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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
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Review of Opie & Gemma - Sons of Anarchy action figures

Mezco Toyz
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Introduction

We live in a terrific time for television - increased budgets, multiple channels for distribution, much improved acting and writing, and a willingness by many of the smaller companies to take real risks all lead to a plethora of choices no matter what your tastes might be.

It also means that for us TV junkies, it's almost impossible to keep up with it all. For every show I watch regularly I could name three more that I would like to, but simply don't have the time. One of those in the latter camp is Sons of Anarchy, the hit FX show that wrapped up last December.

I've been told by more than one person how terrific the show is, and my niece is a die-hard fan. I've watched the first few, but have yet to find time to give it a real shot. I will, someday, I swear.

But lots of other people did watch the show over its seven season run. And Mezco has been providing them with some very cool action figures to help feed their addiction to characters like Jax, Clay and the rest of the gang.

The show may be done, but Mezco is not. Tonight I'm checking out two of their latest releases, Opie and Gemma, which are now shipping. I've seen them at Toys R Us (I suppose there's no hoopla, since they aren't meth cooks, just gun runners and murderers), but you can find them at plenty of online dealers as well for around $16 or so.

If you're keeping track, there's also an exclusive version of Gemma out there, with a different paint scheme and accessory, and one of Opie with a knit hat and different paint scheme.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Packaging - ***
While it's not collector friendly, the packages are attractive and very sturdy. The bubble wraps around the cardbacks, making it less likely they'll come loose over time. There's not a ton of personalization, but enough to separate out the characters. Best of all - no twisty ties!

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Sculpting - ***1/2
One of the strengths of the show, to an outsider, is the excellent cast. I've always like Katey Sagal, from her days on Married with Children to her terrific work on Futurama. Gemma is all Katey, and Mezco has done a solid job - from a sculpting perspective - of capturing her look.

The strong jaw line looks good, as do the high cheekbones and long, thin nose. Even the shape of the lips and eyes look good to me, although I will say that the chin is just a bit too Leno-esque. It looks better from some angles, and remember - this is only a 6" figure. In person, the scale works much better between the various aspects.

The hair is nicely stranded too, with a appropriate style and length. It does mean that there's no neck articulation, but you probably aren't buying these for the articulation.

The body sculpt has lots of small detail on the buttons, zippers and folds, and it's all nicely done with sharp, clean edges.

It's not quite as impressive as Opie's outfit though, with his detailed chain, lots of pockets and folds, and the well done belt, buckle and sheath. The portrait is good too, with some nice detailing on the beard and an accurate match to the shape of the face and nose. His hair isn't as detailed as Gemma's, but it works for the character.

He stands slightly taller than Gemma, coming in at about 6 1/4" tall. Both figures stand great on their own, and the hands are sculpted to work with the accessories.

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Paint - ***
The paint work doesn't quite live up to the sculpt, unfortunately. This is production paint for a $16 figure - it's pretty much clean and neat, and B work with that expectation. But I suspect that the underlying sculpts would really pop with a custom job.

Take Gemma. The flat skin tone, while clean and consistent, tends to flatten the features and elongate the face.  Her eyes, again clean, aren't quite lined up, and while the small details on the outfit are good, a customizer could really bring them out.

Opie suffers from many of the same issues. The flat skin tone, too perfect eyebrows, and lack of highlights in the hair brings down the portrait. Again, the work on his costume is solid, but I can just imagine how great it could be.  Perhaps my biggest issue is the beard, which has been given a slightly different finish than the hair. The glossy, wet look to the beard isn't working for me.

So while the paint work is on par for the price point and figure expectation, it doesn't bring out the better qualities of the sculpt like it could.

It's also worth noting the tampos on Opie, used for the various patches and artwork. All of them look terrific, very clean, and very neatly done.

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Articulation - Gemma *1/2; Opie **1/2
Let's be honest - you aren't buying these for the posability. These are Nerd Hummels, sculpted in a reasonable pose and then placed on the shelf in your cube to advertise your fandom to your co-workers. You're not going to be posing them and re-posing them, which might be a good thing if you're co-workers are anything like mine. I'm sure they'll still find some way to get them into an embarrassing situation while you're at a meeting, those sick, twisted bastards...

Gemma comes with what folks used to affectionately refer to as 'NECA' shoulders. These sorta, kinda ball joints allow for the arms to move forward and back, and out to the side, yet do little to damage the lines of the sculpt. She also has cut arms at the sleeves, so the hands can turn. That's it - no other cut joints, including the legs or neck. Still, the sculpted pose is pretty good, and she stands great on her own.

Opie does have a ball neck, although the hair restricts it a bit. He also has the same sort of shoulders, but that's about it. Again, you're going to pose him with his hands at his sides, with our without the knife, and with a little tilt to the head. Not a lot you can do, but they did go with a fairly good sculpted stance, and he remains standing just fine.

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Accessories - **1/2
Each figure comes with one accessory. For Opie, it's his knife, which is a terrific sculpt and fits perfectly in either the sheath on his belt or his sculpted left hand.

For Gemma, it's a skateboard. The scale is good, and I loved the textured surface on top. The wheels don't turn, but that's not really an issue for me.

As I said earlier, I haven't watch the show, but I have seen enough to know that Gemma wasn't doing an Ollie at the local half-pipe. I don't think it's a stretch to assume she used it to bash someone's brains in, but that's just a guess.

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Fun Factor - ***
Without a lot of articulation and without a lot of accessories, these aren't going to be a lot of traditional 'fun'. But as you build your set of members on the shelf, you'll have that special kind of collector fun that only true hoard...uh, collectors understand.

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Value - **1/2
Most 6" scale 'collector' action figures are running $20 these days, from Hasbro's Star Wars Black to all of the Funko Legacy lines. Of course, those figures are much more articulated, leading the the higher price point. If you look at something like the Dark Horse Game of Thrones line, you get a similar level of articulation (they actually have less, being solid plastic statues), but they are slightly bigger, coming in at that 7 - 8" scale.

What's all that mean? To me, it says the $16 or so price tag is just about right for these, considering the rest of the market right now.

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Things to Watch Out For -
If you're picking them out on the peg, watch that eye paint - otherwise, you should be good to go.

Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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Overall - ***
These aren't intended as true 'action' figures. They are for big fans of the show, looking for collectible figures in cool poses to pop on the shelf and occasionally dust. Occasionally.

They fit that bill quite well, and while I would like to see them up the overall quality of the paint work, I can't complain too loudly considering the price point. Pop these two up with Clay and Jax, and you have yourself a fine start to your own miniature biker gang.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - Gemma *1/2; Opie **1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has them for $17, as well as the Gemma exclusive up for pre-order for $20.

- Entertainment Earth has the regular for just $16, and the exclusive for $20.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Somehow I've missed reviewing any of the others so far (I could have sworn I checked out Jax at one point), but in a similar vein, I've reviewed both the 12" Walter White (Heisenberg) as well as the 6" version.

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Sons of Anarchy Opie & Gemma action figures from Mezco

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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