Mongers: Filter Kings
2 Inch Scale
By: Frank Kozik
The vinyl art toy movement is one of the more interesting developments in the world of collectibles. The toys themselves are aimed at a wide variety of demographics and they’re not “toys” in the traditional sense. They have a incredible range of prices from just a couple of bucks, to hundreds of dollars. Despite being somewhat different, they have a huge following and they sport some of the most creative creations around.
Frank Kozik is a man of many hats. He earned his reputation first for creating pop art concert posters. He then became a music mogul of sorts and even released the first Queens of the Stone Age single. Art has always been his true passion, though, and has become a staple in the vinyl art movement for years. His Mongers line has a variety of creations, including the mini Filter Kings.
What are the Filter Kings? Oddball pieces of art, with faces that smoke cigarettes. Such is the case with today’s review, Major Thockmorton. The Major, for all intents and purposes, is a bucket of KFC chicken smoking it up.
Like most small scale vinyl toys, the Filter Kings come blind boxed. That means you don’t know which figure you’re going to get when you purchase one. Your chances of getting Major Throckmorton are 2:24, which means he’s a pretty common figure.
The box itself, while small is quite nice. It features a big picture of Smokey El Roiwho serves as sort of the mascot for the line. He’s also one of the figures you could receive, but is a bit rarer than Throckmorton. There is a nice bit of gold metallic on the box which really makes it stand out. It should be noted that I bought my Major Throckmorton from a seller who had already opened these up to check to see who was inside. That happens a lot with these sort of things as people buy cases, take all the rare figures and resell the others. I was only after the Major, so it doesn’t bother me.
The sides of the box show off the other characters in the series and show you the ratio of your chances of whom you’ll get in the blind box. There are also secret characters, who are blacked out. I both love and hate the concept of blind boxing in general.
Sculpt & Paint:
At just two inches, there isn’t a lot of room for in-depth sculpting. Vinyls have a tendency to be sort of one note, but they can at times be very intricate. Major Throckmorton falls in the former category.
The head of Throckmorton is mostly composed of a traditional, Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket. It has the familiar red and white coloring. His “hair” is a whole chicken, which sticks out of the bucket itself.
There’s nothing really impressive about the sculpting or the paint. It’s all decent, but not amazing. He has a Colonel Sanders style moustache and goatee in addition to his oversized smoke, which gives him a little extra character. As usual with these figures, he also has a painted on 5 o’clock shadow.
I found the back of the character interesting. There’s a small butt on the chicken and sure enough, Throckmorton also has a little butt of his own. At least, that’s what I think it is. The sculpting is decent enough and the painting is all pretty smooth, with just a tad bit of slop on the chicken inside the bucket.
A lot of vinyl figures have no articulation. This is definitely a trend we see in the mini vinyl figures as well. Major Throckmorton has no movement whatsoever. Balljointed chicken legs in his head would have been awesome.
Some Kid Robot mini figures come with accessories. This line however, does not. Given that none of the Mongers: Filter Kings have hands or feet, I guess I can’t fault them for lack of accessories.
At $6-$8 for a designer vinyl mini figure, these aren’t that bad of a price. Of course, that’s purely if you collect vinyl. If you’re not someone who’s into this scene, you’re bound to think this is way, way overpriced. I fall somewhere in between. I got this guy for just about $4 which doesn’t bother me too much. I bought him more for custom uses, than any love of vinyl. He is a unique looking thing and I think he’s got a fair amount of charm. I still find vinyl stuff too expensive in general, however.
If nothing else this guy sort of fits in with my Aqua Teen Hunger Force figures, albeit he’s a tad small. Major Throckmorton is an interesting little tip toe into the designer vinyl world and Frank Kozik’s designs are sure to win over certain folks. I definitely continue to enjoy the few vinyls I do have, but don’t love the prices on many of them.