Hellboy Mez-itz

It seems like I've been doing nothing but Hellboy reviews for the past month - first, there was the initial wave of 7" figures, then the 18" version, and now the mini versions done Mez-itz style.

Mezco picked up the Hellboy license, and it's been an outstanding hit for them.  The figures done in the previous two scales have been selling extremely well, and have been getting rave reviews.  But can the Mez-itz live up to the standard set by the rest of the line?

I have to confess that Mez-itz are now my favorite mini-figures.  It took awhile for them to grow on me, but starting last year with the generic monsters, the Aliens and Predators, and now with the Hellboy set, they've got me hooked.  Using sculpted heads and rounded arms, bodies and legs, they're a great middle ground too plain and too detailed.

I picked these up at a local Media Play for $7 a pair, but you can find them at a number of on-line retailers as well.  The full set is the exact same characters as the large set - Hellboy, Hellboy without jacket, Abe Sapien, Kroenen, and Rasputin - but with sometimes VERY different sculpts.

Packaging - ***
While these are pretty basic bubbles with cardbacks, I really like the color combination.  The symbol on the front stands out great, with almost a 3-D depth to it, and there's little wasted space so they don't take up more room than necessary.

Sculpting - Abe ***; the rest ***1/2
The sculpts on both Hellboy figures are very similar to the larger scale, with excellent expressions, and a similar style to their outfits.  The right hand of doom has plenty of rocky detail, and they both sport a variety of sculpted items on their belts.  There is one thing that bothered me about the Hellboy sculpts though - the left hands.  These are done in very standard Mez-itz style i.e. plain, but it contrasts with the concrete hand way too much.  Some detail, giving him more of a realistic left hand, would have really helped, especially on the coatless version, where the hand difference is really obvious.  It's not unheard of, since Abe has more realistic hands right down to fingers and a thumb.

Speaking of Abe, he doesn't translate as well to this format as the rest of the line.  He was my favorite figure in the larger scale, but here he's a little plain, and the head sculpt isn't quite as nice.

Rasputin sports a great head sculpt, and his right hand glove is actually an accessory, and is removable.  The cape/coat doesn't work quite as well in this scale, but they did a decent job on the translation.

This is perhaps the only Kroenen we'll get that has his German outfit on.  There's no sign of any swastikas, but there's an Iron Cross or two.  And no, this time the mask isn't removable - and neither is the hat.

But the big winner in this category is Sammael.  They've managed to capture the important aspects of the big nasty, including his funky finger, even in this rather cartoony and caricaturish style.  Speaking of that finger, it actually folds back and snaps behind the elbow, and can then be brought out to full extension for dispatching annoying heroes.

Sammy also sports fully sculpted hands and a sculpted torso, something very unique in the world of Mez-itz, but critical to making him look right.

Paint - ***
The paint ops on this series is solid, although there are a few issues here and there.

The best overall work is on the heads.  All the details are clean and neat, and they took a lot of care in doing the eyes, teeth and other small facial features.

The bodies aren't quite as nice.  Every figure shows at least a little slop, from the buttons on Kroenen's jacket to the legs on Sammy. They aren't major issues that require a major knock, but it's worth noting.

Articulation - Sam ***1/2; the rest ***
These have the same articulation as all the Mez-itz - neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, and hips.

The joints don't all have terrific range of motion, especially the hips, but it's plenty of articulation for this scale.

Sam scores a little better here due to his super cool finger.  The design shows imagination, and exhibits that 'going the extra mile quality' that Mezco has.

Accessories - Abe, Samael Bupkis; Kroenen, Rasputin ***;  both Hellboys **1/2
Figures in this scale often have few or no accessories, so the lack here on several is no big surprise.

The additional finger on Sammy makes up, at least a little, for his lack of accessories, but Abe doesn't have much of an excuse.  There are plenty of possibilities, and he's so much plainer than the other figures in the series that it hurts him even further. 

Rasputin has his cool glove, although it's more cartoony here, and the paint ops aren't quite as nice as in the larger version.  Both Hellboys have a gun, and Kroenen comes with two blades that fit nicely in his hands.

Fun Factor - ****
These are perfect toys for kids.  Over three of course.  We wouldn't want them choking on the small parts!

There's plenty of articulation, with just the right amount of silliness, for any kid, small or big, to have a ton of fun.  That's the beauty of any mini-figure, and the Mez-itz manage to walk the line between kids and collectors extremely well.

Value - ***
$7 a pair is about a buck too steep.  It is in line with most other mini-figure pricing though, even if I think it's hair too expensive.  Three bucks each for these feels about right, but with them selling only through specialty stores, we're getting hit with a higher mark up.

Overall - Jacket Hellboy, Kroenen, Sam ***1/2; Jacketless Hellboy, Abe, Rasputin ***
I'm not a big fan of the general design for Rasputin, since he tends to be a rather dull looking character.  The same is true for the Hellboy missing the jacket, and if you have the other one, you'd be more than happy.  Abe fairs not quite as well simply due to his lack of accessories and his more plain appearance in comparison to some of the other figures. Of course, they're packed in such a way that you have to buy the jacketless Hellboy to get the much cooler Kroenen.

The jacketed Hellboy and Sammy are both very cool however, and this is a version of Kroenen you might not see in any other format.  Unless Mezco does a second wave of the larger scale figures, of course!

Where to Buy - 
I picked them up locally at Media Play, but you can find them on-line:

- Killer Toys has the full set of six for $22, or individual two packs for $8.  I heard from them tonight, and Mezco is completely sold out of these, and Killer Toys just got in the last shipment from them.




Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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