Star Trek (One:12 Collective) “Mirror Universe” Mr. Spock by Mezco

It’s a rare and funny thing when the exclusives in a line are the cheapest and easiest figures to find, but that’s been the case with Mezco’s One:12 Collective Star Trek line. Amazon has been blowing out an exclusive version of Mr Spock from The Cage at around $30 for a long while now and next up on the bargain bin chopping block is the exclusive version of Spock from Mirror, Mirror over at Think Geek. I was pretty impressed when I reviewed the  One:12 Judge Dredd figure, and I’ve been meaning to dip my toe in these Trek offerings for a while. I guess cheap exclusives are a good way to do it. I should be starting out with The Cage version that I got a while back, but since Mirror Universe Spock just showed up last week, let’s check him out.

I cannot deny that Mezco knows good presentation. After all, these are figures that retail between $60-80+ each and the packaging reflects that. Spock comes in a window box with a hinged front flap, all protected by a plastic wrapped cardboard sleeve. The sleeve also has the same artwork as the box itself. The front panel features the symbol of the Terran Empire along with the 50th Anniversary Trek logo. The back of the box has various shots of the figure itself. There’s no actual statement about the exclusivity of this release, but since I got him at Think Geek’s website, I’ll go ahead and assume that it’s their exclusive. Anyway, the artwork on the box isn’t flashy, but it has a clean and dignified spartan feel to it, and what’s important is that when I hold this box in my hand, I feel like I’m holding something special.

Inside the box the figure comes on a molded black plastic tray with his stand behind him and his accessories on each side. There’s also a tray nested underneath it with an optional hinged arm for the figure stand. Take note, this line don’t give a shit about your space concerns, as the package is way bigger than it needs to be. Now, these boxes seem to be standard throughout the line, so it’s possible that this is to accommodate some of the figures that come with a lot more stuff, but in the end, it’s still a space hog!

Here’s Mr. Spock straight out of the box and overall I’d say he looks pretty damn good. This version features high boots, black pants, which I presume are the same used for the regular releases, and a brand new tailored tunic with the Terran Empire symbol and some other emblems that are unique to this alternate version of the uniform. The tailoring on the outfit is very good and the stitching is immaculate. I also love the blue shimmery material they used for the tunic. With all that having been said, the tunic does feel a tad puffy on him and fits a little awkwardly at the collar. Part of the reason could be because the figure is also wearing another shirt under it. Also, the gold sash around his waist looks a bit cheap and the two loose ends tend to stick out rather than fall flat. I don’t want to make too big an issue about it, because I respect how hard it is to make clothing look right at this smaller scale, but this is certainly one of the pitfalls of this line of figures.

While I might nitpick a bit at the uniform, the head sculpt is magnificent, especially for this scale. Based on the official pictures I’ve seen, some of the One:12 figures use plastic for the faces that doesn’t quite look right to me, but that’s certainly not an issue here. The skin tone is quite good and the paintwork is excellent. Obviously, this is a brand new sculpt unique to this figure with the addition of the goatee and it really is a great likeness for the way Spock looked in the episode. This is quite simply superb work.

Spock comes with several sets of hands, including a pair of fists, a pair of relaxed hands, a phaser holding hand, a dagger holding hand, and one that looks like it might be designed to do the patented Kirk palm strike. The hands are very easy to swap in and out, and I didn’t feel apprehensive about snapping the pegs. I’m just happy that I can pose him with his hand out and asking for Mr. Kyle’s Agonizer. Unfortunately, the Agonizer is not included. Indeed, apart from the hands, the only accessories Spock comes with is a hand phaser and a dagger with a scabbard. Both items can be worn on the figure. There’s a loop on the pants where you can pass the handle of the phaser through. Fun fact, officially these were held on by “velcrite” but the loop works well. The dagger’s scabbard can clip onto the sash, but it doesn’t stay put very well. It frequently fell off while I was reposing the figure and there were a couple times where I was sure that I had lost it.

The dagger is unique to this release and it’s a great little sculpt. The hand designed to hold it definitely does the job. I was, however, a little worried about snapping the blade off as I was trying to get it in there.  On the back of the package, it looks like they used the phaser hand to hold it, but I found it was way too loose in that one. The phaser fits a lot more easily into the trigger finger hand and there’s some really nice detail and paintwork on it for such a small weapon. It seems rather cheap to me that Mezco couldn’t include a communicator in the box, since it would have just been a repack from the regular figures.

