#1791: Norm Peterson




—Everyone but Norm

And now it’s time for another sort of oddball appearance for this site: Cheers.  A show about a bunch of Boston-natives hanging out in a bar may not seem like the most natural fit for an action figure line, but “doesn’t seem like a natural fit for an action figure line” made up most of Mego’s business back in the day, and their relaunched selves seem to be dialing into a lot of those same philosophies.  In that respect, Cheers feels pretty well at home with Mego’s modern offerings.  They’ve decided to launch their little Cheers line not with Sam or Diane, but instead with the bar’s most frequent patron, announced by name every time he enters, Hillary Norman Peterson!


Norm is one of the 11 single-packed figures in the first wave of Mego’s TV Classics line-up.  He’s going to be followed by Cliff and Woody in subsequent waves.  As of right now, all of the new Mego offerings are available exclusively through Target.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  He’s built on a slightly different body than the previously reviewed Fonzie.  This body features a different, more rounded piece for the torso, befitting Norm’s paunchier physique.  In vintage times, this body was used for the likes of Boss Hogg and the Penguin, and it’s a pretty decent fit for Norm.  While Fonzie was built on a tweaked body with a slightly studier built to it, Norm’s body seems to be closer to its vintage counterpart, meaning he’s a little looser on some of those joints.  I’m not 100% sure if he’s still using the band construction, but if he is, I’ll be curious to see how well he holds up over time.  Norm has a brand new head sculpt, which is sporting a pretty spot-on likeness of George Wendt.  I think this is one of the best likenesses in the first assortment, and it’s definitely a step-up from the classic figures.  The detail work, especially on the hair, is quite sharp, which is impressive on a rotocast item.  Additionally, the paint is quite cleanly applied and gives him quite a lifelike quality.  Norm is seen here in his standard post-work attire of a suit and tie.  It’s decently tailored for the style, and like Fonzie, he uses velcro in place of snaps, so they should hold up a bit better.  Under the jacket is a fully sleeved shirt, which is a nice change from the vintage Mego style.  The tie, rather than being a fully separate piece, like we saw on the DST Captain America and Daredevil, is actually affixed at the front of the shirt, and the band is just a part of the shirt, so it separates at the velcro just the same.  This is definitely a far better way of handling such a design.  Norm is packed with what is hands down the best possible accessory for the character, a mug of beer.  It’s actually quite a nicely handled piece, and the mug even has the Cheers logo engraved on one side, which is certainly a nifty touch.


After getting the review sample Fonzie from Mego, I was definitely been interested in looking at a few more of these figures.  I’ve just recently been on a binge watch of Cheers, so Norm was at the top of my want list from the first set.  I’m the slightest bit let down that his body doesn’t have the same level of improvements as the standard body, but apart from that, I really like this figure.  The likeness is awesome, and the beer is a really nice touch.  I very much look forward to the rest of the Cheers offerings from this line, and I’m hopeful we might even get to see Frasier or Wings figures as well down the line.


#1749: Fonzie




–Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli

Happy Days.  Now there’s something of a change in direction for this site, which tends to be more sci-fi and comics heavy (with the occasional guest appearance from Freddie Mercury).  Well, believe it or not, it’s not the biggest stretch.  Back in the ’70s, Happy Days was one of the many properties offered by Mego, and I’ve been a pretty big Mego fan since I was very small (which was, admitedly, about 20 years after their heyday).  In the last decade, there have been a few attempts at reviving the Mego-style, to varying degrees of success, under a number of different names.  The latest relaunch, however reclaims not just Mego Corp’s name, but also brings in its former co-founder and CEO, Marty Abrams, as well as a spot at mass retail.  There are plethora of licenses being offered up, including Star TrekI Dream of Jeanie, Cheers, Charlie’s AngelsMarried…with Children, Charmed, The Brady Bunch, The Facts of Life, and the previously mentioned Happy Days.  I’ll be looking at Happy Day’s break-away hit character Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli today!


Fonzie is one of the 11 figures single-packed in the first wave of the new Mego product launch.  He will be followed in subsequent waves by Richie and Joanie Cunningham.  As of the first of this month, he and his compatriots are available exclusively at Target.  Time will tell if other retailers get on-board.  Fonzie is seen here in his classic leather jacket, just like on his original Mego figure.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Fonzie is built on the re-engineered Mego Type 2 Body, first seen on DST’s Retro Marvel figures.  It maintains the aesthetic of the classic body, while affording the figures a more sturdy build, and less chance to break in the long-run.  It also adds a fair bit of heft to the figure, for what it’s worth.  Fonzie uses a re-tooled version of the original head, which is a pretty good match.  It’s got a decent likeness of Henry Winkler as the Fonz, which is really the most important thing.  The paintwork on the head is fairly cleanly applied; the eyes are perhaps a touch high on the sculpt, but not terribly so, and they certainly aren’t any worse off than a vintage release.  Otherwise the application is quite sharply handled.  I feel at this point I should touch on the color disparity between the skin tone on the figure’s head and hands.  While it’s quite noticeable in the photos, it’s actually almost impossible to tell in person.  Just one of those camera lens vs human eye things.  Fonzie’s outfit is made up of five pieces, for his jacket, t-shirt, jeans, and boots.  They’ve been changed up a little bit from how the original figure handled them.  The boots, which are molded plastic, are actually about the same.  They fit over the feet just fine, and they have extra detailing for the laces and such.  The jacket is made of a slightly thicker material than before, no doubt to help it last a bit longer.  It also uses velcro in place of the button that kept the original closed, once again, for better durability.  The shirt is actually a t-shirt this time, sleeves and all, which is certainly a nice change from the original.  The jeans are the closest match, but they’re definitely a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Fonzie lacks the thumbs-up feature of the original figure, but makes up for it by adding a hair comb, which is a very Fonzie sort of accessory.


Full disclosure: the Fonzie figure I’ve looked at here was sent over to me for review by Mego Corp, in order to help promote their new line.  I didn’t get to choose which figure I was getting, but I can’t really complain about the end result.

I’m a long time Mego fan, and I’ve always tried to do my best to support all of the various ventures that have attempted to revive the style.  This one really seems to have the polish and up front work to go the distance, so here’s hoping.  Fonzie himself is a decent recreation of the original figure, with enough changes to help update him and make for a longer lasting figure.  I definitely look forward to tracking down more of the first wave, and seeing what Mego has in store going forward.

