Inside Mezco’s Pre-Toy Fair 2017 Press Event

By bill - February 10, 2017

So much One:12. So much awesome.

Mezco Toyz hosted their annual Pre-Toy Fair press event this morning, and the latest reveals in The One:12 Collective were the star feature.  As revealed in their live stream video yesterday, the next 18 months will bring new DC and Marvel figures, Ash from Evil Dead 2, the long-anticipated Ghostbusters, some Dawn of the Dead zombies, and even Popeye to the Collective!

The lineup alone was exciting, but seeing these figures and prototypes in person made them look even better.  Of the new reveals, Iron-Man was the biggest show-stealer.  The first One:12 release with no soft goods, Mezco’s take on Tony Stark perfectly bridges the gap between the 80s era Bob Layton design, and the hyper-detail and flourishes which define the unique One:12 aesthetic.  Iron-Man’s shiny metallic finish is stunning, and the accessories the figure will include– various energy blast attachments, sculpted rockets firing from his hip discs, and even a magnetic faceplate which lifts to reveal Tony’s face– are among the most intricate and clever I’ve seen across the multitude of Iron-Man toys released until now.

Doctor Strange was equally impressive, with a highly detailed pattern printed on his iconic blue tunic and black leggings. And the intricate sculpting on Strange’s pair of energy projections was astonishing.  Wolverine promises to be a great release, as well, with a tactical, armored riff on his iconic brown and yellow costume.  While Logan doesn’t lend himself to as many accessories as some characters, Mezco’s additional parts are all smart, from the alternate growling headsculpt, to the variety of hands with claws retracted and popped, and the Muramasa Blade, complete with scabbard.

I think the biggest Marvel surprise was the new Daredevil, based on his appearance in the Marvel Netflix series.  Mezco’s figure nails this particular aesthetic, and while all we see of Charlie Cox’s likeness is the lower half of his face, the portraits still ring true.  I would have loved to see an unmasked head, but two alternate expressions still offers the figure a good deal of variety.  Daredevil will be followed by One:12 releases from Thor Ragnarok as well, although none of the prototypes were on display.

On the DC front, the final designs of promising figures like Captain Marvel and The Flash were joined by the “Ascending Knight” Batman– a hybrid of pretty much every comic book Batman from the Golden Age to present– and Darkseid, who is appropriately massive and imposing.  Darkseid features incredibly effective glowing red eyes, as well as three alternate faceplates, which connect to his helmet via magnets in a move straight out of the Japanese toy playbook.

The DC One:12 Collective will also continue to touch on their cinematic universe, starting with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and a stunning Gal Gadot Wonder Woman, who will fit perfectly with the previously released Batman v Superman figures, or stand on her own with all the strength and badass-ery she deserves.

I was very pleased to see the Star Trek collection will continue, with “Bones” McCoy joining the Enterprise crew this fall, along with a deluxe Captain’s Chair diorama with a new variant of Captain Kirk in his tunic-style first season uniform.  Bones looks perfect; while the One:12 sculpts Mezco has created are all incredibly accurate, a few stand out as truly stunning, and Bones is the best I have seen since last year’s Mr. Spock.

The Ghostbusters sub-series, which will include all four original ‘Busters, won’t see release until 2018, but judging by the incredible prototypes, they’ll be well worth the wait.  For whatever reason, Bill Murray has one of those Mark Hammill-type faces, which are hard to get right in toy form. But the One:12 Peter Venkman nails his early 80s likeness, and the rest of the team are just as accurate.

I think the biggest surprises of the new One:12 reveals were the new horror figures, also slated for release in 2018.  Taking a turn from the classic Universal Monsters started with Frankenstein, Mezco will now focus on more modern cult classics, like Ash Williams from Evil Dead 2, and two iconic zombies from George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.  Flyboy and the Plaid Shirt zombie both looked incredibly screen accurate, easily the best toy versions of these undead creatures I’ve ever seen.  I’d love to see more Romero zombies beyond these two– Dawn alone had lots of others greats, such as the Hari Krishna zombie– but even if the sub-series starts and ends with this duo, they’re cool enough to be instant must-buys.

Ash is a more interesting choice.  NECA has released multiple collector-oriented figures based on Sam Raimi’s greatest character, from the 7″ action figures to the Mego-inspired retro doll.  Mezco’s figure sort of splits the difference, with a highly detailed, hyper realistic sculpt, as well as the soft goods clothing and lots of accessories.  I like that the One:12 Ash has a different feel than NECA’s figures, with a less exaggerated, more realistic portrait and some remarkably well-applied blood splatter on his face, shirt, and chainsaw.  But I’m still curious how many collectors will gravitate to this guy in light of the NECA figures released over the past few years.

And then there’s Popeye, easily the most unique and intriguing figure in the One:12 Collective.  The sculpt looks really interesting, striking a good balance between the sailor’s cartoonish features and the real-world aesthetic of this line.  This means Popeye’s base body is proportionally realistic, but it’s offset by his super-bulky forearms and that particular salty face, with a jutting chin, bulbous nose, and squinting eyes.  I think I like the figure, overall, in spite of (or maybe because of?) his extreme weirdness; he’ll certainly make for a fun addition to the line in 2018, and he’ll come packing some fun accessories like his pipe, an open can of spinach, a bag, and more.

Mezco continues to take chances with the One:12 Collective, whether it’s new dioramas like Kirk’s chair from Star Trek, hyper-realistic movie based figures from the DC and Marvel camps, or the total left-field surprises like Popeye and the Dawn of the Dead zombies.  The number one thing that’s governing the development of this line is “what would be really cool,” and in that regard, Mezco has absolutely succeeded yet again.

Check out lots of photos of the latest One:12 Collective reveals, and more new products coming in 2017 from Mezco:

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