I’d like to run down the specifics of articulation here, but truth be told I have no idea what’s going on under all those clothes. What I do know is that the joints are very stiff and that he is not a lot of fun to play with. I’m not sure if the articulation is being restricted by the clothing, but since it’s hard to tell which way the joints are orientated, I don’t want to force them for fear of snapping a hinge or a peg. I can’t get a very tight elbow bend out of the arms and I wasn’t even able to get him to fist bump his chest to do the Terran Empire salute. I’m also afraid to go too wide on the stances as I might tear the seam in Mr. Spock’s space-trousers. The only exposed joints are the wrists and ankles. The wrists move fine, but all I can get out of the ankles is a swivel. I suspect there are hinges in there, but mine simply won’t budge.

Mezco has developed a standardized type of stand for the One:12 line, which is a large disc with a foot peg to hold the figure. In this case the disc is black and has the Terran Empire emblem stamped in blue. Like the packaging, the stand is a lot bigger than it needs to be, but it looks great and I think it definitely adds to the figure’s overall presentation. You also get a hinged arm with a grabbing arm that can be swapped out for the foot peg on the stand. The arm is very similar to the ones included with the Tamashii stands and is great for flying or extreme action poses. I didn’t pull out the arm for any pictures, because it seems unnecessary for Spock.

In the end, I’ve definitely got mixed feelings about this figure. There’s a lot of great stuff going on here, and there’s quite a few disappointments too. I’ve got nothing but praise for the work they did on the sculpting and painting of the portrait and, despite some minor issues with the fit of the tunic, I do believe this is about the best we can expect to see in tailored outfits in this scale. On the flip-side, the accessories feel really light for the original asking price and the restrictive articulation is just a real bummer. I’m hoping that doesn’t make me sound like a hypocrite, because I tend to expect and accept restrictive outfits on my Hot Toys and those are a lot more expensive, but the articulation on my One:12 Dredd felt better than this, so I expected more here. Now, for the $20 (including shipping) I paid for this figure, I’m perfectly happy with what I got, but this experience isn’t making me want to run out and spend $70 each on Kirk and Sulu and vanilla Spock. If they were closer to the $45 mark, I’d be considering it.

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Thundercats: Mega-Scale Tygra by Mezco

It’s been almost five years since Mezco embarked on bringing out the beloved Classic Thundercats in a giant 14-inch Mega-Scale figure format. There were times along the way that it felt like the team might never see completion. And while it seems unlikely that we’ll ever see a Wily Kit and Wily Kat, we finally have a core team of cats with the release of Tygra! I’ve made no bones about being a huge fan of this line. At a time when Ban Dai couldn’t decide what to do with the Classics line, these releases came as a bright ray of shining hope in the unfortunately short-lived Thundercats revival of 2011. Needless to say, I’m pretty damn excited to finally have this figure in hand.

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The boxes have been fairly consistent throughout the five year stretch. Tygra comes in a very colorful window box with the glorious Thundercats logo emblazoned across the front and side panel. You get some damned beautiful character art of Tygra on the front and the rest of the cats on the other side panel. There are some minor changes for each of the different cats’ boxes, and Mumm-Ra came in a black box because he’s so damn evil, but these are collector friendly and look mighty nice when all lined up on the shelf. Provided you have a shelf big enough to contain them all. With a little patience required to untwist some twist-ties, Tygra comes out of the box and all set to go!

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And looking damned good! The sculpt walks the fine line between being sparse enough to maintain the animated style, while offering enough detail to make for an interesting and appealing figure. The bulk of the sculpting here is in Tygra’s impressive muscle tone. His cat feet are fully realized, and all of the details that make up the costume are part of the sculpt as well as the deco, including the Thundercat emblem on his chest. While these are billed as “action figures” it should be noted that articulation is fairly limited and Tygra is sculpted in an action-ready stance. The bulk of useful articulation is in the head and arms. There are ball joints in the neck and shoulders, a swivel in the middle of the left arm and another at the right wrist. The legs swivel at the hips and again at the tops of the boots, but these are mainly there to help shift the balance and achieve a good footing. In the end, I found I could get some good variations out of him, but like the other figures in the line, it’s best to temper expectations on posing.

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The paint here is solid, but does show some rough patches under close scrutiny. The tiger stripes look particularly nice and the muted shades of blue and green that make up his costume all look right on point and are fairly clean. Some of the lines could be crisper and the paint more even, especially around the border of his left sleeve. Nonetheless, Tygra is still an attractive looking figure and I’m only going to expect so much from the quality of paintwork on a piece this big with a price this reasonable.

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The portrait is where this figure really shines. I think the sculpt does a wonderful job capturing the character’s likeness and I really like how the rather fierce expression matches the action-orientated stance of the figure. These are definitely cats that are prepared to do battle with some mutants. The teeth and the eyes are just amazing.