FiQ Friday Fab Five at 5 #0001: Top 5 Batman Figures

What’s this?  Another feature?  Again?  Okay, Ethan, this is getting a bit ridiculous, don’t you think?  Why yes, I do think that hypothetical reader.  I think that very much.  Today’s feature, however, is not entirely my fault.  Like the addition of Wilson-4 (which necessitated taking an extra photo for every review I do), this one came from a friend of mine, who suggested this as an addition to the site.  While I certainly wasn’t looking to pick up more work for myself, I certainly couldn’t deny it was an intriguing idea.  So, what’s the idea?  Top five lists, covering my personal favorites of a given sub-genre of figures.  To keep myself sane, I’ll be limiting these to just the last Friday of each month.  Without further ado, I present the inaugural FiQ Friday Fab Five at 5, where I’ll be taking a look at one of the most toyetic characters of all time, Batman!  Now, there’s way too many Batmen for just one list, so today’s list is going straight for the standard, basic Batmen.  We’ll cover those wacky variants at a later date!

#5:     Batman – Darwyn Cooke DC Designer Series (DC Collectibles)

Darwyn Cooke is quite possibly my favorite Batman illustrator ever (heck, that could probably be extended to “favorite DC illustrator ever”), so action figures based on his work kind of seem like a shoo-in.  Unfortunately, DC Direct’s attempt in the New Frontier line left something to be desire.  Their successors at DC Collectibles took another stab, though, and released an awesome figure.  The only draw back of this figure is his reduced posablity, but if you’re just in it for the cool look, this one’s hard to beat.

#4:     Batman – Batman ’66 (NECA)

NECA’s annual “loophole abuse” figures in conjunction with Warner Brothers have been a ton of fun, and few moreso than their Adam West Batman.  After being let-down by Mattel’s lukewarm offerings, this was exactly the pick-up I needed.  And, thanks to how close the old show stayed in design, this is a figure that can also work as an awesome standard Batman.  The only thing holding this figure back are some minor QC issues that plagued his wrist joints, and I suppose the fact that he’s not a “true” Batman.

#3:     Batman – Super Powers (Kenner)

Kenner set the standard for a large chunk of the DCU with Super Powers, and in a lot of cases have yet to really be beat.  In the case of Batman, I have to admit, he’s not quite as all-conquering and victorious as his other SP-brethren, but he’s still a very solid addition to the line, and a huge piece in Batman’s toy history.  You gotta remember your roots.

#2:     “Last Rites” Batman – DC Icons (DC Collectibles)

It’s sort of amusing, right?  Seeing a figure whose review got the dreaded “Mistakes were made” tag on this site ending up in the #2 spot?  Truth be told, this is actually a really great figure, held back only slightly from greatness by his odd scaling issues.  Were he better scaled to the rest of his line, he’d have won top spot with little issue.  As it stands, he’s a fun figure who is sort of all alone.  But, if you’re just looking for a standard Batman on his own, this is a great one.

#1:     Batman – World’s Greatest Super Heroes (Mego)

Remember what I said about the Super Powers figure?  Remembering your roots and all that?  Yeah, that’s really where this guy comes into it.  He’s kind of goofy and he’s got those oven mitt gloves, but whether his mask is sculpted on or removable, there’s just something about Mego’s take on the Caped Crusader that just can’t be beat.

[Photo Credit: Mego Museum, since I don’t actually own this one]


#1533: Daredevil



For my second day of post-Christmas reviews, I get to look back on things I’ve forgotten.  Namely, the line today’s figure came from, Legendary Marvel Super Heroes.  The line is Diamond Select Toys’ continuation of the Mego-stylings seen in the World’s Greatest Super Heroes toy line of the 1970s, launched back in 2015.  I looked that the first two figures, Spider-Man and Captain America, back when they were new, and I was quite supportive of the line, and very much looking forward to its future offerings.  And then…I sort of forgot about it.  I feel a bit bad about that.  I blame Hasbro releasing 3 million Marvel Legends that I have to buy every year.  It takes up a lot of my time.  Anyway, today, I’m finally returning to Legendary Marvel Super Heroes, with a look at a character who never got a proper Mego back in the day, Daredevil!


Daredevil was the sixth figure in DST’s Legendary Marvel Super Heroes, released in mid-2016, between Deadpool and Punisher.  As with the rest of the figures in this line, he was built on the same standard body, which a slight re-fitting of Mego’s Type II body, with minor adjustments by Paul “Dr. Mego” Clarke.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Like the other figures in this line, Daredevil is essentially three figures in one, with only the base body shared between the three.  If you have any standard Mego bodies lying around, or even prior figures from this line, you can display all three looks as separate figures.  For the purposes of my review, I’ve supplied two extras from my own collection.

The first of the three included looks is DD’s “vintage” design.  This is the one that’s meant to come as close to a legit Mego figure as possible.  The difference between DD and the last two I looked at is that, as a character with no actual vintage counterpart, DST and crew have had to come up with a figure that mimics the stylings of the old figures, a task at which they’ve very much succeeded.  By far the best part of this look is the head sculpt, which captures the classic DD design perfectly, while also preserving that Mego charm.  By modern standards, he looks a bit dated, but that’s sort of the idea, now isn’t it?  This is a head that will look completely at home next to the likes of Cap and Spidey.  The paint on the head is fairly simple, but it’s bold and the application is very clean, which looks pretty fantastic.  DD has a red bodysuit, which has been tailored to match the classic Mego one piece suits.  It’s got some pleather cuffs for the gloves, which feels appropriately vintage.  My only real complaint here is about the logo, which is very hard to see.  A higher contrast would have looked nicer, I think.  There’s a separate pair of red shorts overtop, which are definitely goofy, but also totally true to the ’70s version of the character.  As far as molded pieces go, he’s got a fairly standard set of red boots, as well as belt with a pleather holder for his billy club.  Said billy club is molded in bright red and can be popped apart at the middle.  He also includes an extra right hand with a more formed grip.  It’s nice to have the option, but it sort of doesn’t feel right to me, since it goes against the vintage Mego look where they all had the same hands.

