#0954: Vitruvian Hacks Pt 2




Some things are worth the wait. On the list of things I would classify as “worth the wait” are Boss Fight Studios’ Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. line. In mid-2014, they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to cover the startup costs for the line. Unfortunately, a few production snags cropped up, causing a number of delays for the line, and pushing the estimated release date back about a year. The first wave of figures (reviewed here) made its way to backers back in March, with the promise that the subsequent three waves would be arriving shortly. Those waves are making their way out to Kickstarter backers now. Today, I’ll be looking at a random assortment of those figures: the Athenian Warrior, Underworld Warrior, Amazon Warrior, Colubrida Guard, Stonefist, and Skeleton Warrior.


BossHacksP2PackagingOkay, let’s break this down. These figures are all from the first series of Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. The Athenian Warrior and Underworld Warrior are from Wave 2, and the Amazon Warrior, Colubrida Guard, and Stonefist are from Wave 4. The Skeleton Warrior is a special extra figure, given to backers to make up for the delay in production on the figures. With the exception of the skeleton, all of these figures were stretch-goals from the Kickstarter campaign.


BossHacksP2cIn my last Boss Fight review, I made it a point to give each of the army builder characters an actual name. So, what the heck, why not continue the trend? I’m gonna call this guy Burt. Burt’s an Athenian Warrior, which would technically make him an enemy of Lenny the Spartan Warrior from Wave 1. However, the backstory of the line has the forces joining together to fight the Gorgon army. So, they’re all buddies now! The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. Burt uses the same basic male body we saw on the Spartan and Cursed Spartan from Wave 1. Burt uses the bald, bearless head (same as the Cursed Spartan), which works pretty decently. He has new armor pieces, which are different from the Spartan pieces, but similar enough that they believably share a common ancestry. The Athenian armor is much more ornate than the utilitarian Spartan armor, and it has a BossHacksP2llot of really great little details, and even a spot on his back to store a sword or spear. There’s also far more texturing this time, which adds some more depth to the design. The main Athenian helmet is similar to the Spartan design, but the Mohawk is going the opposite direction, and it is once again a bit more ornate. There’s also a second helmet, which is far more simplistic and sleek, and offers a bit of variety, should you want to army build. The paint on Burt is decent, but probably the weakest of the figures I’ve gotten. The colors are all pretty vibrant, and there’s lots of really cool detail work. The main issue with my figure is the eyes, which are just off enough to make him look slightly weird. Burt includes a sword, spear, shield, sheath, a spare set of hands, and a display stand.


BossHacksP2eAfter covering the real world armies of Athens and Sparta, Boss Fight decided to also get into some of the armies of some of the gods. Hades, god of the Underworld, apparently decided he wanted to get in on the fight with the Gorgons and created his own Underworld-dwelling army. Iggy here (props to Super Awesome Girlfriend for the name) is a member of said army. Now, you might have noticed some similarities to Wave 1’s Cursed Spartan. This is actually intentional. According to the backstory presented on the package, Iggy started his life as a Cursed Spartan, who was imbued with additional powers by Hades, in exchange for his service. BossHacksP2iStructurally, this figure is identical to the Cursed Spartan. I loved that figure’s sculpt, and I still love it here. To change things up, Iggy gets a new paint job, which adds a molten rock motif. The detailing is simple, but quite effective. The bright orange and yellow is surprisingly convincing as cracking molten rock. Iggy includes two swords (long and short), a sheath, a spear, a shield, an extra pair of hands, and a display stand.


BossHacksP2dAmazon’s are a pretty common occurrence in mythology and fiction in general, so it’s not a huge shock to see the concept appear in this line.  Apparently, they’re working for Ares. I mean, I guess that works. Not the God I would have placed them with, but I can’t really complain. The Amazon (who I’ve decided to name Linda) stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. This marks the first time we’ve seen the full female body, legs and all. It feels pretty comparable to the male body, though it’s worth noting that the ankle articulation is a different design. It’s similar to some of Hasbro’s more recent Marvel Legends articulation. I honestly can’t say which layout I prefer. Linda has a new head, which has BossHacksP2jshort hair. It works pretty well, and it looks convincingly tough. The Amazonian armor is fairly similar to the Spartan armor in terms of design. The figure re-uses the Spartan Warrior’s helmet, as well as the Coral Gorgon’s chest armor and wrist bracers. She gets a new skirt piece and shin guards, which are rather similar to the Spartan pieces. The skirt has a small loop, which can hold one of her weapons. The paint on Linda is pretty impressive. The armor more or less matches up with the Spartan colors, though the gold appears to be a little brighter. The tribal tattoos on the arms and legs are quite nicely detailed, and add an awesome uniqueness to the design, and they even continue onto her shoulders, under the armor. Linda includes long and short swords, a spear, a shield (which is by far my favorite shield design in the set), a spare set of hands, and a display stand.


