#0935: Umbreus

UMBREUS

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

Umbreus1

I like toys that are just fun toys for the sake of being fun toys. That’s why Weaponeers of Monkaa has been a favorite line of mine since its start back in 2012. The line is patterned thematically after several successful toylines of the ‘80s, and its primary focus is playability and interchangeability. The line is also super awesome and highly addictive, which is why I have an army of these little guys. Well, technically two armies, since there are two distinct factions of the Weaponeers: the heroic Gearo and the villainous Vilhain. Today, I’ll be looking at the treacherous leader of the Vilhain, Umbreus!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Umbreus2Umbreus was one of the first six Weaponeers of Monkaa figures who made up Series 1 of the line. He and the rest of the series were initially released at PowerCon 2012, and after the event they were offered via Spy Monkey’s online store. This figure represents Umbreus’ initial appearance, prior to gaining the “Bloodlust” powers or being reborn as the Golden Gohlem Midas. He stands about 4 inches tall and he has 19 points of articulation. Granted, that’s just in his default set-up; as with every WoM figure, he’s totally modular and breaks down into 22 different pieces, allowing you to build just about whatever you want. These parts are the same ones seen on every other WoM figure; if you’ve read one of my reviews, you’ve seen them before. They’re still a pretty selection of sculpted pieces, and it’s really impressive how smoothly they go together in so many different configurations. The figure’s default head is the Umbreus Umbreus3head, unsurprisingly. It’s actually my personal favorite of the five heads available. Something about it makes the overall aesthetic of the figure really pop. In his original form, Umbreus made no attempt to hide that he was a villain, making use of the classic comicbook villain combo of purple and green. Behold the evil purple and green! For the most part, Umbreus’ parts are just molded in the appropriate colors. The paint used for his faceplate is pretty well handled, and unlike later figures, every piece of Umbreus has a little bit of dark grey accent work to bring out his sculpted details. Umbreus was initially packed with the standard sickle and straight blade accessories, as well as the Brutok and Empyreus heads done up in Umbreus’ colors and a pair of Gohlem heads (which double as fists). There was also an extra pack of heads available for the first series figures, which added a Palidar head in Umbreus colors to the mix.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Umbreus is actually the figure that sold me on the whole Weaponeers of Monkaa line. When reviews started popping up for the first series, I thought they looked cool, but I wasn’t sold 100%. Then I saw Umbreus and knew I at least wanted him. So he, Brutok, and the head pack ended up being my first purchase from the line. To date, he’s still one of my favorite entries in the line, and he’s still a whole lot of fun!

Advertisements

#0587: Fake Barbarian

FAKE BARBARIAN

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

FakeBarbarian1

If a hero is no good without an arch foe, than it follows that said arch foe just isn’t all he could be without a trusty lackey. They just have to have one. Bonus points if they in any way mirror the hero. Just play those parallels waaaaay up. In the case of Weaponeers of Monkaa’s Masters of the Universe homages, we have the Fake Barbarian, the “Evil Doppelganger of The Good Guy.” Fun times.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FakeBarbarian2Fake Barbarian is the other half of the exclusive Weaponeers of Monkaa figures offered at the 2014 Designer Con. Like Uncle Overlord, he found his way onto the Spy Monkey Creations store following the convention. In his standard, out-of-the-bag layout, the figure stands approximately 4 inches tall and has 19 points of articulation. The Fake Barbarian is yet another head-to-toe re-use of the same set of pieces we’ve seen on all the WoM figures to date. However, given that Faker, the character this guy pays tribute to, was himself just an excuse to repaint a He-Man figure, the complete re-use of parts makes even more sense here than it does on any other figure. As one would expect, given that he is a doppelganger of the Eternal Barbarian, the figure’s go-to head is the Empyreus head. It’s usually a heroic head, but the coloring actually does a pretty convincing job of making it more cold and villainous than usual. He also has all the other FakeBarbarian3heads from the line, should you want to switch things up, and they each have their own separate color scheme. The color scheme of the Fake Barbarian is, of course, based on that of Faker, which in turn means that he shares a lot of his colors with Uncle Overlord. Just like they were with Uncle O, the blues look very nice, and really suit the body well. The Fake Barbarian also throws a bit of silver and orange into the mix, allowing him to more closely mimic the color layout of the Eternal Barbarian. The silver is pretty clean, but the orange ends up suffering from just a little bit of slop around some of the edges. The Fake Barbarian includes the same set of accessories we saw with Uncle Overlord: two each of the short blades, sickles, bent blades, serrated blades, hilts, guns, and handles, all molded in light blue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Seeing as he’s the other half of the Designer Con set, it follows that, just like Uncle Overlord, the Fake Barbarian’s release slipped past me. No clue how that happened, but it did. However, as soon as I realized I had missed out on these two, I corrected that mistake and ordered them. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on these guys; they’re a whole lot of fun, and their a fantastic addition to the sub-set of tribute figures started by the Eternal Barbarian and the Lord of War.