The second costumed look for both Cap and Spidey was an updated version of the classic costume, but for DD they’ve opted to go for a totally different look, since just another version of the red costume might be a little bit drab.  So, instead, he gets a slightly modernized take on his original yellow costume.  As an unabashed fan of the Yellow Daredevil design, I’m definitely happy this costume made it into the set.  Where both Cap and Spidey got an all-new masked head for their second costume, DD’s is the same head, just painted in the appropriate colors.  The sculpt is strong enough that I don’t mind, and in fact I think it’d just be frustrating if they gave us a different head sculpt here, since the two would then never match.  This costume also gets the same belt and holster as the first one, just in a darker brown this time.  The actual costume is far more involved.  There’s a yellow body suit, which is slightly tighter to the body and also includes more of a collar to better hide the underlying body at the neck.  There’s an additional pleather unitard that goes overtop, which is also tightly tailored to the body, and features a much more obvious insignia.  He gets a set of far more detailed boots, modeled after those worn by a boxer (fitting, given his background) as well as new hands in fists.  He also gets the gripping right hand, as well as a billy club in brown.

The last look in the set is Daredevil’s alter-ego, Matt Murdock.  He gets an unmasked head sculpt, which looks to use the same starting point as the masked heads.  It’s okay, but I’m not sure it works quite as well as just the basic masked head.  It’s got some very clean paintwork, so that’s nice.  Matt’s seen here wearing a suit, which was patterned off the classic Mego suits seen on Clark Kent and the like.  It’s rather baggy and more than a little goofy, but it fits the style and, if nothing else, it’s easy to get on the body.  He also includes a set of sunglasses (which stay on much better than the glasses included in the Spider-Man set), as well as standard flesh tone hands, an extra gripping right hand, his briefcase, and his cane.

Also included in this set is a booklet detailing the process of getting this figure made, as well as giving a detailed account of DD’s history in both toys and comics.  It was certainly an entertaining read, just like the other two I’ve gotten.


Daredevil was given to me by my parents as a Christmas gift this year.  He’s a figure I kept meaning to get, but I just kept getting side-tracked.  When playing with my Dad’s Mego collection as a kid, Daredevil’s absence definitely bugged me, so getting this figure definitely feels nice.  The standard look is definitely my favorite of the three, but I like them all.  Given his uniqueness, I think this set offers a bit more value than the last two I looked at, but I’m still a little bit frustrated that only one body is included, especially since one of my spares broke while I was shooting the photos for this set.  Nevertheless, this is a fun set for sure, and essential for any Mego fan’s collection.

#1273: Green Lantern



Okay, I just had eight solid days of Marvel, how about something else?  It seems only fair to give DC a shot at a review, right?  DC doesn’t really show up here as often as Marvel.  It’s not that I don’t like DC; in fact, I used to be more of a DC guy than a Marvel guy, largely due to DC’s far superior animation presence.  Back in the day, my very favorite super hero was Green Lantern—Hal Jordan, specifically.  And, if I wanted to see him in animation, my only real option was Challenge of the Superfriends.  Not exactly high art, but it still influenced everything that came after (and I’ll take it over the DCEU any day).  While Super Friends got no direct tie-in toys when the show was still on the air, the old Mego figures were a pretty good substitute.  More recently, someone had the absolutely brilliant idea of tying those two styles together officially, offering some of the show’s characters that never got official Mego figures.  A few months ago, I looked at show-original characters the Wonder Twins, and today I’ll be looking at my main man Hal today!


Green Lantern was released in Series 4 of Figures Toy Company’s Super Friends line, alongside the Super Friends versions of Cheetah, Bizarro, and Toyman.  As with the previously reviewed Wonder Twins, Hal is a merging of his Super Friends design and the ‘70s Mego aesthetic.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Type 2 male body, with modified arms to allow for the attachment of gloved hands.  The quality of this body is more or less the same as Zan’s, but with less issues on the shoulder movement, which is a plus.  Hal makes use of a unique head and hands.  The head isn’t quite as accurate as the ones on Zan and Jayna, but it’s still pretty good.  The face is actually pretty accurate; it’s mostly the hair that throws it off.  It seems a little too close to the head; Super Friends Hal’s hair was pretty bouncy.  That being said, it fits in quite nicely with the old Mego stuff, which is really the point.  The hands are very similar to the ones seen on Zan, albeit with the gestures swapped.  They’re not technically the right style of gloves, but they’re close enough to work.  And, they’re very nicely sculpted, and that’s the important thing.  They also stay on better than Zan’s did, a definite plus.  Hal’s costume is made up of a cloth jumpsuit and a pair of rubber boots.  The tailoring on the costume is quite nice, and the velcro is a lot better than it usually is at this scale.  The boots are a little clunky, but not horribly so; it’s mostly just at the tops.   The figure’s got some paintwork on the head, which is pretty decent overall.  There’s a bit of slight bleed over, especially on the edges of the mask, however it’s mostly pretty minor.  Also, it’s not exclusively paint, but the color scheme on this figure is a really good match for Hal’s colors on the show; one of the problems with DC Direct’s (otherwise pretty cool) Super Friends figures was that they largely just painted the figures like their normal comics counterparts.  FTC has given Hal the proper slightly greyed-out green he always had on the show.


As a kid, I used to play with my Dad’s old Mego figures when I would spend the day at my grandparents’ house.  It gave me an appreciation of the style that most collectors my age wouldn’t have.  However, the one big hole in the collection for me (and every other DC fan) was Green Lantern.  Back before the whole return of Mego craze, I actually assembled my own custom GL Mego using report parts.  I also picked up Mattel’s Retro Action figure when he was released.  I like both of them, but they’re sort of their own thing, removed from the actual Megos.  My parents picked this guy up for me from Midtown Comics while they were there for a trip a couple of months ago.  He feels a lot more like an authentic Mego than the prior figures, which I really dig.  He’s definitely aimed at a very particular demographic, but if that’s you, this is a pretty nifty figure!

#1168: Wonder Twins




Wonder Twin powers activate!  Form of: an action figure review!

