Mezco Toyz One:12 Collective John Wick: Chapter 2 ReviewJose Lopez
IN THE BEGINNING
The John Wick films are quite popular, so it was no surprise that fans and collectors were extremely excited when Mezco announced that they’d be producing their own take on Mr. Wick. One of the first licensed properties that Mezco only sold as an exclusive to their store and not at retail, the figure was billed as a Deluxe version, though there was never any Standard version revealed. After several delays, this figure was released to much controversy, most of it concerning the overwhelming disappointment people felt with the final product. I’m going to be one of those people, so if you absolutely love this figure, I apologize.
The Keanu Reeves’ starring John Wick series is very popular action film series that has so far produced three successful films with two more already announced as of this writing. While the first is still the best, in my opinion, they’re all fun romps and well worth a viewing if you haven’t done so yet. The gist of the story is that a criminal element steal John Wick’s car and kill his puppy, which was the last gift given to him by his now-deceased wife. Unbeknownst to them, Wick is a retired assassin that even other assassins fear. Bloody vengeance ensues.
It’s a fine tin box, but that’s about it. The John Wick logo is on the front with the Mezco Exclusive sticker on the top right. Although this figure is specifically based on the character as he appears in the sequel film, there isn’t any indication of that on the tin.
Inside, Mezco’s once again managed to squeeze plenty of stuff into a small package. Everything is sturdy and collector friendly, allowing for replacing the figure and its accessories whenever you’d like.
This isn’t Mezco’s first rodeo. They’ve produced plenty of figures wearing two and three-piece suits, from the Joker to Agent Gomez to Black Mask. The success of the tailoring of those suits varies, but this being the most recent release, you’d think this would at least be the best just by the nature of being the last. Unfortunately, this just does not have the same amount of skill and care given to it.
The suit is three-piece, which in theory should make the figure look even sleeker. Instead, we’re given an ugly, oversized necktie and a cheap, puffy jacket. Mezco’s designers opted to add padding to the jacket’s shoulders, as well, which merely makes Wick look hunched over and awkward. The material of the suit also feels cheap.
The tailoring of the pants and vest are pretty solid, though that’s not saying much considering how much of a backseat they take visually to the underwhelming jacket and tie. There is some nice paintwork on the belt and the shoes so I suppose it’s not all horrible. It’s quite possible that this was put into production before Mezco’s earlier release of their “Roach With The Golden Head” Gomez figure. That said, it is certainly unfortunate this is on the heels of that similarly garbed toy. That Gomez figure had an excellently manufactured black suit, while this is just disappointing.
Look, let’s just say it: these two portraits are not good. I’m sure that if you really squint your eyes or just want to see what isn’t there, you’ll be able to recognize this as a likeness of Keanu Reeves. I’m not sure if I’d see it if I didn’t already know what figure I was purchasing. The paintwork is not helping, definitely, but the sculpt does seem soft as well. As most have noted, the battle-damaged head does a better job of being recognizable, so that’s something.
In my opinion, Mezco Toyz has never been the strongest at actor likenesses anyway, so while this does disappoint me, it doesn’t necessarily surprise me. While they knocked it out of the park in the early days with figures like Mr. Spock, they’ve progressively gotten weaker and weaker at it with later figures like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man or Bruce Campbell’s Ash. They’re by no means abysmal at it, but when I want a high-end figure based on an actor, Mezco’s isn’t my first choice. They’re far more successful at stylized figures like Popeye or Nosferatu, which is where I hope they concentrate their efforts. The hands swap on and off securely and easily, as do the portraits, which are one piece with the neck.
The paint on Wick’s portraits is as soft as the sculpts. Its entirely possible that they’d be much more palatable with a better paint job on them, but we’ll never know. There is little to no slop, even on the cuts and bruises of the battle-damaged head. The light, stubbly beard of Keanu Reeves seems like a pain to replicate in this fashion, but Mezco’s painters succeed in that respect. There’s something about the eyes on the standard head that just look extremely flat to me, adding to the amateurishness of this effort. The eye issue is less noticeable with the alternate head, but that could be due to the hair being pushed passed them, which serves to distract from them.
The left hands that come included with the figure all have a silver wedding ring sculpted and painted on them, which looks done cleanly. The skin tone of the hands looks fine, as does the glossy black of the dress shoes.
The range of movement is probably the biggest problem area with this figure.
There is a constant debate between Mezco collectors concerning the need for more or less articulation. Some people want as much as they can possibly get from their action figures, while others are perfectly fine with aesthetics trumping anything more than the most basic poseability. No one is necessarily wrong, though I admit to being in the former camp. The more dynamic poses I can get my figures into, the better.
Mezco’s true failure with John Wick is that they chose to put him one of their oldest, least articulated bodies, despite having the absolute perfect alternative ready to go. The Star Trek body, sometimes called the Joker body since that character also used the same buck, is not the body anyone in their right mind would choose to put a fighting machine like John Wick on. Fans feared that this would be the case, though, since most of the One: 12 Collective suited characters found themselves on it. A glimmer of hope, however, came in the form of Agent Gomez, another suited character, but with an excellent slim body that had an impressive range of movement, including double-jointed elbows and bicep swivel. Surely, everyone thought, Mezco intends to use this new, improved buck for Wick since, in some ways, Agent Gomez almost seemed like a trial run for Wick, down to his taste in clothing. Except that he wasn’t.
Wick arrived after significant delays on the old body, resulting in many of his stances and poses looking awkward and stiff. Several weapons are difficult to pose him with because of the single-jointed elbows or odd torso design. Perhaps in a world where this figure had exceptional head sculpts, I could ignore the crap body he’s built on, but that just isn’t the case here.
One of the few areas that this release does not disappoint in is the number of accessories. Wick comes with a plethora of weapons and goodies included and they definitely add to the fun factor. That said, most of the guns are underwhelming when compared to Mezco’s previous output of similar accessories, which does put a bit of a dampener on things.
I’m not a gun guy, so I won’t go into much detail here if only to avoid embarrassing myself. I am familiar with other guns and weapons that were included with other Mezco releases, such as the Punisher or Deathstroke. Those were done much better, both in sculpt, paintwork and playability. The gunfire FX is always a welcome inclusion, however, and they add to the look of the guns when utilized.
There are several bright spots. The storage trunk is exceptional. The paintwork and sculpting on it are done very well and it works as you would expect. Having somewhere to store Wick’s arsenal and gold coins is both fun and utilitarian, so you’ll get no complaints from me on this accessory.
The bulldog is a great add-on, though it is a static piece with zero articulation. This is by no means a deal breaker, but I would’ve appreciated at least a swivel joint on the neck. Alas, it is what it is.
Wick also comes with a wristwatch and twelve stacks of gold coins, which fit into slots in the storage trunk. Nothing exemplary about the pieces but they add to the overall package. There is, as usual, a John Wick-branded base and articulated arm stand included.
IN THE END
So, all in all, this John Wick figure does not live up to the hype that was built up around it since its reveal. Poor articulation, sub-par detailing on the weapons, underwhelming portraits and a high price tag all combined to leave me disappointed. Some of the accessories, like the storage trunk, are fun, but its just not enough to save what should have been a stellar release. Your mileage may vary, but for me, this was a disappointment.