*Review* 3A WWR EMGY Dropcloth 1.5


INTRO

ThreeA, to me, has always been about robots. Even now, with all their Tomorrow Kings, Tommy Mission, Zombs and pointy chested, long legged vixens, big ol’ rusty robots are the first thing that pops into my head whenever the toy company comes up. It was in fact a random image of a WWRp Dirty Deeds Bertie that first caught my attention and led me, cash clinched in hand, to ThreeA’s doorstep. A few purchases under my belt later, still wide-eyed and bushy tailed as one tends to be when their toe is first dipped into ThreeA waters, I set out with the seemingly obtainable goal to get one of each kind of bot in my collection. At first, I was keeping to the smaller, more obtainable bots thinking the larger bot were just too expensive for someone like me who planned to only be a casual collector with a tidy, reasonable collection. Ha! If I only knew then what I know now.

A month or so into my earnest collecting, I accidentally purchased a incredibly well priced, WWR Dropcloth Slaughterhouse. At the time, I didn’t have a solid understanding of the various labels 3A tossed on their various lines, so the lack of the letter “p” generally tagged on the end of the “WWR”, escaped my notice. I foolishly believed it to be another 1/12th bot given the reasonable cost.

Foolishly or not, when the dual hatchet wielding, 1/6 bot arrived on my doorstep, I was thrilled. While a WWRp Bertie reeled me in, it was definitely a WWR Droppie that truly sunk it’s hooks in. Dropcloths were and still are my favorite robots from ThreeA’s arsenal of cool toys. They’re just so pose-able and fun to play around with. Also, their reasonable scale makes them easy to collect and display with a variety of other sized figures. I’ve rotated out, bought and sold quite a bit of my collection over the years for one reason or another, but I have one bot that is securely locked into my “if there was a house fire, grab that” mental category, the WWR EMGY Dropcloth.

In my opinion, he’s simply the coolest looking bot I own, standing front and center on my shelf.

The EMGY colorway is understandably popular. In many cases, it’s rarity seems to be the driving point. But for me, it’s the stark use of  rusty yellow paired with dark black, silver and most importantly, red. Since the first EMGY WWRp bertie (speaking of rare), the EGMY color-way has gone through various changes. Newer bots, like Caesar and particularly Armstrong skipped the red accents altogether. It might seem like such a small thing, but in my opinion, it’s absence caused the newer bots to come out looking a lot less exciting than the original. Even the EMGY grunt, which I think is just a sick figure to have, lacks basically any other color accents at all, leaving him with a color scheme an interior designer might refer to as, “the dirty banana”.

When ThreeA teased us with the first Dropcloth follow up back at SDCC 2012, the Dropcloth 1.5, I was pretty excited.  When it was announced that the EMGY color-way would be among the first available, I was even more excited. Once I saw that the paint app would be a return to EMGY glory days (ie: reds, blacks and silvers) I may have fist pumped the air, shouted, “YEAH BABY!” and held that pose for moment, freeze frame style, in true 80’s tradition.

ThreeA once again made the EMGY drop a random “rare” drop, despite it’s popularity. On the plus side, it was a rare drop seemingly far more obtainable than any other I’ve experienced. In fact, the first time I logged onto bambaland during the sale (which featured Peaceday as the regular drop) I saw EGMY up and purchased him with little fuss. Almost every other time I checked the site, he was still there. I like to think that whoever wanted him at the time had a pretty good opportunity to snag him.

With my personal EMGY history deets out of the way, I am thrilled to finally have EMGY 1.5 in my hands. Keep reading to see how well I think  he stacks up to the OG.

Here we go..

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PACKAGING

Ah yes. I’m happy to report that we have some beautiful, Ashely Wood art taking up the majority of the front side of the packaging. On the back and side you can see Brent Ashe’s (the lead technical designer for 3A) handy work. It’s a well conceived, nice looking design that embraces and combines 3a’s old and new package art styles and ultimately looks pretty darn handsome on the shelf.

Golf clap, fellahs.

A quirky, cool story is on the back bottom panel discussing the bloody misuse of the EMGY 1.5 bots during a Peaceday parade.. calling back to the original (awesome) story, to get your imagination juices flowing. One can only hope we’ll see a full comic or a follow up to the WWR books someday to really flesh this world out.

You also get a cool weapon load out diagram that lets you know clearly what’s standard and secondary. Seeing that had me lost in thought of just how cool it’d be to play a WWR RTS or FPS game.. oh the fun that could be had. (ThreeA, make it happen.)