Hey guys, so here we are on day two of the post-Christmas reviews.  As I noted in the intro, this review is based around the Wonder Twins, that wacky duo (and their pet space monkey) who were sort of haphazardly shoved into the Justice League membership during the second season of Super Friends.  Of all the Super Friends-original characters, the Wonder Twins are probably the most enduring, likely due to being the only ones who didn’t feel like a pretty direct rip-off of something else (okay, yes, they were just Wendy & Marvin with powers, but lets not talk about that too much).  The duo were originally slated to get action figures during Kenner’s DC Super Powers line in the ‘80s, but the line ended before they could get past the drawing board.  They did eventually make it into plastic form as an exclusive two-pack in Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line, but, well, that was Mattel, so you can probably guess the whole thing didn’t go particularly smoothly.  Most recently, they’ve gotten another shot at action figure glory courtesy of Figures Toy Company.  I’ll be taking a look at those figures today!


Zan, Jayna, and their pet monkey Gleek were released as a special three-pack in Figures Toy Company’s Super Friends line.  The line as a whole is patterned after Mego’s figures from the ‘70s, but with some of the more specific design elements coming straight from the Super Friends model sheets.


wondertwins2Form of: Zan!  The male Wonder Twin is built on the standard Mego Type 2 style body.  Unlike the Dr. Mego bodies used by DST and Biff Bang Pow or the Big Jim-styled bodies from Mattel, Figures Toy Company’s version of the body doesn’t have any changes or improvements; the body is pretty much the same quality as the old ‘70s bodies.  This is okay from a consistency standpoint (since they’ll fit right in with the vintage figures), but means that the quality is that of a $4 action figure from the mid-70s, rather than a $20-30 figure from the last year, which can be slightly frustrating.  Moving past that, Zan stands about 8 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  As far as the body sculpt, he’s got a unique head and hands.  The head is a pretty decent summation of his animated design (certainly closer than Mattel’s attempt), and also fits pretty well with existing Mego figures.  The hands are a bit of a departure from the usual Mego style; they’re certainly nicely enough in terms of sculpt, but they’re made of a rather rubbery material, which makes they pop off the wrists at the slightest touch, and are rather difficult to get back in place.  In terms of costume, Zan has a jumpsuit with a pleather collar, a belt, and a pair of boots. The pieces mostly fit well enough; the collar could probably be a little better shaping wise, but it fits the style, and you can mess with it to make it look a little more presentable.  The one weird thing about the costume is the belt.  Clearly, they wanted Zan, Jayna, and Gleek to all be able to wear the same belt, so it’s sort of this one-size-fits-all thing, resulting in all three belts having an extra length running from the back, almost like an oddly placed tail.  One last thing: I feel I should note that the colors of the boots, gloves, and belt do all match in person, despite what it may look like on the photos.


wondertwins3Shape of: Jayna!  Jayne here is built on the standard female body, which seems rather oddly shaped if I’m honest.  It’s not awful, but not quite as solid as the male version.  It seems Jayna’s body is just a bit to tightly strung in the middle as well, which permanently leaves her with this sort of hunch.  It’s a bit odd.  Jayne is assembled pretty much exactly the same as her brother; sculpted head and hands, cloth costume with pleather collar, and rubber belt and boots.  The head is another pretty good piece, and looks well enough like Jayna.  The hands seem to be a slight improvement over Zan’s, as I had no issues with them falling off on her.  The issue with the belt, however, is even more noticeable with Jayna, thanks to her even smaller waist.  Her costume also seems to bunch up a bit more than Zan’s, but that’s an issue prevalent with Mego figures in general.  Not a whole lot more to say here, since she’s so similar to her brother.


wondertwins4Gleek doesn’t have a part of the catchphrase, so no witty intro there.  He does break from the trend in this set by not using one of the Mego bodies; instead, he gets an all-new body, designed to fit his more simian appearance.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation and a bendable tail.  Glenn’s sculpt is pretty solid, and actually does a very good job of capturing his design from he show.  The head in particular is quite spot on.  His little booties are sculpted onto the body, but the rest of the costume is tailored, so as to match with the twins.  He’s got a jumpsuit, a cape, and the same belt as the other two (albeit slightly differently colored).  The costume is on the baggy side, but it doesn’t look terrible. On the plus side, the cape is good for hiding the excess length of belt, thus eliminating the main problem with the other two figures’ costumes.  None of the figures in this set include any extras, but I feel Gleek is hit the hardest by this, since the bucket he always had on hand to carry Zan in his water form seems like a pretty obvious missing piece.  Guess I’ll have to find my own.


Like yesterday’s set, these guys were a Christmas gift from my Grandmother.  It’s actually quite fitting, since the whole reason I’m familiar with Megos at all is because I played with my dad’s old figures when I would stay at her house, frequently watching taped episodes of cartoons such as Super Friends.  Interestingly enough, while a lot of people hated the Wonder Twins, I actually always liked them and was quite frustrated by how the Mattel versions were handled.  I was quite happy to actually get the duo and Gleek in figure form.  I won’t lie, these figures aren’t without their sets of issues.  If you aren’t firmly a Mego fan, these won’t be for you.  That being said, this is a very prominent example of the whole being better than the sum of its parts.  These figures didn’t disappoint me.

#1121: Interstellar Figures




You know those movies where you go in with absolutely no expectations, and they still totally disappoint you?  Yeah, I had a couple of those this year.  On a rare few occasions, I’ll go into a movie with no expectations and come out of it thinking that was one of the best movies I’ve seen in some time.  Such was the case with Interstellar.  I, like just about everyone else, mostly know Nolan from his work on the Dark Knight trilogy, which I enjoyed, but was never particularly enamored by.  I did really like his work on Inception, but I still didn’t really expect a whole lot going into Interstellar (Matthew McConaughey in the lead role didn’t really boost my confidence either).  I didn’t get around to seeing it until this summer, but I was very much impressed.  It’s the sort of movie you don’t see much of these days, a send up to the hard science fiction movies of the ‘70s, and in many ways a spiritual successor to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was a lot of fun.  And, even better, it had toys!  In the words of Matthew McConaughey: “Alright, alright, alright!”


