#2634: Iron Giant

IRON GIANT

RIOBOT (1000TOYS)

Robots sure were a somewhat common theme amongst the gifts I received this year for Christmas, and when it comes to robots, a fairly early one in my personal lexicon is The Iron Giant, Brad Bird’s lovely ’50s period-piece animated film from 1999.  I saw it in the theatre, I had the poster up on my wall, and I’ve had a small little collection of the admittedly small selection of merchandise to come out of the film.  There’s been a bit of of an uptick in stuff from the movie in recent years, including some offerings on both the lower and higher end.  I’ve covered a couple of the lower-tier items on the site previously, but now I’m jumping into the higher end, with an offering from my rather recent discovery, 1000Toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Iron Giant was released by 1000Toys as part of the Riobot imprint, where he’s figure #019.  This is the standard version of the Giant, but there’s also a Battle Mode Giant from the film’s climax.  But the standard’s really where it’s at, and that’s where I’m at too.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  The Giant continues the trend of the 1000Toys figures I’ve had of being very nicely articulated.  This one’s not so much about the quantity as much as it is the quality of those joints.  The most impressive piece of design work is the neck and jaw, which are technically one joint, but a very smartly designed one.  It’s a ball joint, which the jaw piece clips onto first, thereby allowing the mouth the much more fluid range of motion the Giant’s jaw demonstrates in the film.  It’s key to getting some of his more notable expressions, and I particularly enjoy the ability to give him that lopsided look that he uses when he is confused.  It’s a subtle thing, but it really works well.  One area I was initially disappointed by was the elbow movement, which I at first found to be very surprisingly limited.  Like, not even getting past 45 degrees levels of disappointing.  What, did Mattel design this figure?  Not to worry, though.  It turned out I’d just not fully loosened up all of the joints, specifically the sliding component on the forearms, which allows them to move further down and get the elbows a much deeper bend.  It’s another clever design, and one that again adds a lot of potential to the figure’s range of motion.  Additionally, the tolerancing on all of the joints is nice and smooth, while still being tight enough to hold the poses.  In order to give the Giant that proper sort of heft, a good portion of the figure is made from die cast parts.  Some of the smaller parts, such as the head and lower arms, are plastic, so as to prevent any issues with wear or breakage.  The sculpt itself is quite a nice piece of work.  It takes the animation model and does a very solid job of replicating it in proper figure form.  It’s clean, sharp, and properly geometric, and the proportions are all pretty much spot on.  The layers to the sculpt are well rendered, and it’s just a nice and slick looking figure.  The Giant’s color scheme isn’t exactly the most complicated thing, being pretty much just variants on grey.  The figure sticks to that, of course, but does a pretty bang up job of making it not totally bland or too basic.  There’s quite a bit of variance in the types of grey, and the application is all really sharp and clean.  The Giant has a pretty impressive selection of parts.  Obviously, they split all of the specific Battle Mode stuff into a separate figure, but this guy still gets four different heads with slight variations on how his eyes are configured (fully open, fully closed, angry, and concerned), two different jaw pieces (with and without his lower teeth), a set of upper teeth to clip onto the heads, three sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, and flat), and the “S” sign he uses when playing “Superman” with Hogarth.  There’s again a lot of subtlety to some of these parts, especially the heads, but there’s also a lot of variation possible, making for some very fun posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Iron Giant is a movie I fondly remember seeing in the theatre with my parents, and one of those instances of me wanting to immediately run out from theatre and buy a toy of the Giant, which I in fact did.  Over the years, I lost the hands to that one (because they didn’t ever really stay in securely), and I’ve been really looking for a real proper upgraded Giant figure for a little while now.  I’ve been really liking everything I’ve gotten from 1000Toys, and I’d been eyeing this guy for a little bit.  My parents were nice enough to get him for me for Christmas this year.  He’s really an awesome offering, and just so much fun.  I’m definitely glad to have this guy in my collection.

#1904: Etherow

ETHEROW

APOSIMZ (1000TOYS)

