Mezco Toyz One:12 Collective Gomez Clan Of The Golden Dragon Edition ReviewJose Lopez
IN THE BEGINNING
Another Mezco Direct Exclusive equals another Gomez action figure, which is no surprise, really. While Mezco has ramped up the amount of exclusives they’ve been offering this past year, a fair number of them have been Gomez-related so another take on their popular mascot isn’t too groundbreaking. What is unexpected is that this release is actually something fans have been clamoring for since the debut of last year’s Asian exclusive “Shadow Assassin” Gomez figures: a U.S. release variant of those ninja-themed roaches. The cherry on top is that, not only is this Clan of the Golden Dragons Gomez a unique variation of those hard-to-find exclusives, but it comes with some extra goodies that those earlier ones did not include. (Keep in mind that this release was part of a bigger “Mezco Con Booth-In-A-Box” set, which I won’t be reviewing here. I’m sticking to just the One:12 Collective figure.)
It’s a little crazy to think that, less than two years ago, most Mezco One:12 collectors had never even heard of Gomez. Sure, there were a few who had been around long enough to be aware that Mezco Toyz had released a 9” figure of their roach mascot in what is, in retrospect, an obvious precursor to the One: 12 Collective line. However, back at the beginning of 2019, most people greeted the character’s introduction into the line, via his “Agent” iteration, with disdain. Fast forward to now and Gomez is one of the line’s hottest properties. This “Clan of the Golden Dragon” release marks the eighth version of the character (Seventh if you count actual releases as versions), which is an amazing feat for something that people were so unsure of so recently.
Mezco tends to do some fairly impressive packaging for their exclusives, particularly those that are Gomez-related. So, just how disappointing this shoebox-styled package is surprised me. After years of tin lunch boxes and spinach can-shaped canisters, a somewhat cheap-feeling cardboard box is a letdown. It seems like Mezco themselves set the bar so high recently that they themselves have fallen below it. Obviously, not a dealbreaker but a bit of an underwhelming first impression. 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.
I was not lucky enough or wealthy enough to be able to grab the earlier “Shadow Assassin” Gomezes that were released in similarly styled ninja outfits. That said, while those are obviously the template for this “Golden Dragon” look, there are a few differences that seem to be improvements.
The yellow of the outfit is a stark departure from the more subdued white and black that the previous Ninja Gomezes sported. The hood has two holes at the top, allowing for the antennae to poke out freely. Additionally, on the back of the shirt, there is a very cool-looking dragon design, presumably the “Golden Dragon” itself. It’s done quite well and adds a very unique touch to everything.
Also embracing a more ornate style are the gauntlets and boots of the outfit. While before they were simple black, these new ones have a sculpted design that mixes a glossy and flat finish. They’re made of soft material so they don’t restrict any movement.
Sure, this color motif probably misses the point behind the whole ninja shtick, but it sure as heck looks pretty. If the need for stealth on this brightly clad Roach is something that will keep you up at night, Mezco has provided a black cloak that you can drape around the figure’s upper body. It’s simple and effective, offering another display option.
If you have purchased a Gomez release, you’re likely familiar with the interchangeable portraits that are often included with the figures. While there have been several releases that did not have all three options, such as the oft-mentioned Shadow Assassins, all three are present here. If you’ve seen them before, there’s not much to comment on in the sculpt department, except that they are very cool and very unique. I’ll discuss the new paint jobs next.
The hands swap on and off securely and easily, but just as with the portraits, these are identical to the earlier Gomez hands.
There isn’t much paint to discuss on most of the figure, but what is visible is done exceptionally. Each of the three portraits has a unique and cool vibe to them that matches the color motif of the outfit. While the two yellow portraits are solid, utilizing a black wash to give them some nice definition, it’s the black head with golden eyes that establishes itself as the one to display this Gomez with. Mezco obviously agrees, having this be the portrait the figure is wearing out of the box, as well as having his Mez-Itz accessory rocking the same colored head. I find that the glossy black of this option makes the head look a little cheap, in my opinion, so I would have preferred a flat black paint job, but that’s just me nitpicking.
If you already own one of Mezco’s many Gomez action figures, then you’re quite familiar with the range of movement of this guy, and it is stellar. He’s built on the same body as the other iterations of the Insecta-Sapien, although this time he does come with feet taken from the excellent Diabolik figure. These do allow for a better range of ankle rotation when compared to earlier versions that came with high-top Converse sneakers, but the pivot still isn’t great. Otherwise, there are plenty of double-joints, bicep and thigh cuts, ab crunch, etc. If you want this figure to strike a dynamic pose, it can.
His outfit is loose and baggy enough that there is zero restriction. When Mezco fails to impress, I don’t mind mentioning it, but the opposite is true as well. This Gomez figure is the gift that keeps on giving, and that is certainly true in the articulation department.
In addition to the aforementioned interchangeable head sculpts, the black cape, and the fourteen swappable hands, we get a ridiculous amount of accessories included in this release.
There’s Gomez’s trusty sidekick, Boom Boom the Boom Box, this time painted in gold with black trim. This means you can set your many-colored Boom Booms next to each other and marvel at the different hues. The Boom Box also comes with foam inserts that can hold and hide several of the weapons Gomez is included with inside of Boom Boom.
We also get a new Mez-Itz buddy for Gomez which is painted to look like a sort of “Mini-Me” version of this Golden Dragon iteration. The little guy comes with his own li’l sword and is a fun and nice surprise.
There’s a “Smoke Plume FX”, which was seen with the previous Shadow Assassin Gomezes, but this time in purple. I’m not a fan of these as they feel cheap as hell, honestly. I wish they’d made them sturdier somehow.
Gomez comes extremely well-armed. Plenty of bladed weapons are to be had, from the katana to a couple of Tanto swords to the two Sai blades.
For something smaller but with no shortage of deadliness, the Golden Dragon warrior has three small Kunai, four shuriken, and, in the event of things going really sideways, four grenades.
Close-quarter combat can be handled with the two Tekko included, the nunchacku or the two Shuko. A battle that requires a more distant touch would be perfect for Gomez’s naginata, kyoketsu-shoge, kusarigama, or perhaps his bow and arrows.
If storage is an issue, there are are two backpacks included, both of which can hold several of the weapons. There’s also a waist bag that can be slipped over the belt.
Finally, as always, there’s an articulated arm to allow for aerial poses and a Gomez-branded display base included.
IN THE END
Once again, Mezco kills it. Pretty much every time a new Gomez figure is released, fans and collectors go home happy and satisfied. This is another one of those times. This ninja iteration allows those who missed out on the Asia Exclusive Shadow Assassin Gomezes to have their very own ninja Gomez while still being different enough that those who do have those earlier ones still feel like they have something special. The figure is fun, looks great and comes with plenty of fun accessories. This is a great addition to the hardcore Mezco collector’s shelf.