Take the elevator to the mezzanine.

Figures.com has put up an interview with Mezco president Mike "Mez" Markowitz (in typical style, they'll be releasing the interview piecemeal over a few days). Aside from mentioning Mezco's international market and, as always, the debt Mezco and other toy companies owe Todd McFarlane, there's not much to the article (I'm more interested in the next installment, which will tell us more about what's going on with the company's long-delayed "Cryptozoology" line. Last I read, the toys had been shrunk from 7" to 4").

It's something of a fluff piece, but it did give me pause to reflect upon Mezco's unique position in the collector's market. While other small toy companies have failed or churned out poor products (N2 Toys - now Mirage Toys - is the most notorious example), Mezco has consistently delivered quality action figures at reasonable prices. My personal favorites are their Popeye toys, but their Reservoir Dogs line is another impressive success. In both cases, Mezco was able to provide a great sculpt and great articulation at minimal cost to the consumer. Even better, the figures are made from real plastic, as opposed to the rubbery stuff of so many McFarlane figures. I also applaud them for having the courage and skill to bring out their two 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea sets, which didn't sell well but are incredible toys. Mezco's had its share of misses - such as the cheesy post-9/11 "Freedom the American Eagle" figure - but for the most part, Mezco has offered up a mix of high-quality licensed figures and imaginative original works. Like Art Asylum, they're one of the few small toy companies that proves you can offer high-quality products at reasonable prices.

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