One:12 Collective Sailor Suit Popeye
Unless you have been hiding under an empty can of spinach, you know that Mezco’s One:12 Collective Popeye figure was one of the very best action figures of 2018. In fact, is easily made my top three, and I know several other people on staff agree in their awe and appreciation of that sailor man. So, the only way to make a release like that even better is to follow it up with a variant that is just as bit as good as the original. Well, saints be praised, I was actually able (by sheer dumb luck) to score this Mezco site exclusive Sailor Suit Popeye, and people, I am so glad I did.
Like I said, the standard release, or what I am now calling “Classic” Popeye, made my Best of 2018 list, and Benty actually did me a favor by picking it as his best, and Robo provided a formal review back when it was released. I say favor because, once I had the figure in-hand, I was thinking about it from a review standpoint, and I was just totally lost. I mean, I had no idea where to begin in terms of being able to talk about everything that was so amazingly accomplished with that figure. How do you organize a mountain of gush? When it came down to it, I was only able to coherently muster, “I love Popeye, and this is probably the best One:12 figure Mezco has ever done.” To the point to be sure, but man, that makes for a pretty brief article.
Now I find myself caught up in the midst of a brand new Popeye figure, and after getting myself somewhat more organized, I wanted to take a crack at looking at this baby. Like is the case for everyone else, this figure announcement came as a surprise to me, and I was sad at first because I have NEVER been able to score an exclusive One:12 figure due to usual lightning-fast sell-out times. Well, the gods of spinach and bulging forearms were with me that day because I was able to get my order in prior to the dreaded “Wait List” designation, and I was prepared to wait until the February/March time frame for this to ship, so I could start collecting my thoughts.
Well, fast forward to mid-January, and shipping confirmations started going out, so I knew the time would be soon, and I still had the question of “where to begin?” Even though this figure looks completely different from the standard release, and the outfit is something that is almost as iconic as the classic version, this figure is actually about 90% the same as that one. I do not say that as a slight to this release by any means; in fact, I am VERY glad that Mezco brought all of the strengths of the previous figure to this one while still kept a fresh concept worthy of a new release. So the good news is (for me), that I can rely on Benty and Robo to provide much of what is in common with the classic version, and if you have not had a chance to read and watch their takes, now is the time.
This gives me a chance to focus on the unique aspects of this particular figure while still referencing everything that is so very awesome from the last release. In the short amount of time since I learned about the existence of this new “Sailor Suit” version of Popeye in his dress whites, I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions motivations about it. If I am being perfectly honest here, the packaging for this release (I will get to more on that in a minute) was probably enough to get me for this figure alone, even though it is BEYOND ridiculous to shell out 80 bucks for packaging. Well, in the end, that was what got me hooked, but having an avenue to display Popeye in his full pea coat look is what got me to reel this thing, so I knew I had to have it.
So let’s talk about the packaging of this figure for just a moment, if we may. Hyperbole aside, this is the best packaging for an action figure I have ever purchased in the history of ever and for all time. No, I am not blowing that out of proportion because when you realize that a Popeye figure has been presented in a take on a spinach can, your brain suddenly reaches unknown levels of euphoria. I mean… LOOK AT THIS. This is a round, metal(!) tube made to look like a giant spinach can, and I cannot even. When I first saw it online, I said lots of enthusiastic swears, but I did not even have a concept about just how large it is, and frankly, I thought it was made of cardboard. Oh no, friends, this is a metal can, complete with an embossed Popeye visage on the top, and a “Contents” list of the accessories, meant to mimic the “Nutritional Facts” grids on standard food packaging. EVERYTHING about this is perfect and I love it so much, it is getting integrated into my display. Whoever designed this needs a raise ASAP, and all of the awards and accolades this world can handle. So awesome.
I knew I would love the packaging before I got it, and I knew that, judging by the figure I already had, I would be very happy with the actual figure, too. However, since getting this, I have flip-flopped on my love for this figure, but maybe not in the way you might assume. No, I have not gone from hoping to love it, to not – in fact, it is quite the opposite. See, between the white sailor outfit and the classic togs, I am much more of a fan of the latter. In fact, that and the pea coat look are tied as my favorite looks for Popeye. Don’t get me wrong, I like the dress whites, but they do not operate on the same plane as the other looks for me. So, I was ready for this figure to be the vessel for that pea coat look, and everything was about to be right with the world. And then…
I got a big dose of the importance of having a figure in-hand before making any assumptions or plans based off of any preconceived notions, no matter how apt they may be. So, while I still LOVE the pea coat look for Popeye, I will NOT be displaying this new figure as such. Nope, I am going to be displaying this figure as presented in his dress whites because, frankly, I have ended up loving the look and overall execution of this release a lot more than I thought possible. Yes, the dress whites are just a fabric swap on the same clothing pattern from the original (with the added “tie” thingee), but it all looks so sharp I simply cannot bring myself to cover it all up with a black pea coat that is just not as visually interesting. I don’t even recognize the person saying this because I am such a fan of the coat look, but man, the whites look so clean and bright they catch your eye, and you just cannot cover it up.
That said, the one teeny tiny, teensy weensy nitpick I have with the figure is that his sailor hat is still weathered and dingy like the standard release. That is perfectly fine for that first figure because it looks great and matches the classic outfit, but with these dress whites being so bright, I REALLY want the hat to match. I know, it seems like a small thing because it is, but I know having a bright hat will pull everything together, so I will likely be repainting this one, and maybe with a sky blue wash to bring out the details, so it will match the rest of the figure. Like I said, it is a small matter, but I think it will make quite a bit of difference.
Wow, so yeah, I am so in love with these One:12 Collective Popeyes, and for me, they are the very best of what the line has offered thus far. Popeye is one of those characters for which, if an action figure or toy is offered, I will likely buy it. So, I have several Popeye figures, but this figure (along with the classic) are by far the best Popeyes I currently or ever will own. Bravo to Mezco for continuing their support of the character and really taking this concept out of the box (and into a spinach can) to give us some wonderfully unique pieces. My only hope now is that we can at least get a Bluto out of the deal because he is sorely needed. As it Olive Oyl. As is Wimpy. C’mon, Mezco, do your thing and take my money!