BossHacksP2bRemember how the Underworld Warrior was pretty much a straight re-use of the Cursed Spartan? Well, the Colubrida Guard is structurally the same as Wave 1’s Coral Gorgon. Once again, there’s a good explanation: the Colubrida Guard are the lieutenants of the Gorgon army, and are supposed to be similar to the other Gorgons in design. The main difference between the two figures is the paint. The Colubrida Guard trades in the more subdued red of the Coral Gorgon for a near neon-orange shade. Seriously, this thing practically glows! It’s a fantastic shade, BossHacksP2mand it makes the figure pop right to the front of any set up. Contrasting the immensely bright coloring of the actual Gorgon, the armor has been changed from gold to an almost black shade of metallic grey. The Colubrida Guard includes two swords, a sheath, a shield, extra hands, and a display stand. The swords and sheath are done up to match the Cursed Spartan, indicating that the Guards have been stealing their weapons from Medusa’s victims. That’s a pretty awesome touch!


BossHacksP2nHere’s one figure I don’t have to name, because he’s already got one! He’s STONEFIST! THE GORGON HUNTER! This dude’s a badass, let me tell you. He’s an Athenian Warrior who came face to face with Medusa and survived the ordeal but slicing out his own eyes. This resulted in his left arm being turned to unbreakable stone and also gave him super-human senses. This guy’s pretty much the Greek Myth version of Daredevil. Stonefist is the same as the Athenian Warrior in terms of construction, though he only gets the less ornate helmet. Also, worth noting: my figure ended up with two left shoulders. It’s a rather minor difference, and not enough to ruin the figure, but it’s slightly noticeable. Stonefist’s color scheme has been tweaked ever so slightly from the basic Athenian look. Obviously, BossHacksP2kthere’s the “stone fist,” which is achieved by painting his left arm up like one of the Cursed Spartans. He’s also fairly pale, and has noticeable scaring over his eyes. The color scheme of his armor has also been changed a bit: they’ve added a bit of blue, which, when interacting with the red, makes him look a little like a super hero. The gold is all slightly tarnished, and he’s done a bit of tweaking to his helmet, adding some graffiti to the front, sort of like a WWII fighter plane. Stonefist includes three swords (one of each type we’ve seen so far), a spear, a sheath, a shield (same design as the Athenian’s, but with the eyes scratched out. Nice touch), extra hands, and a display stand.


BossHacksP2fLast up, it’s the figure I wasn’t expecting, the Skeleton Warrior. Not to be confused with the Skeleton Warriors (danananuhnuuuu)!  So, Freleng here is just a basic skeleton, but he’s been done in pink. Why he’s pink is anyone’s guess; maybe he’s made of bubble gum. The figure is about 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation (including BossHacksp2han articulated jaw!). The sculpt of the figure is a fairly realistic take on a skeleton, and it’s appropriately sized to fit within the basic male body. The parts aren’t quite cross compatible, but I imagine you could do some swapping with minor customization. Freleng includes a basic display stand, done up in the same shade of pink as him. He also has a set of 6 clear add-on pieces. Two of them attach to the feet and are used to secure him to the stand. The other four can be attached to the arms and legs, to allow him to wear the armor off of one of the basic male bodies. Undead army FTW!


The Amazon and Underworld Warrior were the remaining two figures from my Kickstarter pledge, but I actually got the other three main release figures via Boss Fight’s online store. As cool as the Wave 1 figures were, these were the ones I was really looking forward to. My favorite of the bunch is probably Stonefist, just because I really like the concept. The Amazon is no slouch, though. The Colubrida Guard and Underworld Warrior aren’t much different from the Coral Gorgon and the Cursed Spartan, but the changes make both figures a bit more exciting. The Athenian isn’t super exciting, but I think a lot of that has to do with how similar he is to Stonefist. The real surprise star for me, though, is the Skeleton. He’s just the freebie figure, but he’s surprisingly mobile, and just a whole lot of fun to mess with. All-in-all, this is yet another fantastic set of figures. I can’t wait to get more from Boss Fight!