FakeBarbarian4

#0586: Uncle Overlord

UNCLE OVERLORD

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

UncOverlord1

What is a hero without an arch foe? Sure, they’re still a hero, but life’s probably at least a little on the boring side, right? Besides, all the best heroes have their own arch enemies. And He-Ma—sorry, The Eternal Barbarian—has his own arch enemy in the form of the evil Skeleto—I mean … Uncle Overlord. Which is just a fantastic name, by the way. I mean that in the sincerest way possible.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

UncOverlord2Uncle Overlord was one of two exclusive Weaponeers of Monkaa figures offered at the 2014 Designer Con. It seems that Spy Monkey Creations learned from the shortage of stock of the Eternal Barbarian figure, as this one showed up on their online store following the convention, without the need for a second run. Uncle Overlord’s sub-heading is “Evil Uncle Overlord of The Good Guy,” which, I gotta be honest, is a descriptor on par with the figure’s name in the level of amusement it brings me. If you’ve read any of my previous WoM reviews, you pretty much know the drill on construction. In his basic set-up, he’s about 4 inches tall and has 19 points of articulation. He’s assembled from the same set of pieces as every other figure in the line. No surprises there. He uses the Umberus head as his standard piece, which is fitting, given that Umberus looks something like the love child of Skeletor and Megatron. It’s actually my favorite of the basic UncOverlord3heads, so I’m always happy to see it as the primary piece. The head is, of course, decked out in purple and yellow, and evokes Skeletor very nicely. The rest of the body follows suit. It’s actually pretty nice to see the blue here, as there’s kind of a shortage of blue Weaponeers. The paint work here isn’t quite as complicated as what we saw with The Eternal Barbarian, but it does manage to be a fair bit cleaner in application. That seems like a fair enough tradeoff to me. Uncle Overlord is packed with all of the extra heads we’ve seen before. None of them have particularly exciting color schemes, but they match the rest of the body quite nicely. Uncle O also includes the basic blade and sickle, as well as the more expansive weapons pack, featuring guns, handles, hilts, sickles, and three types of blades. And, thanks to the interchangeability of the line, you can even approximate Skeletor’s signature staff!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Somehow, in some way that is beyond my own personal comprehension, I managed to miss this guy being put up on the SMC store. He completely slipped by me, until I happened to check in on the store before their Granite Warriors drop. Fortunately for me, he didn’t sell out very quickly, so I was able to pick him up a little bit after the fact. Truth be told, I think I may actually enjoy this guy even more than the Barbarian. Something about him really just speaks to me. The paint is sharp, the colors are great, and the names and sub-titles make it clear that the folks at SMC had a fun time putting this guy together.

UncOverlord7

#0585: The Eternal Barbarian

ETERNAL BARBARIAN

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

EtBarbarian1

“I have the Powe—er, the, umm, the… Weaponeers of Monkaa?” That’s how it goes, right? That’s the catchphrase of that He-Guy dude, isn’t it? Sounds right.

