As promised today I’m reviewing another member of the Mezco Popeye family, Bluto! This is the wave 3 version of Bluto which is for all intents and purposes a repaint. A lot of times repaints are lame, but with Bluto, he has had numerous outfits through the years and this one is a great repaint. In fact I prefer this to the other Bluto color scheme. In case you missed it, here is my review of Popeye from yesterday.


Bluto
5 Inch Scale
By: Mezco
2001
$10.99 (Then) – $25 & Above (Now)

Bluto is Popeye’s longtime nemesis and if King Kong was a man, he’d look like Bluto. Bluto is an old school tough guy and perhaps the epitome of a “barrel chested” muscle man. Bluto isn’t exactly fat, but he’s not super cut either. Bluto is built like a huge gorilla. Interestingly Bluto underwent a name change for several years and went as “Brutus”. My Dad refers to Bluto as Brutus, because that’s how he remembers him. It’s up to you to decide if Bluto and Brutus are two different characters and having this variant of Bluto is a great way to get Brutus into the line, even if that’s not his official name.

Packaging:
Yesterday I remarked how much I liked the packaging and nothing has changed in my opinion of that. This version of Bluto is from Wave 3, but his packaging is largely the same. The only difference is what figures appear on the back.


The front is still nice and inviting.


The back of the package is just as bright and shows off the other figures in the series.


Here’s something I didn’t show you yesterday: Behind the bubble. There’s a great picture of a sunken pirate ship. I love all the little added details here. It makes the whole thing look like it came straight out of a cartoon.

Sculpt:
Bluto’s sculpt is somewhat simpler than Popeye, but making this bruiser big and tough isn’t easy either. Mezco decided to make Bluto a hard plastic rotocast, which means he’s hollow. Bluto is surprisingly light and because he’s made of hard plastic I doubt he could last too many shelf dives.


Even being rotocast, his design tends to make him top heavy. Thankfully Bluto has some big feet and he has no real issues standing. You can stand Bluto up in a variety of poses and similar to Popeye from yesterday, he always looks like the character.


Paint wise there is a lot at work here. Bluto is now wearing a striped sweater instead of his usual outfit. This looks like Bluto when he’s acting as a longshoreman or something of that nature, while the regular Bluto is “steppin’ out” Bluto.


The paint work remains relatively simple, but it’s quite good. The only real issue my Bluto has is a faint bit of bleed from his pink flesh to his teeth. I’m guessing this is an isolated problem and it doesn’t bother me too much. In fact it almost looks intentional, but I know it’s not.


Bluto’s arms are sculpted in two surprisingly different poses. Both are essentially elbows bent positions, but one is bent more than the other. I kind of wish they had been made the same, but again it’s a minor thing. Bluto’s huge though, that’s for sure. This guy isn’t just a inch and a half taller than Popeye, he’s wide bodied and thick all around.

Bluto always looked enormous in the old cartoons and that’s perfectly replicated here. His clenched teeth and big bushy beard really add to his personality. Mezco has hit another homerun with this guy.

Articulation:
Sadly Bluto has considerably less articulation than Popeye. Gone is the ball jointed neck. I assume that’s because his design really wouldn’t allow it. Bluto doesn’t have much of a neck and what he does have is thick with girth. Had they went with the ball joint, it likely would have killed the design.


He does end up with ball jointed arms but they’re pin/post style ball joints as opposed the genuine ball joints that Popeye has. Still, you can get a few decent poses out of the big lug and the cut waist, neck, wrists and knuckle hinges are nice. In the picture above I forgot to mention the swivel hands. Oh well, they’re there just like Popeye.


Much like Popeye, Bluto has an action feature. Mezco seemed to try to cater to two audiences with these figures, kids and collectors. They probably should have focused more on the collectors, but Bluto’s action feature, much like Popeye’s doesn’t really get in the way of his collectible status. As you can see in the video above, he has the old “push button punch” action.


There’s a small button on the back of Bluto and it fits in well enough with his design to be relatively hidden. A couple of things… Bluto’s punching power is very POWERFUL! I didn’t test him against Popeye, but I’m guessing he’d launch him across the room. Seriously, don’t punch yourself with Bluto’s punch, it might knock you down! The other thing is that the button is pretty hard to push. That’s actually good so you don’t accidentally hit it when setting figures up.

Despite all that Bluto’s arm retains most of it’s poseablility. You can simply “click” Bluto’s arm counter clockwise around and it holds it poses quite well. Not as good of a range as it would be without the action feature, but generally much better than most toys that have this action feature.

Accessories:
Bluto comes with a ton of crap. All of Bluto’s accessories appear to be reuse from previous Popeye sets, but that doesn’t really make them any less awesome. They’re generally repainted as well, so that makes them different enough.


First he comes with one of those cool old cartoon ball bombs. The detail on this thing is incredible. There’s several shades and washes on the wick and the bomb itself. It’s awesome.


Bluto also has an angry starfish. (Write your own joke for that one)


There’s also a really neat octopus. He’s a dark purple color with a couple of washes himself.


It’s a simple sculpt, but has a pretty good “cartoon” level of detail to it.


Finally he has a big metal torpedo.


The torpedo has a cool “Bullet Bill” look to him.


Bluto comes with everything you see here.

WE INTERRUPT THIS REVIEW TO BRING YOU A SPECIAL
POPEYE COMIC


“Ha-hah, a gift for my ol’ PAL Popeye!”


“Brutusk, won’t be no blasticin’ today! What’s he take me for? I knows that I’m losing me patience.”


“Can it pipsqueak!”


“HAH-HA-HA-HA! Victory! I’m so mean, I had a dream of beatin’ myself up.”


“Can it he-say? Natcherally, it doesn’t hoit to can it… If that can is me spinach!”


SKLLLLLURRRRRP!


Bah-dah dah dah dah! Dahdah- dit dah-dah dit-dit dit-dah dit DAH DAH!


“I’m getting a real sensk of humiligration. Now, maybe you no good ill repuke can use ye’s intelligensk and sees that I’m bout to get an apologeky with me fists!”


“Strong to the finish, cause I eat me spinach! A-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah!”

Value:
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Bluto is generally cheaper than Popeye, but can still fetch a hefty sum. This variant of Bluto was produced in smaller quantities than the original version so expect to pay about $25 plus for him. He’s still worth it, though. Popeye and Bluto together are just a lot of fun.


“Outtah ma’h way chump!”

Score Recap:
Packaging – 10
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Bomb, Starfish, Torpedo, Octopus
Value – 10
Overall – 9.5 out of 10


I’m giving Bluto a 9 1/2 because I think dishing out two 10’s might be overselling the line just a tad. Bluto is still awesome by all means, but he’s not as awesome as Popeye. Bluto makes Popeye more awesome and vice versa though.


Both of these guys are a lot of fun and it’s a damned shame this line ended. Mezco should really re-release them in box sets or something. The toys fetch a pretty penny on the secondary market and I think a lot of people missed out on them the first time around. Mezco could double their profits.


Now who’s going to clean up this mess? Be sure to follow me on Twitter for daily toy updates, Popeye and other randomness as well.

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