18" Abe Sapien - Hellboy II
Mezco Toyz

Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz

Mezco continues to work the Hellboy license, and included three different Hellboy figure exclusives as part of their Comic-con experience. There's the 3 3/4" Hellboy and Golden Army Solider, as well as the larger Hellboy Mez-itz (reviews of both coming soon), and tonight's reviewed figure - the 18" Abe Sapien from Hellboy II.

While this figure is technically a 'summer convention' exclusive, you can also order it directly from the Mezco Toyz online store.  The cost is $70, plus shipping. In fact, you can order any of the Hellboy summer con exclusives at their web site right now, as all are available.

This figure is a compliment piece to the 2008 Hellboy II 18" figure, which I reviewed last year.

Packaging - ***
Those that bought earlier Mezco quarter scale Hellboy figures might have been expecting something a little different here, since those figures came in a large box complete with window. This time, Mezco is going with a solid box, sans window.

It's relatively collector friendly, although there are a few of those annoying twisty ties, made more annoying with the addition of tape over the ends on the back of the cardboard tray. But if you don't mind tossing the twisties, you could always re-use the tray and box to store the figure.

Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz
Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz
Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz
Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz
Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz
Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz
Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz

Sculpt - ***1/2
I think Hot Toys has spoiled us for any future sculpt of Abe. The texture and detail they added was simply amazing.

This version does lack most of that texturing, which gives him less of a realistic look. It's partiuclarly true in this scale, where detail, and the lack of it, becomes so much more obvious.

That's not to say there's no detail, and the work around the gills and cheeks is really quite nice.

The head sculpt is definitely a bit off from the film. The shape of the head, as well as the length, width and height of the nose appear off to me. It's not really a comic book look either, although the smoother skin does give off a bit of that vibe.

I'm giving it a high score though, because while it isn't quite movie and it isn't quite comic book, it is all Mezco. Rather than looking inaccurate, as though the differences are unintentional, it looks like their style placed over the character of Abe, and I'm cool with that. This sculpt will look very good next to their 18" Hellboys, and I'm betting that's what you're most interested in. If not, you'll end up taking more off in this category than I am.

His hands are both sculpted in a splayed style, befitting the character. He has no weapons, so there's no need for him to have gripping sculpts.

He stands great on his own, although I did have to play with the articulation a bit for some stances. At 18 1/2" tall, he fits in nicely with most other quarter scale figures, especially those from Mezco.

My only real issue with the sculpt is the wrists. There's something odd and awkward and malformed about how they appear within the clothing sculpt, and it's distracting in some poses.

By the way, this is a hollow, rotocast figure, and very light weight. That's true of most Mezco 18" figures, but if you haven't picked one up before, it might be quite the surprise.

The only piece not part of the overall sculpt is the belt and pouches. I couldn't find a way to remove it, but it does look extremely good just wear it is. The belt is leather, with nicely sculpted pouches all around. You can adjust where it rides on his hips slightly as well.

Paint - ***1/2
All the paint work here is clean and sharp, with no sloppy cut joints, no stray marks, and no inconsistenty coverage.

The detail work on the gills is a highlight once again, but the airbrushed edges of the markings on the head are also worth noting, as it gives them a very natural appearance.

The overall black outfit is fairly consistent from body part to body part, and they've used a flat black for the main suit, with a glossy black for various attachments. The effect adds a little depth to the uniform, and brings out some of the smaller details.

The arms are painted black all the way to the hands, and it is true that Abe wore long sleeves like these at certain points in the movie. He's better known for the short sleeved look, but it's not that this style is inaccurate. However, I don't ever recall him wearing the long sleeves without the black gloves, so if you're a serioius stickler for movie accuracy, that might be an issue.

My big paint issue is the lips. While they are very cleanly painted, the size and shape of each is dictated by the paint, not the sculpt, and they are both off. It also doesn't help that the bright pink color looks oddly garish against the bright blue skin. The smooth, untextured lips look more like something from the candy counter than a gill-man's face.