There’s no denying that Weaponeers of Monkaa pays tribute to several popular toylines of the 80s. One such line is Mattel’s Masters of the Universe. In fact, WoM made its debut at Power Con, a convention devoted to MotU, and the whole line spawned out of Spy Monkey’s weapon sets that were designed to be compatible with Masters of the Universe Classics. This time around, SMC has taken the tribute one step further, creating the Eternal Barbarian, a figure with some striking similarities to a certain Master of the Universe.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EtBarbarian2The Eternal Barbarian was initially available exclusively at Power Con 2013. Excess stock was supposed to go up on the Spy Monkey online store a little while after, but he sold out at Power Con. Due to the popularity of the figure, Spy Monkey decided to do another run of the figure to be released alongside the Granite Warriors assortment. The Barbarian is touted as the “Strongest Gearo in the Universe,” so the guy is meant to be one of the heroic Gearo faction, but other than that, I don’t know exactly how he fits into WoM-lore. Like just about every other WoM figure, the Barbarian is about 4 inches tall and sports 19 points of articulation in his default set-up. The Barbarian is constructed from the same selection of parts that we’ve seen many times before in this line. It’s good set of pieces, and the figure has a nice retro toy feel to it. His default head is the Empyreus head, which is a good, generic hero guy head, so it works quite nicely here. Of course, the figure still includes the other four possibly heads, should you want to change things up. EtBarbarian4WoM figures are defined by their color-schemes, and oh boy, is this one well-defined. SMC was clearly going for a He-Man homage with this guy, and he ends up with a fair bit more paint than the average Weaponeer. The body exhibits mostly clean work, and does a very nice job of applying the He-Man style to the WoM body. In place of the usual heroic gear symbol, he’s been given He-Man’s classic Iron Cross symbol, which really sells the homage. The heads are a little sloppier with the paint application (though certainly nothing too bad), but what’s cool about them is that they each have a completely unique paint scheme, and two of them even throw an additional two MotU characters into the mix, which just adds to the fun! The Barbarian is packed with the usual short blade and sickle, but he also includes an additional weapon pack, with two guns, hilts, short blades, serrated blades, angled blades, and sickles. Quite an impressive assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Seeing as I’ve never attended a Power Con (being only a moderate MotU fan at best), I missed out on the first run of Eternal Barbarians. So, I was quite happy to find out that SMC was doing a second run. I placed my order for this guy alongside my Granite series order. He’s definitely a fun figure, even to those not a fan of MotU, and he shows some of the versatility of the Weaponeer body.

EtBarbarian3

#0577: Granite Gohlems

GRANITE GOHLEMS: RHOKK & RHOLL

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

Rock&Rholl1

If you’re a fan of action figures that are fun (and if you aren’t, what’s wrong with you?) then Weaponeers of Monkaa is a line that is definitely worth checking out. I can’t stress enough how refreshing it is to collect a line that isn’t retail and license driven. It’s a toyline created for the love of the game, and that’s something to admire in this day and age. The line’s creators, Spy Monkey Creations, just released a new assortment of figures, and like the good completist that I am, I purchased the whole set. So, let’s look at the Granite Gohlems Rhokk and Rholl! Aren’t those names clever?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rock&Rholl2Rhokk and Rholl were both released as part of the sixth assortment of Weaponeers of Monkaa figures. They’re separate figures, and usually I’d give them a separate review. However, they’re both Granite Gohlems, and they’re pretty much the same figure, with some very minor paint differences. The figures are both about 4 inches tall and feature 19 points of articulation in their default states. As I noted in my Palidar review, the nature of the line means that you can effectively build them anyway you like, so your mileage may vary on height and movement. Both figures use the same assortment of parts we’ve seen on every other WoM figure so far. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. As Gohlems, they both use the “fist” head for their standard set up. I really like this head, because it gives off a really cool retro robot vibe. The rest of the pieces are just as good here as they have been every other release Rock&Rholl3of the parts, so that’s pretty great. Paint work on these two is relatively minor, but it’s also the only thing that distinguishes them from each other. Both figures are molded in the same grey plastic as Palidar. On Rhokk, the eyes and logos are done in black, while on Rholl they are done in white. Personally, I think that Rholl’s scheme makes him look a little more lively, but both are well executed, with no real slop or anything. The two figures are both armed with a short blade and a sickle, cast in the same grey plastic as the figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got these two on the first day of release on the Spy Monkey online store, at the same time as Palidar. There’s no denying that Palidar was the star of this assortment, but these two are certainly solid additions to the line. Plus, they offer another variety of Gohlem, which is certainly nice.