#0897: Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. Wave 1




You gotta love the classics, and the fact is that it doesn’t get much more classic than Greek mythology. That stuff’s just pretty darn cool. It’s so cool that most modern-day storytelling is just reinterpretations of things that first appeared in Greek mythology. Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of the Greek myths and also love toys (like me), you’re kind of out of luck. Sure, you’ve got stuff like Clash of the Titans or some of the Hercules adaptations, but other than that, there’s a bit of a void.

In 2014, Boss Fight Studios set out to fill that void, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of figures based on Greek history and mythology. The campaign went far beyond its original goal of four figures, ending with a whopping 43 figures funded. The figures were initially supposed to start hitting last summer, but some production snags occurred, pushing them back a ways. Fortunately, they’ve started hitting stateside, and the first wave of figures has made its way to (most) backers. Today, I’ll be looking at Medusa, the Spartan Warrior, the Coral Gorgon, and the Cursed Spartan.


These four figures make up Wave 1 of the first series of Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. (H.A.C.K.S. stands for “Highly Articulated Character Kit System”). They’re the four figures that the Kickstarter was originally meant to fund.

BossHacksW1PackagingThough packaging isn’t my usual thing, I did have a few general thoughts I kinda wanted to touch on. The styling of the packaging isn’t too different from Fresh Monkey Fiction’s Amazing Heroes; the basic set-up resembles a traditional blister pack, but the whole front is actually a big plastic sleeve, which folds over the edges of the backer. The backer can be slid out, allowing the figure to be removed without doing any damage to the packaging. The execution of the packaging is pretty polished, but if I have one slight issue with the figures, it’s that the layout work on the actual backer card seems a little…amateur? It’s certainly not anything close to bad, but it lacks that professional finish that everything else included seems to have. Honestly, that’s probably just the layout designer in me being hyper-critical. My interest is the toys inside; these things could ship in egg cartons for all I care.


BossHacksw1bThe one named character in the first wave of figures is the Gorgon Medusa, who was cursed by Athena to turn all those that gazed upon her to stone. She figures prominently into the story of Perseus, and has as such been adapted to film a few times. Stylistically, this figure looks to take a lot of influence from the 1981 Clash of the Titans design for the character, giving her a generally reptilian appearance. When fully extended, the figure is just over 8 inches tall, and she has 26 points of articulation. Boss Fight has base male and female bodies that they build each figure on, and, unsurprisingly, Medusa uses the female body. Well, part of it, anyway. She uses the basic upper torso, arms, and hands, along with a lower torso and tail that’s being used on several of the Gorgons. The base pieces are a great starting point, and the basic proportions are nice and balanced. I wasn’t initially sure about how the tail would turn out, but it works really nicely in hand, and offers a lot of fun posing BossHacksw1coptions. Medusa also gets a unique head, as well as add-on pieces for her chest and shoulder armor, belt, and the bracers on her right wrist and bicep. The quality of these parts is all pretty top-notch. The armor has a ton of fun detailing. The head is pretty cool too. The hair is obviously a separate piece, and it sticks off the head a bit, but it doesn’t look terrible, and I really appreciate that they didn’t try to make her face overly attractive. That’s a scary face right there, just like Medusa’s face should be. The paint on this figure is pretty darn cool. The armor has some great dry brushing work to help accent the sculpted details and really give it a grimy, worn in look. The upper half of the body is pretty basic, but solidly handled, and the tail gets some pretty sweet pattern work, which really sells the reptilian-ness. Medusa includes a large blade-whip thing, a small knife styled like the whip, a spare set of hands with side to side wrist joints, and a display stand (which she can’t actually use, but it’s the thought that counts, right?)


