Yesterday we went over Deep Dive Popeye, so I figured today would be a great day to cover Scuba Bluto!
As mentioned yesterday, Scuba Bluto was released in 2004 in Mezco's Popeye line, specifically in series three.
Obviously they were going for a diving theme for the main characters here, and kudos to the design team for taking a more modern approach with Bluto as opposed to the more antiquated diving accouterments of Deep Dive Popeye. It makes for great contrast and really plays well with the characters' motivations.
Bluto's air tank is removable, but the mouthpiece leaves a large gap between his teeth. However from a playability standpoint the removable tank is certainly a plus. More kudos to the design team on all the Popeye figures because they never sacrificed playability or the fact that these are toys in their designs, yet somehow they managed not to sacrifice design either. Sounds simple enough, yet many toys suffer on one end of the spectrum or the other. Not Mezco's Popeye line.
His scuba mask is not removable, which is fine because it would probably be too easily lost or broken if it did. But you can see his eyes through the plastic lenses and you can tell the head and face were specifically sculpted with this scuba theme in mind. Even his hair is "wet" and matted down. Brilliant!
Bluto's knife sheath is removable but it is held on strongly with a velcro strap so it won't inadvertantly slip off. The strap allows you to resize it to fit his arm or leg, wherever his knife is most quickly reached I suppose.
The knife can be removed from the sheath as well. A knife is understandably a vital component to any diver's equipment, but it does add a certain level of menace to the figure. Maybe he'll only use it to innocently and cartoonily cut Popeye's airhose, and not try to gut him at the sea floor like a scene out of a James Bond flick.
Bluto also has a depth meter sculpted to his wrist. Just more great attention to detail.
Please Mezco, I'm begging you...start making Popeye toys again!