Mezco Toyz One:12 Collective Aquaman Figure ReviewJose Lopez
With the introduction of the Jason Momoa Aquaman character in the Justice League film and the subsequent release of the Aquaman solo film, it was no surprise that Mezco Toyz released a figure based on that iteration of the character first. However, fans of the classic version from the comic books still wanted their time in the sun, and the One:12 Collective line has finally delivered.
Aquaman can’t catch a break. Writer Mort Weisinger and artist Paul Norris rightly figured a superhero that was also an Atlantean king, could breathe underwater, and speak to fish would end up being a massive hit. Instead, Arthur Curry has been the butt of plenty of jokes that have plagued the character since his creation in 1941, ranging from him being useless on land to him being incapacitated by seafood. Despite his perceived goofiness, the character has been a household name for decades and can be very cool in the right creator’s hands. A man, torn between two worlds, that goes from living in a lighthouse to being the prophesied King of Atlantis is a great story, as the Aquaman movie from 2018 starring Jason Momoa has proven. Having done a figure based on said film already, this time Mezco Toyz has decided to give the classic version a turn.
If there was any ever doubt about what you were getting into with this Aquaman figure, the box art is here to remind you. The bright orange with green accents, Aquaman’s iconic color motif, coupled with the comic book logo emblazoned across the front of the packaging, send a clear message that this is Arthur Curry in all of his Silver Age charm. I love the choice to embrace that aspect immediately, giving no confusion about which version of the character it is that you are getting. The dark green of both sides of the box contrast with the front’s bright orange nicely, while the back has the predictable promotional photography and contents on display. All in all, a great effort to liven up what can sometimes be a predictable presentation
Mezco doesn’t often embrace the Silver Age flair of those original costumes worn by the DC and Marvel super-heroes. So, when they decide to eschew their usual tendency to add “realism” and stylistic flair to a figure’s outfit like they have done with Aquaman here, it’s a noticeable change of pace. That change works amazingly well here, definitely giving the King of the Seven Seas a wow factor on any collector’s shelf. The vibrant orange and green color motif does a lot to sell this outfit, imbuing this figure with a fun factor that is a welcome alternative to the muted tones of, say, the movie Aquaman figure that Mezco released a while back. Adding scales to the pants as well as the shirt gives it a uniform look that I like a lot more than I thought I would. Finally, the decision to give those pants “phantom” trunks is something that probably would not be successful with most characters, but Aquaman being who he is and Mezco Toyz welcoming that equals a gamble well worth taking.
There’s minimal sculpting on Aquaman’s outfit, not counting the crown and shoulder pauldron, which I’ll get to in the Accessories section. His boots and gloves are fairly basic; both pairs have fins that presumably help the aquatic hero swim faster while also pushing the brand. The metallic belt has a nicely ornate sculpt; accentuating the stylized “A” at the center, and it ties in nicely with the aforementioned crown and shoulder pauldron.
Reminding Mezco collectors of the good old days when every figure came with at least three alternate heads, Arthur Curry is blessed with an excellent trilogy of facial expressions. The standard head is determined and regal, giving the figure the impression of a fair but unforgiving king. The second head presents Aquaman with a scowl and a grimace as if he is growing angrier by the second. His hair is sculpted to appear as if he were floating underwater, his blonde locks shifting upwards. Finally, the third head is the character in pure battle cry mode, also with the underwater hair-do. The three heads are some of the best work that Mezco has done in a while and being able to display Aquaman in a steady range of moods is a welcome option.
There is plenty of attention to detail here, especially on the faces. The paint is clean on the eyebrows and eyes, while the slightly speckled and transparent skin tones push this line above and beyond their competitors. The teeth are evenly done, and you can even see the slight gaps between them. The hair has just the right amount of wash for you to admire the detail of the sculpt, while not making it too dark. The paintwork on the yelling head is particularly excellent, especially on the inside of the figure’s mouth.
The golden accessories like the pauldron and the belt have a solidly applied metallic paint applied. I would have liked some paint applied to the boots and gloves. They seem to be just cast in green plastic, which gives them the appearance of, well, a toy. It fits the vibe of this Aquaman’s costume in a way, I suppose, but I wouldn’t have minded a more detailed feel to them.
A solid range of movement all around for the King of the Seven Seas. Due to the outfit design and material, there isn’t much limitation as a result. Arthur has the standard double-jointed elbows and knees, bicep and thigh cuts, ab crunch and waist swivel, etc. The shoulders and hips allow plenty of rotation. There is plenty of ankle pivot thanks to the two-piece boot. The head sculpts pop on and off securely, as do the hands. I would have liked if the heads could look up just a bit more in order to sell the swimming poses better, but the figure does a decent, if not spectacular, job. All in all, no major complaints to be found.
He’s given some great extras, which is usually the case with the One:12 line. The aforementioned three heads, which looks marvelous, do a great job of giving you display options. Aquaman comes with four pairs of hands: fists, holding hands, grabbing hands, and flat-out swimming hands. The hands are green plastic, matching the upper gloves perfectly. The holding hands are designed to allow the figure to grasp his golden trident, which is very well sculpted and light enough that no issues with holding it aloft arise.
Allowing you to have a more regal appearance for the King is a crown that affixes to Aquaman’s forehead via magnet. The crown pops on and off with ease, and it looks great on the figure. Finally, the shoulder pauldron fits well, wrapping around the figure’s torso via an armored bandolier of sorts. The bandolier has a peg that pops into the shoulder pauldron snugly. This piece also has a secondary feature, allowing for the trident to be stored on the back via a slot. The crown, pauldron, and trident are all sculpted with the same ornate design that Aquaman’s belt has, which ties everything together beautifully.
As always, a Mezco display stand and articulated plastic arm are also included.
In The End
One of the best releases of the year from Mezco Toyz. I wasn’t expecting much, possibly due to Aquaman’s unfortunate reputation, but Mezco has gone above and beyond with this release. From the excellent head sculpts to the number of accessories to the vibrant costume to the beautifully designed armor pieces, I can go on and on about the fun factor of this figure. I already knew that I could not wait to add Aquaman to my One: 12 Justice League display, but I didn’t expect that he would be my favorite of the bunch. Well done, Mezco Toyz.