Mezco Toys 18" Hellboy (Hellboy II)

Mezco 18" Hellboy action figure

Film fans had very little to complain about this summer, with a solid offering of quality blockbusters from May to August. Superhero movie fans had even less to whine about, getting five movies that ranged from fantastic (Dark Knight) to mediocre (The Incredible Hulk). Falling somewhere in between those two extremes was Hellboy II: The Golden Army, a fun and entertaining sequel.

Mezco has the license for movie figures again, and has already released figures in the 7" line and the 4" line. Now they've gone back to the 18" (1/4 scale) format with their deluxe Hellboy.

Several years ago, they had done both the realistic movie Hellboy in this format, as well as the comic book style. Mezco does this format extremely well, and they do it at a price that's surprisingly reasonable.

This Hellboy has just started shipping, and you can pick him up for around $60, depending on the retailer.
Mezco 18" Hellboy action figure

Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure
Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure

Packaging - **
If you're the kind of person that keeps their goodies in the box, then you may find yourself disappointed with this package.

It's not the colors and graphics, as those look great.  But I ended up with two of these (yes, I managed to screw up again), and both boxes were badly damaged. The large window is easy to crush, and I suspect that most folks buying on line are going to end up with damaged packages.

If you're an opener, be prepared with some wire cutters. This figure has several twisty ties that could be used in the construction of a suspension bridge. Seriously, I saved these for projects around the house.

Sculpting - ****
There are three different possible head sculpts for this figure. I did not get the one I wanted, even when I ended up with two. They both had the same head sculpt. How's that for luck?

There's the version showing his teeth in my photos. It's not that I hate it, it's just not my favorite of the three. It also doesn't help that this is the same look my other 18" movie Hellboy has. More of that same sort of luck.

There's also a closed mouth version, and a version with his cigar in his mouth. I really, really wanted the cigar version. So much so, that I may end up buying another.

But no matter which head sculpt you end up with, they're all well done. There's good skin texturing, realistic wrinkles in the forehead and eyes, and a fairly fine sculpt to the hair.

While I would prefer the cigar chomping version, the gritted teeth version has the trademark snarled upper lip that makes him so intimidating. If I didn't already have this version, I'd prefer it over the closed mouth without the cigar.

The Right Hand of Doom sculpt looks excellent in terms of scale and detail, bit this new version has a wide open hand pose. This was designed to allow him to hold the large Big Baby weapon in both hands at once. It does this pretty well, and yoiu can also get some decent "I'm going to grab you and rip your head off" poses", but I suspect some folks will find it more limiting than the old fist version limiting.

The left hand is sculpted to hold either Big Baby or the Samaritan by the grip, but you'lll have to work at it. Softening up the hand with hot water helps, especially for the Big Baby.

If you're wondering how much of this sculpt is different than the original, I can't be exactlly sure (yea, mine is still in storage), but I'm pretty sure on a couple points.  The head sculpt is new, even the one with the gritted teeth. The leg sculpts are also different, with a narrower stance. I suspect that the forearm section of the Right Hand of Doom is still the same, but clearly the hand itself has been resculpted. And the left hand looks new to me too, with a more realistic appearance.

He stands great on his own, and clocks in at a whopping 18 - 19 inches tall, depending on what you do with his waist and head.

Paint - ***
While the overall paint quality is high, there are a few sloppy areas on my particular figure.

On extreme closeup, you'll be more apt to notice the dark wash used to bring out the surface details, particularly on the face. It's a lot less obvious in person, but it can still be a little sloppy in some areas.

My biggest issue on the head is a light rub mark across the top of the head. Short of repainting the head the exact red, I'm stuck with it. If I didn't have this issue, the paint would have scored another half star higher.

The work on the horns, hair, eyes and teeth is solid though, and both hands and the the pants/boots look good. I do think they should have done something - anything - different with the pants and boots to give some visual differentiation to them.  Maybe a gloss on the boots, maybe a slightly different shade... something. As it stands, these blend in together too much for my tastes.

Articulation - **1/2
Remember that this is a rotocast figure - these body parts are not solid plastic. While using a rotocast process keeps the costs down, it can cause some engineering issues when it comes to articulation.

However, Mezco has been a pioneer in using this style for figures in scales of 7" and up, and have developed articulation designs that work well within the constraints of rotocast production.

Hellboy has a ball jointed neck, my personal single favorite joint. No, not that kind of joint. Dude, you're harshing my mellow.

This ball joint allows for all kinds of forward, backward, tilting and side to side movement. It addds personality to poses that a straight cut joint simply can't handle.

There's also ball jointed shoulders (jointed only at the torso), as well as a cut left wrist and a cut right elbow at the top of the Right Hand of Doom.  The right wrist is a ball joint, and while it's a restricted by the sculpt of the 'stone', it's still fairly useful.

The tail is a soft, hollow rubbery material, and it has a wire in it to allow some limited posing.

Other useful joints include the ab crunch chest and ball waist, as well as cut joints on both thighs just above the knees. More leg articulation would have been nice, but can also be problematic with the hollow plastic, making the legs too weak to hold up over time. If I have my druthers, I'd druther have a figure that stands forever in one leg pose than one that wilts in several.

Had all gone well with my figure, he would have gotten another half star in this category. Unfortunatelyl, that wasn't the case. The waist is really a ball joint both in the pelvis AND in the torso. I know this because the post between these two balls snapped in half with almost no effort on mine. Be careful!

Accessories - ***1/2
Hellboy comes with two main accessories, and both of them are excellent. One is the Samaritan of course, his huge, intimidating trademark revolver. The gun opens to allow access to the cylinder, just like the real deal, but there are no bullets to put in or take out. The sculpt and paint are excellent, and it even has a real 'rope' strand hanging off the butt. It fits nicely in the holster, and looks great in his left hand.

