8 Inch

This weekend was the annual Mego Museum’s Mego Meet. I’ve been to a couple of these and this was the last year that it was going to be anywhere close by, so I decided to make the trek out to Skokie, Illinois for another year of Mego adventure. If you’ve never been to Mego Meet, it’s quite a bit different than other “toy conventions” and that could be strange to some people. Let me first say that the folks who run Mego Meet are very nice, they’re clearly not in it to make a buck or rip you off, and are very welcoming, but it’s worth noting that newbies might feel a little out of place at first.

That’s partially because Mego Meet is less a typical toy convention and more of a “meet up” (hence the name) of the Mego Museum forum members. That’s at least how it started and ultimately, the roots are still very much in that concept. That doesn’t mean outsiders aren’t welcome, they’re definitely encouraged. But Mego Meet doesn’t really advertise outside of the Mego niche (personally I think that’s a mistake) and when you get there you may find it a bit strange as most everyone sort of knows each other. As someone who doesn’t really socialize with the “real” people on the forums, it’s different. Almost like stumbling into someone else’s family reunion. I recall my first year having a bit of a run around because people kept directing me to other people as if I knew who those other people were.

3D toy printing process.

Again, that’s not a complaint it’s just a forewarning to someone who might be off-put by that to give Mego Meet a chance. Inside there are a handful of dealers rooms with a variety of toys. Yes, the vast majority is Mego and the modern FTC Mego-like figures, but there are a fair amount of retro toys of all shapes and sizes. From vintage GI Joe to modern Lego, there’s probably something here for everyone. The other great thing about Mego Meet is that you can bring your spouse and kids for free. That may not seem like a big deal, but the folks that run Mego Meet are keenly aware that budgets can be tight and having to pay extra for someone who may just be brought along for the ride, could be a deal breaker.

Art Baltazar was on hand mingling and showing off his custom Mego collection. His Aw Yeah Comics helped sponsor the show.

Mego Meet does have a couple of panels, but they’re not quite like the larger convention panels. Most years “Doc Mego” participates in at least one, but with EMCE toys not producing much these days it’s less exciting than the days when they were behind Mattel’s Retro-Action line. Nonetheless, while I think Mego Meet could try and bring in some more “stars” whether it’s creators of indy comics (DC’s Art Baltazar is almost always in attendance and is a swell guy) or some of the other toy companies, you can’t blame them too much for not trying to fix something that isn’t broke. I just can’t help but think of the growth of JoeLanta and could see Mego Meet growing a bit bigger. I’m always baffled that a representative from FTC isn’t there, although they do send in door prizes. Even without some of the glitz and glamor of other cons, Mego Meet does have a customs auction, door prizes and a little bit of cosplay. Continue reading

Retro 60s Batman

Batman Classic TV Series
8 Inch Scale
By: Classic TV Toys

There’s something inherently awesome about the classic 1966 Batman TV show. While the show played up it’s campy nature, with ridiculous concepts, over the top fights and well placed humor, it all worked for one reason or another. For decades fans have flocked to this show and it’s become a cult classic with a massive following of fans. At one point Adam West was so recognized for being Batman that he couldn’t escape the role and the public had a hard time separating West’s campy portrayal from any incarnation of the character.

Classic TV Series Batman Figures
Despite the show’s continued licensing longevity, there was never much in the way of action figures and toys until this year. Mattel was the first to market with their 60’s Batman 6 inch figures, but that toy line flat-lined almost as soon as it stepped foot out of the Batcave. None of the figures quite worked and Mattel made it clear they weren’t intending to make it a full fledged toy line, thus killing it before it ever really hit shelves.

Retro Batman Figures Review
Enter Figures Toy Company and it’s Classic TV Toys brand to bring us their take on the 1960’s Batman show in action figure form. Classic TV Toys have had mixed results in the past with their 8 inch figure brands, but to many folks the vintage 70’s Megos served as the unofficial toy line of the William Dozier show. So it’s a pretty natural fit that this “Mego-like” style of figures would be a good vessel for a classic TV series Batman toy line. Over the next few days I’ll be reviewing all of Series 1 of these new Batman figures, but today we start with Batman himself, as portrayed by Adam West. Continue reading

Doctor Who
Sontaran Styre
8 Inch Scale
By: BifBangPow

Field Major Styre of the Sontaran G3 Military Assessment Survey is a character in the infamous 4th Doctor adventure, The Sontaran Experiment. It was a rather unique story for Doctor Who at the time, as it was shot entirely on location and mostly featured Styre and his little “Epcot Center” spaceship. In the serial, Styre is experimenting on astronauts, at least until he runs into the Doctor.

BifBangPow presented this figure as one of the first villians in their “Re-Mego” 8 inch line. Often this figure is sold in a “2 pack” with the 4th Doctor. Both figures come single carded and aren’t a real 2 pack, they’re just simply bundled together for sales. Apparently ol’ Styre isn’t as hot of a seller, despite more or less being an army builder since most Sontarans look the same anyway.

So is this figure worth picking up in bulk? He has some awesome pros and a few disappointing elements as well. We break down the whole Sontaran, after the cut.

BifBangPow have done a nice job on the packaging, with a certain brightness that makes it stand out on the shelf. At the same time, there’s a very retro Doctor Who feel to this package and it certainly isn’t out of the realm in general for Mego packages either.

This card is pretty much my favorite of the modern “Mego” cards from the various companies producing them. I would have liked a little art, but I understand why they went with pictures of the figures themselves. All of Wave 1 is pictured here.

The likeness of Styre is pretty good. It doesn’t scream Styre to me necessarily, but it does scream Sontaran and that’s good enough. I mean, these guys are all supposed to more or less look the same anyway, right? But Styre’s face was a bit dirtier than this figure’s.

He also looks a tad too happy. The Sontaran mask did sort of make the actors look like they were smiling, but it’s just too apparent on this figure. It makes him look like a friendly Uncle Fester with pockmarks. Space Humpty Dumpty or something…

The head sculpt is still one of the best to come down the pike in a long time in this format, though. Even with the minor issues, the amount of sculpting here and the general size and such, just feel right. It’s a really nicely done head sculpt.

“Pay no attention to the hole in the back of my costume! It’s totally not my weak spot!”

The neck collar is equally well done. It doesn’t ride up on the costume and it even has the little Achilles’ Heel on the back. BBP did a tremendous job in that respect.

The costume is quite nice with a metallic look to it. He also has a tad bit of padding, to make him have a bit of a pot belly, as Sontarans tend to be a bit pudgy. The hands and head are both painted in a sort of cream-yellow color, which is accurate enough.

The whole thing looks nice enough… At least from the front. The back is fastened with velcro, but the big issue is the pants of the jumpsuit. They just aren’t long enough and it ends up looking like Styre is wearing Capri pants. It’s just odd.

Further complicating things, the Doc Mego/EMCE body underneath isn’t painted to match the skin. Which means those legs look really off since they’re a different color than the head and hands. The pants can be pulled down, but they tend to ride back up rather easily. I have no idea why they cut the material so short.

Thankfully he looks great from the front because of the boots. As best I can tell, these are reused (at least in terms of sculpt, not mold) from the Mego Knights line, but they work perfectly for the Sontaran.

Mego and Mego clones tend to have a decent amount of articulation. The one area that they’re really lacking is a swivel joint for the arm. Of course, ball joined heads and thigh swivels would help as well. What you’re left with is a cut neck, some rubber band ball joint shoulders and legs, as well as swivel hinge wrists, hinge knees, elbows and ankles.

No complaints from me in general, but he does seem strung a little tight. I’ve noticed that in a lot of EMCE figures lately. I didn’t seem to have the issue with the older Star Trek lines, but maybe there’s some major differences with the runs being put together by the BBP crew.

These “Retro cloth” figures need accessories to help justify their price point, in my view. Styre does quite well in that regard.

Most importantly, he comes with his helmet. Not only is it removable, but it also snaps on and off without any issue. That’s certainly an improvement over the old Modern 5 Inch Sontaran figure from Character Options.

You also get his gun deal, which is nicely painted and colorful.

Styre also gets some sort of communication device… Or something. I can’t recall if this was spelled out in the show or not. Maybe it was part of the stuff he was using to do hallucinogenic studies. Whatever the case, it’s a neat accessory that unplugs from his belt and has really nicely painted details.

$20 for a single figure in today’s toy market used to seem like insanity, but now it’s practically the going rate. I generally think these figures aren’t always the greatest value, but Styre is one of the better values I’ve found in the Re-Mego scene.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Helmet, Space Gun, Transmat Device
Value – 8
Overall – 9 out of 10

I actually think Styre’s just as good, if not better than the BBP 4th Doctor. My only real complaint is that the painted elements on the hands do chip some and the pants just aren’t proper length. It’s not big enough of an issue to be a deal breaker, but it’s a tad frustrating.

Still, this is arguably the best Mego inspired line on the mass market today. BifBangPow have done a really nice job with these figures. They feel like they’re right out of the 70’s, but also can stand toe to toe with a lot of the modern toys of today.

Welcome to a new feature here at Infinite Hollywood and one I hope will continue for some time. We’re scouring the internet to find some of the most unique and interesting custom toys out there. Certainly the big names in customizing get lots of attention, but we thought we’d spread the spotlight onto some of the lesser knowns and show off some of their incredible works.

