Toy Review – One:12 Collective Blade from Mezco

I’m never afraid to admit things that might shame a standard dork. For instance, I pretty much only know Blade from the movies.

I’ve read comics where he guest-starred here and there, but haven’t ever really sought the character out in print form. In my defense he hasn’t exactly headlined a whole lot of books. Or maybe that doesn’t work in my defense, since there isn’t much to track down.

Whatever the case with the comics, I love the movies. The first Blade was something completely different than any other comic book or horror movie. It was absolutely the coolest movie released in 1998. The combination of style, gore, action, intense music, and a fantastic cast set it apart from comic book movies and horror movies. The pop culture world truly embraced Wesley Snipes as the Daywalker, to the extent that he and the character have become synonymous.

Just take a look at any comic representation of Blade since then.

Which is why, despite the fact that this isn’t a movie Blade, it totally looks like movie Blade aside from the likeness.

I don’t want to disregard the Blade TV show that starred rapper Sticky Fingaz in the titular role. I watched the pilot and couldn’t really get into it, but I’ve heard that the thirteen episodes turned out to be pretty good.

While I’ve got a beautiful sixth scale movie Blade from Toy Biz’ surprisingly excellent Marvel Studios line, I needed a great 6” Daywalker; even if it wasn’t Snipes.

Did Mezco’s release scratch that figure itch or will I have to track down the old movie figures? Read on and find out!

THE BOX

The good ol’ One:12 window box in a slipcover – you just can’t go wrong with this packaging.

The slipcover has a classy matte graphic on the front with some nice gloss trim and lettering. The back  features photos of the figure and accessories, as well as some phenomenal action shots from Mezco’s designers.

“An assortment of vampire slaying accessories” cracks me up.

I’ve come to the realization that while it’s great to display the accessories that these figures come with, the window does you no good at all as far as the figure goes. Thanks to the careful packaging and the film that is used to protect them, they aren’t really visible. That’s okay, though, because at this point I trust Mezco to deliver. Zoom debacle notwithstanding (I went through three Professor Zoom figures and they all had messed up belt pieces – I gave up and have no Zoom).

The plastic trays inside the window box are stacked and easily removable, with each piece of the set securely protected. Everything can be put back into place just as easily as it can be removed.

For some weird reason I store all of the accessories I don’t use in the included Mylar bag and shove that into the back of the box rather than replacing them in the trays. I have no idea why I’ve been doing it this way and I suppose now I’m going to have to go back through all of my old boxes and fix it. #psychocollectorproblems

DSC_0093THE TOY

Since Mezco/Marvel/Disney have no interest in litigation, this figure looks nothing like Wesley Snipes. It does look a little Idris Elbish, but maybe that’s just me.

Whatever it’s based on, the head is excellent. The haircut is unique, with the severe double “V”s leading up into the fade. Blade’s eyebrows and facial hair have depth and texture, along with perfectly applied deco. The tattoos on the back of the neck have a faded look like real tattoos as opposed to the fresh Sharpie look that a lot of action figures tend to sport.

The default head has a sort of neutral tough guy expression. It looks great and I’d definitely use it for display if the alternate head wasn’t so amazing. More on that in a minute.

The figure has a fairly lean body that is loaded with the high-functioning articulation we’ve come to expect from this line. I’m not going to run down the list of joints, but this figure blows even the best Marvel Legends away. It’s worth noting that Blade’s ankles have a much better range than other recent One:12 releases. As a matter of fact, most of the figures that followed the Dark Knight Returns Batman have been a pretty big letdown in the ankle department.

While I wouldn’t say that these ankles are at the level I’d like them to be, they have a lot more range in every direction than the last several One:12s I’ve reviewed. Or the ones before those. Plus the boots themselves look incredible.

Featuring thick, detailed soles, armored plates, laces, and a nice variation in paint colors, these are some badass vamp-stompin’ shitkickers.

The rest of Blade’s wardrobe is nice, too. The ¾ sleeve shirt fits well, moves with the articulation, and has red trim that makes it look like more than just a black spandex top. The trousers have a leather-like look and feel. I’m always impressed with how Mezco designs materials like this, as they seem like they’d be a bit on the delicate side, but feel sturdy and move well. Any time toy manufacturers try to fake leather it seems like the texture is going to rub off eventually, but Mezco’s soft goods are noticeably a different quality.

Blade’s utility belt is not removable, but is also not attached to the figure, so I had to situate it a bit during photos. Straight out of the box it was riding way too high, but with a little finesse you can slide it down to sit on top of the trousers’ waistband, where it looks much better.

The belt is packed with detail – a web belt base features sheathes for the included… Bladearangs?, a detailed buckle/fastener thing, and some pouches.

