#2919: Van Helsing

VAN HELSING

DRACULA (MEGO)

It’s October, which is classically a kind of a spooky month, I guess.  I don’t frequently get too invested in all the spooky stuff the way some people do, but I can enjoy it well enough, and I’ve certainly got some knowledge of various things spooky.  When it comes to classic monsters, Universal Studios really set the pace in the ’30s and ’40s, but as they began to fade away, many of those same monsters would be reimagined by Hammer Film Productions, whose horror films became a staple of the ’60s and ’70s.  Perhaps their best known work are their Dracula films, starring the late Christopher Lee in the titular role.  Playing opposite Lee in the role of heroic vampire Dr. Van Helsing, was Peter Cushing, whose take on Van Helsing (and one of his descendants) would help to shape later portrayals of the character.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Van Helsing is part of Mego’s Horror line, and was released in the latest assortment of mixed figures.  He was originally supposed to be released at the beginning of August, but he crept into the end of September.  As with other entries in the line, he’s showing up in a mix of specialty stores and select Targets.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s build on the updated Type 2 body, which is a decent enough standard starting point.  Cushing was just a pretty regular guy.  The all-new head sculpt here does a pretty great job of capturing Cushing’s likeness.  It’s not often that we see a younger Cushing in toy form, but it works out well here.  He’s got rather distinctive features, and they lend themselves to this style pretty well.  This is actually the second time Cushing’s gotten a Mego-style figure, since he was also in Classic TV Toys’ Space: 1999 line.  I think the likeness here is a little bit better.  The paint work is pretty basic, but it gets the job done, and everything is pretty much in line with where it should be.  Van Helsing is clearly meant to based on his look from the first Hammer Dracula film, and he gets an outfit based on that.  It features his jacket, shirt/tie (one piece like on the Cheers figures), pants, and a pair of rubber shores.  They’re all really goofy looking, but, of course, that’s really part of the style, and he matches well.  Van Helsing is packed with a rather small stake, which is probably going to go flying the first time he gets jostled, being lost for the rest of eternity.  Or something like that.  Given is tendency to use both a hammer and stake together in the films, just the stake is perhaps a little light.  Honestly, I would have liked to get the candlesticks for the cross he makes during the film’s climactic battle, but I guess those might be a little harder for him to hold properly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Van Helsing was initially intended as a birthday present from my parents, but he got delayed, so I had to wait a bit for him.  Worse things have happened.  While I’m not necessarily the biggest Hammer Horror fan, I’ve always quite liked Cushing’s take on Van Helsing, and I’m glad he finally got some figure treatment.  He’s goofy and hokey, but I do really like him.

There’s a slightly more serious side to this one as well, I suppose.  In the months since losing Jess, I’ve been trying to find comfort in the stories of people who have experienced a loss similar to my own.  In reading up more on Peter Cushing, and specifically how he responded to the death of his wife in 1971, I really felt like I found a kindred spirit.  His habits and the words he said about his loss really have resonated with me, and the fact that he was able to continue his life in some way after such a devastating loss has served as an inspiration to me.  So this figure, as hokey as he may be, really serves as a symbol to me, and how I can’t just give up.  And I like that.

#2851: The Rocketeer

THE ROCKETEER

THE ROCKETEER (MEGO)

