With such a huge assortment of figures available now from NECA, Diamond Select/EMCE, Bif Bang Pow and the mountainous juggernaut that is Figures Toy Company’s releases the toughest thing for fans and collectors of the 8 inch retro Mego format is finding the cash to Collect ‘Em All and perhaps getting along. And while the debates rage on and on and on about what and who’s putting out the better product, one thing is for certain; when making your selections at least quality isn’t an issue. Each one of the aforementioned companies have done a stellar job in bringing the fans what we want and what we didn’t know we wanted. And that’s amazing.
I sat down to work on the reviews for FTC’s Curly and DST/EMCE’s Wolverine and the quality theme became a common denominator that I felt I had to stress. Seriously the past few figures I’ve reviewed have made my standard style redundant and moot in some points. Unlike previous releases over the years where serious quality issues were found such as FTC’s reissues of original Mego ‘public domain’ figures (monsters, western, pirates, Robin Hood) and Mattel’s Retro Action line these new figures have made me go back to square one in the review process. And I am thrilled with the challenge!
The head sculpts and paint applications are fantastic. The costumes are also amazing. The body construction and materials are durable and can indeed be seen as actual toys and not just “For the adult collector”. Plus with the X-Factor that is the S-Type body from Castaway/ ZICA we’ve got some really cool and durable toys. So what is there to complain about? Um, I mean critique. Yeah that’s it. I got it! Price! That’s something to focus on. Or is it?
It was very easy to get spoiled to insanely low prices when it came to the pre-2012 waves of figures. The quality issues had trounced their reputation and you could get figures as low as $3 a piece if you shopped around. But now most of the figures are ranging from MSRP’s of $24.99 for individual figures to $209.99 for exclusive sets, so when long time fans and collectors contrast the two periods the debates and divisions raged on various chat forums and boards. I was as guilty as anyone in all that.
I liked the $3 price tags. I love great deals. I’m a sucker for a clearance sale no matter what the product. If it says clearance or close out, I’m there. So yeah, I admit it, I was a little spoiled. Okay a lot. Shush! I admitted it, now let’s move on.
Getting back to the point of “you get what you pay for” it’s so very true today in the 8 inch retro action figure market. Add to that the volume of figures out there now. Seriously the kids who loved the Mego figures of the 70’s grew up and have done some amazing things with the creation of their wares. You know, writing that last line, that may be what added to the raging debate (and flat out verbal fights) that have come along with all of the new figures. No, not that fanboys and girls are rotten little turds who make the kids in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory look like little angels but instead passionate people who have poured a portion of their souls into either making their dream toys available to the masses or the long time fans who have no choice but to allow “outsiders” into what was once a pretty tight little niche and circle of collectors.
Can the waters be calmed? I think so if people can accept these three perspectives. The first being that everything from back then wasn’t ‘awesome’ and that improvements aren’t the devils tools to deflower innocent collectors in these our last days. The second; appreciating the past as you are welcomed into this wonderful format by folks who have been here a lot longer than you who have seen highs and lows, been let down a lot and need some room and patience to accept you little buggers on our lawns. And thirdly, and this is a big one, we 8 inch Mego fans have had Santa open up not one, but many workshops cranking out high quality figures at market reasonable prices. Although I of course will keep scouring the online bargain bins utilizing a tool that I think we all can agree on: patience. Although pre-ordering those super sweet Kresge carded Figures Toy Company DC World’s Greatest Super Heroes is probably a good idea because, well those whipper snappers don’t need to snatch up all the good stuff first.
Now, Go Play!
Jim – 08/07/15
P.S. The reviews for Curly and the Wolverine set are coming soon. Got backlogged with the work that I’ve been doing on a streaming channel that is coming to a ROKU box near you, and hopefully very soon to be found in the official Channel Store – Stay Tuned or go ahead and take a look around in the Private Channel. – Jim