Then there's his new accessory, straight from the film - Big Baby. This sort of "shotgun crossed with a Gatling gun that shoots explosive rounds" weapon also has a fantastic sculpt and paint job, and is scaled nicely to the figure.  There's a leather strap for him to wear it around his shoulder, and it opens for easy loading and unloading as well. Again, there's no shells to put in, but it's still a nice feature.

Outfit - ****
Unlike most other rotocast or solid plastic quarter scale figures in this price range, these are actually mixed media figures, incorporating various materials to get the most realistic appearance.  That means Hellboy actually has some costume pieces!

There are two cloth pieces, his shirt and his jacket. The older 18" Hellboy used a pleather jacket, but this time they went with more of a burlap material with pleather collar, and this works extremely well. It looks in scale on him, hangs and flows well with the poses, and doesn't stick out or lay at odd angles.

If you want to get the jacket off, you'll have to find a way to remove that right arm. If you use hot water on the cut joint at the top of the Right Hand of Doom, you should be able to pop it off, but I haven't tried it so I make no guarantees.

The shirt is slightly different than the first version.  In that one, he had a zipper running down the front, but this time it's the plain 'over the head' type stretch muscle shirt, with a Velcro closure down the back. It fits him perfectly, and looks terrific with the stylish red piping arond the neck.

He also has a leather belt with hard plastic pouches all around. This belt looks and feels extremely realistic, and the soft leather holster fits on it nicely. The belt also has his trademark horseshoe hanging from it, as well as a long, large, and detailed rosary.

Although the pouches (which run all around the belt including in back) are sculpted plastic, they look very much like the leather used in the belt, making it a seamless visual transition from one to the other.

The holster is very high quality, and has a metal snap to hold the flap in place.  The Samaritan fits perfect inside, but I do wish it hung a little lower on his leg, a bit more gunslinger style. It has a leather tie down around his leg, but because the holster is so high on his waist, this doesn't look quite right.

I'm also including his second rosary as part of his outfit.  This one is wrapped around his left wrist, and is much smaller than the one on his belt. The chain is real metal, with a basic plastic cross.

Fun Factor - ***
Technically, this isn't a 'toy', but it certainly knows its own roots. Even with the limited articulation, your average 10 year old would find it mighty cool, particularly if they managed to see either Hellboy movie. There's a cleaned up version of the first film running on cable, right?

Value - ***
The previous movie Hellboy's in this scale ran around $45 - $50, which was about the going rate for most of the rotocast style quarter scale figures at the time. Prices started rising though, and since then we've seen some of the releases of similar figures in the $80 - $100 range. While the $60 (or less if you shop around) you'll pay for this figure isn't cheap, it's certainly not at the level I was expecting. Considering how expensive the 7" figures have become in a fairly short time, I'm surprised this figure can still be had this cheaply. This guy isn't the steal the 18" Alien was earlier this year, but he's still a better than average value in the current market.

Things To Watch Out For
Getting the guns into that small left hand is going to be tough - or impossible - without using some hot water.  Soften up the hand first, then put the weapons in place.  In fact, if you put the Samaritan into his softened hand and then let it cool, the fingers will be hardened in a wider grip, making the next time much easier.

Hopefully your waist joint will hold up better than mine, but take some care with it anyway.

Overall - ***
Mezco and NECA are keeping the lower cost 18" market alive, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased they are. With the release of the NECA Alien, this Hellboy, and the NECA Beetlejuice, we'll have a very good group of large scale figures this year.

I ended up having two quality issues that pulled this overall score down. There's the rub mark on the head, and mine snapped in half when I breathed on it. Take those two issues away, and this figure would be getting another half star in the Articulation section, Paint section, and in the Overall. Hopefully you'll have better luck in these particular areas than I did.

If you picked up the old version, this one might be less necessary. I do prefer the canvas coat to the pleather version, and the Big Baby adds quite a bit as well. I'll be happy to have them both on display, but those of you that are more fiscally responsible may be a bit more particular. If you skipped the original, then this is the one you'll want to add to the collection.

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

Where to Buy -
There's a few online options amongst my sponsors:

- you can pick him up from CornerStoreComics for about $57.

- Showpiece Collectibles has him at the reasonble price of $59.

- Urban Collector has him fro $59.49.

- Things From Another World has him at $63 for any version, and they let you pick which head variant you want!

- YouBuyNow has him listed at $70.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $70.

- for the UK fans, you can pick him up at Forbidden Planet for 40 GBP.

- or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
I've covered quite a number of Hellboy related products:

. Gentle Giant did some animated versions, including one included in the most recent release of the movies, and there was also a guest review by Poe Ghostal of the first DVD release of Hellboy. I looked at the regular release animated figures as well.

- Mezco released series 1 of their movie figures, which are covered in two guest reviews, one here and one here.

- I love the 4" line, even if the only figure we have so far is the SDCC exclusive Hellboy.

- I ran two 'retro reviews of the old Hellboy movie line - one for Hellboy, and one for Sammael

- I also have guest reviews of some of the comic based figures, including Kreigaffe #10, Lobster Johnson, and the old Graphitti Designs version.

- I have my own reviews of the comic based battle damaged Hellboy and 18" version, the stylized Extreme Hellboy, the movie 8" line  (including the Nazi Kroenen in the second series), the 18" version, and even some Mez-itz.

- also movie based, Sideshow has done several 12" figures, including Abe Sapien, Nazi Kroenen, regular Kroenen, and regular Hellboy.

- for those into mini-busts, there's also this version that came with the release of the DVD.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My overall converted to a five star system for comparison is: 3.75

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Mezco 18" Hellboy II action figure

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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