Luckily for the overgrown hip-hop kid in all of us, New York-based Mezco Toyz has started making toys for big kids. "I pretty much grew up on [hip-hop], and there are other companies out there already doing rock musician toys,” says Michael "Mez” Markowitz, president and founder of the company. "Nobody was really touching hip-hop, so that's where we went.”
In 2002, Mezco released its first hip-hop figures when it immortalized Run-DMC in plastic and rubber. The figures were a hit, selling so well that Mezco released a number of exclusive versions of the Run DMC figures, every time wearing different apparel.

Not that hip-hop icons are the only reason for Mezco's success. Since Mez fulfilled a lifelong dream by turning a childhood passion for collecting into a livelihood by founding Mezco Toyz in 2000, his business has driven consumers wild with licensed toys of characters from South Park, Family Guy and even Tony Montana. "The concept of the company is in providing lifestyle toys,” Mez explains. "The toys are for people between the ages of 16 and 45. We make stuff they can relate to. It wasn't like we picked up Scarface and said, "This would be perfect in the pre-school section at Toys R Us.”

Continue reading this story in the October ‘06 issue of KING (#36)