Occasionally we’ll throw the switch and review something that came out a few months back. Today is one of those days as we’re tackling both 3A’s Nom 4th and Nom Disciple 27. We somehow let them slip by when they first dropped on our doorstep but still feel that they’re interesting enough to warrant a few mumblings. In fact, if you read our “Top Toys of 2012″ post, you already know a little bit how we feel about them!
It was back at SDCC 2012 that I first peeked both NOMs. Nom 4th, Ashley Wood’s revamped take on his iconic Nom De Plume was one of the most exciting items I saw on display at 3A’s booth… heck SDCC! If you like, check out some of the shots we snapped in our beastly Comic Con 2012 coverage article.
The month prior to SDCC, ordering both NOMs was one of the most hesitation-free toy purchases I’d made. After seeing them at SDCC, I was confident that once in hand, these guys would be the jewels of my collection.
Whelp, as it happens..
Both NOM boxes look great. Ash’s paintings, depicting each character individually, are splashed on two panels of each packs surface which is perfect for displaying if you’re the kind of guy/lady/lady-man-lady who enjoys doing that. It’s the kind of box art I enjoy the most from 3A/A. Wood.. minimalist design over some fantastic art.
Both NOMs come with two twin silver pistols, a baton and a spare pistol holding hand. Each figure have a full sized poster featuring the box art packed inside as well.
As it was NOM 4th who first caught my eye at SDCC, he was the first I unboxed. I cut open the wrap and flipped open the lid. Ahhhh man, he looked great. The iconic NOM De Plume single red sleeve, the red lenses in the gas mask, even with all the new additions, it’s unmistakable NOM.
The new hoses are nice and flexible. I wouldn’t necessarily call them “soft”, but they’ll most likely adjust to where you need them to. Like them or not they definitely change his look enough to clearly identify him as a separate and unique character. 4th isn’t a quick and easy color swapped NOM. He’s not the same old toy with a new toy’s price. In fact, everything on him is brand spanking new.
Built on a completely new 3A body type, 4th has all new mask and glove sculpts that look really nice. The paint, weathering and tailoring on him looks top notch all around as well. Weapon-wise, gone is the old school De Plume pistol. It’s been replaced with a larger and much shinier new piece, of which you get two. NOM also comes with a riot baton that looks pretty swanky in it’s very own sheath.
I’m really loving the new boots that both 4th and 27th come with. They have actual laces, a first for a 3A toy and are made of a synthetic leather like material. On top of that, they’re soft enough to not impede any poses you might want to toss NOM into, yet feel sturdy enough to hold up well to bending them around. A definite positive notch for well made durability here.
The weird thing is, 4th comes by default with two relaxed hands installed and a single spare capable of holding a pistol of which, again.. he has two. So the other is for what.. balance, symmetry, personal feng shui? Not including a second pistol holding hand is one of those odd toy manufacturer decisions that you’d swear was simply a case of miscommunication between the floor manager and the guy packing up the pieces to ship out.
Someone did no get the memo.
Other than the inability to hold both guns at once, there’s a couple other things design-wise, that seem like oversights with this guy. The hands are made of a very soft rubber. Despite them being supposedly sculpted (and beautifully so) to the specifics of the newly designed hand canons, (or vice versa) the hand’s grip just isn’t firm enough to hold the weapon very well. It can and will, but it’ll fall out just as easily.
Another sadly overlooked thing, remember that cool baton we mentioned a minute ago? Neither hand is really appropriate for holding it. You can sorta wedge it in, where it probably works/looks best in the neutral hand. In practice however, it’s a very loose fit and nothing looks natural about it. It’s odd to have these kind of things in a brand new figure built from the ground up. If anything, this is the sort of stuff that should have been dead-on perfect!
Back to the good stuff! Just look at him! He looks so very cool. Like Tomorrow Kings, A. Wood nailed it when he designed the De Plume. There’s something so very dynamic and appealing about them. It’s difficult to put 4th in a pose that doesn’t flow with character. I literally spent a good hour posing and playing around with him the first day I had him.
Much of what I said about 4th can carry over to 27. The slightly too soft rubber hands, new boots, shiny guns, wicked little baton, multiple hoses and all new sculpts top to bottom. Where the real difference between the two comes in (other than Disciple’s dark complexion) is the hooded shirt.
Characters sporting hoodies are nothing new to 3A, particularly in the Adventure Kartel universe, but this is a first for World War Robot. Some bemoaned the addition as an unrealistic article for someone to wear in battle.
Pssh… I love it!
There’s something so very, I don’t know.. Evil Jedi about the way he looks with all the hoses pouring out from under his shroud. He looks menacing. More a ruthless assassin than a student or disciple. I need to hunt down a spare WWR Caesar knife or TK sword to give him. That seems fitting.
Just like all the NOMS before him, 27 is a mono-sleeved guy. The difference here is that his is tailored in such a cool and unique way. The end flap covers the top of his hands and are hemmed up at a sharp “V” angle to allow for him to hold a weapon unencumbered. It’s a nice look. It kind of reminds me of that goth kid I went to school with that always had his sleeves pulled down over his hands. But you know, way, WAY better.
He may just call back to my love of ninjas, Darth Vader, and Snake Eyes, but even if that’s so, is that a bad thing?
