Monday, April 23, 2012


And pose them every day! (Sung to the tune of Rock and Roll All Night)

You can practically hear Eric Stettmeier jumping up and down with glee as he prepares his dolly-hating onslaught of endless teasing over today's showcased collectibles. ;)

But today's selection of toys represent the bygone days of the late '70s when it was more about style over substance, and the rock-n-roll world was ruled by stadium-filling giants, and how the shadow that they cast covered every avenue of merchandising, from t-shirts to coffee mugs, from record players to silk-screened mirrors. And of course, to dolls with removable clothes.

Well, the those halcyon days are back with the new KISS 8" neo-mego action figures from the good folks at Figures Toy Co. (Really? That's their name?)

I spotted these a while back over at Classic TV Toys, and had sent the link to my friend since we share a common interest in both old-school Mego-style figures and the band KISS. My buddy wasted no time in ordering us a couple of sets and we couldn't wait to see them! Well, now they are here in the Nerdatorium, so I thought it would be fun to take a close-up gander at them.

But first, I want to tell you a bit about my few brief brushes with KISS fandom. First of all, I didn't actually know that KISS was a band until I was 8 or 9 years old. I mean, I knew they played music because my babysitter had their records, but to my way of thinking, so did The Archies. My first introduction to KISS was from their classic Marvel comic book (you remember, the one with their blood added to the red ink?), so I just thought they were some sort of weird looking superheroes. I would later watch KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park on TV, thus further driving home the fact that they more like pop-culture characters than actual musicians (an opinion with which, to this day, some may still attest).

Later I would hear the first few KISS albums and finally get it. Later still, I would walk away from them entirely once they took their makeup off and started telling me that I was "made for loving them". No thanks. Then, in high school, while finding an interest in '70s rock (like Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath), a few KISS albums would make their way into my cassette case.

But my desire to own the new reproduction figures stems primarily from the fact that one Christmas, I asked for the original KISS figures (the commercial for them was epic), but I guess that Santa thought a child of 6 years old didn't need that kind of influence.

Anyway, I've got them now!


These figures, according to the packaging, are all based on the band's Love Gun look (they would subtly change their look every album). On the whole, the packaging and figures look fantastic. In fact, for any KISS fan, I would strongly suggest just leaving them in the packages and displaying them, because once you open them, its all downhill from there.

The clamshell that they come in is a little weird. I suppose it was designed so you could open it up, play with the figures a bit, then put it all back together and it still look new. But they also added this sort of "seal" to the top of the clamshell to help the true mint collectors know if it had been opened or not.

Well, I circumvented that little security feature, by just opening up the side and sliding everything out.

The figures were held in with a couple of twisties, but I just cut them.

Also, each figure came with a "collectible album cover", which was basically a piece of paper with the Love Gun cover printed on it.

I took every figure out of their package and got a few shots. Standing them up was a total pain, because, in true Mego fashion, these figures were about as sure on their feet as Tara Reid at the American Reunion rap party.

Sadly, once I got these figures out, their coonless waned drastically. I mean, I still love them for what they are, but they have some issues.


I guess my biggest complaint is with the faces. The faces on the original Mego figures were just awesome. But these faces look like they had one sculptor make Gene's face (to small for his head), another sculptor make Pauls' face (and gave him tiny little pupils), they found the original Mego sculpt for Peter (the only one that looks good) and then just used whatever creepy porcelain babydoll face for Ace. 


A bit of a shame really, because the outfits on the figures are all great. In fact, with better faces, I think these figures would have been absolute homeruns, but instead they just come off as pretty cool as long as you don't look too closely at them.

Also,  and I know that this would have been impossible without making the production cost and retail price go up, but I would have loved it if they came with instruments. I know that a full drum set for Peter Criss is out of the question, but they could have at least given him a pair of sticks and the rest of the guys their guitars.

Luckily, I managed to find a guitar that I already had for Ace...

And I had an axe/bass for Gene from another Gene Simmons action figure produced my McFarlane Toys years ago...

So, not that I meant for this to be a review or anything, but I guess I'd give these figures a 7 out of 10. Pretty awesome in many ways, with some lame spots here and there.

But the point is, after all these years, I finally got my KISS Mego figures! Take that, Santa Claus!