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, that 1990’s The Rocketeer is one of my favorite movies, and truly an underappreciated gem.  The film’s failure at the box office led to Disney kind of burying it for a while, but in the last decade they’ve started to get a little more serious about licensing it out.  Funko got us a few different styles of him in the 2013-2014 area, which was cool, but then it kind of quieted down again.  There’s a bit of an uptick again, though, and included in that uptick is a figure from Mego, who are themselves in something of an uptick, I suppose.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Rocketeer is part of Mego’s line of Movie-based figures.  It’s a collection of all sorts of different film characters, and that’s really the only way someone like the Rocketeer is ever getting a chance at a release.  He started showing up around the spring of this year through specialty stores, as well as the handful of Targets that are still carrying Megos.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s built on the basic improved Type 2 body, which serves as the basis for most of their output.  As a rather average build sort of guy, Cliff makes perfect sense for this body.  Cliff gets an all-new head sculpt, sporting his distinctive helmet.  It captures the helmet’s look pretty closely, while still filtering somewhat through the usual Mego style, just so it doesn’t look *too* out of place.  It’s a nice piece, with a fun, sleek retro feel to it.  The paint work on the head is pretty straight forward; the majority is a metallic bronze, with some black detailing for the eyes and mouth.  It’s basic, but it’s clean, and it works.  Cliff’s outfit is made up of five different pieces, including the jacket, pants, boots, and jetpack.  The jacket and pants are decently tailored.  They’re a little bulky, as is the usual Mego way, but they look alright for the scale and style.  The boots are re-used from the original Mego Will Scarlet figure.  They’re not a perfect match for his boots from the movie, but they work well enough, I guess. The jetpack is all-new, and it’s a nice replica of the one from the movie.  It’s a little hard to get on his back, because the strap is very tight, but once it’s in place, it does look really nice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m always a sucker for Rocketeer merchandise, but it’s not always very easy to find.  Mego and The Rocketeer are a pretty solid match of styles, and I was definitely on the look out.  Not that I was really expecting to find him in person, or anything, since none of the stores nearby tend to carry such things.

FYI, we’re going into post-Jess territory here.  This guy was the last piece of the trip out to Target that brought me Major Bludd and the Plastic Patroller, though he’s not actually from the *same* Target, but rather another Target we all stopped at on the way back after the first Target didn’t have something Cheyenne was looking for.  Jess and I didn’t talk about The Rocketeer a lot or anything, but we watched it a few times together, and she did buy me one of my other Rocketeer figures.  But, if I’m sticking to attaching my own projections and feelings to what are likely unrelated events, I suppose it did mean something to me that I found three figures I actually wanted, on one trip, despite the general barren nature of retail these days.  It was at least a nice little pick me up in light of the worst week of my life.  It’s a small victory, but the small victories are what keep me going these days.

#2267: Gorn

GORN

STAR TREK (MEGO)

For day three of my Post-Christmas reviews, I’m turning to a license that I don’t often review for this particular segment, Star Trek.  I am at best a moderate Trek fan, so toys and such from the franchise tend to not be the sorts of things I ask for around the holidays.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, but they just don’t usually excite me all that much.  There’s one notable exception, though; one character that I’m always all about.  That’s the Gorn captain.  Appearing in only one episode of the original series (“Arena”), the Gorn is nevertheless my favorite thing in Star Trek, and I’ve got just about all of the action figures of the character there are.  One that I don’t have is the original Mego Gorn.  While the main crew figures were quite faithful to the show, the aliens were a fair bit less so.  Though hardly the worst offering of the assortment, the original Mego Gorn was still pretty far off the mark from his TV-counterpart, being nothing more than the head of Spider-Man foe the Lizard on the body of a Klingon.  It resulted in a rather dopey looking figure.  I still very much want one, but that’s not the point.  The point this time around is centered on the various ReMego stuff from a few years ago, which led to a lot of the Trek figures getting reissued.  The Gorn, however, got a new figure instead, this time more faithful to the show.  And, now that Trek is once again an official Mego license, there’s yet another stab at the Gorn.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gorn is from the fourth Star Trek assortment under the new Mego heading.  They’re no longer a Target exclusive, nor are they all lumped into one common assortment.  That being said, some of them are still showing up at Target, depending on what those Targets opt to stock in their collectibles section, so your mileage may vary.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation (due to the lower legs being all one solid piece).  The Gorn is built on the Type-2 male body and sports a non-standard head and lower legs, both of which are re-used on this figure from the DST Mego-style Gorn from 2010.  Given they were designed by the same team that is working on the current Mego’s, that’s really not much of a surprise.  They’re a far more accurate recreation of the show design than the classic Mego, while still ever so slightly tweaking the designs to make them work with the rest of the line.  Unlike the DST version, which had a much brighter palette, this figure’s color scheme is far more in line with the actual colors on the show, making for a more subdued look.  It ends up looking a bit better in my eyes, but I can certainly accept the validity of both versions.  As far as the actual paint, this one’s a bit of a step up, with far more detailing on the head, and even some slight accenting.  He’s also got glow in the dark eyes…for those that feel he should, I suppose.  The new Gorn costume isn’t terribly far removed from the DST version, but it’s definitely a little better tailored to the figure, especially on the arm bands, which are properly hemmed this time around.  The Gorn also gets some armament this time: he’s got a belt, phaser, and communicator.  They’re the standard Starfleet pieces, but in red, just like the original Gorn (and the Klingon before him) included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I already had the DST Gorn, and therefore didn’t feel an immediate need for another Mego variant, I have to admit I liked the improvements this guy offered.  Maybe not enough to order him online myself or anything, and odds of seeing him in-person were greatly reduced, so I honestly wasn’t sure I’d get one.  A week before Christmas, my dad made a passing mention of seeing Gorn and the rest of the series at a Target of all places, and wouldn’t you know it, this guy was under the tree on Christmas morning.  The improvements on this guy are definitely worth it, and I’m always down for another Gorn.  Now I feel the need to own the proper vintage release.  Great.

