Mezco Toyz One:12 Collective Previews Exclusive Cyclops Review

I didn’t get around to picking up Mezco’s regular release of Cyclops, though I still plan to. While I really dig that one’s 1990s inspired outfit, I knew I needed this Previews Exclusive version once I saw it. The best X-Men stories were from the 1980s, and this figure screams that era of Cyclops’ adventures. Let’s dig in. 

Background

Scott Summers has worn several outfits over the last fifty+ years. Some have been iconic and some have been forgettable. (Anyone remember Cyke’s Basilisk costume from the Age of X comics? No? Exactly.) While I grew up on with Scott Summers not as a member of the X-Men, but as the leader of the spin-off team X-Factor, this costume is just as iconic to me for several reasons. I completely understand Mezco Toyz making their regular release of the character in the Jim Lee-designed bandolier look. In terms of mass media, that is the costume that most fans are familiar with, either from the 90s FOX animated series or the Marvel vs. Capcom video games. However, this Previews Exclusive figure is based on what Cyclops wore in the most memorable storylines from the comics.  First appearing in X-Men #39 in 1967, this outfit was designed by Scott’s perennial love interest, Jean Grey, when the original X-Men proved themselves as deserving of individualized looks. He’d go on to wear the outfit in such famous storylines such as the debut of the All-New, All-Different X-Men, his battle against Storm for the X-Men’s leadership and, of course, the Dark Phoenix Saga. 

Packaging

Cyclops comes, as do all of Mezco’s Previews Exclusives, in an attractive tin container. Adorned in the iconic X-Men school colors of yellow and blue, the packaging is fairly minimalist. A single circled “X” and Cyclops’ name is all you get on the front cover, along with the requisite Marvel, Mezco, and Previews branding. The sides of the tin direct you to Mezco’s website and remind you of what figure is hiding inside. The back is a reproduction of Mezco’s promotional material, with a visual breakdown of what’s inside the box and some glamour shots of Scot Summers doing his thing.  All in all, a clean and simple design that pops due to its colors and simplicity. The sturdiness and feel of the metal really sell this as a high-end piece, as well.

Inside the plastic trays hold everything securely, allowing for easy replacement if you’re an in-box collector. You can also find an instruction sheet for inserting the batteries that are necessary to operate Cyclops’ light-up eyes feature.

 Outfit

As mentioned above, this look for Cyclops is based on his Don Heck-designed costume from the comic books, which the character wore for nearly 20 years. As Mezco Toyz always does, though, they’ve largely stuck to the overall comic design but have added their own Mezco flair to it in order to differentiate this as their own. The color breakdown is identical to the original artwork, with yellow gloves, boots, visor, belt and shorts against a dark blue jumpsuit and cowl. Artists would later change the belt’s color to red in order to break up the colors some more, which I’ve always preferred, but Mezco opted to take inspiration from the initial version. 

Opting to not give Cyke his buccaneer boots is probably a smart decision, so instead this version of Cyclops is wearing boots and gloves that are identical to the regular release’s style. It’s a more tech-oriented motif, and its one I prefer as well. He also shares his pouched belt with that regular release, though this one obviously forgoes the attached bandolier. The yellow pleather shorts are a nice, classic touch that is missing from the more modern version, and I honestly wish they’d stuck with these for both figures. The yellow breaks up the blue nicely, and that is something I feel the regular version sorely needs.

In what I assume is an attempt to avoid what might appear to be a pajama-feel to the jumpsuit, Mezco’s designers have added some vinyl applications to it. These can go either way for me, as I have both loved and hated them in the past. That said, I’m okay with them here and I think they work as intended. Creating an “X” pattern on his chest is a subtle touch that I’m frankly surprised I like as much as I do, but stranger things have happened. If there is anything that I’d change here, it’d be the collar. It comes off as over-stylized and unnecessary.

