When Family Guy first aired in January 1999, Fox had no idea it would grow into the phenomenon it is today - So much so that they cancelled the show in 2002. The show, while great, was too far ahead of its time.
It wasn't until 2004 with the release of season one and two on DVD, and re-runs airing regularly on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim that Fox realized the gem that they had buried, and quickly revived the show with all new episodes for their fall 2005 line up which still run today.
Shortly after Fox began production on the shows reintroduction into prime time television (in 2004), Mezco was granted the rights to produce and distribute a toy line.
ABOUT MEZCO TOYS
A toy company unlike any other, Mezco (established in 2000) combines humor and horror with action and adventure to produce the most sought after collectibles and toys on this (or any other) planet. Michael Markowitz (Mez), the President of Mezco, is the driving force behind all aspects of design and development.
Working with the best talents in the toy industry, Mez conceives and directs each line from start to finish. Mezco is a driving force in the industry, developing both licensed properties and in-house twisted concepts for years to come.
Mezco ran a pretty solid line of Family Guy figures from 2004 to 2007. The first series contained the entire family line up with the exception of Meg. Each figure came packaged in a carded bubble pack with a whole bunch of amazing accessories. The attention to detail in the accessories alone make these figures a must have for us. But, if that's not enough for you, the sculpts of the actual characters are spot on to their animated counterparts.
With series two, Mezco started to introduce chase variants into the mix. The first was the Death figure which had a hooded and skull version. Believe it or not, the skull version is more common than the hooded version.
Meg*Peter (in the Buff)
Series three included a variant Jasper figure which can be found with both a pink and a blue shirt.
Jasper (Variant)*Joe Swanson
Series four included a whopping nine figures thank in part to the three variant chase figures that were produced. The first was Lethal Lois who was available with both a black and a red belt. The second was Mort Goldman that has nervous eyes with pupils pointed straight to the front, and a version that had squinted nervous eyes with the pupils looking to the side. The final variant chase figure was Mr. Weed who can be found with both a pink and a blue shirt.
Mort Goldman*Mort Goldman (Variant)
Tom and Jake Tucker*XXXL Stewie
Not to be outdone by series four was series five which included another three variant chase figures. However, this time two were of the same figure. The Salesman can be found with three different suits. The first is the standard blue suit, the second a checkered pattern, and the third is a leather tattoo parlor suit. Tricia Takanawa was the other figure with a variant chase edition. She comes in both a blue and a purple dress suit.
McGriffin*Peter as Gary the No Trash Cougar
Tricia Takanawa*Tricia Takanawa (Variant)
Series six had only one variant figure. Seamus, pronounced "shay-muss," can be found with both an opened and closed mouth.
Sexy Party Stewie*Stewie 2.0
Series seven included one variant figure, which was personally our favorite. We don't necessarily care for Neil Goldman as a character or a figure, but we love the attention to detail on the variant edition white shirt.
Bad Girl Lois
Performance Artist*Commando Stewie
The final series of figures, series eight included a variant Quagmire in Robe figure - The original blue color, and the more decorative orange one.
Quagmire in Robe*Quagmire in Robe (Variant)
A couple box sets were released, but only one is highly sought after by collectors - The Giant Chicken Vs. Peter. The other set is simply a repack of figures from series one and two.
Family Boxed Set
No set is complete without exclusives these days, and nothing makes a set harder to complete than exclusives. Family Guy had its share of them.
While the Family Guy series sold well for Mezco, the toys seemed to have ceased in production, leaving no trace of a ninth series. If one were to look at the lineup of figures, it could be easily argued that there simply aren't any more figures to make. Mezco pretty much covered all their bases, and unless you were to really dig deep, or start making different outfits for characters, there really aren't any more figures that come to mind in this great series.
So, will Mezco produce a ninth series? Your guess is as good as mine. But, regardless the figures that are available are amazing, and well worth any fan of the series to add into their collection.
As of December, 2011, the rights to produce toys based off of the Family Guy series have passed from Mezco to Playmates. Playmates will be releasing an all new series, starting from series 1. The line will be an "interactive" series, which will contain sounds and voices from the show with each toy. The first series is available now.
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