In making block figures, there are two options available for a company that wants to make figures based on a specific person. Kubricks and Minimates, for instance, offer a plain cylindrical head painted with the barest suggestion of facial features. The other option, as seen with Stevenson Entertainment's terrible SMITIS, is to put a uniquely sculpted head on the generic body. Mezco took this route for their Mez-Itz, but in their case the gamble worked.
When they landed the Hellboy license, Mezco announced they'd not only be creating full-sized action figures, but also 3" Mez-It versions. In the initial series of two-packs, there are two versions of Anung un Rama himself: one with his trenchcoat and the other in a stylish BPRD t-shirt.
This Hellboy's mouth is open in a bit of a growl, while his counterpart's is closed. Of course, the removable heads mean that if you have both, you can make him look however you want. The swordbearing Bureau logo is painted on crisply. Hellboy's giant stone fist is here, which is good - rather than just trying to get away with a normal Mez-It hand painted to look like stone, Mezco went the extra distance of sculpting a new Right Hand of Doom for the 3" scale.
Completing his demonic look, Hellboy of course has his tail - it's soft and rubbery and part of his belt. And for those times when being big, red and quite scary aren't enough, he comes with his impressive pistol. Hellboy's actually a pretty bad shot with the gun - he's just lucky that whatever he's shooting at is usually huge and right in front of him.
All three sets feature one hero and one villain. This Hellboy is being stalked by the Nazi assassin Kroenen. A powerful foe, Kroenen specializes in torture and is a master of both armed and unarmed combat. He's dressed like a German officer for this line: a black trenchcoat and service cap over a double-breasted jacket.
His mask has jet black eyes and the mouthpiece almost looks like a little frown - that's how we know he's evil! The package includes two blades that he can hold in his hands for action slashing fun. Make him skewer the souls of your other toys to fuel his dark desires! Then have Hellboy shoot him in the face! For freedom!
So how is it that the SMITIS are so awful, yet Mez-Itz are cool? Well, it's partially the properties that each cover (horror movies and pop culture for Mezco, bands and sports figures for Stevenson), but there's more. SMITI figures strive for a sense of realism, while the Mez-Its embrace their cartoony nature.
No, Hellboy doesn't look much like Ron Perlman, but he does look like Hellboy. It's a caricature that better suits the small size and skewed proportions. The Mez-Itz' rounded body is more inviting than the squared off SMITIS. Mezco's Mez-Itz move at the hips, waist, shoulders, wrists and neck. The parts pop on and off easily, allowing you to assemble your own unnatural creations.
What other indie comics do you want to see Mezco turn into Mez-Itz? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.