#1943: Woody Boyd

WOODY BOYD

CHEERS (MEGO)

“Hey Mr. Peterson, there’s a cold one waiting for you.”

Cheers had a few major characters that weren’t actually with the show from the beginning.  Perhaps the most successful of those was Kelsey Grammar as Dr. Frasier Crane, who despite being one of the show’s most popular characters and leading his own spin-off that ran for 11 seasons, wasn’t actually a member of the Cheers cast until Season 3.  Though perhaps not quite the same level of fan-favorite, Woody Harrelson’s character Woody Boyd was in a similar boat, joining the cast in their Season 4 premier, as a replacement for the late Nicholas Colasanto as “Coach.”  It’s a roll best known for getting Harrelson into the public spot-light, and now there’s an action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Woody is our third Cheers figure in the re-launched Mego’s TV Classics line, shipping in the third wave of product in late 2018.  Amusingly, it’s actually actor Woody Harrelson’s third figure from last year, following his two Beckett figures from Solo.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Like most of the line, he’s built on the standard Type 2 male body, with a new head-sculpt.  Of the three Cheers sculpts, Woody’s is definitely the weakest, due largely to Harrelson’s more subdued features, which don’t lend themselves to caricature in the same way as George Wendt or John Ratzenberger.  This makes it a touch harder to tell who it is at first glance.  That said, it’s not a terrible attempt, and he’s certainly still got more than a passing resemblance to Harrelson.  The paint on the head is also a slight step down from his predecessors, mostly due to one odd choice: the streaks in the hair.  Harrelson did have some lighter sections in his hair while on the show, but they certainly didn’t look anything like this, and I think the figure would have been far better suited leaving them off entirely.  Woody didn’t have a uniform or anything in the show, but he did have a fairly standard set of attire, a collared polo, and jeans, which he’s wearing here.  He’s got the usual Mego-style tailoring on those two pieces, plus a generic set of plastic shoes.  Woody continues the trend we’ve seen with all of the Cheers figures so far and includes a mug of beer with the logo on the front.  Presumably, this one’s for a patron, not Woody himself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Woody proved to be a little scarcer than Norm or Cliff, so he took me little more time to track down.  I actually grabbed him on the same trip that got me the new animated Poe figure.  As I noted above, he’s probably the weakest of the three Cheers figures we’ve gotten, but given how nice the other two were, that doesn’t mean he’s awful by any stretch.  Woody was a favorite of mine, so I’m glad to add him to my collection, and I hope we see more of the characters.

