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Review of Gangsta Babies

Mezco Toyz
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Introduction

Mezco Toys is no stranger to controversy. With products like Living Dead Dolls, Dark Carnival, and Scary Tales, they've gotten their share of ultra-conservative finger wagging.

Their latest foray into the attention grabbing arena is Gangsta Babies. Similar to Living Dead Dolls, they've taken the concept of the baby doll, dressed them up in rapper regalia, and given them cutesy hip-hop names.

Now, it's not my job to tell you whether this is a good concept or not. You're a thinking adult, and can make such a decision without my help.  Or if you can't, I'm sure Bill O'Reilly can help you out.

It's my job to tell you whether or not the product itself is any good. Much like reviewing a Hitler figure, or McFarlane's Dorothy, I'm not going to try to dictate taste, but rather whether they've produced a high quality collectible or not, regardless of the license.

The two I'm checking out tonight are Rey Rey (he's black) and Big Deuce (he's white). The Mezco marketing docs say this about the two characters:

"Rey Rey: From around the way way, a playa who is #1 with all the Shorties. Featuring a hoodie, skullcap, camo jacket and shorts. He represents with his "GB" dog tags."

"Big Deuce: Everyone knows this liíl shot-caller is runniní things. Featuring a baseball hat, shirt, cuffed jeans, and white do rag, diamond ring, gold rope bracelet, and crown pendant."

I have to say the choice of 'big deuce' for one of the babies is pretty funny.  Yea, deuce means two, and number two is something babies are sooooo good at. Add in the 'big', and I'm reminded of Stewie telling Lois "I'm going to crap DOUBLE for you tonight, woman!"

This is a bit of an early review, but you should see these hitting in the next couple weeks.  They retail for around $20 - $25, and I have some sponsor suggestions at the end of the review in the Where to Buy section.

2016 Update: Was this a good idea? They weren't big sellers, and I don't know if they made it past the first wave of four characters.  While the quality is there, I'm not sure the theme resonated with anyone. They made a little noise with some groups when they were released 8 years ago, but I have to admit that I can't imagine the social media blow up over them if they were released in the current climate. They can be had on ebay for about original retail, in the $25 - $30 range.

Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Packaging - ***
They both come boxed, and you know I love boxes.  Easy to store, generally sturdy, and usually collector friendly, boxes work great.  These are all those things, plus they're attractive with little wasted space.

Sculpting - ***
I'll be comparing these to other dolls, not action figures.

The head sculpts here are quite similar to what you get with the usual $20 mass market doll, with unique expressions on both. They are designed to not be so realistic that they are creepy, but realistic enough not to look cheap. Rey Rey is a happy baby, but it looks like BD is living up to his name.

The sculpting below the neck is actually quite a bit better than the usual baby doll. There's a lot more wrinklies, texturing, and dimples on the body, arms and legs. You won't get to see all this detail with the clothes on, but it's nice to see they went the extra mile, making the basic body better than what you could simply buy at Toys R Us.

My Rey Rey does appear to have a scar above his left eye though.  I'm not sure this was intentional, and looks like a manufacturing blip. It's more noticeable in photos than in person.

Each doll is designed to sit, not stand, and the are about 7 inches tall in that pose.

Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Paint - ***
There's not a ton of paint, but that's fine for this style of collectible. The skin tone is clean and consistent from part to part, and although these are merely cast in this color, it works well.

The eyes will be what catches your attention, both done in the hard, clear plastic that gives them a bright, shiny appearance. The bright, complex eye colors really make these guys pop.

Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Articulation - **
These aren't super poseable action figures - they're baby dolls.  As such, they have about the expected amount of articulation. Cut neck, cut shoulders and cut hips are about it.  Cut wrists and/or ankles were potentials, but it's not a major issue that they are missing.

Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Accessories - ****
Here's where these guys really start to shine.  Literally. Both are loaded down with bling.

Rey Rey has earrings, but they aren't removable.  One of mine fell off, but I glued it back on easily enough. He's also wearing two heavy all metal dog tags (with a 'B' and 'G' on them in 'jewels'), as well as a big honkin' diamond ring.

Big Deuce has this same huge ring, as well as a gold rope bracelet, a diamond bracelet, and a heavy gold rope necklace with a huge diamond crown pendant.  All of these pieces are made from actual metal, and the jewelry looks great.

Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Outfit - ***1/2
The other place where these really shine is the clothing.  Both have multiple items, all done in high quality material with excellent stitching and seams.

Big Deuce has the simpler outfit, with a red t-shirt with 'Crunk on Board' on the front. He's also wearing jeans (with a snap at the waist) that are rolled up at the ankles. The pockets in back are real, and the clothing is actually in scale.

He's also wearing a do rag, tied in back, and a red baseball cap that matches his shirt. Everything fits terrific, with good baby-like tailoring.

Rey Rey has the more complex outfit. He's wearing dark khakis, again with real pockets, and an elastic waist band. He's wearing a white hoodie under his camo jacket, and the hoodie includes the trademark front pocket. The camo jacket has a Velcro closure, and more real pockets.

The marketing docs said he was also wearing a do rag, but he's really wearing one of those cute little caps that babies often wear, especially on their way home from the hospital.

Fun Factor - ***
These aren't exactly traditional baby dolls, but they would be fun nonetheless. I suspect these will be bought largely by girls - much like LDD's - but they'll be girls who haven't played with actual baby dolls in quite awhile.

Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Value - ***
This will run you $20 - $25, depending on where you go. To the general collector, that might seem expensive, but regular dolls this size, with less detailed sculpts and outfits and FAR less bling will cost you $15 - $20 easy at the mass market stores.  Getting this much with the doll at this price makes it a better than average value, particularly right now.

Things to Watch Out For -
One of the rings broke when I was using it, so take a little care.  It was nothing that some super glue couldn't take care of, but it's worth watching out.

Overall - ***1/2
The jewelry and outfits are excellent considering the price tag, and in fact, these are a pretty solid value all around. I don't know if they'll hit a nerve with any particular collector group the way LDD's did, but Mezco always puts as much quality as they can into every line.

These won't be everyone's thing, that's for sure, and I'm sure some folks will find something here to offend them.  There are baby dolls that poop and piss - I find that a whole lot more offensive.

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

Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Mezco has these available through their store, but sells them in sets.  You can get all four series one babies for $112, or this pair for $56 (as well as the other pair).

- Entertainment Earth has pre-orders up for Rey Rey and Big Deuce at $25 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I checked out their Biggie figure awhile back at Quick Stop.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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

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Gangsta Babies dolls by Mezco Toyz

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

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