When I ordered him, I only did so because he looked a little different than 4th. I wasn’t really expecting much to get excited about. Even after seeing him first hand (behind glass) at SDCC, I thought for sure that 4th was the hero of the show and Disciple was a sort of bland, dark afterthought. Nay, nay. This guy is all kinds of awesome. While he shares all of the same short comings NOM 4th has, to my surprise, NOM Disciple has become one of my favorite 1/6 figures.
Back to the topic of shared characteristics, there are a couple other things in the negative column I feel need mentioning. One opinion, one fact.
I don’t love the new guns. They’re bigger, which.. OK fine, but they look like something Dirty Harry would’ve carried. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but the original NOM pistol is so iconic! It’s the De Plume gun! The new gun just looks a bit more cookie cutter. The shine is pretty off-putting (not to mention a pain to photograph) as well. I guess they’re supposed to look as though they have some sort of brushed silver plating. But in truth, the effect isn’t very believable and they just look like little silver spray painted plastic toy guns.
The most wide spread complaint I’ve heard about these guys has to do with incredibly loose wrist joints. I hate to say it, but mine both bear the same affliction. I’ve never had joints on a 3A figure this loose. My 4th’s is, for whatever reason, worse than 27.. but both flop around like they’re trying to fly away. When I inspect the joints you can see they have a large gap in between them, when they should be tight. I’ve also heard a few people saying that one or more of their wrist pegs have broken apart right out the box. One has to wonder if the regular wrist peg guy at 3A was on vacation during the production of these figures?
“Ahh, let’s just have Jimmy from custodian services handle this one, it’ll be fine.”
The good news is, it’s just a wrist peg and a wrist peg is easily swapped out with another. The bad news is, ironically, no spares come packed in. I think every 1/6 figure I’ve gotten from 3A in the last year have come with spares. Of all the figures for 3A not to include extras with.
A wee DIY pro-tip: If you don’t have a spare wrist joint or two on hand, you can try dabbing a little super glue or clear nail polish on the peg itself (remove it from the hand and body first). Make sure to keep the joint moving while the adhesive sets in, otherwise you’ll have a stuck joint. Add as needed and after a bit, a thin layer will build up and stiffen the joint to a more workable level. Easy peasy.
THE FINAL WORD
With NOM the 4th and NOM Disciple 27, you’re getting completely newly fabricated figures, head to toe. While some of the newness isn’t necessarily an upgrade, I think you’d agree that the highs do outweigh the lows.
NOM the 4th is that iconic figure we missed out on years ago, that most of us could not afford today. He truly stands out on even the most crowded shelf and harkens back to the day many of you started collecting 3A. His colors pop and the impact his very presence brings to a toy collector’s shelf is undeniable.
I thought I’d share a notion I had about Nom 4th that isn’t either negative or positive, but moreso something a bit of late night writing coughed up. An observation about the growing and changing goings on with WWR.
When I finally had 4th unboxed and out in front of me, I found myself saying, “Hmmm, no one would ever wear that to battle.”
That’s when it occurred to me, I’m not so sure that 4th naturally fits in with the direction 3A and Ashley Wood have taken the WWR line. Over the years things have grown grimier, grittier and honestly, a bit more drab. The last De Plume’s, Fantome and Barguest were grungy ghost white and murky death black respectively. You could see them trading fire on the battle field and slipping behind their foes, relieving them of the burden of breath. All of the WWR Grunts are dusted in murky, muted tones and are sporting attire fairly appropriate for a war. Same could be said for the bot snipers.. not to mention the bots themselves. NOM the 4th is a little dirtier than NOM De Plume was, a little less art toy and maybe a few shades more action figure.. but to me, he feels like more of a symbol of an important 3A icon than part of the current, ever expanding, World War Robot universe.
The NOM Disciple, with his Jedi good looks, has become one of my favorite 1/6 figures. When I ordered him, I really only did so because he looked a little different than 4th and my other De Plumes. I wasn’t really expecting much to get excited about. 4th was supposed to be the hero of the show, right? Maybe to some, but to me, the NOM Disciple takes it by a knife’s edge and is all kinds of awesome.
I think the reason I can forgive such glaring QC issues is that despite their mutual shortcomings, you still feel like you’re getting something of quality. From the box art and poster to the stitching on the new laced up boots, these NOMs feel special.
These two figures really are some of the nicer pieces out of 3A in the past year and can still be had for a song or two on the aftermarket. If I had to choose one, I’d probably go with NOM 4th despite digging on 27 a good deal more. Mainly because as a 3AA 2013 member, we’ll be getting NOM Blanc, who’s essentially a grey/dirty white version of NOM 27, as part of the package. Even if you didn’t snag 3AA this year, NOM the 4th is “the last” of his kind.. or so they say. If that holds to be true, he’s your last chance to grab a classic style De Plume. In the end, either one would be a great choice that I think you’ll be more than happy to have on your shelf.
- These are some fine looking gentlemen with great weathering, paint and tailoring
- The De Plume redesigns are a solid step forward and feature all new parts, ceiling to floor
- The new boots are really well done and look fantastic
- NOM 27′s hoodie adds so much menace and mystery to the character.. it’s truly awesome sauce
- Love the baton and sheath
- Your chance to own a classic 3A icon. (sort of.)
- Weak, limp wrist pegs that you’ll want to patch or replace right out the box
- Only includes one pistol holding hand (but comes with two guns) and no baton holding hand
- The pistol holding hand is very soft and doesn’t firmly hold NOM’s gun
- The new gun design, while not necessarily bad looking, is a bit more generic than the original and iconic De Plume pistols