– by Joe Gardner –
What up, my peeps?!? I’m back with a new column to hopefully entertain you a little bit. This time around I’m going to be talking about the higher end stuff. Some merch that I’ve been eyeing for a while, and am trying to save up some scratch so’s I can make a purchase. Along the way I’m going to show some of what I already own (read: mostly bought a long time ago) and maybe even a public service message to go with it. But we’ll get to that at the end I’ll be looking at Mezco Toyz, Hot Toys, and Sideshow Collectibles primarily, with a glance at a couple others. And aside from this sentence right here, probably no mention of Funko whatsoever! So, let’s get to it.
When I was asked to do this column, I figured I’d be writing mostly about action figures, vinyl figures, and various other small geeky collectibles. Because that’s what I collect. But then I started researching the higher end collectibles. First to pop on my radar was Mezco Toyz. Specifically, their One:12 Collective line of figures. Mezco is also responsible for the Living Dead Dolls, as well as other figures and plushes. Most notably the plush Snarf from Thundercats that I’ve been trying to catch for my wife. In case you’re wondering, the One:12 refers to the scale of the figures. Each figure is 1:12 scale, or around 6-7 inches tall, with crafted clothing and accessories. These figures tend to run around $80, with a few exceptions. The first figure to catch my eye was Wolverine, but the top of my list is probably the Entertainment Earth exclusive glow-in-the-dark Space Ghost.
There is a wide selection of characters from both Marvel and DC in this line. This year Mezco offered a Black Friday Mystery Box for $60. This box is advertised as containing at least 3 items from the following: A One:12 figure, a Living Dead Doll, a stylized figure, a 12 inch or larger figure, and a tote bag and activity book. A pretty sweet deal if you ask me. And there are still some available as of this writing. I am resisting the urge to purchase one, myself, as I’ve hinted at this as a Christmas gift idea. Mezco also recently announced Thor and Hulk from Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League Aquaman, and a deluxe Joker as available for preorder.
Next to catch my eye was Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys. I group these two together because Hot Toys is a high-end figure company out of Hong Kong that works with Sideshow as their exclusive North America distributor. Hot Toys has a line of Sixth Scale (around 12 inches) figures that are fully articulated with finely crafted clothing and accessories. They have the licenses for Marvel, DC and Star Wars. They also offer figures for Alien, Predator, Terminator and Back to the Future. It was also recently announced that Hot Toys has acquired the license to the Matrix movies. Soon we may have highly detailed figures of Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and Agent Smith.
Sideshow also has their own line of Sixth Scale figures, and hold licenses to create from Marvel, DC, and Star Wars as well. As I mentioned in a previous column, their Sixth Scale Dengar figure is what first caught my attention. Now I’d like to somehow acquire all the bounty hunters, along with the Sixth Scale Han Solo in carbonite. Sideshow also has a line of Premium Format Figures, which stand around 20 inches or more. These are highly detailed, some with real cloth capes and accessories. Here’s a video of their Premium Format Rey from Star Wars:
In addition to all this, Sideshow has their own creation in the Court of the Dead, described as a sort of dark, fantasy, superhero story. This line has caught my daughter’s eye, as to her it has a similarity to World of Warcraft. That and she’s started taking to the darker side of things lately.
The Sixth Scale figures are what I’m really setting my sights on. These are the action figures I really wish I had as a kid. Through Sideshow, these figures tend to run anywhere from $150 and up, with most being around $250. So, it’s going to take me a minute to save up for one. And maybe I can win my fantasy football league and add $100 towards my goal. A nice thing about Sideshow is that they have a reward points system in place. They also offer payment plans on a lot of their merchandise. And they will give out codes for reward points, or other deals and discounts. The week leading up to Halloween was their Sideshow Spooktacular. During this week, they had many codes, deals, discounts, and giveaways, and I managed to snag $56 worth of reward points. This will also help. It is my understanding that they will have a similar 12 Days of Sideshow leading up to Christmas. Booyah!
Another notable would be Kotobukiya, who I’ve mention before, with their ArtFX line of statues across the Marvel, DC, and Star Wars licenses. I would also like to mention Quantum Mechanix and their line of Star Trek Sixth Scale figures, featuring Kirk, Spock, Bones, Picard and the recently announced Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahn!
Finally, one of my most wanted pieces is the Aquaman and Mera statue from DC Collectibles, based on the art of the wonderful Patrick Gleason. This one is due out first quarter of next year.
Now that I’ve written about some of the collectibles I want, let me share with you my existing statue collection. Back in the day, before any of my Kotobukiya pieces, I was a big fan of Randy Bowen and the Bowen Designs line of mini busts and statues. It all started with a Hellboy mini bust. I purchased this back in ’96 (I know because it’s dated) for probably around $25-35, and may still be my all-time favorite piece. This was also around the same time I started dating my wife, Tina. Jump ahead a few years and we’re about a year into marriage, just bought a house, and credit card companies are sending us pre-approvals and cards left and right. And I have yet to learn self-control when spending. You see, I wasn’t always a cheapskate, bargain shopper. Especially if I had credit. My mini bust collection grew exponentially over the next couple of years, as did our credit card debt. Which contributed to our financial troubles at the time. Since then, I have sold off over half my collection in times that we needed the money. What you see here is what remains.
There are a few pieces that I totally regret letting go of. Like the Captain America mini bust, based on Ron Garney’s art from his and Mark Waid’s brilliant run on Cap from the 90s. Or the Abe Sapien companion to my Hellboy. Or the Deadpool mini with interchangeable masked and unmasked heads. But it is what it is. I lived, I learned, I’ve grown from it. Now, I either make sure I have the money on hand, make payments, or I just live without it. Credit is a last resort, meant for essentials or emergencies. Not frivolities.
And now that I’ve brought the column down, it’s time for me to go.
Until next time, you’ll find me in the toy aisle.