Battle Damaged Hellboy Exclusive

Mezco's comic based Hellboy line has been drawing rave reviews across the board. Their style of figure matches up extremely well with the style of artwork right from the comic, and fans have been drooling over the high quaity product. has teamed up with Mezco on an exclusive for this line - the Battle Damaged Hellboy. Unlike the version shipping in the regular assortment, this Hellboy sports a lot of his own blood, fresh from the battle, along with rips and burns in his overcoat. However, like the regular release, there are two versions of the head sculpt - one with a single row of gritting teeth, the other with both rows of teeth showing and an open mouth. Tonight I'll be reviewing the open mouth version, which sells at the site for $18 plus shipping.

Packaging -  ***
The entire Hellboy line has a nice clamshell style packaging, with comic based artwork done by Mignola. This version also has a sticker on the front of the bubble, declaring that only 1000 were produced.

Sculpting - ****
The marriage of the Mignola comic book art and the three dimensional plastic Mezco figure is a match made in heaven. I don't always get excited about Mezco's style - you might notice my lack of any Warriors reviews - but when paired with this type of artwork, it's a home run.

They've managed to capture the essence of the character, and give the rather blocky, rough style a somewhat realistic feel. There's a ton of small detail work, from the saw marks on his horns to the wrinkles in his sculpted leather accoutrements on his belt.

The 8" scale works great, and fits in nicely with both the earlier series, and other 8" figures out there. The left hand is sculpted to hold the gun, while the fisted Right Hand of Doom has the right amount of detail to appear stone-like.

The cloth coat is a good choice in this larger scale, and they've used a thin enough material to make it appear in scale. The pleather collar is a nice touch, since it's pretty rare to see a single piece of clothing have more than one type of material. The rips and burns turned out good, although mine is far less charred than the early prototype photos.

Paint - ***1/2
Everything I said about the sculpt - with the exception of the rips and burns in the coat - can also be said about the regular series Hellboy figures. Where this figure varies the most is in the paint application.

Everything is extremely clean and neat. The masking of the eyes and teeth was nice and tight, allowing no paint to bleed or over spray onto the red. There are only a handful of small paint applications, but what is here is done very well.

This figure has a nice dash of blood added in a number of places, including the face, chest and arms. The blood is done in a higher gloss paint to differentiate it from the red skin, and the application is well done. The flow pattern and splatter are fairly realistic, but there's not quite as much as we saw in the early prototypes. I'm not sure if that's good or bad yet, and it will probably be a very personal decision either way.

Articulation - ***1/2
Hellboy has the most important joint - the ball jointed neck. It's a good ball jointed neck too, with a nice range of movement and a non-distracting appearance. It gives him the character and personality he needs in every pose.

He also has ball jointed hips and shoulders, a cut waist, chest, pin knees and a pin left wrist.  Additionally, he has cut joints on both forearms.  The knee joints are the 'clicky' kind, where they click into various spots.  That's actually helpful here, because of his extreme upper body weight.

He stands great on his own, even without leaning against the tail. Speaking of which, the tail isn't bendy, but rather has a solid plastic with three cut joints, which allows some positioning but still looks good.

Accessories - ***
Although his belt and coat are removable, I'm not counting them as accessories. Instead, I included them with the overall sculpt score.

However, I am including both the rosary and horseshoe, which are removable from the belt, and which are as important to this character as his gun (or so it seems, since every version, comic or movie, has included them). Of course he has his gun (the Samaratin), which fits tightly into the holster. It's actually a little too tight, and I couldn't get it to slide down far enough to allow me to pull the top back across.

Finally, he has the field radio, which he can hold in his right hand. The number of accessories is a bit above average, and the quality and paint are all solid.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Further proof that a 'toy' doesn't have to be poorly made, and a 'collectible' doesn't have to be boring. This figure fulfills both roles perfectly! If you know someone who's still young enough (at heart at least) to play with their action figures, then this figure will fit the bill. If they are only looking for a cool looking version of their favorite comic book hero that they can pose on a shelf, then this figure is exactly what they need. What more versatility can you ask for?

Value - **1/2
The cost is about average for an exclusive, particularly with a line where the regular release figures run between $13 and $15 each, depending on the retailer. Considering only 1000 of these exclusives were produced, it's not at all surprising that they are slightly higher.

Things to watch out for - 
I didn't have any issues or concerns, and you should be pretty safe buying these sight unseen.

Overall -  ***1/2
Mezco is now in the lead for top company of the year from my perspective, with not one but two almost perfect lines - Hellboy and The Goon. This particular figure is a excellent rendition of the comic Hellboy, and takes up far less space on the shelf than his 18" cousin. He also makes less space in your wallet, costing less than half. The blood effects, along with the rips and burns, work very well, and are very appropriate for this particular character. If you're a big fan of the line or the comic, I wouldn't pass him up, because with only a thousand produced, he won't last too long. It's also very likely that the majority that sells will end up with collectors, rather than dealers, making it even tougher to find him a couple months down the road.

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

Where to Buy -
Since this is a exclusive, that's the place to pick him up!

Related Links -
I recently reviewed the 18" version of this guy, and he's going to be right up there as one of the best figures of the year.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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