During my years doing whatever it is I do in the toy business, The Goon was probably the only thing I can remember being given out of the blue that I neither saw coming nor knew of before writing about it. Someone at Dark Horse sent me a stack of the first few comics when I was doing freelance work as I was unfamiliar with the property, and it was great. The Goon is the title character of his comic series, where he-- a former mob enforcer-- runs afoul of the Zombie Priest, monsters, and the undead while shaking down hoods and gangsters and circus freaks. And it's a comedy. Mezco cranked out some figures in 2005, including Joey the Ball (who I never saw as part of the books I had, but saw in the earlier stuff much later), the Zombie Priest, and the Goon's sidekick, Franky. The Goon was the most impressive in the line, and since the series was from a reasonably fresh and new property, it didn't exactly fly off the shelves. I got mine at Tower Records for a couple of bucks while I was living in Los Angeles, because a) I wanted it and b) buying him got my parking validated, which was cheaper than paying the garage's rates.
This very large 8-inch figure is basically tough to really describe well. It looks like a statue, because it has a fantastic sculpt and great production values. Much (but not all) of the articulation is nicely integrated into his muscular physique, and his range of movement is good-- but not great. Sure, he has 14 joints, but the elbows don't bend a lot. This is a good example of a figure having enough articulation so that it should display nicely by himself on a shelf or your desk, but since there are no vehicles or playsets, he's clearly not designed for them. I bought this figure from this line-- and only this figure-- and as a one-off, I'm quite pleased with him. (Although I sorta wish I got Franky too.)
Made mostly from a hollow plastic, the figure holds up surprisingly well. His ankle joints make it easy for him to stand, and his removable hat hides a face chock-full of ugly detail. One of his eyes is shot, he's horribly scarred, his hair is just as awful as it is in the comics, and his unmistakable teeth are present in all their detail. What's more, he has a little paint around his eyes and lips which really bring him to life nicely-- Mezco typically always does good product, and this is one of my favorite pieces of theirs. Given his bulk and heft, I don't think I could've asked for much more. The level of detail in his shirt alone rivals most other figures on the market today, and keep in mind Mezco made him almost seven years ago.
He's loaded with accessories, including extra hands (the gloved ones have really dynamite detail), a severed Zombie head for a build-a-zombie, an axe, a hammer, a book, and a gun. Oh, and his hat, but I mentioned that above. It really is amazing to see what $15 got you just a few years ago. Today, $10 gets you a Star Wars figure with 1 accessory, $20 gets you a Mego-styled figure with 1 or 0 accessories, and Mattel's DC Universe line-- now slowing up a bit-- is probably the closest to The Goon in pricing. And even then, a lot of tooling is shared-- this guy was his own beast.
Smaller toy companies don't get the credit (or distribution) they deserve. I saw this guy at Tower Records, comic shops, online stores, and the Sam Goody/Suncoast family, and now so many of those are long gone. He's remained somewhat cheap, which is surprising given the cult nature of the series and the overall lack of product out there. If you like Eric Powell's The Goon, I actually hope you got this figure a few years ago. And if not? Well, he's not pricey on eBay yet. As someone to live on your desk goes, he's fantastic. Sometimes I buy figures because of my obsessive collecting nature, this is one I actually wanted to get, lucked into on the cheap, and just happens to represent one of my favorite comic books. The shoe and glove detail alone will knock your socks off, so be sure to get him if you're a fan and you see it out there in the wild. I can't imagine The Goon getting any more toys until that movie gets off the ground, whenever that is, plus this one is probably going to be more awesome anyway.
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