Articulation - ***
One of Mezco's claims to fame is their breakthrough work with sculpting and articulation in the realm of rotocast figures. As you might anticipate, this figure has better articulation than is obvious to the nekkid eye.

His neck is a true ball joint, and has a nice range of movement. Lots of tilt action here, which translates to lots of personality in any pose.

He also has post shoulders, that allow the arm to move forward and backward, but don't allow for much inward or outward movement.  There's a swivel joint on the bicep side of the shoulder, as well as a cut joint at the elbow and wrist.

Cut joints are usually the easiest to include on a rotocast figure, so there's quite a few more here. There's the cut waist, cut thighs, and even cut ankles at the top of the boots.

To finish him off, there's a ball joint at the mid torso. I found this joint much more useful than usual, and it works great in combination with the cut waist.

This is not a super articulated figure, but there are enough joints here to get some good, realistic, interesting poses.

Accessories - **1/2
Abe doesn't have any weapons, but he does have two accessories. There's the rubbery breathing apparatus and his funky goggles.

He comes wearing the neck piece, but the goggles are packed separately in a small bag. If you pop off the head, you can easily remove the apparatus, but be forewarned - getting the head back on is a bit trickier than you might assume. You have to get the short ball jointed neck post lined up *just right* to be able to snap it back in place.

Underneath the apparatus are the sculpted gills too, so he looks great either in it or out of it. It's very true to the film design, although 'balls' in front are a solid color instead of being a translucent, milky plastic.

The goggles are designed to snap into place over his eyes. They stay on quite well once you get them in the right spot, and it didn't look like they'd cause damage or wear on the face over the short run.

I'm not counting the leather belt with plastic pouches as an accessory, since I couldn't find any way to remove it.

Fun Factor - ***
This is a very sturdy figure, who, if he was cheaper and more readily available, would make a fine toy. Why don't Hasbro or Mattel look at the potential of using the rotocast technology to produce some cool larger scale figures of popular licenses for mass market? Instead we get ridiculous bad large Batman figures with crappy articulation. *sigh*

Value - *1/2
Ah, here's the sticky wicket. Obviously, everything has been getting more expensive, but the corresponding Hellboy that came out last year (pictured with Abe in this review) ran $60, had several accessories including the cool Big Baby, and his cloth shirt and coat. Convincing folks that this Abe, who has only the rubber collar and goggles, is worth even more than that exzeptionally cool Hellboy...well, let's just say that's going to be as easy as selling ice cubes to Eskimos.

Things To Watch Out For
Getting the goggles to snap in place might take a bit of finagling, but it's not impossible, nor does it take any muscle. When you get it right, they'll snap right on.

Overall - ***
I was very happy when Mezco announced this figure, because my 18" Hellboy really did seem so lonesome on the shelf. Sure, he had several variations of himself to keep him company, but he really needed another character to liven up the display.

As such, I'm glad I have him, and I think he fits well with the earlier Hellboy. The articulation works well, and the only major issue I had with the figure itself was those damn lips.

But I have to be honest about the value here, even for the hard core Hellboy fan. At $70, it's a stretch, and I think a lot of folks are going to be hard pressed to free up that kind of cash for this particular figure.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint -  ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
SDCC was the first place to pick this guy up, but you can now pick him up directly from Mezco's site, or you can hit ebay looking for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered more Hellboy stuff than I can list here, but key reviews include:

- other Mezco products include the BPRD Buddies, their 3 3/4" scale figures, their 7" figures, and their 18" Hellboy. Their 18" Comic Hellboy is sweet too.

- in sixth scale, you can't beat Hot Toys Hellboy and Abe Sapien.

- in other high end collectibles, there's the Samaritan prop replica, and the Hellboy II Premium Format statue.

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Abe Sapien Hellboy II 18 inch quarter scale action figure by Mezco Toyz

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

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