Rock&Rholl4

#0576: Granite Gladiator Palidar

GRANITE GLADIATOR PALIDAR

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

GraniteGladiator1

Sometimes in the action figure world, in light of all the fantastic high-end, high-price, low-durability, licensed product, it’s easy to forget that these are toys, and they are meant to be played with. Fortunately, in the last few years, a few lines have shown up with a mission statement of making fun toys first. One such line is Spy Monkey Creations’ Weaponeers of Monkaa. SMC just put out another set of figures not long ago, and I, as a completist of the line, picked them up. Let’s kick things off with Granite Gladiator Palidar!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GraniteGladiator2GG Palidar is part of the sixth main assortment of the Weaponeers of Monkaa line. He’s the second version of Palidar to grace the line. For those of you not familiar with WoM-lore (which I assume is most of you), Palidar is the right-hand-man of Empyreus, the leader of the heroic Gearo faction. Palidar hasn’t seen a release since the first series of the line, and he’s the last of the named characters to get a second figure. Going by what I’ve read online, it seems that this is supposed to be Palidar’s original appearance, before he joined the Gearo faction. As the name suggests, he was working as a gladiator, which is a pretty cool backstory. In its default set-up, the figure is roughly 4 inches in height and he has 19 points of articulation. Now, the gimmick of the line is that the figures are totally modular, so given how you decide to configure him, his height and articulation could be totally different. In fact, you can reconfigure him so he’s not even Palidar at all. Keeping this in mind, it should also be noted that Palidar uses the same assortment of parts that we’ve seen with every figure in the line. I’ve talked about them a few times before, but I’m still impressed by how sleek they are and how well the fit together in numerous configurations. His default head is, obviously, the Palidar head, but the figure also includes the other four basic heads, so that you can construct a few different Granite Gladiators, should you so choose. The main difference between WoM figures is color scheme. With a name like “Granite Gladiator,” it’s no surprise that the figure is molded in a brownish-grey plastic. It has a nice earthy tone to it, and granite is an appropriate descriptor. Each assortment of figures has one “DX” figure who gets some slightly bumped up paint apps. Palidar is the DX figure for the sixth assortment. He’s got a fair bit of black accent work, which goes really nicely with the grey. He also got a tiny bit of blue for the eyes on the Palidar head, and red on the other heads. Guess those other Granite Gladiators aren’t quite as heroic as Palidar. Everything is applied evenly and cleanly, resulting in quite a sharp looking figure. Palidar is armed with the basic straight blade and sickle, though, in my mind, he prefers to just use his fists.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like just about every other WoM release, I was on Spy Monkey’s store the day this set was placed up for order. Of course, I happened to be down visiting Super Awesome Girlfriend the day these went up, so I ended up having to place the order on her phone. She’s far too accepting of all this. I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of the Granite series. They’re a little more drab than previous releases, so I thought they might be a little boring. On the contrary, the little touches like Palidar’s eyes give this figure a nice bit of personality, and he’s just as much fun as the line’s other figures!

GraniteGladiator3

#0296: Lava Strike Force

LAVA STRIKE FORCE

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

LavaStrikeForce1

I love Weaponeers of Monkaa. There, I got that out of the way. I’ve said that in pretty much every review I’ve done of the line so far, I’ll continue to say it in all future reviews. Hopefully, it’ll remain true. There’s only so many ways to say it, so I figured I’d just cut to the chase this time. Spy Monkey Creations, aka the people responsible for this line that I love, just put out their fifth assortment of figures. Being that I love the line, I picked up all of the figures, aside from the re-release of the Magma Gohlem. I’ve looked at the two star attractions of this assortment, Fyreball and Ehmber, now I’ll look at the one who allegedly started the theme that led to their creation, Lava Strike Force.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

