Mezco is poised to take the action figure world by storm this year with the widespread expansion of their One:12 Collective line to include Marvel, DC, and Star Trek. But it all started with Batman and Judge Dredd here. As a teenager, I got my first Dredd comics at a used book store downtown. It was just a random sampling of what they had on hand. Later I found that my friend from school had a whole collection and I was able to delve deeper than what I had. The comics had a flavor about them… adult and gritty and reading them felt like I was getting away with something. Just seeing one of those black and white pages still brings me back. To be honest, I hadn’t given the character a lot of thought until the amazing Karl Urban flick hit. Of course, today’s figure is based off the comic version, and that’s an important distinction to make when realizing what an amazing thing Mezco has achieved here.
This packaging is class, through and through and I wish I could do it justice, but it’s so damn shiny that it’s really hard to take a picture of it without it just winding up a reflection of me taking a picture of it. In some ways it outshines (har har) what we’ve been getting from Hot Toys these days. The figure comes in a mostly black box with a clear plastic sleeve around it and decked out in color printing. You get a lovely emblem on the front and some shots of the figure and accessories on the back.
With the sleeve off the box is mysteriously devoid of almost all feature. There is, however, a front flap that opens to reveal a window granting a look at what’s inside: A molded black plastic tray with the figure set atop the stand and flanked by accessories. There’s a secondary tray underneath with the arm for the stand and a branded ziploc bag for parts similar to what we get from Figma. Everything about this package is suggestive of a true high end collectible. It makes me feel like I’m handling something special and it’s a credit to the collectible figure inside.
First thing I’m going to do is straight out tell y’all what impresses me the most about this figure. Dredd’s costume design is a work of art in the comic panels, but translate it to real life and it’s about the most impractical thing I can possibly imagine. So much so, it seems like it should be nearly impossible to credibly pull it off well on an action figure. But Mezco did it here. For starters, the figure comes clad in a full-body, highly flexible, leather-like suit with a zipper running down the front. The body has a decidedly stylized design with a slim waist and broad chest. Now add on the beautifully chunky plastic boots and knee pads, gloves, and elbow pads. Next, a highly detailed plastic belt to hand around that rather slim waist, and finally, the gargantuan plastic shoulder pads, each held on by magnets. These are absolutely brilliant in the way they’re designed and in the way they look. The eagle guard, in particular is just perfect. This figure is like the comic character come to life.
Another clever use of a magnet can be found securing the badge to the front of the outfit, which in turn is chained to the zipper. The head sculpt features Dredd’s iconic helmet, complete with the lightning bolts on the visor and the snappy red trim and yellow shield. The lower half of the face is exposed in the classic extreme scowl like only Dredd can produce. The plastic used for the skin is a little waxy, which is something that I hope Mezco addresses before going full guns on their upcoming figures in this line. It’s not a deal-breaker by any stretch, I don’t even think it really detracts from the figure. It’s just something that I think can be improved upon.
The belt hangs loose on the figure, and it is occasionally necessary to re-position it as it can ride up or shift when posing Dredd. It’s lined with sculpted pouches and the back features two loops to hold his canister grenades and a pouch to hold his spare magazine of ammo. There’s also a loop, which I thought might be for his truncheon, but it really doesn’t fit in there. The detailing on the belt is carried over in the gloves and knee pads. Everything is textured beautifully and even the tiniest rivets and fixtures are neatly painted silver.
The boots feature places to store the Lawgiver as well as Dredd’s combat knife and again, there’s some beautiful detailing on these plastic ares of the costume. The boots include scrapes and scuffs and all the fixtures on the straps are painted.
I have no idea what specifically is going on under that bodysuit in terms of articulation, but I know it’s good. Dredd seems to sport all the posability I expect out of my 6-inch scale action figures. His joints are fluid and there aren’t a lot of times when I couldn’t get it to do what I wanted. The magnetic shoulder pads are never an issue when playing with him. They stay on securely while not getting in the way of the fun. The only exposed articulation points are in the ankles and wrists. The ankles are hinged and the wrists feature ball joints to allow for popping-and-swapping the extra hands. The figure includes a pair of fists, two item-holding hands, a pointing right hand, and a relaxed left hand.
I’ve already gone over most of the accessories in describing where they fit on the costume. The Lawgiver is obviously the most essential piece and it’s beautifully done both in sculpt and paint hits. The magazine is removable and the weapon fits perfectly in either the boot holster or the gun-holding hand.
The combat knife is small and simple, but has a nice finish on the blade. There isn’t a hand designed expressly for holding it, but the gun hand works surprisingly well.
When bullets and steel fail you, you can always rely on a good truncheon to beat back crime. There’s not much to say about it. It’s a stick for beating people. Like the knife, this piece fits perfectly into the regular gun hand.
The grenades can be held securely in either of Dredd’s grabby hands.
And lastly we have this beautiful set of handcuffs. They not only open and close, but they’re hinged in the middle too. They’re delightfully huge and really make me wish I had some lowlifes for Dredd to cuff.
If all these goodies weren’t enough, Dredd also comes with this amazing figure stand. It’s a gorgeous gold disc with Dredd’s badge printed on it and a single foot peg to secure him to it. What’s that? You want something a little more dynamic. Well, pop out the foot peg from the bottom and just plug in this baby…
…and you’ve got a stand that can support whatever action poses you can dream up. The grabby arm is similar to what we’ve seen from Figuarts only it’s a lot more robust with hinges strong enough to hold a hefty figure like this one in the air.
To say that I’m absolutely delighted with this figure seems like a serious understatement. From the moment I opened the box and started unwrapping the figure and accessories, I could feel myself grinning from ear to ear. It felt like something genuinely new and special. Getting him set up and on my desk, I found it impossible to keep from playing around with him. And that’s what makes this guy so cool. This figure represents a fascinating hybrid of high collector grade quality wrapped around a figure that begs to be played with and most importantly one that I didn’t feel afraid to play with even with that $60 price tag. I’m so in love with this guy, I’m seriously thinking about picking up the Cursed Earth variant and yes, I’m even considering picking him up soon to be released Lawmaster because the dude needs his ride.