*review* 3A WWRp JEA Heavy Bramble


INTRO

It’s not often that I’m able to point my finger at previous review we’ve posted and say that the one you’re currently reading (enthralled with?) will be essentially a retread of the former.  Yes, it’s 3A WWRp JEA time again. The on-going saga of collecting the JEA colorway at 1/12th scale continues with the just released, retail WWRp JEA Heavy Bramble.

You might detect a few notes here from my previous review of the WWRp JEA MK3 Bertie. Many of the same things I admired and critiqued on that bot are essentially the same sort registered here. If you’ve yet to read it, I suggest you give it a gander after you’ve consumed this tasty meal. If you’ve had it before, then perhaps you’d enjoy a quick revisit.

So while there may be a few woodsy.. perhaps smokey hints that leap off the back of the palette a few moments after you’ve finished a sip. Fear not, there are differences below…

or perhaps just a few finer details.

PACKAGING

Ah yes. It’s good to see the likes of AW paints once again being the focus of a 3A toy’s boxart. WWRp Heavy Bramble features an image of the Bramble Gravedigger, I assume a few moments pre-rocket release, the icons/graphics are minimal, the painting prominent. Definitely worthy of shelf display.

On the back we get a nice quick background story about the Mk3 Bramble. While we’ve seen slivers of story here and there on various 3A packs, this is the first time I’ve seen one that features a bots proposed “specs”. Size, weight, height, it’s all here. It’s pretty cool in a geeky (aka, me) kind of way.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Your Heavy Bramble will come packed tidy with 4 bags and a massive rocket launcher of sorts known as the Aunty Jack 4 Way RPD.  I think of it as 3A’s BFG.

THE BREAKDOWN

It’d be really super crazy easy for me to go down the path of drawing comparisons between little WWRp Heavy Bramble and big WWR Heavy Bramble. I could fill this page with how amazingly close to the two are in terms of paint, weathering, articulation, presence… etc.  On and on I could go until you’ve found yourself reading an exhaustive comparison of each bot’s pinky surface texture. I firmly believe that nobody wants that.

So I’m going to try not to do that gentle reader, because you deserve more. I’ll sum it up real quick and say that yes, indeed 1/6 and 1/12 HBs are practically identical twins, albeit with one wot’s been shrunken by some sort of wonderous toy shrink ray. The bags might be a shade or three lighter on the WWRp version. but beyond that… twinsies!

Instead, I’d like to focus on the WWRp Heavy Bramble and how he relates and compares to the other bots in the WWRp world.  The JEA colorway and otherwise.

Out of the box and at first rub, Mr. HB looks really good. The familiar greens, tans and icons that any JEA fan would appreciate are all here. I’m still amazed at how much detail 3A can squeeze onto their smaller figures. Especially when it’s based off a larger version and manages to remains faithful to it down to the tiny drips of “oil” running off an exhaust. I’m almost convinced that they reverse engineer everything. Simply design a robot for the small scale only to release the giant version first with the sole goal of really impressing us all later. Flecs of rust, soot and oil remind you that you’re looking at a machine.. a machine that’s been places and seen some things.

I love Heavy B’s proportions. The original bramble is one of my favorite toys out of 3A with it’s barrel chest (literally.. a barrel)and has always in my mind been the “muscle” of the squad. The HB takes that idea and runs with it. Just look at those gorilla arms. He makes poor Mk2 look absolutely anorexic by comparison. If I had one complaint with the design it’d be the extended exposed wrist joint. It functions as a tremendous boon when holding the launcher, but aesthetically it does look a little out of place.

Articulation on a Heavy Bramble is essentially the same as it was on the standard MK2 Bramble. The larger shoulders/arms do seem to have a slightly more limited allotment for shoulder movement, but I doubt it’s anything you’d notice or mind if you’re already a fan of the MK2. Other than that the head turns, waist twists, knees bend and fingers open/close. If you were able to get there with the Mk2, you shouldn’t have any issue doing so with the MK3 as well.

Of note is that all the joints (fingers included) on my Heavy Bramble were perfect. Not too tight, not too loose. Each had just the right amount of resistence so I can twist and turn him into whatever pose allowed and he’ll stay put. The fingers don’t flop around like loose erector set pieces, the arms or legs don’t feel as though they may snap in twain while bending them. It could be complete blind luck mine turned out this well, but I’ll take it. However, if by chance there’s a setting on the dremel tool or whatever piece of machinery 3A uses to engineer toy joints.. I’d like to whole heatedly request that they WRITE IT DOWN!

The addition of  MK3’s thicker arms makes a lot of sense given the size of the RPD he’s equipped with.

It’s huge. Massive even. End to end, almost twice the size of HB himself. I love the design of it with it’s flaps and scope. It’s a bit limiting how Heavy B can hold the launcher. Apparently Rothchild only designed these guys as rightys. The scope is stuck firm and fast on the weapon’s left side, meaning HB has to hold it with his right hand if he wants to hit his target. It’d been cool if the scope snapped on and off so you could move things around a bit more freely, but regardless the HB + launcher is an impressive and imposing sight.

Complaint time.

The side bags are just as annoying as they’ve ever been. I’m probably alone but I’m just not a fan. I’ve always liked the idea of bots sporting bags and you may think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. Just don’t be surprised to find that once again they fly off at the smallest bump as though possessed by a silent robot sack focused banshee. At this point in the evolution of robots/warfare and the men, women and children who play with them, there HAS to be a better way to adhere these things to robots.  Bring back the bertie belts! Those did the job with grande gusto! I know, I know.. adding belts at this juncture when the original 2 year old design didn’t have them would be some kind of toy design heresy. But I’d happily forgive that by chalking it up as an “upgrade”.

