By Crom! The wait is over – the Mezco One:12 Collective Conan the Barbarian is finally here!
If it seems to you like it has been ages since the figure was put for pre-order, well, you are right. Mezco has never been know as expedient when it comes to One:12 Collective pre-orders (well, save for the Rumble Society), but as these are generally high-end figures, you can forgive a bit of a wait. Conan seemed to take even longer, but I am glad to report that, for the most part, this new devotee of Crom is worth it. Admittedly, I don’t buy a ton of One:12 offerings, but I am always excited for what I do get, and my excitement for Conan has been amping up quite a bit over the last few months.
I love many of the different incarnation of Conan the Barbarian, but Frank Frazetta’s work has always been the seminal version of the character for me. I love just about everything Frazetta ever did, so while I have several Conan action figures in my collection, I have been missing my preferred version, until now. It is amazing to me that this figure pretty much stepped right out of the source art. I seriously could just pose this figure to match the box art and be happy forever, but you know that a One:12 release will demand more play than that.
Admittedly, this set was a bit overwhelming to me when I first opened it. I have several One:12 releases, but the amount of accessories and little pieces struck me as quite a bit to process at first. Don’t get me wrong, I will rarely turn down extras and options, but I had to think about how I wanted to approach this feature almost immediately. I suppose the easiest way is to say that, by and large, everything is pretty perfect. The build, materials, articulation, range of movement, and paint work are all top-notch. I know we should probably expect that for such a deluxe offering, but it is really nice when it all comes together.
The sculpting, as I said, is right out of the Frazetta painting. The grim likeness (on both heads), battle scars, and ornate weaponry all shine here. This figure has far less cloth materials than most One:12 releases, so actually getting to see highlighted sculpting throughout the entire figure is a rare sight, but they nailed it. The paint work also helps bring out all of the small details, and I love the scarring on the face and across the knuckles. As noted the expression on the more docile head is absolutely iconic but the “raging” alternate head is great for action posing.
As you would expect, there are a ton of weaponry and costume options for this figure, so there should be something for everyone. You get a broad sword and more scimitar-like blade, a dagger, axe, and shield to arm Conan as you wish. Both swords feature a scabbard that can be hung from the belt via two carabiner clips, and the axe can be stored in the loop that attaches to the strap harness. There are two different loincloths (one with actual chain mail), the necklace, and cape. Of course, you get extra hands, too (grip, fists, and open) so you properly display the various weapons. So, overall there is so much to utilize here, and it is mostly all wonderful.
I do have some nitpicks, though, so I want to point those out as well. None of the hands really grip the dagger well, and attaching the sheath to the belt is very frustrating. The necklace is a challenge to get to sit properly when you use the angry head, so that will take some adjustment. The cape is something I was looking forward to, but it doesn’t really resemble the style via the pre-order, and since it doesn’t really sit well either, I will be leaving it off. Those two points support my overall feeling that this figure is a bit “fidgety” as well. The hooks for the scabbards are a neat idea, but they don’t stay put as well as I would like. Additionally, changing out the loincloth is a complete pain, especially when trying to put the plainer version back on the figure. In fact, since I swapped it out a couple of times, I will likely not be doing it again. None of these are dealbreakers, of course, but they just keep the figure from being absolutely perfect.
Man, despite some quibbles, I really do love this figure. In fact, it is immediately in the conversation for figure of the year for me. It has been a long time coming, but Conan is worth it, and this iconic Frazetta take is what I have always wanted. Now, I am ready for that Death Dealer set so a barbaric throw down can happen on my shelf. It as been a minute for him, too, but if he turns out as nicely as Conan, he will be worth it as well.