7" Reservoir Dogs, Series One
Reservoir Dogs was Quentin Tarantino's freshman foray into the world of directing and writing films, and it heralded some of the style that would follow in later efforts. The streets of LA, plenty of violence, crime and some of the best dialog in film are a few of these trademarks that played significant roles in Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, which followed.
But how did this ultra-violent film end up with not one, but two, action figure lines, almost a decade after the release? The Palisades story is covered in-depth in RTM's Spotlight on Palisades' Reservoir Dogs, while the Mezco tale is told below.
The Reservoir Dogs action figures from Palisades Toys are a larger scale and consist of Mr. Blonde, Mr. Brown and Marvin Nash.
Mezco Toyz made ResDogs action figures in a 7-inch scale, with molded-on clothing. They have several series planned, the first will cover Mr. White, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Orange and Mr. Pink. Future series will be box sets of figures, depicting scenes from the film. This is another difference between the Mezco and the Palisades ResDogs action figures: Palisades has a focus on the characters, while Mezco is approaching the license with a focus on the scenes, so that there will be some characters produced more than once.
We'll be covering Mezco's first series below.
This first series is a recreation of the "Walking Scene" from the opening credits of the film. Each figure comes with a small circular stand for posing the figure by itself, and also a rectangular stand which interlocks with the other characters' stands so that the walking scene diorama is formed.
Large Interlocking Stand
Small Round Stand
Quentin Tarantino's Mr. Brown is sold separately from Series One, although he fits in with the diorama: Mr. White's stand has an extra slot on the unused side, so that Mr. Brown may be added later.
To get back to the Walking Scene, we here at RTM studied the opening credits of Reservoir Dogs intently, over and over again, to verify the positions of the characters. As best as we were able to determine, the Mezco diorama is off just a bit. As you can see in the picture above, the Mezco diorama goes together as follows: (space for Mr. Brown), Mr. White, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Orange and then Mr. Pink.
But from studying the opening credits, the order (if you were looking down from above) appears to be:
Nice Guy Eddie - Joe Cabot - Mr. Blue
Mr. Brown - Mr. Pink
Mr. Blonde - Mr. White - Mr. Orange
So that the figures should be placed as follows: Mr. Blonde, Mr. Brown, Mr. White, Mr. Pink and Mr. Orange. (Hey, we never claimed that we weren't geeks!)
Please keep in mind, this film has an adult nature, and as such, these figures are marketed towards "mature collectors" and are clearly labeled as such. You may want to think twice before getting these for younger children due to the nature of these toys. They are for ages 13 and up.
The Reservoir Dogs action figures retail in the $9.99 to $14.99 USD price range and can be found at stores such as Musicland, Suncoast, Toys'R'Us, comic book stores and a variety of online toy stores, including Amazon.com.
While later series of Reservoir Dogs action figures from Mezco will be box sets, the figures in Series One are sold single-carded, which means that you can buy just Mr. Blonde if he is your favorite, or perhaps just Mr. Pink, if you happen to be a big Steve Buscemi fan. The cardbacks all feature the same artwork on front and back, and all have "bullet holes" in the bubbles. (The plastic bubble doesn't really have holes in it, it is just textured so that, at first glance, in combination with the art on the cardback, it appears as if there are bullet holes.) The cardbacks also feature credits for the design team, including figure sculpting and package layout.
All four figures share the same articulation: 20 points, which is uncommon for 7-inch action figures. Each has a neck, shoulders, bicep twists, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, mid-thigh twists, knees, mid-calf twists, and unique shoulder joints which work like ball-joints but look better. These are all men in suits, so ball-jointed shoulders would look a bit goofy - this shoulder joint is a nice compromise, as it allows the arms to move backwards and forwards, and the cut shoulder joints allow the arms to move up and down.
While all four of these figures are "white men in black suits with sunglasses," they all have different bodies and different touches: Mr. White's suit jacket is closed, Mr. Orange's tie is disheveled, and each of their sunglasses are different from the others.
Click on a picture below to see more pictures of that action figure.
Michael Madsen Mr. Blonde, Vic Vega. The Mr. Blonde figure comes with a gun, an extra right hand (which can hold the gun), a straight razor, sunglasses and a fast food soda cup with straw. The straight razor does not fold, but Mezco plans to release a different Mr. Blonde figure later in a box set with Marvin Nash, so it is likely that the straight razor in that set will be more detailed.
Although this Mr. Blonde is from the opening credits and not the warehouse, his face sculpt reflects RTM's favorite Mr. Blonde expression, which did take place in the warehouse: eyebrows wrinkled, apparently on the verge of asking Mr. White, "Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie?"
Thankfully the clothing on Mr. White is molded on, so that we aren't tempted to recreate any of Harvey Keitel's scenes from The Piano. (shudder) Mr. White comes with his two stands/bases, sunglasses, a cigarette lighter, two guns and two extra hands. The extra hands can hold the guns, so that he can be posed for the getaway scene. A neat detail on the left hands is that the gem in the ring is a different color than the ring itself - a sign that Mezco paid great attention to detail with these figures. Mr. White is unique among these figures in that his hair entirely covers the tops of his ears, so Mezco added slots in his hair so that his sunglasses would stay on him.
Mr. Orange was portrayed by Tim Roth, back in the days when he was playing "good guy" characters. Mr. Orange comes with a gun, an extra right hand (which can hold the gun), an extra left hand (with his wedding ring on it), his police badge (which he never actually flashes at anyone in the film, but it's a cool thing to have), and sunglasses.
If the character's dialogue was to be believed, Mr. Pink was the only professional on the team. The Mr. Pink action figure certainly looks professional while posed running off with the bag of diamonds, doesn't it? Mr. Pink comes with his sunglasses, an extra right hand and the bag of diamonds. The extra hand can hold the bag, which does not open, but which is quite nicely detailed, including a paint application on the bottom. Mr. Pink does not come with a gun, at the request of actor Steve Buscemi.