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Tygra comes with his bolo whip, which fits comfortably in his right hand and has a wire running throughout so that it can be put in a variety of positions depending on the look you’re going for. It’s here where I really have my only gripes with the figure. I feel like a collapsed bolo would have been a nice extra. I also wish the whip itself was a little longer so that I could get it snake around him a few times while holding his hand over his head. Of course, then I remember the price point here, and I feel bad about asking for more.

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I brought up price a few times throughout this Feature and that’s because Mezco has been able to keep this line at a $35 price point (give or take a little, depending on where you buy it). And while I may nitpick an imprecise paint line here and point out some missed opportunities with the accessories, the truth is that I think what we’re getting here is an amazing deal. While jumbo figures have become something of a trend nowadays, the sculpt, paint, and overall quality on these cats is leaps and bounds better than what I’m seeing in the slightly larger 18-inch Star Wars figures on the shelves. Indeed, these feel a bit more like collectibles and not like mass produced toys. In the end, I’m truly grateful that Mezco saw this line through to at least give us the four major cats and Mumm-Ra. These make for an absolutely epic display. I’m still considering buying the second release of Lion-O just so that I can get Snarf. And hey, if they do decide to get us a Thunderkitten two-pack, I’d be totally down with that.

Mortal Kombat X: Quan Chi by Mezco

I’m serving up a double helping of Mortal Kombat this week just because these figures have been hanging around in a box waiting to be opened since the beginning of the year. I’m on a mission to clear out that now inaccurately named “Recent Acquisitions Box” on the floor of my closet before it starts spilling out all over the place. Mezco has since announced that the 6-inch Mortal Kombat X series has been discontinued, so let’s finish it off today and open up Quan Chi!

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I’ve already said all there is to say about the packaging in yesterday’s Feature. It’s not collector friendly, but it is attractive and serviceable and offers a great look at the figure inside. Quan Chi is an interesting character as he was first introduced to the video games in one of the less-than-stellar spin-offs, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero and debuted as a playable fighter in Mortal Kombat 4. But for his actual first appearance, you’d have to go back to the 1996 Mortal Kombat animated series.

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Quan Chi is a cool enough looking character, but he doesn’t have quite the wow factor for me as Kotal Khan nor does he have that familiar nostalgia of the other figures. Still, there’s an awful lot to love here. His armor, for example, sports some bitchin’ skull knee pads and a blindfolded skull motif on his chest set atop criss-crossing leather straps. It looks like a cross between Daedric armor and bondage gear. Mezco put a lot of nice detail into his boots, as well as layering the “skirt” and hip armor over sculpted cloth pants.

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On the back, the motif doesn’t get any cheerier. That fixture on his back once again evokes a call back to the Daedric armor from Elder Scrolls and check out the armor on the back of his arms designed to look like skeletal arms. I dig that a lot. He even has a little leather piece on the back of his belt with a sculpted fur border, which seems to serve no purpose apart from maybe offering lumbar support. All of this black and brown contrasts nicely with his pale white skin and the blood red tattoos that cover his arms. Oh yeah, there’s a peg hole in his back, but I’ll come back to that in a bit.

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The portrait is decent enough. I like the sculpt, especially the scowl on his face. The eyes could be a little straighter, but they’re not too bad. The black outlines of his eyes run up across the top of his head and he has more of those great blood red tats up on his bald head as well. His impressive shoulder armor features some nice contours and the blades that protrude up from each side of his head look especially wicked. I’d hate to forget those were there and have to scratch my ear.

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Articulation holds no surprises, it’s exactly what we saw yesterday with Kotal Khan, which means rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. There are ball joints in the hips, another in the waist, and one more in the neck. The high collar on those shoulders restricts the head movement a little, but not too badly. For accessories, Quan Chi comes with a total of three pairs of hands. You get regular grasping hands on the figure straight out of the package, as well as a pair of fists and a pair of hands for holding his weapon.

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He also comes with some translucent green skeleton parts, which include a skull and a pair of crossed arms that peg into that hole in his back. I guess I’m not familiar enough with the character to understand what these are supposed to be, but they do look pretty cool.

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Quan Chi also comes with a rather prehistoric looking sword. I don’t really associate the character with this type of blade, but then I hardly ever play as him so that’s probably my bad. I do seem to remember him wielding some kind of chain weapon. Either way, it’s a nicely executed accessory and he can hold it in either hand.

