Mezco is fairly new to the market, at least as Mezco.  Originally part of Aztech Toys, Mezco is making news with some unusual licenses.

This is Popeye, the Popeye we knew as kids.  These figures are based on the original Segar cartoon strips more than the newer versions, so old school fans will be particularly happy.  But I have to admit that this license leaves me absolutely cold.

I personally can't imagine that there is going to be any market for these, but I promise I will not allow that to color my review at all.  I picked up the regular Popeye, and did so because although the license certainly doesn't trip my trigger, the figure and accessories looked great.  I felt it only fair that I give it a shot, particularly since I'm interested in seeing just how well Mezco does.

There are five figures in this series - Popeye, Pea Coat Popeye, Bluto, Wimpy and Olive Oyl.  Olive Oyl is pretty much just a bendy, and also appears to be shortpacked.  I haven't seen Wimpy yet, but the Bluto and both Popeyes are similar in quality and style.  They are $9.99 at Electronics Boutique right now.

Packaging - ***1/2
The artwork on this line is terrific.  Bright, colorful, and appropriate, it's clearly based on the old Segar cartoons.  The card stock is sturdy as well, and on the back of the card the rest of the line is pictured.

Sculpt - ****
One of the best parts of this line is the sculpting.  All five of the figures look great, particularly if your a fan of the old cartoons.  The sculpting on the accessories is also well done, and Varner Studios did some very nice work here.

Value - **1/2
As always, it depends on where you buy.  Right now, these are only available at stores like Electronic Boutique and Media Play.  At ten bucks, these aren't the greatest value, although the accessories and articulation are good.  But if you can find these for 8 bucks or less, you'd be getting a good deal.

Accessories - ***1/2
Another very nice part of these figures are the terrific accessories.  This version of Popeye comes with his squished can of Spinach, shark's jaws, an anchor and a removable bicep muscle.

The bicep muscle isn't particularly great, although the one that comes with the Peacoat Popeye looked like it would fit better.

The can of spinach fits inside his right hand just fine, and the anchor is nice.  I really like the articulated shark jaws, although painting the teeth white would have been better.

Another nice touch is his removable hat - it fits with a small peg into his head, but the hole is fairly small and it fits tightly.

Articulation - ***1/2
This figure looked better in the package than out when it comes to articulation.  He has at least 13 points, depending on how you count, but unfortunately a couple of the joints aren't quite as good as I'd hoped.

First the good news - the neck joint is excellent!  The head turns left and right, and moves forward and back.  The articulated hands are good, and the cut joints at the wrists are very important.

The cut joints at the thighs aren't particularly useful, but they are still decent.  The waist articulation works with the punch action.

The only disappointment here that brings the score down are the ball jointed shoulders.  Sure, they're ball joints, but they have a very limited range of motion because of their design, and they also seem extremely fragile.  Be careful when you're moving his arms!

Paint - ***
It's pretty decent paint work, although there isn't too much complicated here.  The colors are all fairly clean, with no overspray or slop.  But there aren't too many details, and painting the teeth on the shark jaws white would have given the figure a better score.

Overall - ***1/2
Although I have no interest in the license, the quality of the articulation and accessories convinced me to buy one.  That says an awful lot about this product.

I have high hopes for Mezco if they pull in some interesting licenses.  Currently nothing they have coming up is likely to get my money, but then I didn't think I'd be getting a Popeye in my lifetime either.

Where to Buy - 
There aren't too many bricks and mortar stores that are carrying these yet.  Your best bet is Electronics Boutiques, Software Etc, Babbages or a similar store.  I searched about a dozen sites on-line, and only found:

- Entertainment Earth is the way to go if you're looking for a case.  For $100, you can get a case of 12, which is handy if you and your buddies are looking to score. (MROTW affiliate)
- TNC Universe is selling both individual figures for $11.95 and full sets for $54.95.  Thanks to D.J. Sylvis for this tip!

Amazingly, not even the Electronics Boutique on-line store had them.  I hope this isn't a sign of lack of interest on the retailers part.  If you know of any on-line stores carrying Popeye, please let me know.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour