Happy Easter everybody. Today I’m checking in with one of the oldest comic book heroes of all time, Dick Tracy.


Dick Tracy Mez-Itz
Dick Tracy, The Brow, Influence, Prunce Face, Flattop, Sam Catchem
3 Inch Scale
By: Mezco
2003
$5.00

Back in the early 2000’s Lego style figures were all the rage. I believe it started with Kubricks and just moved on from there. Whatever the case, these styles of figures were very popular similar to the small figure movement of today. Also in the early 2000’s just about anything could get an action figure line. When these forces combined you got the Dick Tracy Mez-Itz line from Mezco.


Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy comic was exposed to a lot of people in my generation via the Warren Beatty film (underrated I think) but the comic had been going since the early 1930’s! Impressively the comic strip still runs today, sadly in much less syndication. Today I’m looking at the entire line of Dick Tracy Mez-Itz with the exception of a special pack that included Dick Tracy versus The Blank.


History repeats itself as once again the Blank eludes me. Que sera, sera, I guess. Let’s check these little cops and robbers out!

Packaging:
The packages are all simple, but effective. Typical cardboard cards with bubbles.


One of the cool features is that the sticker which is on the front telling the characters has a different word usage for each one. As an example, Dick Tracy Meets Prune Face or Dick Tracy Takes On The Brow. This adds a little flavor and reminds you of the way the old story arcs would have titles in the classic comic strips.


The front features bright colors and the patented red Dick Tracy font with a picture of Tracy’s big square jaw.


The selection of characters includes many of the classic Tracy foes. However it’s pretty obvious that Mezco was hoping to rekindle some of the magic of the old Playmates line and stuck exclusively to characters that had also been made there.


I can’t say that’s a bad choice, but it would have been cool to see some other Tracy villains. Dick Tracy has 70 years of villains to pull from. Very rarely did any Tracy foe become a recurring character (they usually wound up on the wrong end of Tracy’s gun when an arc was over) so there could be some new blood.


The back of the package takes a unique approach showing pictures of everyone. No text, no info about the comic, the toy line, nothing. Just pictures of the other figures. It gets points for originality, but I can’t help but thinking a blurb about the characters, the story arcs they came from or just Dick Tracy in general would have made them more appealing.


Inside everyone is wrapped up with a single twist tie, except for one pack which had Tracy wrapped in two. Not sure what the difference was.

Sculpt:
I wasn’t collecting figures at the time these guys came out, but I do remember remarking how I thought it was weird that Lego men were so popular. Obviously I knew these weren’t Lego products, but that’s what they looked like to me. They still do in a lot of ways.


However I have come to appreciate the small desktop nature of these toys. The lines are sharp, the sculpting on the heads are perfect and they make great little toys. Dick Tracy is a PERFECT line for this sort of thing, because almost all Tracy characters are just guys in suits with exaggerated faces.


Tracy’s hat is removable, thus making this the first time he’s had a removable hat in action figure form. Shocker Toys upcoming Tracy figure has his hat removable as well. Sadly Sam’s hat isn’t removable. That seems like an odd omission.


Almost every set comes with a Tracy figure, with only the Sam Catchem set not including the titular character. That’s a bit of a shame because there are plenty of other hero characters, Moon Maid anyone? But I guess they felt it was best to stick to the star. The nice part is that the figures are all different, showing Tracy in his yellow trench, his suit coat and without his suit coat.


Speaking of Tracy, there are two head sculpts. One is a smirk and the other his infamous furl frown. The head sculpt is perfect, capturing all the square and pointed angles of Dick Tracy’s face. It’s amazing just how much better this is than it’s upcoming Shocker Toys counterpart.


The villains are the big draw with Dick Tracy and they all look quite nice. Very much as they did in the old comics. I really can’t find any flaws with the figures. The paint is pretty strong all around and they are well constructed. Tracy even has his patented two way wrist radio watch!

Articulation:
Lego men have very little articulation. Kubricks don’t have that great of articulation. Imagine my surprise to see that these Mez-Itz are quite articulated!


The arms, legs and head are all on ball joints. These are true ball joints, not pin/post or swivel hinge style. It’s just a ball with a joint stuck over it. It works really well with all the figures.


The hands are also on a ball joint of sorts, but it operates more like a swivel. The hand is basically a Lego figure hand, but it does have a tiny bit more movement in the wrist. Overall, you can get these guys into a myriad of fun poses and have full adventures right on your desk.

Accessories:
Each set comes with two to four instruments of destruction. There is some reuse throughout the sets, but the sheer number of unique sculpted weapons is still pretty good considering how small the line is.


Guns, knives, flashlights and bombs are all the stuff that makes Dick Tracy comics fun. It’s great to have them here and all the sculpts while small and somewhat generic are pretty good.


