C.a.R.B. – COLLARED AND REPROGRAMMED BODY
TOA HEAVY INDUSTRIES (1000TOYS)
“The Collared and Reporgrammed Body is an unauthorized experimental body with erratic A.I. installed to the head of a captured Synthetic Human. An imperative cleanup order for the CaRB has been issued by TOA Heavy Industries, and the 4 members of the Anti-CaRB Squad is out to hunt it down.”
For day 3 of the post-Christmas reviews, let’s mix things up. I mean, not drastically, or anything. I’m still looking at an action figure here because…I mean…what else is there, right? Getting more to my original point, today I’m moving away from the realm of licensed toys. Sure, I love me some licensed toys (as most of this site’s reviews will attest), but I also really love toys that are just fun completely on their own merits. There’s not a ton of that out there these days, but every so often a little gem will break through. One of my very favorite recent discoveries was Assemble Borg, which was a whole ton of fun, but it’s sadly a rather small line and most of its figures carry hefty aftermarket values. So, if I want more like that, I have to be more adventurous with what I add to my collection. In the spirit of that, let’s have a look at today’s focus, the Collared and Reprogramed Body, also known as CaRB!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
CaRB is the second 1/12-scale figure in 1000Toys’s (pronounced “Sen Toys”) TOA Heavy Industries line, following their debut Synthetic Human figure. This figure and his Synthetic Human predecessor are based on designs by artist Tsutomu Nihei, whose work I was not familiar with prior to discovering the line. I’ll be looking into more of it, I’m sure. The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 41 points of articulation. The posablilty on this figure is one of its strongest aspects. The range of motion on just about every joint is insane, and a lot higher than I’m used to seeing on even some of the best figures out there posablily-wise. This guy can pretty realistically pull of actual Cirque du Soleil moves (as tested by Tim), and, perhaps more amazingly, he can hold them all. His joints are all tight enough to keep him in most poses, but he doesn’t have the ratchet joints that are usually used for such things, resulting in a very smooth posing process. It’s really nice. So, I’ve talked about the amazing posablity, but what about the sculpt its attached to? Does all the motion make him into little more than an artist’s mannequin? No, it actually doesn’t, really. There are certainly some allowances as far as proportions go, and he’s not a pitch perfect recreation of the human anatomy, but he’s still surprisingly well put together. While all of the joints are un-hindered, they’re still quite nicely worked into the sculpt, so his overall silhouette isn’t too negatively affected by them. As you may have guessed from the bio, CaRB makes use of a lot of pieces from the Synthetic Human, which had a very sleek, balanced balanced design, meant to look like a real person. This guy swaps out the more human face for a smooth, almost featureless faceplate, designed to play up his intimidation and artificialness. It sort of reminds me of Kroenen from Hellboy, and that’s definitely a good thing. He also swaps out the original left arm and lower right leg for more boxy, robotic components. While the faceplate seems to have more of a desire to continue the design aesthetic of the body (albeit with a slightly different end goal), these replacement limbs look sort of slap-dash, just quick replacements for the prior parts, designed by someone with slightly less technical know-how than the originator of the Synthetic Human. It paints an interesting back story, and also gives the figure an asymmetrical, Frankenstein’s Monster sort of look to him. Another consistent element to the new pieces is offensive capability. While the Synthetic Human is without any built-in weaponry, CaRB has clearly been built for fighting. His right hand and fool both have blades that flip out, but most impressively, his left forearm has two lengthy blades that slide out. One of the two blades is a little looser than the other, and has trouble staying extended, but that’s literally the only complaint I have about this figure. CaRB’s paintwork is subtle, but definitely solid work. I love the finish on this guy; he’s got this very sleek polished look. All of the application is pretty sharp on my figure, and he just generally looks cool. CaRB includes no accessories, which is slightly surprising for a figure that carries this sort of price tag, but there’s enough built into the figure that I didn’t really find myself upset by the lack of extras.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Surprisingly for a cool import figure based on nothing I’m particularly familiar with, this figure is actually *not* Tim’s fault. It’s actually my parents’ fault. Well, their fault, via me. I saw a review of this guy on The Fwoosh, and he looked really cool, so I added him to my Amazon wishlist with the intent to pick him up at some point. My parents were ahead of me on that front, and he was amongst my gifts Christmas morning. Hands down, this is one of the coolest figures in my collection. I like him. I like him a lot.