Review : Johann Krauss
Hellboy II (Mezco)
Wave/Series : Series 1
Released : 2008
Price : N/A
Any of you who have followed our site for a while will know the love I have for the Mezco range of Hellboy figures from 2004-2008, and will know of my personal quest to track down an affordable set of figures to represent the two movies.
My latest addition is Johann Krauss who is from the first series of figures released in 2008 for the sequel, Hellboy 2 : The Golden Army.
My figure was picked up loose so is missing a couple of bits, and therefore any packaging shots we use in the review are stock images.
Johann arrives in a full blister pack with red card-back depicting Red's face. The front of the blister uses a stick on insert with the HB2 logo and the character name. The card-back continues the red theme with the top sector dedicated to a plot overview for the film, and the rest of the card a pictorial set of images depicting the other figures in the series. If you are buying carded then watch out for the front insert falling off as it is glued on the outside of the packaging. The blisters can also suffer from yellowing and the card back piece is quite often rippled and creased.
Out of the box and Johann is a particularly heavy and chunky figure, a feature in most of the Mezco figures in this range. He stands 7 1/4 inches from diving boots up to the clear dome.
This is one of a very small amount of figures where I won't talk about head sculpt as of course there isn't one. The head is made up of a neck piece and onto this sits a clear dome, which can be unclipped and swapped out with a cracked version (missing on ours).
The body is a very impressive sculpt considering it is 8 years old. It is essentially a diving suit and there are various panels, piping and valves making up the chest area and round into the back. The belt, with its BRPD logo, is a separate piece round the waist and the figure then moves down to a thick set of legs, metal cast knees - complete with rivets - and diving boots.
The figure is coloured in a contrasting beige and dark brown colour scheme which alternates panel. Either of these are not left as a flat colour, and have both a wash and then some dry-brushing to bring out the cloth folds and also act to weather/dirty the suit up. The mechanical parts are bronze and metallic in colour, and again dry-brushed for detail.
The two gloves clip off at the wrist and can be swapped out for "ectoplasmic mist" versions where the smoke effect of Johann leaving his armour are sculpted coming out of his fingers. These type of effects rarely work, but Mezco seem to have done a particularly good job on this one and the smoke is both realistic in terms of how it is rolling out of his fingers - and also done in an opaque plastic that means light can pass through it.
Overall, Johann is a good sculpt and a decent paint job. He certainly isn't as striking as say Prince Nuada, but is a solid looking support figure rather than a head turner.
Articulation is really good, considering this is a bulky figure in a diving suit and is 8 years old. The whole head is on a giant ball joint that means you can rotate the thing fully round and also look up and down. Shoulders are ball jointed and whilst they cant move to a full 90 degrees, they do get most of the way. The elbows are simple joint, with no swivel. The hands by the nature of being plug in and out do rotate a full 360 degrees.
There is no torso or waist movement, so the lower half starts with ball jointed hips - which are a tad loose and may be a problem going forward. They do allow for Johann to sit down and do the splits if you really want him to. Like the elbows, the knees are simple one direction joint and the same joint is repeated on the ankles to allow you to pose Johann as though he is striding forward.
Johann Kraus is certainly not the star of the Hellboy range, even eclipsed by some of the original figures which are 4 years older than he is. But even at 8 years old, he looks the part vs any similar figures today. The articulation is enough, and is where the figure is clearly dated - but how much articulation do you want for a ghost in a Divers Suit. Johann is not the easiest figure to find at a reasonable price, and if you are buying loose checkout what is included and if there are any issues with the hips being loose. Comparing Johann to the other Mezco figures we have reviewed to date, and considering his age, I am going to award a strong 3 out of 5