18" Comic Based Hellboy

Last year's release of the Hellboy movie made him almost a household name, at least if you lived in a household like mine.  But long before the live action version was a twinkle in Guillermo del Toro's eye, the comic book version was the creation of Mike Mignola.

Graphitti Designs actually did a comic book Hellboy many years ago, but fans were still left wanting, especially since the comics by Mignola had such a diverse bunch of interesting characters, just begging for the plastic treatment.

Mezco stepped up this last year and picked up the license, about the same time that they picked up the movie license.  You might remember what an amazing job they did on the 8" line, and the 18" version for the film. They've followed that up with the first series of comic figures, including several variants of Hellboy, Liz, Lobster Johnson, and the big monkey Kriegaffe.  But the one I simply couldn't resist, no matter how hard I tried, was the 18" version.

You can find this big guy at your local Media Play or Sam Goody for around $40, or check out the online suggestions I have at the end of the review.

Packaging -  ***1/2
The box is nice and sturdy, with a large window to see Hellboy in all his glory.  The artwork around the box and on the interior tray is straight from the comic, done in traditional unique Mignola style.

The box isn't collector friendly, and you'll want to have those little cutters handy for all the twisty ties.  But MIBBers should be happy with the size and sturdiness of the box.

Sculpting - ****
Mike Mignola's art has a rough, sharp appearance, with lots of strong, blocky designs.

The sculpt from Mezco has captured that look perfectly.  If you're a big fan, I can't imagine you being happier with the look of this figure.  The Right Hand of Doom has about the right amount of detailing and styling to match up with the comic, and the soft good - the jacket, holster and belt - work terrific with the plastic body and extras.  This is a gorgeous sculpt, and I don't say that about too many figures. 

Getting him to stand is a bit of a trick, but you can duck foot him and get him to do it without the help of his tail.  Actually, if you rely on his tail, you can get him to stand very, very easily.

The left hand is sculpted to hold the gun, so he looks best with the weapon drawn.  It's a little tricky getting the gun to slip in between his fingers, but once you get it in there, it stays pretty well.

Paint - ****
The paint ops do a marvelous job of complimenting the excellent sculpt.  The lines are clean and neat, with some great masking work.  There's no bleed or slop, even around tricky areas like the eyes and beard.

The red is consistent across the body, and there's a very light wash to bring out the details.  Small detail work, like the stripes on the shorts, are very neat and well done, and there is even some use of different finishes to give the impression of different materials.

Articulation - ***
HB isn't super articulated, but what's here is all very useful and important.

There's a ball jointed neck, but the ball has very, very little range of movement, so it works pretty much like a cut joint.  The shoulders and hips are also ball jointed, but again don't have the kind of range of movement in something like a 12" figure.  Still, they work better than you might expect with a rotocast figure.

There/s also cut joints at the biceps, a cut left wrists, a ball right wrist, a cut waist and cut thighs and calves.  Overall, it's enough articulation to make a variety of poses possible, but not enough to take away from the sculpt.

Ah, I almost forgot!  There's that bendy tail as well, which you'll find very handy for keeping him standing.  And yes, you can get him to stand without it, but it's just so much easier if you get lazy and use it.

Accessories - ****
I'm going to through his outfit in here, rather than have a separate category, since there's only a couple pieces.

The outfit consists of the cloth jacket, which is tailored extremely well.  That's one of the advantages of the quarter scale - cloth, buttons and snaps look right when you get this large.

The jacket also has two different materials, which is fairly unusual.  The color is made from a faux leather, while the rest of the coat resembles a heavier weave.  The pockets aren't real, which was a little disappointing, but it looks so good it was easy to forgive.

His other major accessory is his gun, designed and sculpted in that same rough, almost Flintstone style.  The barrel is bored out as well, giving the gun a little more reality.  The gun fits nicely in the faux leather holster on his belt, and the flap closes with a metal snap.

The belt also has a great metal snap for the buckle, and you can remove it fairly easily if you'd like.  The belt contains a variety of sculpted pouches, along with his rosary and his horseshoe.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
If you're kids saw the movie, it would be a great way to introduce them to the comics.  This comic version might be something they really enjoy, and for the most part, it will hold up to basic play pretty well.  Of course, they might damage the belt or attached goodies if they aren't careful, but with basic care he should be okay.

Value - ***
This figure runs around $40, the usual cost for a rotocast quarter scale figure.  But he includes several accessories as well, something most do not, and he is simply amazing on top of that.

Things to watch out for - 
Be a little careful taking the gun out of the holster and putting it back.  It's a tight fit, but with some care you should have no problem at all.

Overall -  ****
This is pretty hard to believe - two four star figures in the last week!  Considering I only give a dozen or so a year on average out of over 200 reviews, it's pretty unusual to have two so close together.

But this figure is simply fantastic.  If you're a collector of 18" figures, pick this one up.  If you're a huge fan of Hellboy, grab this now.  If you're looking for a big red guy with cloven feet and a trenchcoat to accessorize your new living room, this is the figure for you.

I can always tell when a figure is as great as I think it is - it's always photogenic as well.  You can't take a bad photo of this guy, it's just not possible!

Having my older stuff in storage is driving me nuts, since I would have loved to shoot this guy with the 18" movie Hellboy.  I can't wait to get things back out again so that these two guys can share a shelf.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall -  ****

Where to Buy -
There are actually three versions of this 18" guy - the one I reviewed here, this regular version with a gritted teeth head sculpt, and a 'battle damated' version that's a Diamond excluse.  Online options for these include:

- Fireside Collectibles has this guy for just $40.

- CornerStoreComics has both this regular version and the Diamond version for $40 each.

- Amazing Toyz also has both for just $40 each.

- Yikes Comics has the gritted teeth version of this guy for $45, or the Diamond version for $40.

- Alter Ego Comics has the Diamond Exclusive version for $43.

- YouBuyNow is out of this non-grinning version, but the one showing his teeth is $45.

Related Links -
There's been a ton of Hellboy product from multiple companies since the film:

- Mezco did the 8" line, including the Nazi Kroenen in the second series, the 18" version, and 'extreme' caricature style, and even some Mez-itz.

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

- and as I mentioned earlier, Graphitti Designs did a version as well of the comic book look.

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


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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