#1880: Cliff Clavin

CLIFF CLAVIN

CHEERS (MEGO)

“It’s a little-known fact that the tan became popular in what is known as the Bronze Age.”

Cheers’ know-it-all barfly Cliff Clavin was not originally meant to be in the show.  His actor, John Ratzenberger, originally auditioned for the part that would eventually become Norm Peterson.  When that part went to George Wendt, Ratzenberger suggested to the show’s producers the addition of a know-it-all character, and thus, Cliff Clavin was born, becoming one of the show’s most distinctive characters.  Now, he’s even got an action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cliff is the sophomore offering in the Cheers sub-set of Mego’s TV Classics line-up.  He’s part of the line’s second wave of figures, which started trickling out to Targets in November.  Cliff is built on the re-engineered Type 2 Mego body, so he stands about 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  Cliff is sporting a brand-new head sculpt, which is another really long likeness for the Cheers line.  I don’t know if it’s quite topped Norm, but it’s certainly a very close second.  There’s a surprising level of detail there.  The accompanying paint is likewise very strong, with clean, sharp application, and some top-notch accent work.  The slight bit of grey at his temples, as well as the very faintly different coloring to the lips certainly ad a lot of life to the sculpt.  Cliff is seen here in his Postman’s uniform, which is made up of a jacket, slacks, shirt, and shoes.  The shirt is once again a full shirt, deviating from the original Mego style, though the overall tailoring of the uniform is very much the same.  There are some silk-screened elements as well, which detail all of the uniforms most important details. Most impressive for me was the patch on his left arm; that’s a very nice attention to detail.  Cliff is packed with a mug of beer.  It’s the same one included with Norm, and I like it just as much here as I did there.  I imagine we’ll have quite a few of these by the time Mego’s done.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I picked up Norm, I couldn’t very well pass up his drinking buddy Cliff, now could I?  Of course, the spottier showing of Wave 2 of the line meant that I didn’t have quite as much luck finding Cliff as I did the Wave 1 figures.  Fortunately, I was able to draft the help of the biggest Mego fan I know, my dad, who helped me  track this guy down.  I was very impressed by the Norm figure, and Cliff continues the trend that he started.  I really hope that Mego is finding their audience with these figures, because there’s no denying that they’re putting in the effort to make them as solid as possible.

#1859: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC SUPER HEROES (MEGO)

Back in the day, Mego were the first company to really offer up substantial action figure product for either the Marvel or DC super heroes.  Sure, Ideal Toys had briefly touched on them for their Captain Action line, but that was more as an augment to an established thing, not their own thing outright.  Mego gave them the treatment they deserved, and because of that, they’ve both become tentpole properties within the toy market.  Of course, now that Mego is back around, DC and Marvel are both tied up with a multitude of other manufacturers.  DC in particular has been getting consistent Mego-style coverage from Figures Toy Company, but there was still some room in the market for the the over 12” and under 18” market.  It’s a pretty specific niche, but Mego was there, offering up a rather classic selection of DC characters, including, for the first time ever as an official Mego product, Green Lantern!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is part of the second series of Mego’s DC Super Heroes line, alongside Superman, Batgirl, and Poison Ivy.  Hal is sporting his classic ‘70s appearance, which is the correct era for a genuine vintage GL, had Mego released one back in the day.  The figure stands 14 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  All of these figures appear to be patterned after the body of the Mego-designed and Denys Fisher-released “Power Action” Superman figure from the late ‘70s.  It’s a respectable starting point.  It’s similar to the standard Mego body, but with slightly tweaked proportions, giving it a generally more heroic stature, which works nicely for the likes of the DC Super Heroes.  It’s also got some extra articulation in the knees, which is fun.  GL gets an all-new head sculpt, which is actually quite nice and surprisingly detailed.  I’d love to see it shrunk down for an 8-inch body.  GL also gets a unique right hand, sporting his lantern ring, as has become the standard practice for such figures.  His costume is a three piece affair, made up a spandex jumpsuit and a pair of plastic boots.  The body suit is fairly well tailored to the body; I appreciate the use of different materials stitched together, rather than just silk-screening.  It makes it look a lot cleaner.  Hal’s paintwork is mostly confined to the head, which is nicely applied, sharp, and sporting some quite subtle accent work.  GL is packed with his power battery, which is another fairly standard thing for him.  He can’t really hold it, but it’s nicely sculpted, so there’s that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I passed on the first series of DC Super Heroes due to not really having an undying need for any of the characters offered.  Of course, Green Lantern’s my boy, so when he was shown off for Series 2, I knew I’d be tracking one down.  Okay…well, maybe not personally, because it was actually my dad that tracked him down for me.  He’s goofy, he’s really big, and he’s kinda awesome.  I don’t know if I’ll be really investing in this whole line, but I’m certainly very happy with GL.

