The holidays are over (Well not counting New Years, but that’s less of a holiday and more of a fixed point in time), which means I won’t be reviewing anymore Christmas figures for at least another 12 months. Hooray! As fun as reviewing holiday toys has been for me, I’ve received a lot of toys either as gifts or personal purchases over the past month and I really want to crank out some of these reviews.
Which brings us to Nemo Publishing’s Commander X! This is not the first time I’ve mentioned Commander X here on this blog, in fact it’s the fourth time for those counting at home and it started with this little Figure Comic that I put together using this toy. Since Commander X is still on sale at CaptnEli.com till the end of the month I figured it was time I sat down and truly did a review of the big guy himself.
The package here is representative of what I think most “new” Mego packages look like. It’s a collector clamshell that has to be cut open but can be resealed once it’s opened. Inside there is a basic card, but in this case it’s actually more like paper stock than card stock.
The front features an awesome picture of Commander X in this, his trademark outfit. The artwork is absolutely vintage and reminds me of some old Buck Rogers style art. That’s intentional of course as Commander X is a modern homage to the old pulp comics and serials. Think Tom Strong, without all the pent up jadededness and strangeness of Alan Moore.
The back shows off a more modern Commander X done with CGI imaging. There is also some retro artwork for other variants, some of which have not come out yet. It’s a neat idea and I definitely hope that Jay Piscopo and crew are able to produce some of these other variants in due time. Undersea and Star Knight look interesting to me.
The figure features all the standard articulation that is seen on the new EMCE Toys/Doc Mego figures. For a complete breakdown check out my look at the Ape Soldier Picture with a complete diagram. In general you get a mix of string joints and traditional joints that allow a fair amount of posing.
In general I find the figure to be well articulated and I’m surprised at how lifelike they are when you can get them into a variety of poses. There are still some areas that could be improved, but overall the classic Mego articulation holds up as fairly relevant even in today’s hyper articulated world of toys.
As always your mileage may vary, but these figures are pretty good for general poses and I really love that Commander X seems to hold his poses quite well. The inner strings are quite tight and he doesn’t seem to be too loose. Although I can feel the joints loosening somewhat as I move them around.
I would have never known it had someone not told me, but the head here is based off of the old Mego Superman head. It looks great though, with it’s Zorro-esque mask and pencil moustache. If this guy doesn’t remind you of a classic pulp hero, what will?
The first few times I saw Commander X, I thought he looked a little dopey, but the whole look has grown on me quick and it’s quite iconic in my view. His outfit is made of quality material and doesn’t seem cheap or flimsy like some Mego outfits do.
The belt fastens in a unique way in the back. It works really well, but as a word of warning, be careful if you take it off and try to put it back on with the jacket. It’s not super hard, but with all that material it’s a bit more of a hassle than you might expect. Still I really like the way it fastens and it keeps the belt secure for hours of play.
With his hat on the Commander is ready for undersea adventure or really any kind of adventure. Commander X has had all kinds of journeys in his day and that’s what makes this figure so versatile. You can plop him down into just about any situation and he’s a perfect fit. The toy really emulates the character and that’s really all you can ask for. The Mego format is perfect for a character like this.
What would Commander X be without his gun and knife? Well he’d still be pretty cool, but he’s got them just in case. The Commander also has his removable hat, removable clothes, belt and boots as well. I’ll be honest though, the hat doesn’t fit on his head great. It more or less just sits on there and won’t stay on during “play” but it works well enough if you just pose your figures.
As an added bonus, when you order the figure you get one of the limited edition Capt’N Eli comics. While this introductory comic isn’t the best of the Capt’N Eli series, it’s a great little bonus and it’s just enough to wet your whistle to want more.
Originally I wondered why a Commander X figure came with a Capt’N Eli comic, but it turns out that Commander X is a very important part of the Capt’N Eli story. Plus there are those free Commander X supplemental comics on the Capt’N Eli website!
At $20 this guy is a tad expensive, but that pricing falls right in line with other figures in this genre (See Mattel’s Retro-Action) so I can’t fault them for the price. In fact if you were to assemble a similar Mego you’d probably pay twice as much for half the quality. As an aside, the company making these guys is very small and they’re working with the equally as small EMCE toys so this pricetag probably just barely covers costs. However if you’re a super cheapskate, right now till December 31st you can get this figure and all of the variants on the Capt’N Eli website for $14.95! That’s a great deal! Act fast though.
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Gun, Knife, Hat, Belt, Comic
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10
I’m tempted to give this guy a higher rating just because he’s a lot fun. This is what toys are all about. You could give this to a kid and they would be able to dream up all kinds of adventures to take this guy on. Certainly he’s a little plain by today’s standards, but my favorite toys as kids were the ones where I could add a little to make him something of my own.
Commander X is a Modern-Retro character and these Mego toys are Modern-Retro toys, which makes this a perfect marriage of concept and execution. The folks making and selling these guys are class acts all the way around and I can’t recommend these any higher if you even have the vaguest interest in this type of stuff.
And if you need just a little more to put you over the edge when it comes to the good Commander, check out this commercial the team over there whipped up last year: