#1457: Mercury

MERCURY

TRON 2.0 (NECA)

“Jet Bradley, a young computer engineer working for ENCOM, must step into the digital world in search of answers.  He uncovers a sinister plot spinning out of control that threatens to corrupt one reality and forever transform another.”

Tron Legacy is perhaps one of my favorite movies ever.  In terms of toys, though, it’s also one of the biggest disappointments ever, with some of the most lackluster offerings imaginable under its belt.  The Tron franchise in general hasn’t really tended to have much luck with toys.  The only entry to really escape this curse is Tron 2.0, 2003’s video game sequel to the original film.  In it, the son of one of the original film’s heroes goes into the digital world looking for his missing father, and he’s aided by a kick-butt female program sent by his father to help…wait, this sounds familiar.  Yeah, there are a few similarities between 2.0 and Legacy, but they’re actually pretty superficial.  Anyway, when 2.0 hit, they went all-out and had some figures made, which were produced by the fine folks at NECA.  Today, I’ll be looking at the previously mentioned kick-butt female program, Mercury.  No, she’s not Quorra, but I’ll try not to hold that against her.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mercury is one of the four Tron 2.0 figures NECA released in preparation for the game’s release.  She hit in early 2003, about 5 months before the release of the game.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and she has 11 points of articulation.  She’s not the most mobile figure ever, but given that NECA was still moving past their usual McFarlane-style plastic statues at this point, she was actually pretty decent.  Honestly, my only real issue is with the v-hips; that’s a style of joint I’ve just never really lived.  Obviously, she’s based on her in-game design, though it’s a slightly idealized version.  Since the graphics of a 2003 video game were still a little bit compromised, this figure sort of smooths some things out and presents a slightly more realistic composition.  She’s still a bit6 stylized, of course, since she’d look a bit weird if she wasn’t.  They kept the essence of the character without the flaws, I suppose.  The sculpt does a nice job fitting in all of the details from the game, and I particularly dig the big bulky gloves.  Those are pretty awesome looking!  The paint on Mercury is a bit monochromatic by design, but NECA didn’t just phone it in; they actually put a lot of effort into getting all of those distinct shades of blue on the figure, and she’s better for it.  Even without translucent plastic or light-up features, this figure conveys the whole Tron aesthetic very well.  Kudos to NECA for that.  Rather than the usual disc, Mercury is armed with a cool fighting staff.  It’s translucent with dark blue piping, which has this nice holographic look about it, and it can be fairly easily held in either hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure’s a recent acquisition for me, but it’s been housed in the same place as the rest of my collection for several years now.  It used to be owned by my brother, who decided over this past summer to part with a lot of his action figure collection.  I’ve taken most of the strays in, of course, because, as I’ve noted before, I’m the personification of the Island of Misfit Toys.  In the case of Mercury, it’s actually a figure that I might have tracked down on my own eventually.  I’ve never played Tron 2.0, but this is still a pretty fun figure, and an early sign of how good NECA would eventually get at making consistently awesome stuff.  One of these days, I’ll need to track down the rest of this particular line.

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#0681: Mercury

MERCURY

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS

MercuryDCUC1

It’s been 160 reviews since my last DC Universe Classics review. Guess I’ll fix that then. So, one of the coolest things about DC Universe Classics was just how obscure they went with the line. For all the crap I give Mattel about their various practices, they built a successful line that ran for 21 series and gave us the likes of Kamandi and Cyclotron. That’s downright impressive. It is also the only DC line to date to give us a full line-up of the Metal Men, who are one of DC’s cooler off-kilter teams from the 60s. So, let’s look at the team’s resident jerk with a heart of jerk, Mercury. He’s the only metal who’s liquid at room temperature!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MercuryDCUC2Mercury was released as part of the 16th Series of DC Universe Classics. He was the third member of the Metal Men to be released, and the last member to be released at retail. Way to go Mercury, you ruined it for everybody. The figure is 6 ¼ inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. Mercury was another figure built on the skinny buck. I know that the first “skinny” character was Deadman in Series 11, but I think 16 was the first series to use this slightly improved iteration of the body. While he uses the base as a starting point, Mercury actually has a fair number of non-standard parts. The best piece if the figure is definitely the head, which does a fantastic job of capturing the character. His expression is just perfect for Mercury, and they’ve really nailed the exaggerated proportions. The extended nose is a separate piece from the face, so there’s a noticeable seam if you look closely, but from a normal viewing distance, it’s unnoticeable. The rest of the body works pretty well for Mercury; a lot of the wackier proportions that looked out of place on other characters look perfect here. Mercury’s paintwork is somewhat deceptive. The previous two Metal Men were just straight metallic colors, so when I first saw Mercury, I was disappointed that he was just a flat red. But, after taking him out of the package, I realized the red was actually pearlescent, which is actually really impressive looking, and gives him a nice unique feel. Mercury included an extra hand made to look like it’s morphing into a giant pair of scissors, which is a pretty awesome way of showcasing his powers (they’re even articulated!). He also included the torso of Bane, the Collect-N-Connect for Series 16.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 16 was one of the few series of DC Universe Classics that I found mostly in one shot at retail. However, I didn’t get the first Mercury I found; it went to my Dad, who’s a bigger Metal Men fan then I. Fortunately, I came across another Mercury not long after, and here he is. For me, Mercury represents some of the best work DCUC had to offer. He’s a fun, obscure character, on the right body, with a superb head sculpt, solid paintwork, and a well-executed accessory.