In 2014, NECA released Cooper and Brand as a two-pack within their 8-inch retro cloth line.  The figures are kind of like slightly higher end Megos, so it’s an appropriate style for a movie that was a love letter to movies of that same time period.


interstellar3Joseph “Coop” Cooper is Interstellar’s central figure, not only as the story’s lead and focus character, but also as the heart of the emotional core that makes the movie as gripping as it is.  Though this may be a grand space epic, at it’s core, Interstellar is the story of a father-daughter bond.  Coop’s entire motivation for taking on his mission is to give his daughter Murphy a chance to live, which is a pretty compelling reason to root for the guy.  His figure stands about 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation (I think.  It’s hard to tell, because the space suit isn’t removable).

interstellar5Coop includes two heads: with and without his helmet.  The helmeted head isn’t what he’s wearing in the package, but it’s kind of the default and really the only one I can see most people displaying.  The actual head is a separate piece from the helmet (but glued in place), which presents a fairly decent McConaughey likeness.  The paint’s a little messy in some spots, but is generally pretty good looking.  The actual helmet is very nicely sculpted, and looks quite accurate to the source material.  It even has a hinged visor, which is pretty spiffy!  The unhelmeted head is a bit of a step down.  The likeness feels rather off here (despite the two heads sharing the same face).  His head just seems like it’s too deep.  Also, the paint’s pretty rough, with the five o’clock shadow being much heavier, the lips standing out much more, and the eyes being just completely misaligned.  Seriously, it’s hard to take the head seriously with those eyes.

interstellar4I’m pretty sure Coop uses the same basic body as all of NECA’s male retro cloth figures.  This is the first time I’ve encountered it, but it seems pretty solid, especially when compared to the old Mego bodies (which were, admittedly, rather flimsy).  Coop’s space suit is made up of a cloth shirt and pants, as well as sculpted pieces for the gloves, boots, breastplate/backpack, neck guard, elbow boosters, and the straps around his ankles.  In terms of accuracy, the overall appearance definitely evokes the designs seen on screen, but there are a few minor differences here and there.  That being said, they do appear to be conscious deviations, put in place to fit the “retro” feel just a bit better.  That I can certainly get behind.  The tailoring on the cloth parts is a bit rudimentary, but certainly not bad (and once again, fitting the whole retro thing).  The sculpted parts are actually very strong pieces, and really match up well.  The only issue I have is the neck guard, which is just the slightest bit too tall, thereby making it rather difficult to get the helmeted head placed properly.  The paint on the sculpted bits is decent.  It’s not amazing, but there are some nice touches, especially on the NASA logo.


interstellar2Amelia Brand sort of ends up taking a backseat to Coop and Murph, but she’s far from an unimportant character.  In fact, her relationship with her own father, left on earth with Murphy, plays out as an interesting reflection of Coop and Murph, offering an interesting sort of “what if”scenario of how things could have played out differently.  Her figure stands about a half an inch shorter than Coop, and has 22 points of articulation (having lost the bicep swivels present on Coop).

interstellar6Like Coop, Brand has two head sculpts, one helmeted, one not.  The helmeted sculpt is very similar to Coop’s, with the actual helmet being the same piece.  The face is new, and is a pretty decent Anne Hathaway.  She doesn’t have the most distinctive features, so it’s a little generic, but still pretty good.  The paint is a lot cleaner here than on Coop, which is certainly nice.  Her unhelmeted head is, on a whole, better than the one included with Coop, offering a much closer likeness, and a bit less weirdness with the proportions.  However, the paint brings this one down too.  The eyes in particular feel rather lifeless and a little creepy.  Also, for some reason her nostrils have been painted, despite this detail not being present on the helmeted head.  It’s not a good change, I can tell you that.

interstellar7Brand is built on the female equivalent of the body Coop was built on.  If I’m recalling correctly, she was the first officially released figure to use this body (Broomhilda from Django Unchained would have used it, but only a scant few of her made it out before those figures were cancelled).  It’s okay, but it’s not quite as solidly constructed as the male body, and I miss the extra articulation.  Her suit is pretty much the same as Coop’s, just with the cloth bits tailored to fit the different body.  The sculpted parts are all the same, with the exception of the boots, which are a bit smaller on Brand.  The paint on Brand is actually a bit better on my figure, though I would imagine this varies from set to set.


I watched Interstellar with my Dad, who has long been a fan films such as 2001.  He was very enamored with the film, so we ended up picking up this set for him on Father’s Day this year.  I was quite impressed with the figures myself, and was keeping an eye on the set still in stock at the then-closing Movie Stop, waiting to get a good deal.  Sadly, I missed it.  Oh well.  I still ended up getting a pretty good deal, though, since I found it on clearance at a Suncoast (yes, there are apparently still some of those around.  I was shocked too).  I’m pretty happy to have these figures.  They both have some flaws, and the unmasked heads are kind of a waste, but I do really like these two.  I just wish I had a TARS to go with them.  And a CASE.  And Doyle and Romilly.  Heck, I’d even buy Topher Grace’s character.

#0729: Time Traveler




Mego’s Micronauts line of the ‘70s was never a super huge hit, and it was definitely overshadowed by the many toys first toylines of the ‘80s, but it does still have something of a cult following. This cult following helped get the line a relaunch in the early 2000s, courtesy of fan-favorite toy company Palisades. Palisades put a lot of effort into bringing Micronauts back. Sadly, the line was cursed with several pretty awful factory issues, causing the final figures to suffer, hurting the sales of what was already a pretty niche line. This came back to bite Palisades pretty hard, leading to the end of their Micronauts line after just two full series, and their eventual bankruptcy. Kind of a bummer. So hey, how ‘bout those figures, though? Let’s have a look at what is perhaps the most iconic of all Micronauts figures, the Time Traveler!


TimeTraveler2The Time Traveler was part of the first series of Palisades’ Micronauts line. The figure was available in four possible color schemes, two transparent and two opaque. This one is the clear translucent one, which is a pretty direct recreation of one of the original Time Travelers, with just a few minor differences. He’s 3 ¾ inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation, same as his 70s predecessor. Sculpturally, this figure is more or less identical to the original version, but there are a few differences to note. The real differences are on the head, which is a little thinner than the original and features a higher level of detail work. It’s certainly a higher quality sculpt than the original, though I’m not sure I prefer it to the original. It’s in that weird area of being a more modernized sculpt that still possesses many of the style tics of the vintage toy, but without the nostalgic charm. The Time Traveler possesses no actual paint, but his head and all of his chest plates are done in a nice vac-metalized gold. The golden head is actually another change from the vintage figures,
where all of the Time Travelers were silver. While the original Time Traveler figures each only included a single chest plate, chosen at random from the four possible designs, Palisades’ Time Traveler included all TimeTraveler3four of the original plates, as well as two new designs (though, I could only find four of the chest plates when I went to take the pictures!). My personal favorite is the “windows” piece, but they’re all pretty cool. The Time Traveler also included the L-port piece from the original figure, as well as a black display stand.