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Quan Chi is probably my least favorite figure in this line, but that in itself is saying something because he’s still plenty cool and very well executed. It also has more to do with my personal preferences over character design than what Mezco did with it, because they certainly did do a fine job. And that, my friends, wraps up Mezco’s 6-inch Mortal Kombat line. With six excellent figures and a slew of variants, this was a solid line and one that I really wish Mezco had continued for at least one more wave. I really wanted Mileena. Cancelling the line was bad enough, but then coming back and announcing that they were starting it all over again in the 3 3/4-inch scale, that was the cruelest of Fatalities and I’m not going to start over until I’m sure they’re not going to do the same figures and then cancel it again. Instead, I’ll treasure what we got here and just appreciate all the love that Mezco poured into these wonderful figures.

Mortal Kombat X: Kotal Khan by Mezco

Hoo boy! It’s been a long time since I last opened any of Mezco’s 6-inch MKX figures. In fact, the last one would have been Kitana way back in January. I love these figures, but to be honest when Mezco announced that the first two assortments (six figures total, not counting a bewildering myriad of variants) were going to be it, I let bitterness and frustration get the better of me. Well, I’m better now and the last two of these figures are still sitting in my hopper waiting to be unleashed, so today I’m going to open up Kotal Khan and tomorrow Quan Chi.

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The packaging here really strikes a balance between no-frills and stylish design. The hourglass card hosts the key-hole shaped bubble with the MK emblem embossed right into the plastic. A simple insert calls out the series and the name of character. The package is designed so that it can stand on a shelf or hang from a peg and either way it shows off the figure beautifully. The fact that his sword is individually bagged to prevent paint rubbing shows some careful thought and I really appreciate that! The back panel has a small blurb about the character and a list of his accessories. Bonus aggravations points, Mezco, for calling out Mileena on the back of the package when she never got a figure in the line. Boo!

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Damn, just check him out! Unlike the previous figures in this line, Kotal Khan is a new character introduced in MKX and heavily inspired by Mayan mythology. He also proves two things: One, the MK series can still produce some killer character designs, and two, if you give that design to Mezco, they can turn it into high plastic art. The attention to detail in this sculpt is just top notch and I don’t quite know where to begin. Kotal shows a lot of skin and besides his musculature there are faint patterns sculpted directly into his body, which give him a lot of character. The armor consists of an intricate collar and shoulders, as well as a loin cloth decorated with a grizzly split skull and his collection of jaw bones. Oh, like you don’t collect jaw bones too! His wrist bracers are sculpted wrappings with segmented plates on the outside of his forearms. His feet have sculpted wraps with what looks to be a feather fringe on the tops.

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The portrait features a grim and detailed visage. The helmet conveys a subtle eagle homage with the open beak framing the face and and feathers protruding out the back. The paintwork on display here is simply fantastic, not only in its precision, but also how it manages to convey a dull and antiqued look. The gray and gold deco of the armor looks ancient and worn and the bones have a rotted brown finish. But what impresses me the most about the coloring on this figure is the blue-green skin has a chalky, almost marbled finish to it, which is just beautiful. It almost looks like the figure was carved out of jade. Damn, it’s cool!

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The articulation in this line has been pretty solid and that trend continues here with Kotal Khan. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. The hips are ball jointed and there are ball joints in the waist and neck. The joints are nice and strong and I didn’t have any issues with fused or painted over hinges.

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Accessories include two sets of hands and two weapons. The figure comes with a pair of clutching hands already attached, with the extra pair being the ones used to hold the weapons. The first weapon is his Tecpatl, a sizable sacrificial flint knife. This is the weapon he uses to perform his “Blood Offering” move in the game, where he basically carves up his own chest and sacrifices some health in order to do more damage. Bad ass!

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As great as the Tecpatl is, his other weapon, the Macuahuitl, is the real showpiece here. I’ve always been fascinated with these swords. They’re basically planks of wood with sharp pieces of flint studding the edges to make a blade. It’s an ingenious design for a culture that didn’t have the ability to forge metal swords. This version is pretty damn big and features a red “blade” with sculpted decorations and a sculpted wrapped hilt. Not only is this weapon beautifully sculpted, but the edges are actually pretty sharp!

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Even if I wasn’t a Mortal Kombat fan, I’d be happy to put this guy on my shelf… he’s gorgeous! I was originally going to blow out the last two figures in this line in one quick Feature, but once I opened them, I knew that these guys deserved their own attention. While Kotal Khan doesn’t have the gravitas of the older MK characters, he is nonetheless a great design and a magnificently executed figure. Playing around with him has made me both happy to have him and sad to realize that this line is dead and I have only one more figure to open up. And with that having been said, I’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up with Quan Chi.

One:12 Collective: Judge Dredd by Mezco

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The grenades can be held securely in either of Dredd’s grabby hands.

