Mystery Men (Playing Mantis)

Mystery Men
Playing Mantis

Mystery Men is one of those movies that sadly many people missed out on.  Despite its strong cast, the film failed to draw people to theater seats, and as a result the 68 million dollar film only brought in 33 million dollars when all was said and done, making it a huge commercial flop.

The film stars the likes of Hank Azaria, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Eddie Izzard, Greg Kinnear, William H. Macy, Kel Mitchel, Paul Reubens and Geoffrey Rush, and is based along the premise of everyday ordinary people who use their "special" talents to become superheroes in a city plagued with crime.  We highly recommend you check it out if this was a film you passed on.  It's fun, it's got action, comedy, and a great story.

In 1999 Playing Mantis hoped to back the film by producing a series of action figures based on the film.  It unfortunately didn't pay off for them when the film flopped, and as a result sales of toys suffered as well.  While the series encompassed the majority of the "good guys", it sadly didn't include any villains, to and include the main protagonist of the film, Casanova Frankenstein.

The Blue Raja*The Bowler*Captain Amazing

Mr. Furious*The Shoveler*The Spleen

It's a shame that neither the movie or toys took off as well as those backing them hoped.  We personally think that the movie was great, and still enjoy it to this day.  The figures serve to remind us of how great the characters in the film were, and thought they don't have any villains to fight in plastic form, are still awesome figures.

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  1. Definitely echo the sentiment that this film is a charming forgotten gem.

    As for the figures, it is indeed sad that only 6 characters exist, given that 9 would have been the obvious minimum you'd expect (3 blatant omissions being "Sphinx", "Casanova Frankenstein" and "Invisible Boy")

  2. Agreed. If you're going to do a line of toys, at least provide some villains to counter the heroes.