Sculpting

Cyclops comes with three interchangeable head sculpts, each expertly sculpted. There are two masked heads, along with an unmasked Scott Summers head. The two masked heads (one taciturn, one gritting his teeth) are my favorites. With all due respect to the designs of artists like Jim Lee and Frank Quitely, when I think of Cyclops, I think of him in full cowl. It, along with the visor, gives him a more off-kilter vibe that says a lot about the character’s personality. Both of these heads have empty slots that allow for swapping out the many different visors Mezco has supplied the buyer. We’ll talk more about those in the accessories section.

The Scott Summers head is great too, itself coming with eyes that light up as well. This means that the Ruby Quartz sunglasses that Scott wears are actually removable, which was a nice surprise and not immediately evident from the promotional images.  Both heads are separate from the neck, which is where the batteries are inserted. There is a seam, it should be noted, where the parted hair “swoops” in the front, which is pretty noticeable and unfortunate

The detail work of the belt, cuffs, and boots are all also exceptional.

Paint

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room immediately, and talk about Cyclops’ lips. They’re painted fairly dark, almost giving the impression of lipstick, which I’m not a fan of. This seemed to be an issue with the regular release as well, and I’m not entirely sure why Mezco decided to go this route for Cyclops specifically. Either way, it’s off-putting and distracts from what is otherwise a fair job on the faces. My taciturn masked head also has a little heavy wash in one nostril, but not the other, and the wash on the belt and straps wavers a little, but overall a decent paint job.

Articulation

On average, Mezco Toyz tends to be pretty successful when straddling the line between range of movement and form-fitting cloth outfits. PX Cyclops continues that tradition and does not disappoint when it comes to supplying plenty of flexibility for collectors. Cyclops has double-jointed elbows and knees, which should be a staple of action figures but sadly is not. The bicep and thigh cuts allow for some additional movement in the arm and leg area while not experiencing any restriction from the outfit. The shoulders have a surprising amount of rotation, allowing for near 360-degree rotation. The mid-torso cut isn’t the greatest. You’ll get some forward crunch, but I feel like it could be better; the swivel motion, though, is solid. The ankle pivot is exemplary, nearly making me forget the days when Mezco just could not solve that particular problem. Due to the neck’s particular design (holding the batteries), there is no movement there. The head also suffers from the neck’s design, moving side-to-side fine, but really suffering from little to no up and down movement.

Accessories

Cyke comes with some great accessories, most designed to compliment his light-up feature. Along with the standard swappable hands (a fisted pair, a grappling pair, a right-handed salute hand, and a left-handed “pressing his visor” hand), he comes with the aforementioned two alternate heads. The heads come with different eye visors than can be easily inserted. The two heads come with two standard visors in place, and there is an extra also included.

You also get two “smoking” eye visors, giving the impression Cyclops just let off a rather sizable blast.

Finally, you get two blasting visors; one with a short, concentrated beam and the other with a larger, wilder blast. They all work with the light-up feature, and all fit snugly on the faces. 

Don’t forget the standard Mezco bases that can be used with the footpeg to hold the figure secure or the clear, articulated arm stand. 

Light-Up Feature

I appreciate that Mezco tried here, but the pay-off of the light-up feature doesn’t really come through. There’s a red light within a cylinder that’s inserted in the neckpiece, which is also where the batteries are housed. This light sits behind the visor (or the eyes on the unmasked head) when the heads have been placed on.

While the red light does show up reasonably well through the visors, especially in a darkened room, it fails miserably when applied to the optic blasts. I think they’re just too chunky for the light to travel through. As I said, the effort was appreciated but it falls somewhat flat in execution.

In The End

While I don’t have the regular release of Cyclops as of yet, I’d venture to say that if this Previews Exclusive version could be the only Cyclops you’ll ever need. The tailoring is expertly done, the Mezco design tweaks manage to honor the original design while adding something new that doesn’t go overboard, and the outfit itself offers plenty flexibility in the articulation department. While the light-up feature isn’t going to blow anyone away, it is a welcome extra that can be cool at times. Even apart from that special feature, the extra visors are very cool and swap in and out easily. Finally, the alternate Scott Summers head with removable glasses (which does not come with the regular release) is a nice surprise that I still enjoy despite some iffy paint apps. In the end, the Previews Exclusive Cyclops is definitely worth the purchase.

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