Hey, you guys remember yesterday’s review?  Well, good, because I’m covering some similar ground today.  Yes, for Day 4 of my Post-Christmas reviews, I’m returning once again to 1000Toys.  However, unlike my previous two 1000toys reviews, I’m actually mixing things up and looking at a proper licensed toy, not an original creation.  Etherow, today’s focus, is the lead character of the manga Aposimz, a sci-fi epic set on an artificial planet.  I can’t say as I know much about it, but it sounds kind of fun from what I’ve read so far.  But enough of that talk of reading!  That’s not what we do around here!  How’s the toy?  Read on!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Etherow is a 2018 release and is, so far, the only figure in the Aposimz line from 1000Toys.  Time will tell if that’s going to change, but not being familiar with the source material, I can’t really say for myself.  Though technically he’s a standalone figure, the fact that Aposimz is by the same artist who did all of the design work for 1000Toys’ in-house TOA Heavy Industries figures means that he’ll fit in very nicely with them.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 43 points of articulation.  Of the three 1000Toys figures I own, I found Etherow to be by far the most restricted in terms of movement.  It’s not so much the actual joints, though, but rather elements of his design that are slightly hampering him here.  All that said, there are still plenty of awesome poses to be had, and his articulation is still very smooth and easily used.  The sculpt works all of this articulation in pretty well, and, apart from the slightly impeding nature of some of the little add-ons here and there, the two aspects work nicely in tandem.  Etherow, as an armored character, has a slightly different appearance to him than the fully robotic likes of CaRB.  He’s segmented, asymmetric, and, above all, he looks like he’s been through the wringer.  His armor is dinged and dented, and just generally looks battle-hardened.  Clearly it was at one point new and sleek, but that time has since passed.  From what I’ve been able to find of Aposimz online, the figure seems to be a rather faithful rendition of Etherow in three dimensions.   Paintwork on Etherow is actually pretty impressive, considering how basic it looks at first glance.  You might think he’s just molded in shiny red plastic, but there’s quite a bit of variation to all of that red, including a good deal of accenting on the various raised edges of the armor, helping to highlight all of the different pieces.  The white striping running throughout adds a nice bit of pop, and is cleanly applied, if perhaps a little thin.  While CaRB had no extras and the Robox was a little sparse, Etherow is actually pretty decently accessorized.  He has three pairs of hands, as well as three interchangeable left forearms, one of which includes Etherow’s Ballistic Acceleration Device, which is apparently his weapon of choice.  It’s all rounded up with a rather nice articulated display stand, which makes for lots of very fun posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Etherow continues the 1000Toys tradition of being from my parents.  I caught a blurry image of this guy on Twitter back in February of last year, and had no idea what the heck he was, but I knew I wanted one.  Upon figuring out what the heck he was, I wanted one even more.  Fortunately for me, my family had me covered there.  Etherow’s not quite as free range as the other two 1000Toys figures in my collection, but he’s still a lot of fun, and there’s no denying that he’s very, very cool looking.

#1904: Robox – Basic

ROBOX — BASIC

ROBOX (1000TOYS)

“Born from a collaboration between the world famous Korean artist Kim Jung Gi and 1000toys that will produce products based on designs by Kim drawn specifically for this project.  This basic Robox is highly articulated and built stiff enough to hold poses. The first release is the standard version of Robox featuring a military paint finish with weathering and small markings.”

For Day 3 of this year’s Post-Christmas reviews, I’m actually calling back on Day 3 of last year’s round, where I took a break from all the licensed stuff to take a look at something that was designed as a toy first.  That was, of course, C.a.R.B., perhaps my very favorite item from last year’s round-up, and my first experience with 1000Toys.  Today, I’m following that up with another of 1000Toys’ offerings, a line of collapsible robots called “Robox.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This guy is the debut figure in the Robox line, as the most basic model up for grabs.  As of right now, the only real difference between releases seems to be coloring, but time will tell if they plan to expand on things.  Basic was released early last year.  He’s about 6 1/4 inches tall (a little taller than C.a.R.B.) and he has 34 points of articulation…more or less.  There are more joints than that, but they’re tied into the collapsing feature and are thus not usable in his more standard configuration.  As with CaRB, posability is one of the figure’s strongest suits.  He’s got a ton of motion, the joints move smoothly, and he’ll be able to hold poses long-term.  He’s also quite sturdy on his feet, which is always a plus in my book.  Given the robotic nature of his design, the articulation is also quite easily worked into the sculpt, by virtue of it being purposefully on display.  Basic is decidedly a different sort of robot than CaRB was, of course, being a more deliberately robotic and utilitarian design than CaRB’s uber sleek load out.  Where CaRB (and, by extension, the Synthetic Human he’s built from) is a top-of-line, artfully-crafted masterpiece, Basic is decidedly mass-produced and economized, an emphasis on practicality over finesse.  It’s a design that quite appeals to me, and the sculpt translates the very machined appearance into plastic very well.  The design is, of course, all built around his ability to fold up into a much more compact package, and it is in fact this folded up configuration that he is packaged in.  There are a handy set of instructions included showing how to unfold him, and once you’ve done the process back and forth a few times, it’s pretty intuitive and easily done.  I didn’t feel like I was risking breaking any of the joints or anything, and he stays in either configuration pretty well once full transformed.  The paintwork on this guy really reinforces the utilitarian aspect.  He’s clearly some sort of military grade item, with his olive green base coat and all of his safety markings.  I really enjoy all of the little warnings and messages printed throughout the figure, as though he were a real piece of machinery.  The work is so tiny and easily missed and yet so pivotal to giving the figure that high-end feel.  Basic is armed with two pistol-like armaments which come plugged into each leg, as well as a large shield plate, which can either be stowed on his back or placed defensively on his arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Basic here was, like CaRB, a gift from my parents.  After how impressive CaRB was, I was itching to get more 1000Toys offerings.  As a smaller company, their releases are kind of slower and lesser in number, so options are somewhat limited, somewhat pricey, and somewhat likely to move more on the quick side.  Upon seeing a review of these guys, I definitely ear-marked one for hopes to add him to my collection later.  My parents were kind enough to do that part for me.  He’s rather a different figure from CaRB, but no less impressive.  I’m a sucker for cool toys and cool robots, so this guy’s right up my alley.

#1534: C.a.R.B. – Collared and Reprogrammed Body

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.