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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.

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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…

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…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.

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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.

Mortal Kombat X: Kitana by Mezco

Last year, the folks at Mezco wowed me with the first assortment of their Mortal Kombat X line and the second assortment hit just at the tail end of 2015 and it’s been hanging around waiting to be opened for the better part of a month now. Today, I’m checking out my most anticipated figure of that second wave, the deadly and lovely Kitana!

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The packaging is largely unchanged from the first wave. You get a funky shaped card and a bubble molded to look like the MK emblem. It’s a snazzy presentation that shows off the figure quite well, but it’s totally unfriendly to collectors and so it’s getting torn open and pitched. FigureFan vs Packaging… FIGHT!

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BRUTALITY!

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The sculpting on this line has been top notch from the get go, and Kitana keeps that delightful trend chugging along. The top half of her outfit is layered onto the female buck to add a lot of depth and credibility, not to mention a little bit of lovely side-boob. That’s side boob… not to be confused with Noob Saibot. Extra sculpting is used for the ornamentation on her shoulder guards, gorget, and breast armor, all of which looks great. I’m not a huge fan of the baggy parts of her costume that puff out of the tops of her leggings, but that’s more an issue I have with the character design and not the execution of the figure. The leggings include sculpted stitching and there are extra armor pieces for her knees. The coloring also serves to back up the sculpt quite nicely. I really dig the shade of blue they used here too. It’s very similar to the wonderful blue they used for Sub Zero’s costume.

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Kitana has a pair of tabs on her back, which are obviously designed to interact with her weapons, I’m just not a hundred percent sure how. It’s similar to the deal with Scorpion where you had to figure it out for yourself. I was able to clip her blades in there, but it’s tentative at best and there are rather conspicuous slots on the fans that make me think they’re supposed to go in there somehow.

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The portrait here is very well done. Even though half her face is covered up, the paint on the eyes is enough to carry the day. Definitely a pretty lady.

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Kitana features some solid articulation very much in line with what we saw on the previous figures. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have rotating hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels at the thighs. There’s a ball joint at the waist and another at the neck. Her posability is perfectly serviceable, but these are fighting game figures, so there is definitely room for improvement. I would have certainly liked a greater range of motion in the hips at least. I’m also happy to say, I’ve never had any issues with stuck joints when dealing with Mezco’s products.

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The package includes no less than four pairs of hands, which is certainly impressive for a figure in this scale. You also get two sets of weapons. First, Kitana has her regular blades. These include blue painted handles and etched blades. They’re great little pieces, but let’s face it, they’re upstaged by her amazing fans…

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Yeah, I’m a big fan of these fans! Yeah, technically, they’re meant to be the same weapon as the regular blades. They look amazing and she can hold them beautifully. I can’t imagine I’ll be displaying her without these very often  as they remain her trademark weapons for me.

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Kitana is another solid addition to this wonderful little series. Mortal Kombat hasn’t been a big deal for me for a long while, so it’s a testament to the look and quality of these figures that I’m collecting them at all. The paint and sculpt on these have been superb across the board and I really wish that Mezco would snag some more licenses and produce more articulated figures in this scale, rather than just churning out semi-articulated Breaking Bad statues. Unfortunately, the fate of the MKX line doesn’t seem all that rosy and Mezco hasn’t been very upbeat about the likelihood that the line will continue into 2016. The next two figures in the wave are Quan Chi and Kotal Kahn and you can expect me back with a look at those in a week or so, as soon as I’ve cleared some more of the rest of my backlog!

Mortal Kombat X: Raiden by Mezco

Last week I was delighted to pick up two of Mezco’s new MK X figures, Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and I vowed that the third figure in the wave wouldn’t be far behind. Rather then try to hunt him in the stores, I worked up a little Amazon Prime magic and had him delivered to my doorstep.

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We just saw this packaging last week, so I won’t dwell on it much. It’s kind of distinctive and it mimics a little bit of what Jazwares tried to do with the presentation of their MK figures, what with the stylized bubble and die-cut card. In the end, it’s just something for me to rip open to get at my figure, so it works just fine by me.

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Scorpion and Sub-Zero both featured impressive paintwork and sculpts and I’m happy to say that Raiden is right up there with them. It’s even possible that, because of the brighter and more ornate nature of his design, this figure shows the work Mezco is putting into these even better. The sculpted scroll-work in Raiden’s tabard, for example, is superbly executed and follows up with some gorgeous gold paintwork. You get similar decos on the arm bracers and grieves. Even the detail on the scalloped knee guards and the rope belt is impressive. Hell, every single buckle on the straps that hold on his leg armor is stylized, sculpted, and carefully painted. This is great stuff! The white blue and gold deco also offers a nice contrast to the somewhat darker and grittier costumes of Sub-Zero and Scorpion.

