Gangsters Inc.
Iron O'Brian

Mezco is doing some interesting in-house developed lines this year, including the Dark Carnival series, and now the Gangsters Inc. line.

There are three figures in the series - Patrick 'Iron' O'Brian (the muscle), Giovanni 'Don' Moncinni (the boss), and Frank 'Sparkey' Foreman (who you send when you need something done).

The figures retail for about $15 each, and are available at comic shops, on-line retailers, and some specialty stores.  I have a few on-line suggestions for you at the end of the review.

Packaging - ****
I can honestly say that in the non-sixth scale market, Mezco is producing the best and most artistic packaging out there.  They are using the clamshells, but adding great artwork and style to make eye catching, attractive, and exceptional packages.

This time they've used a heavy card stock as the insert, and the back has a newspaper style, complete with coffee rings left by the last reader.  The package gives you all the lowdown on the line, and let's you know what the background is along with the other figures in a truly imaginative and well designed way.

It's pretty obvious how much I like the package - I've included two photos!

Sculpting - ***1/2
There's no source material to compare this to, but all the laws of proportion, detail and design still apply.

Mezco has come up with an eye catching gangster design, reminiscent of the roaring twenties, but with a modern sensiblity that will connect with the age group their shooting for.  And these things are huge - I had no idea how big they really were til he showed up at my door.  I've included a size comparison photo at the end of the review, but these run around 9" - 10" tall.  Since these are rotocast, the large scale isn't surprising.

O'Brian is the classic thug - big, ugly and mean.  The sculpt makes it clear that this is not a gentleman you wish to do business with, and if he shows up at your door, you better have kneecap insurance.

Even though he's been sculpted with comic book muscles, his upper body isn't too big for him to stand.  In fact, he stands very well on his own, with his arms out in front of him (or any other position).

Patrick hasn't won every battle without some personal cost though, and his face shows the scars of many fights.  Some of them are pretty fresh too, so a vacation might be in order. 

One other thing worth mentioning is the sculpted hands.  The right hand is done so it's capable of holding any of the four weapons.  It works great, and is a nice touch.  I just wish the left hand wasn't a completely closed fist.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint application is a mixed bag for me.  The details, such as the tattoos, eyes, buttons, etc are fantastic, with excellent attention and quality.  There's only basic colors when it comes to the large areas, but there's lots and lots of small, well done details if you're paying attention.

The only reason I dropped this score slightly is due to the excessive blood and wash.  There's tons of paint that should represent blood on his hands, shirt and pants, but it's a tad too much, and isn't done quite as realistically as it could have been.  Also, there's plenty of wash used to bring out some of the details, but that is a little overdone as well for a 'human' figure.

Still, this is a very nicely painted figure, and it seems like Mezco has the secret of great paint ops figured out.

Articulation - **1/2
There's not a ton of articulation, but what is here works well.  There's neck, ball jointed shoulders, waist, and cut elbows.  Patty isn't super flexible, but you know how tough it can be to keep your flexibility when you bulk up.

Accessories - ****
Here's another category that Mezco always seems to do well with.  Here we get seven accessories, all nicely done and looking great.

There are two caps - an old stocking cap, and a driving cap (or that's what we always called them).  Both fit the time and character perfectly.

There are four weapons for Mr. O'Brian to choose from - pipe, gun, brass knuckles or fish hook.  All fit in his right hand, one at a time of course.

The final accessory is a rap sheet for Iron.  It has his picture and details, and is a great little addition to the overall package.

Value - **1/2
These figures are an average value - not seriously overpriced, but not Scrooge's dream.  If you can manage to pick them up for less than $15, this score goes up.

Overall - ***1/2
You have to give Mezco a lot of credit for venturing into the in-house development arena, rather than staying with the safer licensed product alone.  It's tough to do, and is very high risk, but when the company is creative, you can get some really cool product.  The only issue that some may have with this line is the scale - they don't fit in well with other standard lines.

Where to Buy - 
I received mine from Killer Toys.  They have the whole set in stock right now, for $15 each, and they are always quick and reliable!  Other options include: 

- Aisle Sniper has the set of three for $48.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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