There’s also a thigh belt to store the included stakes. It, too, is packed with detail. It’s attached to the trousers somehow, so you don’t have to worry about it sliding off like all of the belts Hasbro has been putting on Marvel Legends lately. That Cyclops is a friggin’ disaster until you glue those things on.

The necessary thickness of the Bladearang sheathes combined with the tight shirt and loose trousers makes the figure’s torso-to-hips transition a little weird, kind of like he’s walking around the house in Daddy’s pants. It’s fine and not really noticeable when you’re messing around with the figure. Plus there’s a badass trench coat that you are absolutely going to display him in, so it really doesn’t matter.

DSC_0086THE STUFF

Blade includes an assortment of vampire slaying accessories.

Heh.

The figure comes with a shotgun, a submachine gun with two clips, two “firing” effects, six stakes, two Bladearangs, a sword and sheathe with a magnetic clip, an alternate head, four pairs of sunglasses, a trench coat, eight alternate hands, and a stand.

Mezco are truly the magnet masters. I don’t know why more American toy companies aren’t incorporating magnets into their products. The sheathe for Blade’s sword clips into a little magnetic part that attaches to the figure’s back. It’s strong enough to work through the shirt and the coat.

There’s a nice level of detail on the sheathe and the sword slides in perfectly. That may not seem like a big deal, but there are so many toys in the Phantom Zone with swords that are tough to get in and out, don’t go all the way in, or have the paint scraped off because the fit isn’t right. The sword looks awesome and, of course, fits perfectly into the corresponding hands.

The Bladearangs, if you haven’t guessed, are at the top of my list of cool things about this figure. They fold in two on a swivel joint, are sharp and pointy enough to actually wound you, and look awesome in the figure’s hand or just stored on the belt.

Three of the six stakes can slide into the belt on the figure’s thigh. They stay put and are reasonably sized when compared to the figure. Again, this may not seem like a thing, but action figure accessories are all too often oversized for the figure or too small for the hands the figure has. I also love that Mezco was thoughtful enough to include extras of these tiny, potentially easily lost items.

They did this for the sunglasses, too, although breakage is another possible factor there. While the shades are sturdy enough, they fit so snugly that with repeated removal they might eventually break. They look absolutely fantastic on the figure and you probably won’t display him without them.

Now let’s talk about the head that those sunglasses are going to be on.

The alternate head features an absolutely ferocious portrait, with the Daywalker exposing his fangs. The sculpt and paint on the interior of the mouth are unbelievable. Plus, the additional wrinkles and texturing on the face put this over the top.

Mezco has been doing a spectacular job with firearms and Blade is no exception. The submachine gun is great, but it is totally overshadowed by the shotgun.

Blade’s shotgun is as detailed as you’d expect and even has a functioning pump action, but the part that impressed the heck out of me is the harness that allows you to hang it from the figure’s shoulder under the coat. It’s not just a string or a strip of fabric – it’s a carefully designed piece that situates just right over the figure’s shoulder. It’s web belt-like material with a functional clip on the end so that the shotgun can be removed. This is another fine example of Mezco going above and beyond what was necessary to deliver a singular toy experience.

The blast effects fit into each weapon’s barrel and look great.

DSC_0138Blade’s trademark trench coat is another thing of toy beauty. It has a leather-like exterior with a red satin lining. Wire runs up both sides of the front opening and around the collar to allow for posing. It looks excellent on the figure – Mezco is usually sure to make the soft goods look right for the scale. Which brings me to the zipper.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a functional zipper that looks this good and works this well on a figure smaller than 12”. Most sixth scale figures can’t even manage zippers this good. The pull is only slightly larger than scale, so it doesn’t look all big and goofy like these things tend to. I strongly recommend using a paper clip to open and close it, though, because it is tiny and tough to manipulate and could potentially be damaged.

Finally, the stand is the same as the other One:12 pieces, but with a “Blade” logo. It includes a peg for the figure’s foot as well as an armature that can be used for jumping or falling poses. It’s excellent and the joints on the armature are tight enough to keep the figure aloft for months. Years, even. I’ve had Shazam, Black Adam, Deadpool, Daredevil, Space Ghost, and even that years-old DKR Batman raised up on their armatures for as long as I’ve had them, with zero signs of droop.

DSC_0141THE VERDICT

This action figure absolutely scratches that vampire hunter figure itch, even if you prefer the movie Blade. Once the sunglasses are on, it almost might as well be Snipes. Especially with the alternate head.

Blade isn’t one of my favorite characters, but his figure has ended up being one of my favorite One:12 Collective figures.

I bought my Blade from Sidewalk Toys, located inside Odin’s Comics in Lilburn, GA.

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