LavaStrikeWilsonThe Lava Strike Force was released as part of the fifth assortment of Weaponeers of Monkaa, which is also titled Lava Strike Force. According to Spy Monkey, this figure was supposed to be a limited release figure, done to be released with a batch of extra Magma Gohlems they found. However, they decided to bump it up to a full release day by adding Fyreball and Ehmber, and in honor of the originating figure, the whole set has been branded “Lava Strike Force.” Like every other figure in the line, Lava Strike Force is made from the same basic set of pieces. Their totally modular, so you can configure him just about any way you’d like, which adds an extra level of fun to the figures. In the default set-up, Lava Strike Force is 4 inches tall and features 17 points of articulation. The pieces maintain the same sleek look, and they’re very well designed and sculpted. The default head is the Gohlem head, though I don’t think Lava Strike Force is meant to be one of the Gohlems. It’s a nice, basic robot-looking head, so it’s got a fair bit of versatility. Lava Strike Force is molded in all black, with orange detail lines outlining many of the sculpted elements, plus some white details on the heads. Lava Strike Force includes an assortment of weapons painted to match, including two hilts, two straight blades, two bent blades, two serrated blades, two blasters and two sickles, as well as all of the possible heads, to allow for the alternate looks.

LavaStrikeForce2 LavaStrikeForce4 LavaStrikeForce3

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Just like Ehmber and Fyreball, I picked up Lava Strike Force as soon as Spy Monkey put the figure up for sale. Apparently I was one of the lucky ones, as I understand that this particular figure sold out rather quickly. It’s a figure that’s up to par with the rest of the Weaponeers, though I don’t know that I would have gone searching for it had I missed out. It’s not much different from the previously released Flaw figure, plus you can essentially build it out of parts from Fyreball and Ehmber. That being said, it’s still a WoM figure, so it’s still super cool!

WeaponeersGroup

#0295: Ehmber

EHMBER

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

Ehmber1

Weaponeers of Monkaa is one of those rare finds in the modern age. It’s a toyline created solely to be fun. It’s strange to think that’s a rarity, being that they’re TOYS, but everything’s become so marketed nowadays. That makes something like Weaponeers so refreshing to me. Spy Monkey Creations, who make the line, just put out a new assortment of figures, under the heading “Lava Strike Force.” Last time, I looked at Fyreball and today I’m looking at Ehmber.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EhmberWilsonEhmber is part of the fifth assortment of Weapneers of Monkaa, released just last month. Like Fyreball, Ehmber appears to be an all new character to the series. Also like Fyreball, Ehmber shares some design elements with a previous figure. This time it’s Palidar, Brutok’s more heroic equivalent. As is standard for the line, Ehmber is built from the usual assortment of pieces. In his default layout, Ehmber is about 4 inches tall and features 17 points of articulation. The sculpt is exactly the same as every other figure in the line. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. The pieces are the same modular pieces we’ve seen before, and they’re an impressive set of sculpts. They easily can lock into dozens of possible configurations, and allow for nice, sleek looking figures. Ehmber’s default head is the Palidar head. I’ll be honest, it’s probably my least favorite of the bunch, but it’s certainly not a bad one. Ehmber’s paint is fairly similar to Fyreball’s. Mostly, it’s just reversed, although Fyreball did have a few extra details Ehmber seems to be lacking. It doesn’t hurt the figure at all, though. Ehmber is armed with two hilts, two straight blades, two bent blades, two serrated blades, two blasters and two sickles, all molded in translucent orange, plus three extra heads to allow for alternate looks.

Ehmber3 Ehmber2

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Ehmber form Spy Monkey’s store the first day this set was put up for sale, as I have with most of the Weaponeers releases. Like I said in my Fyreball review, I’m not quite as much of a fan of the black and orange color scheme as I was f a few of the earlier color schemes, but this is still a solid set. Ehmber certainly doesn’t disappoint!