BossHacksw1dSpartan Warrior seems so cold and detached, so I named this guy Lenny. Lenny the Spartan is a fairly standard Spartan soldier. Unlike what 300 may have had you believe, these guys did actually wear armor. This figure stands just over 4 inches tall (without the helmet; he gains an extra half-inch with it) and has 25 points of articulation. Lenny’s built on the standard male body, which structurally feels very similar to one of the more recent G.I. Joe figures. It’s rather muscular, but not insanely so, and it has a fairly balanced set of proportions. Lenny has a unique head, plus special sandaled feet, and add-ons for his helmet, chest armor/skirt, and shin guards. The head has hair and a beard, and has a suitably intense facial expression. He works as an individual, but isn’t so specific that he can’t also be an army builder, which is right about where you want this guy to be. The armor pieces are sculpted to fit pretty tightly to the body. The helmet is easy to remove, but also stays in place pretty well, and looks really cool to BossHacksw1eboot. The torso armor is a little restrictive, and a bit bulky from the side, but works pretty well, and has a nice, sharp sculpt to it. The shin guards actually surprised me a bit, because I didn’t think they were removable at first; that’s how form fitting they are. While Lenny’s paintwork doesn’t quite have the subtle work present on Medusa, his paint is no less well-handled. Everything is incredibly clean, and the colors are all nice and vibrant, which makes this guy really stand out amongst his peers. Also, I find his pair of red shorts pretty funny; Lenny is a modest Spartan! Lenny includes both long and short swords, a strap and scabbard for the short sword, a spear (which is really sharp), a shield, a spare set of hands, and a display stand.


BossHacksw1fOne of the big things that Boss Fight was pushing with this line was army building. Getting an army of Spartans seems pretty natural, but you need something for them to fight, and it can’t very well be one lonely Medusa, can it? No, you need a whole army of Gorgons! So, this here is the first Gorgon army builder, who, going by her bio was once a human, but was transformed into a Gorgon by the bite of Stheno. Clearly she needs a name too. I’m gonna go with Diane. Diane uses the same basic body as Medusa, but she gets a different head and the edge of her tip is no longer rattle snake-inspired. The new head is nicely detailed; it loses most of the human features, for something much more reptilian, and has some pretty awesome texturing. Diane also gets add-ons for her helmet, chest armor, and wrist bracers, all of which are nicely fitted to the figure. The armor bits are simpler than Medusa’s, but still really cool. The helmet can be a little stubborn to work with when posing the figure, but it looks pretty imposing, and BossHacksw1git stays in place surprisingly well. As her official name implies, Diane’s paint scheme is patterned after a coral snake (“red-on-yellow kills a fellow” and all that). The work is much bolder than Medusa’s, but like the Spartan Warrior, the quality is no less on this figure. Diane includes a large broad sword (different from the Spartan’s), a shield with Medusa’s face on it, spare hands, and a display stand (which, like Medusa, she can’t actually use).


BossHacksw1hAw, poor Jeff. He really shouldn’t have looked at Medusa. Jeff, like so many unfortunate soldiers before him, is the end result of Medusa’s curse, having not had the foresight to make use of Perseus’s method of dispatching of the beast. As a fellow Spartan, Jeff uses most of the same pieces as the basic Spartan Warrior, but he has enough differences to make him stand out. His helmet is a slightly different design, with more of his face exposed and a bit more detailing on the front and at the base of the “mohawk.” Under the helmet, he’s also got a different head, this time without the hair or beard, and with a slightly different expression. It’s worth noting that, while the pieces are more or less the same, the shin guards on my Cursed Spartan wouldn’t budge, most likely due to the differences in paint. It’s certainly not hindering my enjoyment of the figure in the slightest, but it’s worth noting. The main selling point of this guy is the paint. Unlike the others in BossHacksw1ithis set, Jeff here is totally painted from head to toe, to ensure that he has an appropriately rocky finish. The end result works really well, and he looks pretty cool. He’s the dullest of the four color-wise, but he’s far from boring to look at. Jeff includes the longer sword and spear included with the Spartan Warrior, the shield from the Coral Gorgon, extra hands, and a display stand.


So, you’ve probably pieced together that I got these guys by backing Boss Fight’s Kickstarter. Yep, I pledged in for these four, as well as two more add-on figures (plus another three figures that I’ve pre-ordered from Boss Fight’s online shop). Initially, the only one of these four I definitely wanted was the Cursed Spartan. He’s probably my favorite of the four in the end, but the other three are no slouches either. The two Gorgons are a lot of fun (and the Coral Gorgon is giving ol’ Jeff a serious run for that top spot), and the Spartan offers a nice, bright figure. As a whole, this set is just a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to get the rest of my figures.