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REVIEW: Pugzee Street Version

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Background

Longtime sculptor Dave Cortes and his Inu Art sculpting studio have released their first original figure…the bad pug name Pugzee. Currently available in two different versions – Jailbreaker and Street – available for purchase. And the background story goes something like this:

[W]ord [was] floating around the joint that Pugzee’s old neighborhood Red Hook has been taken over. When Pugzee caught wind of this, it twisted his insides. The old timers were being pushed out, too weak and old to fight back. Unable to get past these thoughts Pugzee decided he was Busting Out!

Pugzee planned his escape and executed it perfectly, even having time to puff on a few cigars along the way. From hiding in the laundry basket or shimmying pipes, Pugzee cleared the wall and was soon floating in the Hudson.

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Packaging

The figure is packaged in a box that is made to resemble a jail cell with a plastic windowpane front. There are drawings of the Pugzee character on the sides and back of the box. The back features a wanted poster, while the bottom of the box includes the names of all of those involved with the project.

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The Figure

Pugzee is a 4.5” tall (primarily) rotocast vinyl figure that has two points of articulation – the tail and neck. The character has been released in two versions – Jailbreaker and Street Version. The difference between the two includes the outfits they are wearing, the black mask around the Jailbreak version’s eyes, and the color of their eyes (Jailbreak – gray; Street – brown). Jailbreaker is decked out in a striped prison suit, while the Street Version is sporting a white t-shirt.

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Each figure comes packaged with a number of goodies: a small comic book, instructions, a cigar, baseball bat, black (rubbery) cap, display base, six thought bubbles and a dry erase marker.

There’s a small slit behind the figure’s right ear where you can insert one of the plastic thought bubbles. You can write something on the dry erase bubble and then display the figure in that manner.

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A couple of things to note: Pugzee has BAD DOG tattooed across his knuckles. And the figure’s tail can turn to lock into a cutout on the base, securing it in place.

The Jailbreak Version is limited to a run of 700 pieces, while the Street Version is slightly more limited at 200 pieces (100 additional pieces will be released with a design on the shirt).

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Our Opinion

Dave Cortes is known around the toy industry for sculpting action figures for some of the top big name companies: Mezco, NECA, Toy Biz, McFarlane. But with his first original figure, via his Inu Art studio, he’s gone with a classic “urban vinyl” look.

Is there anything more unassuming than a Pug? (Maybe a Chihuahua?) How about a Mafioso Pug carrying a baseball bat and a stogie? Well, that’s a little more imposing. And that’s what we have in Pugzee…a cute, but hardnosed looking Pug.

What first catches your eye about this figure is the face sculpt. They’ve done an amazing job with all of the wrinkles above the eyes and on the top of the Pug’s head. Then, the use of the black paint over the sculpted area accentuates those sculpt lines. And they don’t stop at using those black lines there. Pretty much anywhere there’s a deep sculpt mark, there’s black paint.

You also get a ton of extras with this figure. The base, while not particularly appealing, will help this figure stand down the line (rather than leaning on the somewhat soft tail). The cap is sculpted to fit on Pugzee’s head in a specific, tilted position. The cigar and baseball bat are fun little additions.  But the most innovative accessories are the dry erase comic bubbles. C’mon! This is the ultimate in customization.

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You can pick one up at the following:

Pugzee.com: $29.99 (Jailbreaker) $34.99 (Street)

3DRetro: $29.99 (Jailbreaker)

Pugzee - Street Version Grades:

Quality: 8/10
Paint: 9/10
Packaging: 8/10
Durability: 8/10
Hype: 8/10
Fun Factor: 10/10
Value: 9/10

Overall: 9.5/10

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What do you rate this figure?

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