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The head sculpt is rather simple, but it’s a good sculpt and the paintwork is very clean. The head looks a tad small, but I think that’s an illusion created by the wide shoulders of the tabard and not an issue with the actual proportions. Raiden’s iconic wide-brimmed straw hat is removable, although I can’t imagine ever displaying him without it. It fits onto his head very well and will stay put through normal posing. If things get crazy, though, it’ll fall off.

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The articulation here is identical to what we saw in Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Raiden’s arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. His legs are ball jointed at the hips and feature rotating hinges in the knees and ankles. There are swivels placed at the tops of the thighs and the ankles have lateral rockers. There are also ball joints in the waist and neck. The jointing is all solid and he is loads of fun to play around with.

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Accessories include an extra pair of relaxed hands and a third pair of lightning effect hands. The effect hands are actually all cast in clear blue plastic, which is at odds with the back of the package that showed them partially painted. I think I actually prefer what we got a little more.

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You also get a crackling ball of energy, which could probably just as easily be shared with Sub-Zero as an ice projectile as the plastic used looks rather similar. Raiden doesn’t come with any proper weapons, but he is the God of Thunder and Lightning, so he really doesn’t need any.

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Raiden set me back $20, which is right about what I expect to pay for a 6-inch figure these days. Although I’ll toss out there that the sculpt and paintwork on these figures has been better quality than what a lot of the other companies are putting out in this scale and I’ve had no issues with quality control on any of the the three figures in this batch. Series 2 is due out sometime in November and will include Kitana, Quan Chi, and Kotal Khan, a character who I assume is original to MK X because I’ve never heard of him. Damn, I should probably pick up that game to hold me over until the new figures come out!

Mortal Kombat X: Scorpion and Sub-Zero by Mezco

MOOOOORTAAAAAL KOOOOOOMBAT!!!!!!

Yeah, I couldn’t resist. Mortal Kombat and I have deep roots. I can remember being wowed by it a couple times in the arcades, but I really bonded with the game at home on my Sega Genesis. Oddly enough, I never owned it, but damn I must have rented that game from the local video store enough times to pay for it five times over. After that, the game wouldn’t turn up in my library until Mortal Kombat Trilogy for the PlayStation and then the game and I parted ways for a while. Now, Mortal Kombat X has hit the consoles and while I’m still debating whether I’ll pick it up (because I need another fighting game like I need Jax putting his metal fist up my ass), but when I saw Mezco’s figures, I had to jump on board.

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The first wave of figures consists of Raiden, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero and I’m looking at the first two of those today, as I’m still hunting Raiden. Oddly enough this is the exact same character selection that Jazwares used for their line back in 2011. And just taking note of that reminds me of how happy I am to see this franchise in more capable hands. Granted, I don’t own a lot of Mezco’s figures, just their fantastic Mega-Scale ThunderCats, but if they keep this one going, that’s about to change. One look at these figures and I knew that we were in for something special. The packaging is stylish, with the MK symbol embossed into the bubble, but not much in the way of artwork. The back shows the figure, offers a little character blurb, and shows you the accessories that are included.

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While starting life as mere palate swaps of each other, it’s nice to see that these foes have evolved into their own distinctive looks. I don’t think there’s a single shared piece between these figures and the detail in the sculpts is absolutely fantastic. Every single strap and buckle is meticulously recreated in Scorpion’s costume and on Sub-Zero you get beautiful little touches like the throwing knives sculpted into his wrist bracers and hanging off his chest. You can easily make out the fine threaded texture on Scorpions vest as well as the quilted stitching on Sub-Zero’s. What’s more the paintwork is precise. Even the coloring is great. That blue on Sub-Zero is so vibrant and I really like the mustard tone they used for Scorpion as well. Individually, these look great, put them together and you’ve got action figure magic!

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The articulation on this pair is identical. Their arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have rotating hinges in the knees and ankles. You get swivels up at the tops of the thighs and the ankles have lateral rockers. There are also ball joints in the waist and neck. The joints are rock solid, with none of that shitty, brittle, clear plastic crap that DC Collectibles and Funko has been so fond of. Nope, these are really fun figures to play with and absolutely no worries of stuck or snapping joints. Imagine that!

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As for accessories, both figures have a second pair of swappable hands, but aside from those Scorpion comes out on top with two swords and two chained spears, which cleverly attach by slipping rings over the wrist pegs when swapping the hands. These pieces look great for recreating that perfect “GET OVER HERE” pose. Scorpion also features a removable mask. I think the only missed opportunity here was a way to attach the swords to his back.