Also, the bag straps are all over the place. Untidy to say the least. That is all.

Throwing HB up with the rest of the JEA crew looks great. The cohesive colors and icons speckled throughout the gang looks really nice together. Heavy fits right in while not getting lost in the sea of greens. It could be that massive launcher he’s holding allowing him to stand out, but I’ll let him take the credit

HB’s design elements seem to borrow the most from the MK2 JEA Bramble and the JEA Large Martin. The general overall color scheme is basically swiped from MK2 while many of the updated icons are taken from LM. It’s a good blend I think to tie the squad in a bit more. Thankfully the tones are just right and not like the out of place (though individually cool) blue dominate JEA Armstrong. If having your bots match is important to you, the JEA Heavy Bramble shouldn’t dissapoint ya.

So other than the bags, a criticism arguably based off preference than on true unbiased observation, what other problems/errors/missteps/unforutnates did I find with Mr JEA HB? Well I’ll tell you.

I found two.

As a long time 3A collector my fondest memories go back to some if their earliest bots. These of course are the MK2 Brambles and the MK2 Berties. Not only were they brand new, never before seen highly articulated robots sporting awesome firepower and an intriguing background story, they were painted and detailed with such astonishing care and finesse. The first Bertie I held in my hands was Dirty Deeds. An all black bot with a few simple white icons on him. deceptively uncomplicated. But when you really looked at him the various layers of paint and weathering begin to pop out. As the different shades of bronze and silver rust along with the careful placement of painted wear and tear reveal themselves, you begin to realize that there’s nothing simple about this all black bot at all. In fact, it’s a masterpiece.

Perhaps that’s comparing apples to oranges. A bit too abstract. I’ll go another route. The obvious one. Bramble to Bramble. While they look great together, putting them side by side will no doubt show you very clearly why your brand new MK3 Heavy Bramble is and will always be inferior to your old, dusty, out of date MK2 Bramble. Big arms be damned.

Just look at the scratches of silver metal peaking through on the various ridges and edges on the MK2. Places where the Bramble had obviously scratched itself against something heavy, which took paint as it’s prize. It catches the light and breaks up the muck of oil and drab. To me it’s the one last crucial piece of the puzzle that sells the idea that this is a “metal” robot I’m looking at. The Heavy Bramble doesn’t have that. Without that small touch, the little breaks to his specular profile, he’s plastic.  Really cool looking plastic, but plastic all the same.

I’ve noticed this on the last several 3A bots I’ve collected and I can’t understand why they felt it no longer necessary to apply that level of detail to their new bots.  It’s as though 3A ran out of silver paint.

I understand they’re getting bigger as a company and the demand for 3A toys is unfathomably greater than it was when the MK2 was released, but hire another detail guy (gal) or two and please bring it back 3A!

My only other quibble with this miniaturized robotic giant isn’t a fault of him being WWRp, but fault of the original’s execution which this scale happens to mirror.

Those blasted launcher flaps.

If by some miracle 3A could have found it in their collective hearts to update the launcher to include HINGED launcher flaps, singing birds would have herald their greatness to the heavens, the sky would have turned a pure Bob Ross blue and Apollo would have lifted his skirt.

I might have even cried giant man tears of joy.

But alas, they did not so I did not. None of that stuff happened because they decided to leave them sticking out, thin and gorilla glued. Once more you will have to worry about how you lay the launcher down, placing it hanging over a ledge or if you fancy yourself a brave sou,l standing up right and balanced on end. You must examine daily the very grip of your Heavy Bramble to ensure that it be firm and true so the launcher does not fall foul from it’s fickle grasp.

Because if it DOES, you will without the slightest hint of question have a broken, busted, shattered launcher on your hands. You might as well buy a small tube of super glue the next time your at Walgreens just in case.

Oh, and keep it close.

FINAL SUMMARY

The MK3 WWRp Heavy Bramble is another fine addition to my JEA Squad. I was actually a bit more excited about getting him than I was my MK3 Bertie a few months ago. I just love that classic ol’ Bramble design. If you collect JEA or one of the other WWRp colorways offered by this retail run, I’d recommend scooping up one or two. Even if you don’t, their a steal right now and some great designs to choose from. There’s even some region specific variants for UK, USA and Asia that are only available if you live in the respective area.. or have that thing called internet and can type the word “ebay”. They’re available now at just about all the sexy cool online toy stores. Grab them while you can!

A few 3A purist may discount my claim that the paint on the HB lacks the refinement of the original MK2’s and assume that I’m simply trying to find something to complain about or critique. On the other hand, those who gather speed off 3A’s missteps will probably applaud and take my comments about the paint app to mean the Heavy MK3 “sucks”. Neither are true. Despite my lust for a return of 3A perfection and the few wanted improvements I’ve noted, these guys are really great toys.

I firmly believe that 3A is still delivering above and beyond 99% of anything else out there.. I’d just like to see them nudged back to 100%.

Pros:

  • Another great addition to the JEA squad or the WWRp collector’s shelf in general
  • Great articulation and perfect (at least on mine) joints.
  • Very nice paint that practically mirrors his big brother
  • Colors match the JEA squad flawlessly
  • Huge launcher is BA

Cons:

  • When side by side with MK2 Bramble, the lack of some of the finer attention to details in the paint application on the Heavy are really noticeable
  • Flaps on the launcher are still glued on and fragile.

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2 thoughts on “*review* 3A WWRp JEA Heavy Bramble

  1. i think 3A dips lower than 99% quite often and its ok to admit. Sometimes the deliver 111% too. I gave up on having a FULL JEA crew because my eyes work and i care about quality. Inferior stuff just stands out IMHO.
    I dont want this guy next to my OG.
    Nope.

    Like

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