Freedom the Eagle
After September 11, 2001, there were many events organized to help raise funds for relief efforts for people in New York City and the Pentagon. The toy industry participated via the numerous special toys created to raise funds for charities and relief funds. One of the companies which created a new toy was Mezco Toyz.
The action figure Freedom the American Eagle is a collaboration between Mezco (Freedom was a concept created by Mez, head of Mezco), Varner Studios (the sculpting), and Design Edge (the packaging). The cardback says it best: "A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Freedom the American Eagle will be donated to relief funds for the victims of the September 11th tragedies."
Freedom the American Eagle stands around seven inches tall, but has an imposing sculpt which makes him appear much larger. His wings are semi-spread behind him, adding to his menacing appearance. Articulated at the shoulders (ball joints), elbows, wrists, waist, and hips, Freedom is built more for display value than for play or posing. Both hands are sculpted as fists and either can hold the flag, although the left hand seems more natural for the flag, as his right arm's sculpt lends itself especially well to being a flexed arm showing off muscle.
His wings are about seven inches across at their broadest point, and on his back, just under the wings, are the "legal lines" for Freedom. The legal lines on a toy tell what company made it, in what year, and the country of origin. Freedom's say:
Mezco Toyz, LLC, 2002 ©
Made in China
Freedom's base is a relief map of the continental United States, with adhesives on the bottom. The bevel on the front of the base has "Freedom the American Eagle" emblazoned on it in a fiery orange/red. Freedom stands astride the base with his feet in the Rocky and Appalachian Mountain ranges. The flag accessory comes with a gold-toned eagle ornament for the head of the staff and a spear-like bottom ornament. The ornaments slide on and off the staff, allowing it to be placed in Freedom's hand. The flag itself is ruffled and thus is perpetually waving, making it a nice display piece.
Freedom's packaging is an oversized blister card, with the card's top outline cut to resemble a waving flag. As is Mezco's tradition, Varner Studios and Design Edge are credited on the back of the card.
When Freedom was first announced, RTM asked Mez the obvious question: why not try to get the molds for Razor from ReSaurus in order to make this figure more quickly? Mez's reply was that if people have lost interest in such a figure in the normal time frame for production, then there's a larger problem than just one company not being able to sell a single action figure product. A point well made.
As you can see from the comparison image of Freedom and Razor side by side, it also becomes clear that even though both are action figures of personified bald eagles, these two figures were created for different purposes: Razor is a superhero, while Freedom has a fiercer edge. Razor is for play, Freedom is for remembrance.
Razor was created in a more innocent time, and was designed for play value by someone who knows the play value of action figures: a young boy named Jeff Luttrell. ReSaurus had been contacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation: Jeff's wish was to see his idea for an action figure really become an action figure. At first ReSaurus created Razor for Jeff, but there was enough public interest in the figure to warrant production. Razor was available in 2000 at KB Toys locations, with half of the $9.99 price tag donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (read more about Razor)
More pictures of Freedom the Eagle
|Where to buy Freedom: The Freedom the American Eagle action figure retails in the $9.99 to $19.99 USD price range. He is available through Mezco's ClubMez and at stores such as Tower Records, Electronics Boutique, Suncoast and Media Play, as well as various online toy retailers.
One such online store is RTM sponsor Big Bad Toy Store.