Ehmber4

#0294: Fyreball

FYREBALL

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

Fyreball1

There’s a rare few toylines of which consider myself a “completist.” NECA’s Aliens line springs to mind, but that one’s mostly due to the subject matter being one of my favorite movies of all time. Eventually, I’d like to have a complete collection of Kenner’s DC Super Powers, but that’s probably a ways off. Once again, that’s the subject matter and a bit of nostalgia on my part. Weaponeers of Monkaa is another line that has pulled me in, but it’s done it solely by being a really cool set of toys, plain and simple. Spy Monkey Creations, who make the line, just released their fifth assortment of figures to their online site last month. There were three new figures and a re-release of the Magma Gohlem from the first series. I picked up the three new releases. I’ll be taking a look at the first of those, Fyreball, today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FyreballWilsonFyreball was part of the fifth assortment of Weapneers of Monkaa, entitled “Lava Strike Force.” Fyreball seems to be meant to be a new character to the line, though he does seem to share a fair bit of design elements with previous character Brutok. Fyreball is part of the Lava Strike Force affiliation, which is new to the line, introduced with this series. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of the line, every figure is made from the same basic assortment of pieces, in slightly varied configurations. The pieces are also completely modular, so you can further customize them however you’d like. In his default set-up, Fyreball is about 4 inches in height and features 17 points of articulation. If you’ve read a previous review of a WoM figure on this site, you’ve read my take on the body. The pieces are all sculpted really well, and work in a myriad of different configurations. When built into the basic set up, it offers a nice, sleek figure design. Fyreball’s default head is the Brutok head, which might just be my favorite of the five possible heads. The paint on the Weaponeers gets better with every release, and Fyreball is no exception. He’s built from a combination of translucent orange and black pieces, with some black and orange detailing on each piece to bridge the differences. Everything looks cleanly applied, with no bleed over or slop to speak of. Fyreball is fairly well accessorized, with two hilts, two straight blades, two bent blades, two serrated blades, two blasters and two sickles, plus three extra heads to allow for alternate looks.

Fyreball4 Fyreball3 Fyreball2

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Fyreball from Spy Monkey’s store on the first day it was available, as I have with the last few Weapneers releases. Personally, I’m not as much of a fan of the black and orange color scheme as I was of the green from the last set, but Fyreball is still a really solid addition to the line.

Fyreball5

#0197: The Magma Gohlem

MAGMA GOHLEM

WEAPONEERS OF MONKAA

MagmaGohlem

Weaponeers of Monkaa is one of those great lines of toys that are desirable simply because they’re just really fun toys.  They aren’t a pre-existing property, just cool action figures.  Because of this, they are one of my favorite toylines, especially in this era of difficult to acquire, high priced figures from the bigger companies.

Today, I’ll be looking at the Magma Gohlem.  The Gohlems are the line’s “army builders,” and are meant to represent Weaponeers who haven’t chosen a side yet.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Magma Gohlem was part of the first release of Weaponeers figures.  The figure doesn’t have a proper name, so he’s just meant to be one of the generic Gohlems.  Being the “Magma” Gohlem, his distinguishing feature is being molded in translucent orange plastic.  My previous reviews from this line have pointed out that every figure in the line is essentially made from the same set of pieces.  The Magma Gohlem sticks with this idea.  In his default set up, the Magma Gohlem has 16 points of articulation, and has a height of just under 4 inches tall.  However, thanks to the modular nature of the line, you can reconfigure him to stand taller and feature additional articulation, if you so choose.  I’ve reviewed this sculpt a few times before, so I don’t really have anything to add.  It’s still a stand-up sculpt, and everything looks and fits together great.  The paint on the Magma Gohlem is relatively minor, really only being used for his eyes and logos, but what’s there is cleanly applied, which is good.  The Magma Gohlem includes all of the extra heads available in the line, a lower torso piece that can be added for some more height, a short blade and a sickle, all molded in the Magma Gohlem’s orange plastic.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Magma Gohlem was amongst my second set of figures purchased from Spy Monkey’s web site.  I had picked up the first release Vilhain, and the Crystal Gohlem when they were initially released, and liked them enough to pick up the rest of the first assortment.  The Magma Gohlem isn’t my favorite figure in the line, but he’s a solid addition to the line, and is just as fun as any other release in the line.