WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA
Today I’m reviewing a figure from one of my favorite toylines out there right now: Weaponeers of Monkaa!
“What’s Weaponeers of Monkaa?” you ask? Allow me to fill you in a bit. Weaponeers of Monkaa are made by a small company by the name of Spy Monkey Creations. They got their start producing accessory kits for several popular toylines, like DC Universe Classics and Masters of the Universe Classics. The accessories were modular, and fit in with numerous lines outside the target lines. These sets went over pretty darn well, and two years ago, Spy Monkey decided to create their own line of figures to go with some of their weapon sets. I have to admit, I wasn’t really all that interested at first. Sure, they looked okay, but they weren’t anything spectacular. But, then reviews started popping up. The figures may have looked a bit simplistic initially, but they were completely modular. Take them out of the package and you could make the look however you wanted. And that was pretty cool!
Spy Monkey just released a new set of figures, so in preparation for their arrival, I figured I’d take a look at my favorite of their releases so far: Lifespring Empyreus!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Lifespring Empyreus represents the second look of WoM’s main character Empyreus, leader of the Gearo. He’s shown here after accessing the “Lifespring energy” to defeat the “Bloodlust” powers held by Umbreus, leader of the villainous Vilhain (How cool is that?). Effectively, that means he’s cast in glow-in-the-dark plastic, which is always super nifty*. Every figure in the line is effectively built from the same parts, just cast in different colors and painted differently. What this means is that, while this is technically a figure of Empyreus, he includes the parts to make him into any of the four main characters, or even one of the army builders, the Gohlems. This adds a whole new level of fun to every figure, as you’re getting five figures in one. Plus, three of those heads can also double as hands, adding even more options. I’ve included a shot of the figure using four of the extra heads in varying capacities to demonstrate. In his default state, Empyreus stands about 4 inches tall and has 17 (19 if you count being able to move the ear thingy’s on the Empyreus head) points of articulation. The articulation is a bit different than on most lines, as it’s completely accomplished through simple swivel joints. However, thanks to the modular nature of the figures, you can actually reconfigure him to get some deeper poses out of him. The figure is assembled from about 25 different pieces, depending on how you have him laid out. The sculpting on the pieces is pretty straight forward. At first glance, it isn’t anything amazing, but after playing with them a while, you realize how much work had to be put into getting pieces to look like completely different parts depending on how they’re oriented. Empyreus is technically one of Spy Monkey’s DX releases, which means he has some slightly more advanced paint apps than their “regular” line. The paint is used sparingly, but very well. There’s no slop, and the colors accent the molded plastic perfectly. Empyreus includes a small blade and a sickle, molded in the same color plastic as the rest of him. In addition to the additional paint apps, DX figures also include a vac-metalized piece of some sort. In Empyreus’s case, it’s a large broadsword. I liked the broadsword so much I also picked up the separately sold Lifespring Accessory pack, which is why my Empyrous is shown holding two of them.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was slightly late to the game getting into this line. The first series had been out for a while before I got around to ordering them, and even then, it took me a few months to even order the whole set. But by the time this guy was released, I was totally hooked. He was the very first figure in the line that I waited patiently to order the first day he was up for sale. This line is a whole lot of fun, and it’s really nice to see a series of toys that are just good toys, on their own merits. No tie-ins, no big marketing. Just fun toys.
If you’re interested in getting into the line, you might be in for a bit of a struggle tracking down the older figures, but as of this writing, Spy Monkey’s webstore still had a few of the figures from the most recent set in stock, and I’m sure it won’t be long before another release.
*As cool as glow-in-the-dark plastic is, the coloring of it, and the way it absorbs light make it virtually impossible to see this figure in pictures taken with the usual white background. So, for those of you wondering, that’s why he’s on a black backdrop.