like a headless paisley Leatherface. Cardboard boxes harbored bloody Benecio wolfman samples, bits of Michael Myers, and a headless 18” Abe Sapien with several variations on his noggin sitting at his feet. There were multi-colored collections of limbs, torsos, heads, and weapons from Mezco’s Cinema of Fear series, Heroes, Kick Ass, and of course Mezco’s Living Dead Dolls peered up malevolently from their coffins.
Several “paint masters” were also available. These are used as color and finish control guides during production. The trio of “Scream Grab” paint masters were really exceptional, and I came very close to adding them to my collection. I did however treat myself to a birthday present and scored a beautiful all white Creature from the Black Lagoon test shot. He’s waiting for his close-up and I’ll present him in a future post.
In addition to the more esoteric test shots, another part of the room was stacked with boxes of long out of production collectibles like Scarface, The Notorious B.I.G., and some Hot Topic exclusives.
Spiked, Not Impaled…
During an onsite SPIKE TV interview Mezco’s Director of Special Projects Mike Drake noted that licensing choices where less than an exact science, but staff favorites, such as the line of Breaking Bad products, has often paid off. The exclusive hazmat suited, fly swatter toting, Walter White figurine drew long lines of customers at the recent San Diego Comic Con. Alternately, fan requests can be the catalyst like the just announced Living Dead Doll version of Tiffany, The Bride of Chucky.
In informal conversation I asked Drake if it was hard to watch so many one-of-a-kind artifacts leave the archive. He told me that the Mezco decided it was better to have these rarities in the hands of collectors who truly cherish their uniqueness rather than boxed away and so the vault sale was formulated.
Mezco’s press release noted that, “Test Shots usually end up on public display at such institutions as The Museum Of The Moving Image, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, or others. This is the only time the vault has ever been opened and multiple test shots made available to the public.” Despite their museum display level of rarity items were priced to sell and lucky collectors scooped up box loads in minutes.
I was really glad PiercingMetal Editor Ken Pierce – a longtime toy collector himself – and I arrived early as it afforded me the opportunity to document these uncommon goodies before they were whisked away.
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Passersby in midtown Manhattan had a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not moment when what to their wondering eyes appeared in Times Square but the 1960’s Batmobile. The sleek black finned icon slid into the lobby of the 42nd Street Odditorium with the Caped Crusader tucked behind the wheel and caused quite a buzz as the stunned crowd snapped photos by the dozens.
The event was held to announce the launch of Mezco Toyz’ newest Mez-itz, 2 inch figures based on the Classic ABC TV Batman. That’s the Adam West and Burt Ward Batman and Robin. Items which collector’s have been clamoring for for ages. This year the clouds parted, the flood gates opened, the licenses were signed, and the faithful are being rewarded with an ark load of goodies to choose from.
Another Fine Mez…
Mezco enters this market with a must have set that includes miniature West and Ward Batman and Robin characters and a sweet representation of the iconic George Barris designed auto. All the details of the black and red beauty are there from the cherry top, to the rear pipes and bat emblazoned hubcaps. The boxed set will hit the store shelves in July. They’ll also be a host of villains for the dynamic duo to thwart including The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman. The TV figures join Mezco’s other DC Universe related toys, including their Dark Knight film series and, coming in August, New 52 Justice League of America and Girls of Gotham figures.
Like so many others my age, the 1960’s Batman TV series is fondly remembered. My family was one of the first on our block to have a color TV, and our living room filled up with friends, young and old, when the show aired in its first run. Displaying these little reminders of those days will be a great treat.
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