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Sub-Zero comes with his Frost Hammer and Frost Sword. Both are very nice pieces, sculpted in a frosty blue plastic and look like they were chiseled out of ice.. I’ve got no beef with what’s included, but it feels like maybe we should have gotten a couple of other effect parts with him to better balance out the extra stuff that Scorpion came with.

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It looks like the going rate on these is around $20 a pop, at least that’s what I paid for them. That’s right about where figures in the 6-inch scale collector market is hovering these days. These are certainly in league with the better sculpts that DC Collectibles is turning out, and again without any of the fragile joint anxiety. I’d also argue that they’re a confident step up from anything Hasbro is doing in the scale these days as well. I’ve given up trying to stumble on Raiden in the wild, so I’ll likely be ordering him off the InnerWebs, so expect to see him here soon.

ADDENDUM:

Yup, you can indeed put his swords on his back. Check it out…

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I love this. It’s very clever. But, come on, Mezco, you could have mentioned it on the package because I would have never figured this out.

Thundercats: Mega-Scale Cheetara by Mezco

Ah, God bless you folks at Mezco. When the attempted Thundercats revolution crumbled around Ban Dai and broke my heart, you guys were the only ones left carrying the torch. I have no desire to live in a world without Thundercats in one form or another, so you’re the only ones nursing the flickering candlewick of faith that I hold for this miserable lump of rock we call Earth anymore. Oh yeah, also… you guys are a bunch of jerks. Snarf packed into the SDCC Exclusive version of Cheetara? Really guys? Really?? See, here’s the first problem with that… That version of Cheetara has the crazy light up eyes that I don’t want. So even if I choose to hunt that one down, and let’s be honest, getting the SDCC Thundercats stuff after the conventions hasn’t exactly been difficult, I don’t want that Cheetara. Surely you can see the pickle you placed me in. There’s a second problem with Snarf not being in with this regular retail release, but I’ll get back to that at the end. Let’s get on with the feature…

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I’m super thrilled to be holding this box, because I love Thundercats, and I love this line of statue-figure-whatevers. Every release has had me a little worried that it would go no further, but now we have Cheetara and surely Tygra can’t be far behind, right Mezco? RIGHT??? Anyway, Cheetara comes in the same style box as the past releases and it is drop dead gorgeous. The window shows off the figure beautifully and the colorful artwork on the side panel is so gloriously exquisite that it makes me want to weep. I mean just look at that shot of Cheetara. Hey, waitaminute. That’s the Cheetara I grew up with. I mean, sure I had a crush on the Cheetara from the cartoon because she was hawt, but look at that super sexed up cat-vixen up there on that box art. Heeeeelo kitty! Ok, where was I? Cheetara comes on a plastic tray with some twisty ties to contend with. Happily, her staff is on the tray too, so you don’t have to tear it off the back of the illustrated cardboard piece like I had to do with Panthro’s nunchuks. Nope, this box is totally collector friendly and even though I have my Thundercats all on display right now, I’m saving every one of the boxes just because I can’t bring myself to destroy such beauty.

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And speaking of beauty… out of the box Cheetara is every bit the simple animated beauty that I had a crush on as a kid. Yup, I said it up there and I just said it again. It was a simpler time when words like bestiality meant nothing to me and there was nothing wrong with getting naughty feelings about a sexy cat lady. Did she have skin or fur? No wait, don’t answer that. I don’t even want to think about it. Suffice it to say the sculpt here is indeed simple in keeping with the animated look, and yet it captures the character perfectly. You get her orange leotard that shows off her shapely cat bosoms and bitchin’ cat hinder and the iconic Thundercats emblem is both sculpted and painted onto her outfit.

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Of course, the real selling point of this piece for me is the portrait. Mezco really nailed the likeness. The face sculpt is spot-on and the hair looks perfect. The paint used for her face markings, eyes and lips is all pretty crisp and she even has those sexy spots on her hair, neck and shoulders. Meeeeow! I can practically hear the sultry and husky voice of Lynne Lipton coming right out of her.

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Of course, if you’ve been following my little batch of Mega-Scale Thundercat reviews than you already know that none of these figures have been super-posable, but you do get enough points of articulation that I’m willing to call them figures rather than just statues. Cheetara sports ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips. She’s also got swivels in her forearms, wrists, and at the tops of her boots. Yes, she’s missing the torso articulation that Lion-O and Panthro had, but there was really no place to put it on her without defacing the sculpt, so I think it was a good decision. Besides neither of the other figures had her hip articulation, so what we’re getting isn’t really less just different.

