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A few years back when small blocky figures were all the rage (think Mini-mates), Mezco Toyz had their own version called the Mez-itz. They did lots of licensed characters, as well as some in house versions like Pirates. I was a big fan, largely because they had sculpted heads, giving them more detail than the usual small block figure.

These days, small block figures are no longer the ‘in’ thing. It’s all about the larger designer vinyl figures, usually in a 6 - 8″ size range and often done with the same basic body with paint details. This has been such a popular format that even Hasbro jumped on the bandwagon with their Mighty Muggs.

Not to be outdone, Mezco has upped the scale of their Mez-itz, and switched to less sculpting, more paint, fitting right in with the current trend. They’re still called Mez-itz, but they are larger, smooth, and stylized in a designer vinyl way.

They have a regular series based on Hellboy II hitting stores, but they did a special ‘comic’ version of Hellboy for SDCC this year. I’m looking at both tonight, but there is also an Abe Sapien that’s hitting stores that I won’t be discussing. They also have a Johann planned, as well as several more Hellboy variants.

If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at mwc@mwctoys.com, or hit my website at Michael’s Reveiw of the Week - Captain Toy.

Hellboy Mez-itz - Hellboy II and comic Hellboy

In the photo below, you’ll notice the regular release Hellboy, wearing the painted on coat, to the right, while the SDCC comic based version is to the left.

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Packaging - movie version ***1/2; comic version ***
Both boxes are relatively collector friendly, requiring you to ditch just a couple twisties. In the photo below, I have the SDCC version to the left again, and the regular movie version to the right. The big difference here is that the movie version is visible in the package, allowing you to see what you’re buying before you buy it - I’m a big fan of that feature.

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Sculpting - ***1/2
These all have the same basic sculpt, and in many ways they are very much like the aforementioned Mighty Muggs. This is particularly true from the neck down, where they have similarly shaped arms, legs, hands and torsos. It’s not an exact match, but it’s similar enough that you can put them on the shelf together and they’ll look quite good. These guys are just a hair over 6″ tall, which should make them fit in pretty well scale wise with the Muggs too.

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The hands are sculpted with a wide gap to allow for the use of accessories. While Hellboy does have his two nubs on his forehead, these are not given any sculpted texture. The Mez-itz stand great on their own, and the basic body design will work for lots and lots of figures. Don’t believe me? Check out this cool display of custom figures they had at SDCC. The photos are about half way down the page, labeled “Mez-itz Art Show”.

Paint - Movie Version ***1/2; Comic version ****
Both of these figures have excellent paint jobs, with quality work all around. How much you like each one is not going to be an issue of quality, but rather aesthetics.

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I personally like the comic version a bit better. They’ve done a nice job capturing the unique look of Mignola’s shading, although not quite as good as the older Batman: Black and White statue did.

I’m just a hair less impressed with the movie version, and it’s due to the coat. Something about the way it wraps around the body and legs just looks off to me, and looks less like a coat and more like some sort of awkward pants. It’s always tricky to try to do multple layers with a single layer of paint, as it flattens out the appearance of the figure so much, but you may fine it slightly less odd looking than I.

Articulation - ***
One thing that figures done in this style are NOT known for is articulation. While Mez-itz do improve on the situation, they could still used a couple more points.

They improve over many other figures by adding a ball jointed neck. This is THE most important joint to add to any basic configuration, since it gives you the ability to add so much more personality and realism to poses. Just check the last photo to see how much this can improve a basic stance.

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You get the usual from the neck down - cut shoulders, cut hips. The Right Hand of Doom has a cut wrist, which is another nice add, but I really do wish that both wrists were cut, especially on the comic version. Without the cut wrists, he tends to hold the gun at an odd angle, and there’s really nothing you can do about it.

Accessories - Comic Version ***; Regular Version Bupkis
The regular version comes with nothing, but the comic version comes with his Samaritan. Much like the figures themselves, the Samaritan is fairly smooth, with most details painted on. It fits in his hand well enough, but as I mentioned in the earlier section, it tends to sit at an odd angle to his body.

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Fun Factor - ***
While these aren’t super articulated, they are actually quite a bit of fun, even for smaller kids. While the under 10 crowd is probably less acquianted with Hellboy than Star Wars, those that do know Big Red and his buddies will enjoy these.

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Value - comic version **1/2; regular version ***
The comic version will cost you more than the regular of course, largely because it was originally an SDCC exclusive. At $20, that’s a pretty average con exclusive price.

The regular Hellboy (and Abe) are Toys R Us exclusives, where they will run $10 - $11, pretty much in line with the Muggs pricing. Considering how expensive designer vinyl figures can be, this is a very good deal.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2
With the only other reasonably priced figures in this style - Mighty Muggs - going away, Mezco might have a chance to expand these Mez-itz in a number of direction. I’m happy with the basic body, and I can envision plenty of potential, especially after seeing some of the cool customs that were at SDCC. They already have quite a few horror versions planned, including some classics like Dracula and Frankenstein, some newer characters like Freddy and Jason, and some in house stuff like zombies. I’ll be down for most of those, and I hope we see them branch these out into a few other licensed characters.

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Scoring Recap -
Packaging - movie version ***1/2; comic version ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - Movie Version ***1/2; Comic version ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Comic Version ***; Regular Version Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***
Value - comic version **1/2; regular version ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
You have a number of options, even for the SDCC exclusive:

- Entertainment Earth has the SDCC exclusive for $20.

- Forbidden PLanet has the regular Hellboy (and Abe Sapien) for 11 GBP each.

- or you can snag the exclusive right from Mezco themselves.

Related Links -
I’ve covered so much Hellboy stuff, I don’t even know where to begin. I suppose you could start with my last Hellboy collectible review, the 18″ Abe which is also from Mezco and is also a SDCC excclusive.

Comments:

3 Responses to “Toy Box: Hellboy Mez-itz”

  1. Michael Crawford Says:

    UPDATE! Actually, the regular Hellboy also has the Samaritan, mine had just gotten misplaced. That changes his accessories score to three stars as well, but does not effect the overall.

  2. Newton Says:

    I saw this guy in the store the other day. I thought he was pretty cool. Of course I have to admit, I wish Mezco would focus more on making actual Hellboy action figures than all these wacky other collectables.

  3. Comicaze Says:

    One of the best Hellboy collectibles thus far! I am a huge fan of mighty muggs, and a hellboy one of those will never be made for obvious reasons, so it is nice to see something official come out that meshes with them well. As he is full vinyl, I think I am actually more of a fan of the MEZ ITZ Hellboy than I would be if he were a mighty mugg.

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