I made a comment, buried in my previous review, about how the “sleeper” success of the previous 2 Mezco Blade figures really speaks to adding a third.
Just call me the Mezco Whisperer.
This Mezco Exclusive Blade is really a nice way to soothe the pain if you missed the Toy Fair 2019 exclusive one, and goes a little extra as well, but it is, essentially, the same figure as the previous ones with a new suit. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but if you find yourself over the course of this review saying “Hey asshole, what about X/Y/Z specifics?,” you may want to refer to that previous review.
Last time, I talked a little bit about why Blade was such a big deal to me, going back to those heady days of 1998, but if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to do a little more. It is surprising to me how easily forgotten the Daywalker is in the current Marvel renaissance, and so I think it bears a little more discussion. The truth is, by that time in high school, superheroes has started to lose their luster. The last “good”-and I say that charitably- superhero movie was Batman Forever, and that aside, you’d really have to go with Returns in 1992. Brian Singer’s X-Men had likely just started filming, but I truly think for that to be as successful as it was, the pump needed to be primed. And Blade was that prime.
The movie was gritty, edgy, adult focused in it’s humor and action, but more importantly, it had style. That kind of often imitated mix of hip-hop, street level brawling, and just the right amount of sci-fi and supernatural elements added in. Today, it still stands on it’s own. In 1999, it was outstanding.
And it also breathed some fresh breath into my collecting habits at the time. After the soundtrack, the next coolest Blade merch was the Toy Biz figures. Put out under the “Marvel Collector Editions” sub-line, in that interesting time before Spiderman Classics, the line was literally a crossroads of what Toy Biz figures had been, and what they were going to be. Bigger and more articulated than the 5″, but still not quite the full evolution of the 6″ of Classics (then Legends), they were also a bridge into my “adult” collecting years. People tend to forget what an interesting time the 90s were in pop culture, and Blade was a reflection of that- in the early 90s, he made a resurgence of sorts in the comics, and even made it into the Spiderman Animated series– in my opinion, still the definitive animated Marvel show. But it wasn’t til New Line and Wesley Snipes took a chance on him that we really got to see his real potential. And it was enough momentum to carry him into the 2000s, where rapper Sticky Fingaz got to portray him in a short-lived Spike TV series; likely helping inspired the bald-headed version we got here.
And not even 20 years later, Blade is stuck in re-development hell, having the only misfortune of being first of the Marvel cinematic universe, and thus unable to take part. But he always has had a thing about ice skating uphill…
Okay, thanks for letting me wax nostalgic. Getting back to the figure at hand here, there are essentially two new pieces included here, and those are the suit and the vest. The suit is a bit more superhero than the previous versions, with no sleeves and no pleather, and they have some minor vinyl detail piping running down the legs. The vest, however, is a very dramatic addition, bringing a further movie Blade aesthetic to the design. In fact, I really like how this vest looks on the standard version for that very reason.
The potentially “new to you” parts would be the bald headsculpt, FN style pistol, and leg drop holster. These were of course part of the Toy Fair Exclusive, but I’m glad people got the chance to add these options to their Blade arsenals. In fact, the only “exclusive” loadout left from the Toy Fair is the dual swords and back attachment piece. Also, since the vest is plastic, that means he can uses a fixed sword mount on his back, rather than the magnet.
Other than that, you get a comprehensive Blade gear set, including my favorite One:12 shotgun, the B&T sub gun, belt and shurikens, blast effects, and shades. The vest kind of negates the inclusion of the jacket here, but you can loan him one from the standard figure for just a little more movie action.
As for a recommendation… obviously, if this was the only Blade figure you own, then you did good. But if you own one or both of the others, this figure actually makes for a great complimentary purchase, because you get extra bald heads, a new vest, etc, that can make for some nice gear combinations. As I mentioned last year, Blade is a sleeper figure that is still relatively attainable on the secondary market, so that means it’s still pretty feasible to get this and the and the original and field a movie-esque and comic version on the shelf. Hell, I think there’s enough to work with here to get a passable Spike TV version out of them too.
Thanks to Mezco for helping with the acquisition, and thanks for stopping by.