There’s a fair amount of variety as well. Several different styles of guns.


They even have what appears to be slapjack. Now that’s old school gangster fun.


Probably the best accessory comes with Flattop. It’s his Tommy Gun.


The best part about the Tommy Gun is that Flattop also has his violin case to put it into. It even really opens and fits inside. Totally cool.


All in all Mezco gave these guys a pretty good selection of weapons.

Additional Notes:
Interestingly, the heads and torsos are swappable. The arms and legs might be as well, but I didn’t try.


This means you can change people’s suits and pants around. It makes for some pretty cool combinations and that can add some extra flavor. You could also switch these guys up with any other Mez-Itz.

Value:
I have no clue what these originally retailed for. I think they were about $5-6 a piece. That was a pretty expensive toy back then, but they were still a pretty good value. As you can see by the price tag, eventually these ended up on K*B Toys at 2 for $5, which was a great value. I believe I bought the whole set on Ebay for about $10, which just shows you that there are hidden gems out there.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Guns, Knives, Flashlights, Bombs
Value – 10
Overall – 7.5 out of 10


There’s really nothing wrong with these figures. They’re cheap, they’re fun and they pay homage well to the property they come from. The only thing that holds them back at all is that I find the format itself, a little below average. However if you’re going to buy these types of figures, it seems that Mez-Itz are pretty much the pinnacle.


I really don’t have anything bad to say. Definitely worth picking up if you want to give your kids something different in their Easter basket this year. Be sure to swing by my Twitter and follow me for all the latest news, reviews and nonsensical mayhem here at Infinite Hollywood. Enjoy your Cadbury cream eggs!

8 Responses to Dick Tracy Mez-Its Figure Reviews

  • jibberjabber says:

    "Speaking of Tracy, there are two head sculpts. One is a smirk and the other his infamous furl frown. The head sculpt is perfect, capturing all the square and pointed angles of Dick Tracy's face. It's amazing just how much better this is than it's upcoming Shocker Toys counterpart."

    Really? That is funny since Shocker Toy's figures aren't even out yet. I would wait to start ISH talking once you have it in hand. Oh but I don't think he will be sending you any for review now…….

  • kerowack says:

    I am a HUGE Dick Tracy fan and these figures have the best head sculpts of any action figure that I own. EXACTLY like their comic counterparts, I would KILL to get my hands on the upcoming Tracy figures just to see if the head sizes are even close enough for a custom. The Blank is the only character of the Mez-Itz set that is only in this because of the movie. Flattop is easily the most famous of tracy villains and the other three are no slouches either (although I would've prefered a mumbles over an influence…).

    Good review. I wish Dick Tracy were a more popular character….I have a gigantic collection, but always looking for more.

  • Well I wouldn't consider telling it straight to be "ish" talking. Shocker Toys has already released the black & white Dick Tracy figure. So unless the head sculpt is different (pictures don't seem to indicate that it is) I remain firm in my assertion that this head sculpt is signifigantly better than the Shocker Toys version. That's not necessarily saying that Shocker's Tracy sucks, but that this Mez-Itz head sculpt is better. I've had the B&W version for months now.

    As for the idea that me giving my honest opinion on a toy would somehow have an outcome on whether I'll get a sample review or not? Well I've given Shocker fair coverage and fair reviews here, but I'm always going to be HONEST, even if I get a freebie. So if something sucks or something else is better, you'll hear it here. That's how we roll here at Infinite Hollywood for better or worse.

    Though honestly, I doubt the folks at Shocker Toys are hoping to bribe people with freebies for good reviews. If they get honest and fair reviews, fans are much more likely to purchase their products. But that's just my .2

  • Thanks for the kind words. I have to agree the head sculpts are stellar on these. Which is good since these figures live or die by them. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the upcoming Tracy figure will be able to use these guys' head sculpts without having some serious bobblehead issues.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I plan on covering some more Tracy stuff this summer.

  • revsears says:

    In the 2nd pic, the guy in purple (later seen in tan) Looks like John Kerry to me!

  • Wes says:

    Great review, Newt… though I don't see how you're not giving these figures 10/10. I picked up the Brow and Tracy 2-pack years ago on clearance (not really that into the format, but I loved the Brow as a kid and the set was like $1) and was pleasantly surprised. For what they are (not to mention the price), they positively RULE! 😀

    And speaking of the Shocker figure, I bet you could swap the head of one of these onto it for an interesting (and very easy) custom. 🙂

  • Agreed, for what they are they probably deserve 10/10 but I guess it's a bit of format bias.

  • Pam Hintz says:

    Who would I purchase all these figures from? And what is the price?

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