Mike Drake of Mezco Toyz talks Jason!

Uncategorized May 11th, 2008

With their recent partnership with New Line Cinema’s House of Horrors (which includes the Friday the 13th license), Mezco Toyz has wasted no time in continuing an excellent trend of collectibles that have always added to the appeal of being a Friday the 13th fan. Recently, Mike Drake of Mezco Toyz took time to answer numerous questions about what Mezco has to offer, and some news on what they plan to offer in the future for Friday the 13th collectors.

F13F: What is your exact position with Mezco toys?
MD: Director of Special Projects and Administrator

F13F: Which film out of the Friday the 13th series would you list as your favorite?
MD: I hate to say this because I get a great deal of flack for it, but I love #1 and #10 (Jason X). Let me explain #10. I’m a bit of a sci-fi geek, and I look at #10 as a 1 off. It doesn’t go into cannon, it’s not part of the continuity (such as it is) but it is like a WHAT IF? Comic. Like SPEEDING BULLETS one of the niftiest Batman/ Superman blendings ever. The scene of Jason on the holodeck alone makes the film worth it.

F13F: What was the process involved in Mezco gaining the license to the Friday the 13th merchandise?
MD: They saw how great our figures were and how committed we were to the line and we worked out a deal. That’s it in a nutshell.

F13F: Have there been any bumps in the road with merchandising with Warner Brothers recently buying out New Line Cinema or was the process a smooth one as far as your licensing goes?
MD: None so far and none expected.

F13F: What goes into deciding what to make and what not to make when it comes to the Friday the 13th merchandise?
MD: We all have ideas and we pitch them, Mez (our president) mulls them over, we weigh what has worked in the past, consider what things are happening or are on the way, do some toy alchemy and make a decision.

F13F: How important are the fans and feedback when it comes to making these decisions?
MD: Very important. Fans essentially vote with their money. We also watch the message boards and websites to help gauge what fans want.

F13F: Onto the Jason merchandise! What products do you currently have on the market for Friday the 13th collectors?
MD: So many! Cinema of Fear (COF) Series 1 and 2. COF 3 on the way. Screen Grabs 1 and 2, 2 being a favorite since it has Jason in a great underwater scene. A new 12inch figure on the way, and Series 1 and 2 Roto Plush. Series 1 of the plush did great and we expect #2 to sell out almost instantly. We also have, being revealed here, a SDCC exclusive Jason coming. And of course we have a stylized figure and did a limited edition variant of that for NYCC.

Cinema Of Fear Series 3 JasonPlush Jason 2Plush Jason exclusiveexclusive stylizedScreen Grabs series 2

Click to enlarge images

F13F: The Cinema of Fear 7 inch figures are incredible and display very well with Jason figures made previously by other companies. Can you give us any insight on what we can look forward to in future series as fas as Jason goes?
MD: More Jason, but I can’t say what.

Cinema of Fear 1 Jason #2COF Jason 4

Cinema of Fear series one Jason from “The Final Chapter”

F13F: The Living Dead Dolls series has always been an intriguing concept. Was it a given that Jason would be represented in the series once you gained rights to Friday the 13th merchandise?
MD: Ed and Damien created the living dead dolls and work closely with them to this day. Both of them are huge Jason fans and once Mezco got the license they were all over the idea of turning him into an LDD.

Living Dead Doll2Living Dead doll3Living Dead Dolls4

Photos by Josh Puckett

F13F: The Friday the 13th series contains numerous iconic scenes. You have already represented two scenes in your “Screen Grabs” series. One features Jason making his first on screen appearance at the end of the original “Friday the 13th” and the other (coming soon) features Tommy Jarvis being held under the water during the finale of “Jason Lives”. Are there any other scenes in particular that you are dying to bring to life in this series?

MD: Personally I’d like a Jason in a “Ready to slash” pose, victim with her back to Jason, Jason with machete raised and ready to strike, forever frozen in that split second before it all goes bad.

screen grabs 1screen grabs 1 2screen grabs 1 3

Mezco “Screen Grabs” series 1

F13F: Explain to those who don’t know, what exactly a Mezco “Stylized” figure is.
MD: Its a bit like a caricature of the figure. It maintains the essence but exaggerates what makes the character who they are.

stylized 1stylized 2stylized 3

Photos by Josh Puckett

 

F13F: In 2009, Jason will return to Camp Crystal Lake in a relaunch of the Friday the 13th series. Will you guys be doing merchandise for this film? And if so, have you been kept in the dark as to Jason’s look in the film?
MD: We haven’t seen the new look or the script yet, or have we, and you can bet your machete we will be doing merchandise. Exciting, terrifying merchandise.

F13F: Other than Friday the 13th, what other horror movie license do you guys represent?
MD: A Nightmare on Elm St, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hellboy (kind of scary…), and a few more are in the works.

F13F: Any plans on possibly acquiring any new horror license in the near future?
MD: Oh yes, always working on that. Can’t say what though. Personally I’d love to do The Blind Dead but I don’t think it will happen. Same with Clockwork Orange.

F13F: The folks at Mezco truly make some awesome products for Friday the 13th collectors, as well as other collectors. Anything else you would like to say to those out there that may be interested in your products?
MD: One of the things that makes Mezco unique is that we are all fans and we all love what we do. For virtually all of us this is a dream job. We’re all here early in the morning and we stay till late at night. Its not quite like being paid to play but its pretty close. We love and believe in our products and the care that we take to ensure accuracy is unheard of within the industry. Mez, our president, has such high standards that we have actually had factories refuse to work with us. Paint standards that will work on a Happy Meal toy won’t work for Mezco product.We have some of the most complex and detailed paints in the industry. We also believe in accessories. We ask ourselves “What would I love this figure to include?” and we try to make the list a reality. Other companies would sharpen their pencils and say “Scarface can’t come with a paper bag and individual stacks of bills” or “Jason doesn’t need 3 weapons and a severed head, just give him the head and the machete”. Mezco goes the extra mile and adds the goodies in a time when other companies are reducing paint and eliminating accessories. The amount of research that goes into each character is amazing, movies are actually watched frame by frame. Stills are studied. We use whatever resources are available to make sure accuracy is achieved. You won’t find many other companies doing that. And I don’t think you’ll find anyone else doing it as well.

For more information on Mezco Toyz, head over to http://www.mezcotoyz.com

One Response to “Mike Drake of Mezco Toyz talks Jason!”

  1. eXile Says:

    The Jason Lives screen-grab looks awesome.

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