Fedex must have known how much I was anticipating getting this guy. I usually don’t see their trucks until 4pm or so, but today he showed up at 9:30 am on the money. Thank you, kindred driver of ye olde FedEx truck.
If memory serves, the EMGY Grunt was a surprise drop off the backend of the standard MK2 Squares release. I remember I knew nothing about the drop but saw someone on the threeA forums mention something about an Emergency Grunt going up on Bambaland. I had another tab open from the previous slew of ordering Mk2 squares so I just refreshed the page. There he was on the order page all by his lonesome. At first I thought to myself that I wasn’t sure I needed another Grunt. I already had Stealth and Jungle coming. Where would I put him? After a few moments of ponder, it occurred to me that if I were to sell all but one 3A piece in my collection that single piece I’d keep would be my EMGY Dropcloth. I didn’t have anything else in the EMGY colorway and thought they might look pretty cool together. I hit “add to cart” and went through the process with nary a snag.
I had no idea that he was limited or that anyone had any difficultly getting him until the next day when I started reading other people’s comments. I’m glad I didn’t hesitate any longer or this awesome figure would most likely not be sitting here in front of me.
EMGY comes shipped secure in a standard brown 3A shipping box, the box inside was safe and damage free. The artwork on the packaging is just like that of the other grunts, very graphic design oriented with large striking fonts and a stencil filtered photo of a grunt with the “EMGY” logo on the front. It’s a departure from the Ashley Wood painted covers we like to see and reminds me a little of the retail dropcloth boxes, which I really liked. There’s nothing wrong with a little variety from time to time.. though I still prefer his paintings/drawings to this.
The Grunts come with the most accessories of any 3A toy I’ve ever seen. 3 guns, gas mask, helmet, tons of packs, mini arm/leg shield, vest and a trench coat all removable. Oh, and spare wrist pegs, which for the first time you may actually NEED for this guy… more on that later. EMGY Grunt comes with an exclusive riot shield (which.. is awesome) and a couple variances to his outfit to help him stand out a little from the pack. Most notable is his trench coat which is longer and goes down almost to his ankles. One omission that I’d have liked to see is the inclusion of the night stick that the EMGY Dropcloth came with but there’s plenty here to play with even without it.
I’ll go ahead and say it, EMGY Grunt is my favorite looking toy of the year.. and I hate yellow. Speaking of yellow, there’s a lot of it. His entire outfit is yellow for that matter, save his left sleeve which is black. That combined with the black bags, gloves, mask and boots balance it out really nicely though. I particularly like the yellow tread on the black boots, it’s very nice accent that could have easily been left off. The guns also share in this accent with yellow handles on each. Like his other Grunt brothers, he’s mostly free of decals with only the usual array adorning anything you might call”metal”. The exception being of one small “EMGY” logo on the right wrist of his jacket sleeve.
Some folks might have liked to see some red accents in the mix somewhere. The EMGY Dropcloth is considered by many to be the best looking EMGY offering available with it’s yellow, silver, red, black and off white breaking up the palette and giving him a lot of interest. On the other hand you had the EMGY Armstrong, which was pretty much yellow… with some dirt on him. The former is MUCH more impressive looking than the later. I tend to agree that a dash of red here or there would have looked choice, but once again, it is not to be. So, if you’re allergic to yellow and black things, then EMGY Grunt will kill you.
As a side note, if you happen to have a Sand Devil Grunt you might try tossing it’s gas mask on EMGY. It has a touch of red on the the nozzle that could look cool and give you an idea of what might have been.
The weathering on him is well done, particularly on his helmet, shields and gas mask. The “grime” on his clothing does the job and breaks up the bright EMGY yellow pretty well, however it does look a little as if the staining was done in a single pass. There isn’t a ton of depth to the grunge on his clothing with the density of it appearing fairly uniform overall. I imagine cloth is a bit more difficult to stain with the same level of detail as what you can directly paint onto a hard plastic surface. Geared up it’s easily forgivable as he still looks effectively as though he’s been through all sorts of hell.
There’s so much to this guy and so many way’s to change his appearance. We’ve been enjoying user pictures of Grunts for a few months now and just from those you can see how much something as simple as taking off his helmet or gas mask changes the whole game. With the added shield that the EMGY Grunt comes with, we get a whole other level of play that leaves the rest in the dust. It’s just such a cool accessory to have.
But alas, it’s not perfect. Much like the shield that came with EMGY Dropcloth it’s heavy, possibly too heavy. While I’ve been able to get him to hold the shield in quite a few cool positions the truth is that the arm and wrist pegs are just not designed to support that sort of weight. Keep those spare wrist pegs close by. On top of that, while the soft rubber hands allow your Grunt to hold a wide range of items, including the shield, they won’t hold the shield FIRMLY. I have to rethink where I was going to display him because if the wrist joint slips over time, the hand certainly won’t prevent the shield from falling from his grasp, off my shelf and onto the hardwood floor below… the results of which, my friends, would SUCK.
With all hubbub out of the way, I want to make it clear that I do not consider this a defect to the figure, because it’s really not one. As you can see, he will hold some great poses with the shield. His balance is very good with it and he can stand up quite stable even with the extra weight. I would much rather have him posed up with the sheild and have to be mindful of how I display him than not have the shield at all. I’ll say it again, it is a fantastic accessory.
Another difference between EMGY Grunt and the other G’s is the absence of the helmet liner. Many people, myself included, thought the helmet stood up way to high on a grunts head with the liner installed. Fortunately, they are lightly glued in and easy to remove if you chose to do so. Ash made the comment that he preferred the helmets sans liner and that we should just “rip them out”. I guess that’s why it’s gone now. I think it looks much better, so a zero loss to me.
I think my main complaint about the Grunts in general is that they all share the exact same face. I know Ash intended these guys to be “meat for the machines” or faceless/nameless numbers on the battlefield and I can dig that alright. But are each and every Grunt on the battlefield suffering from sun or lint in their left eye? It gives the guy some subtle character, but at the same time makes him less anonymous and I think, works against the idea behind them. I wish 3A had just made a couple simple changes to the heads, maybe 3 or 4 variants and stuck them on at random. Maybe one could have been bald or have one who sports some well earned scars.. etc.. Just something so when your crew is chill’n with their helmets off, perhaps taking a smoke break you don’t have a shelf of odd twins who happen to fancy different team colors. It’s a small thing, a personal issue really, that most probably won’t share. I’m just going to buy a spare Grunt head and give him a right proper creep-stach to break up my triplets.
“Sergeant Chester the Molester reporting for duty SIR!”
The funny thing about this review is that when I started it, I didn’t think I had any critiques for EMGY Grunt at all. I like him that much and I stand by my earlier comment that he’s the best looking figure from 3A this year. However, once I started really messing with him I found a few small things that stood out and did bother me, if only in passing. I had to bring them up otherwise this wouldn’t be a fair review. But also to remain “fair” I have to admit that those thing’s really don’t amount to much when compared to the overall quality and look of this guy. From the crazy amount of accessories to the insane amount of customizability, you will be hard pressed to find a more complete figure in all of 3A’s catalog. To quote an unknown scholar and current employee at the local Pizza Hut/Kentucky Fried Chicken combo restaurant, “That dude’s full of WIN!”
Full of win indeed good sir, full of win indeed.