Palisades’ Micronauts line, amongst other things, was not super easy to find, especially before the introduction of all the online toy buying options we now have. I did end up finding a Time Traveler at an out of the way toy store around the time of release, but it wasn’t this one. Unfortunately, the first series figures were incredibly fragile and he ended up breaking, which was a definite bummer. I ended up getting this guy many years later, courtesy of the Toy Robot Museum, near Allentown, PA. Even with all of the factory issues and the slight changes from the originals, this guy’s a lot of fun, and I’m definitely glad I managed to find one.

#0542: Captain America




So, today, you were probably expecting to read a review of that Marvel Legends Hobgoblin I’ve been building for the last week. Well, dear reader, you’re just going to have to test your patience on that one, because I’m going to be doing a bit of a theme for the next two weeks.  Aren’t I just the worst?

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you might be unaware that a little movie called Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to be released (in the US, anyway) on May 1st. That means that there are 14 days until it’s released. So, I’ll be counting down by doing a review of a figure of each of the film’s main characters each day between now and then.  Let’s kick things off with “The First Avenger” Captain America.


CapRetro10Captain America is the second figure in Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Retro Figures line, which is DST’s new line of figures based on the old Mego figures from the 70s. Cap follows Spider-Man and will be followed by Wolverine and Thor later this year. The figure is built on the line’s standard body, which is a re-fit Mego Type II body, with a few improvements by Paul “Dr. Mego” Clarke. Said body (with the addition of a head) stands roughly 8 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. As I noted in my review of the Spider-Man figure, this version of the body has a sturdier construction than the original Mego bodies, and is even a little sturdier than DST’s previous Star Trek and Planet of the Apes retro lines. Just like Spider-Man, Captain America is essentially three figures in one. There are three complete sets, each consisting of a head, a costume, and accessories, and one body for them all to share. For the purposes of this review, I have provided two spare bodies of my own, but the actual set only has the one.

CapRetro9First of the three looks is Cap’s “vintage” look, which is the one that comes pre-built on the included body. He’s a recreation of the original Captain America Mego. The vintage Cap is widely remembered for the changes to his costume and his overall goofy look. This figure remains true to that. He uses the same head sculpt as the original figure. Purely looking at the sculpt of the head, it’s actually not bad. It’s a teeny bit dated, but it’s generally a fairly generic hero head. What really makes the head goofy looking is the paint, which has also been recreated here. Overall, it’s a pretty good match for the original Cap head. Some of the line work, particularly on the “shadow” of the mask, is a little fuzzy at the edges. Also, the already goofy eyes are made a little goofier by the fact that the pupils are just a tiny bit misplaced. It looks a little bit like he’s glancing to his right. The figure’s body suit is tailored to match the original, and they’ve done a pretty great job of that. It sits very nicely, and the colors of the cloth are all well-matched. The star emblem presents a bit of a problem. The original figure had a decal, which, over time, fell off of just about every single figure. On this one, it’s been replaced by a piece of thick pleather-like material. It’s an understandable change, but rather than properly affix it to the costume, it’s held on in the center with a rather simple threading. The end result is a) a fairly noticeable dot in the center of the logo and b) a logo which sticks up at the sides and doesn’t stay straight. Surely there had to be a better solution than that to get the logo to stay in place. The other essential piece of the costume is the boots. The original was notable for not having the proper buccaneer-style boots of Cap’s comic look, and that’s replicated here. The original Mego Cap boots, like all Mego boots, were molded in a thin, stiff plastic. Here, they’re done in a rubberier material, making them both sturdier and easier to get on and off the figure. This version of the figure includes the same one accessory as his vintage counterpart: his shield. The actual piece is a pretty straight re-cast of the original shield, but the decal is noticeably not as smoothly applied as the vintage one, which is too bad.

CapRetro4Second up is the updated take on the classic Cap design. Like Spider-Man, this figure is meant to be what a Mego Cap might look like with modern toy making technology at its disposal. To start with, the figure gets a brand-new head sculpt. This one offers a more… idealized take on Cap’s head. Where Spidey’s head felt like an evolution of the original head, this one feels more like a start from scratch. Many of the same elements are there, but placement seems better. The eyes aren’t buggy, the jaw is a little more chiseled, and the facial feature in general are a little bit more evenly place on the head, so he doesn’t have such a huge forehead going on. He also has a lot more detailing, especially on the actual mask which sports some seams along the top and a more defined set of eyeholes. The head is a little bit on the large side, and this is emphasized by the fact that the neck is perhaps a touch too long. It’s not terrible, but it is noticeable in light of Spider-Man, who had a more accurately proportioned head and neck. The paintwork on the head is pretty great. The colors are well chosen and everything is bold and mostly clean. The tailoring on the figure’s costume is tighter than the vintage one, and is actually a little too tight in a few areas. CapRetro5Once the costume is fully in place, it looks pretty good, but it’s a real pain getting it to that point. The material chosen for the costume is quite nice; the blues match very well with the mask and I like the scaled pattern on his upper half quite a bit. Also, the option to have him with or without the shorts is nice, though, once again, those can be a bit difficult to get on. The star is the same as the one on vintage costume, which is disappointing, but at the very least it’s consistent. This version of Cap fixes the vintage one’s issue with the boots, supplying a pair of the proper cuffed boots, grabbed, I believe, from the Mego version of Will Scarlett. They’re pretty straight forward and pretty much perfect for the character, so they’re a great choice. Cap includes three sets of sculpted hands, each sculpted with the proper gloved look for the character, and cast in a red that matches the cloth potion of the gloves. There is a pair of fists, a pair for saluting, and a pair in an open pose for shield throwing and such. Speaking of shield throwing, Cap also includes a brand-new version of his mighty shield. The rings and star are sculpted and then painted, rather than just being a sticker, resulting in a very nice final product. The figure also includes Cap’s original, pointed shield, done in a similar fashion to the round one.