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Cheetara comes with her Bo Staff, which is fair enough, but that’s it and let’s be honest here, it’s just an orange stick and it feels a little like she got short-changed. Lion-O came with two versions of his beautifully sculpted sword and a swappable claw shield, Panthro came with his nunchuks with the real chain and a swappable left hand, and Mumm-Ra came with all that cool softgoods. It feels like Cheetara could have used an extra hand to let her hold the staff horizontally above her head. Or maybe a collapsed version of the staff. What I’m getting at here is that it seems like tossing Snarf into the box would have made her on par with the other releases, rather than something special and so I take issue with the fact that they went and packed Snarf in as an Exclusive bonus.

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I don’t want to sound like a complainer. I’m so very grateful that Mezco is carrying the torch for the Thundercats and giving us this great line. And at $35 a pop, these are priced very reasonably, so if bitching about what’s not in Cheetara’s box (giggity) makes me sound otherwise, please know it isn’t the case.  Snarf notwithstanding, I absolutely adore this figure. Sure, the wow factor of the size of these figures has waned a bit as they’re displayed in a case next to my quarter-scale Avengers, but they’re still great figures and I’m thrilled to see the team come together a little more with each new release. I’m still counting on getting a Tygra next year, and if that finishes off the line (which I suspect it will) I’ll still be happy. On the other hand, if Mezco wants to keep going, I promise to buy every one of these that they see fit to release. I’m serious, Mezco. Release a f’cking Berbil and you’ll see. I’ll buy it.

Hellboy 2: The Angel of Death by Mezco

I’ve taken care of most of my new receivings for the week already, so today I thought I’d do a Toy Closet Find and then for the rest of the week I’m going to be dredging out some older DCUC figures. But Hellboy 2, really? I know, right! I spotted this guy on the top shelf of one of the bookcases in my library and decided he needed his day in the sun, especially since there has been a little buzz lately about a possible third film. Despite being a comic junkie, I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a Hellboy book. That having been said, I enjoyed the movies, probably mostly because I really dig Guillermo del Toro’s flicks, particularly the creature designs. I didn’t pick up any of Mezco’s other Hellboy 2 figures, but when I saw The Angel of Death here, well I couldn’t resist him because he was my favorite creature design in that movie. I mean… how can you not love this…

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Yeah! That right there is some good old fashioned nightmare fuel. The packaging is long gone, but let’s just say he came in a window box and get right to it.

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The sculpt here is really spectacular, especially considering the body is rotocast. The body and cloak are just like a hollow cone, but it suits the design well. One of the creepy things about this guy is you can’t really tell where his body ends and his cloak begins. The fractured, eyeless face is awesome as are all the little sculpted teeth. Creepy! The massive wings are truly breathtaking. Every single feather is meticulously sculpted on both sides. I think Mezco might have gone a little overboard on the size of these babies, but they’re so majestic looking on the figure, I’m not complaining. 

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The paintwork on this figure isn’t exactly dynamic, but it’s not supposed to be. He’s brown, he’s dark grey, and lighter brown, and the eyes in the wings are painted with a high gloss to make them stand out. Overall, he looks ancient and dusty just like he’s supposed to.

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Ah, but is he an action figure or a statue? I’m not a fan of arguing semantics, so let’s not try to pigeon hole him. Because of his teepee style construction, Death’s only articulation is in the arms and wings. His arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, whereas his wings have hinges and ball joints. There aren’t a ton of poses to work with here, but you can tinker a bit. And herein lies my one complaint about this guy. The wings are designed to be removed, as they are off the figure in the package. As a result, the ball joints have a problem holding their massive weight. It’s not uncommon to find his wings in a different position a few hours later because they droop. It’s a little unsettling when every time I look at this thing its wings are in a different pose than I last left it.

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Mezco does nice stuff, and I’m sometimes surprised that I don’t own more of their collectibles. It wasn’t until their Mega Scale Thundercats that I really began to take notice of them. I think it has a lot to do with a general lack of interest in a lot of the licenses they’ve secured. I don’t remember how much I paid for this thing, but I think I picked it up at one of the big bookstore chains and I’m pretty sure it was deeply discounted. I’m finding more and more that Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble are good hunting grounds for toys and collectibles. You don’t think to go there to buy this sort of thing, and since nobody else does either the stuff tends to sit around and go clearance. Either way, it’s a nice one-off piece that fits right in displayed on one of my shelves of old and out-of-print occult books. Few guests that I have over that see it know what it is, but most agree that it looks damn cool.