#1838: Action Jackson

ACTION JACKSON

ACTION JACKSON (MEGO)

How about a little history lesson?  So, after pioneering the whole action figure thing in 1964, Hasbro ran into a bit of troublesome territory after the fallout of the Vietnam War changed the public perception on war and the military.  Their up to that point very military-driven line was now out of vogue, necessitating a change.  In 1970, they introduced Adventure Team, an pulpy-action-adventure-inspired toyline that would breath another six years of life into the line.  Around the same time, Mego was looking to get into the newly-established action figure world, and aimed just a bit shorter than Hasbro’s market.  4 inches shorter, to be exact.  Action Jackson offered a cheaper alternative to what G.I. Joe was doing, a base figure for whom you could purchase sets of accessories, at a scale 4 inches smaller.  Unfortunately, Action Jackson was largely a commercial failure, but in a much more fortunate turn of fate, it was Mego’s desire to make use of the Action Jackson body molds that lead to the creation of their World’s Greatest Super Heroes line, and their eventual path to being one of the biggest toy companies in the market for the better part of the decade.  Now that Mego’s returned to store shelves, they’ve paid homage to the little guy that started it all, giving us a brand new Action Jackson.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Action Jackson is another of the 11 single-packed figures from Mego’s first wave of their TV Classics line-up, though he doesn’t quite as much fit that descriptor.  I guess he’s just sort of along for the ride.  I’m not complaining if you aren’t.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He uses the same re-tooling of the Type 2 body that Fonzie was using, which is quite amusing to the toy nerd in me, since the original Jacksons were all on the Type 1 body.  Jackson uses a re-tooling of the original clean-shaven caucasian Jackson head, which was the most common variant originally.  This newer version is a much cleaner and polished sculpt than the original, thus allowing for Jackson to look more at home with his compatriots.  The paintwork is on-par with the Fonz, though I don’t think it’s quite as strong as Norm’s was.  Still, it’s certainly a passable piece of work.  Jackson’s costume is made up of four different pieces.  He’s got his jumpsuit, his belt, and his boots.  They’re more-or-less the same pieces as the vintage counterpart, slightly tweaked to better fit the Type 2-style body, and to remove the metal snaps and replace them with velcro.  The original Action Jackson was sold sans accessories, in order to encourage buyers to get one of the accessory sets, but the new Jackson is packed with a handgun, which, thanks to the newer-syle hands, he can still hold halfway decently.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There were the remnants of an Action Jackson amongst my dad’s Megos I played with growing up, which introduced me to the concept fairly early on.  However, being born 20 years after they were on store shelves, find a vintage one was never really an easy prospect.  I will admit that I when Mego sent me a review sample, I was secretly hoping it would be Jackson.  Since that wasn’t the case, I tracked one down from a near by Target a few weeks back.  Like the other two, he’s a solid, fun figure, and I’m quite glad to have him.  Now, here’s hoping for the other two head variants down the line!

#1791: Norm Peterson

NORM PETERSON

CHEERS (MEGO)

NOOOOOOOOORM!!!”

—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!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

FONZIE

HAPPY DAYS (MEGO)

“Aaayyyy!”

–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!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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]