CapRetro3Last up is Cap’s “alter ego,” Private Steve Rogers, wearing his WW2 Army uniform. The figure features a head sculpt built from the same base sculpt as the updated Captain America head, meaning they match up appropriately. According to the included booklet, this head was sculpted first and then reverse engineered into a Cap head. Truth be told, I do think this might be the stronger of the two heads. The Cap head certainly isn’t bad, but this one really feels like it gets the Mego aesthetic down and it captures the “classic” Steve Rogers look pretty much perfectly. It helps that it’s topped off with the cleanest paintwork of the three included heads; there’s pretty much not a drop out of line on this one. Steve’s outfit is made up of a shirt, pants, belt, tie, boots, and boot covers (EDIT: As an astute reader reminded me, the outfit also includes an extra set of regular flesh tone hands.  They’re identical to the ones that come on the body, so I’m not certain what their purpose is, but they’re there). Getting Steve’s uniform properly assembled is certainly quite a task, and it took me a good 15 minutes to do so, but he stays together pretty well once CapRetro7assembled. The uniform is well-tailored and the shirt in particular has plenty of layers to it. One thing I did notice is that on my figure the boot covers had two different lengths of elastic at the bottom, which is minor, but slightly annoying. The boots are very nicely sculpted, with lots of nice little details, and they go on fairly easily. Steve’s only accessory (unless you opt to give him the pointed shield) is his helmet, which sits very nicely on his head.

Like the Spider-Man set, this set also includes a booklet with a few articles about Mego and the creation of the set. It’s a pretty fun read, so there’s certainly some value to it.

The packaging is similar to that of the first. However, there were a few changes for the better. First of all, the reproduction of the original box isn’t glued in place this time, which is much appreciated. Additionally, the extra costumes are place on mock bodies instead of being clipped in place, which avoids the small holes the Spider-Man costumes suffered. Unfortunately, the extra pieces are still blister packaged in place, so they can’t be removed without tearing up the backing.



Growing up playing with my dad’s old Mego figures, I had one particular figure who was my favorite above the rest. That figure was Captain America. Sure, he was goofy, and inaccurate, but he was just so much fun. I would sit there at my grandparents’ house, watching my VHS copies of the 60s cartoon, holding that figure the whole time. When this line was announced and Cap was shown, there was no doubt that I was buying this figure.

Most of the time, when I get a figure, my initial reaction to the figure is rather indicative of my final opinion of said figure. In the case of Captain America, my initial reaction, especially to the updated version of the figure, was one of disappointment. I love the old Cap figure, and this one seemed to fall short of what I wanted. But then, I played around with him a bit, and I took the pictures for the review. And somewhere between taking the pictures and writing this review, I fell in love with this figure. I don’t know quite how it happened, but it did.

The set isn’t without its drawbacks. For the price they’re asking, some work could still be done on making the packaging a little bit more collector friendly and on making sure the costumes fit the figures as best they can. All that said, an admirable job was done on this figure, and I’m extremely happy to have gotten him.



*Incidentally, I had originally intended to review a completely different Cap figure today. However, this guy arrived, and I didn’t want to push him back to after the Age of Ultron prep stuff, so I bumped that one. The rest of the AoU-themed stuff will be older figures from my pre-existing collection.

#0500: Spider-Man




Holy crap, it’s been 500 whole reviews. I really wasn’t sure I’d get this far. I had originally planned to do another high-end figure review (Mech-Test Tony Stark, for those who are curious) but I decided to do something else for a couple of reasons. It’s an item that I realized deserved the deluxe treatment and in doing some background research for the review, I discovered that there were almost no reviews of this figure, which I felt wasn’t fair to the figure or the company that produced it.

While Mego may not have been the first company to produced licensed figures, they were definitely one of the most influential. They ruled the toy aisle for most of the 70s and they were not only the one of the first prominent example of Marvel Comics-based figures, but they were also responsible for bringing a fair number of people into the Marvel fanbase and revolutionizing the action figure industry as a whole.

There has been quite a resurgence of Mego style toys in the last few years, but one property has been noticeably absent. Due mostly to contract issues with Hasbro, Marvel was out of the running for the Mego style. However, Diamond, who had helped kick off the resurgence of the style with their Star Trek Retro Figures, found a way around that. By releasing the figures in larger deluxe sets at a higher price point, they can technically classify them as “collectibles” and not be in direct competition with Hasbro. So, each figure comes packed as a recreation of their original Mego figure, with two full sets of alternate pieces, allowing two full additional figures to be built by just supplying a basic Mego body. The first figure to be released is one of Marvel’s top characters, Spider-Man!


SpiderManRetrob12Spider-Man is the first figure in Diamond’s new Marvel Retro Figures line. He will be followed by Captain America, due out later this month, as well as Wolverine and Thor later this year. The figure uses the standard Mego-style body (re-tooled with a few improvements by Paul “Dr. Mego” Clarke), meaning he’s about 8 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. This is body is essentially the same as Mego’s Type II body, which was their go-to body for the vast majority of their basic male figures. The Mego body is really helped set the standard of what was expected from an action figure body, so it’s a very strong starting point for a figure. It’s also worth noting that this new version is a lot sturdier than the original Mego bodies, and even a little sturdier than the ones Diamond used for their Star Trek and Planet of the Apes Retro lines. It’s always nice to see a company actively working to improve these kinds of parts of a product.

SpidermanRetrob11This figure is a little different from the figures I often review for this site, in that there are three possible looks, which are effectively three separate figures. So, let’s start off with the basic, original Mego-style Spider-Man, which is how the figure is assembled in the packaging. As a recreation of the original, he makes use of the original Mego head. Mego’s Spider-Man sculpt was certainly one of their most distinctive pieces. By today’s standards, some of the details, especially the etched in weblines, are a little on the soft side, however, for the time, it’s truly a remarkable sculpt. It has a lot of character to it, and I do believe that it’s one of the few Spider-Man sculpts to actually note the presence of a nose under the mask, which is a very nice touch. The head has been painted to pretty much match the original. The edges of the black outline around the eyes are a little fuzzy in some spots, but the overall look is quite nice. This version features a one-piece costume, with all the proper details silkscreened on. The costume replicates the original “circle logo” Mego figure, which had a rather distinctive circle cut out of the webs around the spider emblem. Mego ultimately replaced this with a more comic-accurate version, but this one is often remembered for its more unique look. The costume has a bit of a shine to it, which isn’t quite accurate to the original, but actually looks rather sharp.