Today’s inaugural custom comes to us from the 8 inch world of Megos! This often forgotten scale has really made a comeback in the last few years and with new entries into the market, come an influx of creative custom characters. Like none other than, ZOLTAN!

Zoltan Amadeus, otherwise known as Zoltan the Arachnoid, is a character from the old Spider-man and his Amazing Friends cartoon. Zoltan was a scientist who tried to replicate Spider-man’s powers, but ended up turning himself into a gruesome spider beast. Naturally, he was a villain and has remained largely forgotten in the minds of most Marvel comics fans.

However he has not been forgotten in the mind of toy customizer Bob also known as “ThatBatmanGuy”, who has dreamed of a Zoltan to go with his Mego Spider-man since he first laid eyes on the eight legged freak. It’s been quite a few years since then, but Bob has finally completed this masterpiece and it’s the first custom we’re highlighting here on Custom Creations Corner!

Bob managed to take various parts of Megos, his own custom cast pieces and the surprisingly versatile Empress of Racness figure from the Character Options Doctor Who line to create this monstrosity of mischief. Here’s what Bob had to say about his creation:

I watched the old Spiderman and His Amazing Friends back when it was first run. Being a comic book collector, it was given. When this episode ran, I was like “Holy Crap! That’s a cool villain.” The Arachnoid was NOT in Marvel comics. Usually a villain created just for an animated series back then was fair to say the least. Not The Arachnoid! Half-Man, Half-Spider and ALL Villain.

Fast forward 25 – 30 years when I start building custom Megos. This is one that I HAD to do. But, to do it right, meant finding the right parts. Now I build my own resin cast bodies, but that spider body had to wait. That is until the Doctor Who Empress of Racnoss figure was released. Then all of the pieces to my puzzle fell into place. I’ve built a lot of custom Megos, but I really feel this one is one of my best.

This really is a cool figure and one of a kind. You can see the love for the character oozing out of this one and man is he ever creepy. If you like this creation and want to contact Bob about seeing if he can whip up a creation of yours, you can email him at: aadesign@nctc.com. Not only does he make custom Megos, but he also makes custom computer die-cut vinyl decals for Megos, GI Joe Adventure team, Six Million Dollar Man and Big Jim. If you’re looking for some of those cool retro designs, Bob sounds like your man.

That’s it for this edition of Custom Creations Corner, but if you have a cool custom you want spotlighted, drop us a line and maybe you could be featured right here!

Mego Doctor Who is back and in a big way… Well sort of. BifBangPow will be doing modern Mego versions of the 4th Doctor and other classic characters very soon. This also includes BBP doing a variety of other things with Who, but on tap first is a retro Who line. I’m all for it as my love of Megos is growing and Doctor Who had a Mego line in the 70’s by Deny Fisher. Check out the press release. No photos yet (these pics are of the old line) but we’ll update when they hit.

TOYFARE EXCLUSIVE: “Doctor Who” will finally be getting 8-inch cloth costumed figures, thanks to the retro wizards at Bif Bang Pow! (makers of similar figures for “Venture Bros.,” “Twilight Zone” and more).

It might be a shock, but despite being an icon of countless ’70s childhoods, “Doctor Who” never got a Mego figure. Oh sure, a line was developed by Mego and released in the U.K. by Denys Fisher, but those figures were in a 10-inch scale, and not compatible with the 8-inch Mego figures from Marvel, DC, Star Trek and more. And modern figures from Character Options are 5 inches and plastic.

Now a great injustice is about to be righted. Bif Bang Pow!, makers of Mego-esque retro figures for properties like “The Venture Bros.” and “Twilight Zone” will be releasing a range of products featuring classic and modern “Doctor Who”—including 8-inch retro cloth-costumed figures!

“When I first saw the show, I wondered, ‘Where are the toys?’” says Jason Lenzi CEO of BBP!. “[As a child] I went to England and figured the toys would be everywhere, but there was nothing. So it’s a thrill to be working on these toys.”

Although BBP!’s license includes modern and classic versions of the show (as well as ancillary items like bobbleheads, tins, glassware and journals), first out of the gate will be the greatest Doctor of the ’70s, and the first exposure most Americans born before 1995 had to the series: Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. Prototypes for Baker and three other figures, all drawn from the Baker era of the show, will premiere at next month’s International Toy Fair in New York, with a planned launch for sale at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con in July (along with one or two SDCC-exclusive variants).

Depending on reaction from retailers and fans, subsequent series might draw on the current eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, starring Matt Smith, as well as his companions and enemies. Either way, according to Lenzi, there are plans to make all of the Doctors, eventually.

Now if only BBP! could figure out how to time-travel back to the ’70s, they’d make a lot of kids back then happy.

For our wishlist of who we want to see in BBP!’s line, pick up ToyFare #163, on sale 1/19 in comic shops.