SpiderManRetrob4The next “figure” included is the updated version of the basic Spider-Man. Essentially, this one is what a Spider-Man Mego would look like given all the advancements in toy making technology. This one gets an all-new head sculpt, which offers a more conventional take on Spidey’s noggin. The eyes are wider, the weblines are finer, and the head has a more… head-like shape. It’s also a little smaller, to keep it more proportional with the body. This head really feels like a genuine evolution of the Mego head. It’s definitely different, but it has a lot of the same charm. Plus, that nose is still there, which really sells the whole thing for me. The paint also feels like the next step after the Mego version. The colors are the same, but this time around, a black wash has been applied to give the weblines their proper color. The black around the eyes also seems a little sharper on this head, which is great to see. The costume on this one is expectedly more elaborate than the previous one. The tailoring is just a bit tighter to the body, and the stitching has been brought more in line with the outlines of the costume. The reds and blues are more defiantly separate on this one. He also has the classic underarm web-wings, which are done with a very nice netted material and manage to SpidermanRetrob7actually look pretty respectable. That can’t really be said for most attempts at replicating them. The weblines on the red portions of the costume are finer, though they are oddly a little lighter, as well, which doesn’t seem to have been the intent. They end up being more of a brown than a true black. It’s a minor nit with an otherwise very nice costume. While the original Spidey had printed on boots, this one has a pair of sculpted boots, done in a manner that matches the head sculpt. They’re well sculpted, and certainly a little tighter fitting than most Mego boots. Admittedly, I still find myself partial to the printed boots, but that’s more of a personal preference. The sculpted boots still work quite well. This Spidey includes three sets of specially sculpted hands, each done with a web pattern that matches the head and boots. There are a pair in the classic web-shooting pose, a pair of fists, and a pair that are open in a pose perfect for wall-crawling. All of the hands are fantastically sculpted, and the web-shooting hands in particular are a great version of a piece long missing from the Mego Spider-Man. In addition to the hands, Spidey also includes a pair of web-shooters and a camera belt.  Neither are essential pieces, however, both make for some entertainment value.

SpiderManRetrob3The third, and final, “figure” is a version of Spider-Man’s alter ago Peter Parker. Right off the bat, there’s one minor issue with Peter, and it’s not really an issue with the Peter pieces, but rather the Spider-Man body. The body is molded in red plastic. This is clearly meant to make the two Spider-Man costumes more convincing, but it leaves Pete without a proper body. His clothes will mostly cover the body, but the few flashes of red are rather noticeable. For the purposes of the review, my Parker is assembled on a spare body I got from Dr. Mego a few years ago. The figure has what appears to be an all-new head sculpt. The original Peter just made use of the Shazam head, which obviously couldn’t be done here. This head does appear to have at least taken the facial features of the original as an influence, so the sculpt holds on to some of the original’s style. One of the things that really stands out about this sculpt is the hair, which features some really great fine detailing, often lacking from genuine Megos. This head has easily the most complex of the three paintjobs, and ends looking quite nice. All of the paint work is clean, with pretty much no bleed over. There’s a tiny bit of slop where some brow paint ended up on his ear, but other than that, things are pretty good. Peter’s outfit is also probably the most complex. It’s made up of five pieces in total: shirt, pants, vest, and shoes. The shirt and pants are decently tailored, and pretty much just look like Mego clothes (apart from the use of Velcro). The SpiderManRetrob8vest is also nicely tailored, however, it’s a real pain to get on over the shirt. While the separate pieces are nice, it seems like a shirt/vest combo might have been more practical here. The shoes are well sculpted and well painted. They go on with ease, which is always a plus. They do look a little large, but that’s just something that goes hand in hand with removable shoes. Peter also includes a pair of the standard Mego hands in the proper flesh-tone, as well as a pair of glasses, a camera, and a copy of the Daily Bugle. The glasses are good in theory, however, they don’t stay on very well, and they look super goofy to boot. The camera is definitely a nice piece, and really helps make the figure. It would be cool if it had a strap, but it’s still great as is. The Bugle is just a single sheet of paper; it’s more there for the appearance than anything else, but it’s a cool touch nonetheless.

In addition, the set also includes a booklet with a few articles from various Mego experts, which was an entertaining read.

SpiderManRetrob2Also, I don’t talk about packaging much, but there are a few things to note here. First of all, this is a really attractively packaged set. I’m not one for keeping things in the packaging, but if I were, I’d certainly be pleased with this. Sadly, the packaging really can’t be salvaged once the figure is opened. The extra pieces are blister packaged, so they have to be torn off the backing. Also, the replica Retro packaging is really cool. However, for some reason, some sort of adhesive was used to hold it in place. I managed to get mine out without damaging it too badly, but it was a lot of work. Given the obvious effort that went into it, I can’t imagine that the adhesive was intentional.


Most of my experience with Megos was playing with my dad’s old figures when I was younger. However, Spider-Man was actually one of the few that my dad bought for me, so that particular figure definitely has a soft spot for me. As such, I was eager to get this updated version.

This set was picked up from Luke’s Toy Store, who I generally deal with for my Minimates purchases. The store decided to give the Retro Figures a try with this one. Sadly, it sounds as if I may have been the only person to buy the set from him, which is a real shame. I think a lot of people are turned off by the price of these sets. Admittedly, they are on the expensive side. However, you’re essentially getting three figures, which brings the per figure cost down quite a bit. About the only thing I would say in regards to the price is that it would be nice if Diamond included at least one extra body, or if they provided an easy location to order extra bodies at a reasonable price. I had a few extras I’d gotten from Dr. Mego a while back, but the average consumer won’t know where to find such things.

All in all, this is actually a really fun set. It offers both the chance to re-buy an old favorite, and the chance to get a loving update on that figure. And for me personally, it provided me with the chance to take a Mego out of its box for the first time ever, which was a really cool experience. I intend to buy every figure this line offers, and I would urge anyone who was a fan of Megos to do the same.