WHAT’S INCLUDED

As is becoming more and more the case with WWR releases, EMGY comes LOADED with accessories. One thing that immediately stands out is that all the gear is brand new and unique to the Dropcloth 1.5 line. The standard load-out includes dual (holstered) pistols, a submachine gun, a close-quarters shotgun and a really cool cleaver-esque knife. Unique to ol’ EMGY is the ever cool strapped riot baton (not seen since the OG EMGY Dropcloth) and of course, the infamous riot shield.

Suffice to say, you have a LOT of options to play around with.

Man, I love EMGY.

THE BREAKDOWN

Man, that toxic smell. Some love it, some hate it. I find a sense of nostalgia in it, but dude, EMGY was loaded with it when I unpacked him. Toe to toe with Stinkor from MOTU in odoriferousness. From 3A’s factories to my front door. Here’s hoping there’s some chemical safety regulations at play.. otherwise, in my small office littered with 3A toys, health-wise, I’m screwed.

So first impression, he looks.. friendly? Not what I expected to think right out the box. Those two eyes between the popped metal collar, make him look almost cute in a way. Like, dangerous.. but friendly. In a way, it makes sense. If these are designed to interact with humans, the only point of the eyes is to humanize them and make us fleshys feel more comfortable. It’s definitely a different vibe than I get from my OG EMGY Droppy.

So lemme check out this paint job. Mmhmm.. MmHmm. I think it looks good… great even. The weathering is looking quite nice. It’s something that 3A is known for of course. Upon closer inspection and when compared to my OG Dropcloth, there’s quite a few apparent differences. He’s a LOT more orange, but you can tell there’s more layers at work here. The OG is a bright yellow, with it’s key weathering element being basically rusty sponge marks applied liberally all over the place. A few inky drips and some dark edge work and he’s done. The new 1.5 has what appears to be 3 base layers, a dark “steel” layer, and bright yellow (similar to the OG) followed by the dominant burnt orange layer. There’s still sponge marks, though not as heavy as before, coupled with several cross-hatch like brush marks all over. These are very apparent on his legs, which are almost brown from the amount of heavy weathering.

Some fans may be turned off by the fact that the yellow/orange of the 1.5 doesn’t match the yellow of.. well, ANY of the other EMGY bots, but it’s hard to argue that on his own, he looks really nice. If the 1.5 is an update, then it makes some sense that 3A would attempt to try new and improved methods with their paint application. Whether it looks better or not is going to be completely up to the individual. Even if the off-yellow throws you… the red and silver accents should bring you back in. They look ever bit as cool as you’d want them to and give us the legitimate EMGY color scheme we’ve been wanting since the first time we saw it.

Articulation is vastly improved on the 1.5 in almost every conceivable area. Double joints at the neck and shoulders allow just a bit more wiggle room. Droppies feet have two hinges in them to assist in making your “Hey, I’m walking here!” pose that much more believable. The old thumb joint is gone and in it’s place is a much more forgiving ball joint. It’s not new as it’s been seen on a few other bots already, but it’s an update from the original Dropcloths.

On both his forearms, we have two ultra-cool shield. Each shield can also be swiveled around to allow for various load-out and pose options. Basically, if they’re in your way, you can move them. I’d also like to mention how much I like the dark paint on the shields, they feature some of the best weathering on the entire bot.

Probably the biggest update to ol’ droppy is his double-jointed elbows. It’s a little thing, but seems to make a pretty big difference in the sort of poses you’re able to get out of him thanks to their inclusion. It’s a first for a 3A bot and makes the range of the already highly articulated Dropcloth, that much more extensive.

The legs on the 1.5 seem to lack any noticeable difference from those of their older brother’s. What’s there is pretty great already, but I was hoping the area where the leg connected to the hip would have been refined a little bit to allow for a wider stance.

If there was one thing that carried over from the original Dropcloths that I really, REALLY wish 3A would have altered.. it’s the way the bags attach. While some of the dangling ones are nicely attached by (black!) plastic clips, the sacks on his hips have a thin strap that simply feed down through some (very) snug loops sewn into the hip of his (her?) skirt. They’ll stay put probably 99% of the time, but there’s nothing really securing them. The pain comes when one slips out why you’re posing him, or heck, removing a pistol from it’s holster. You literally need a tool(s) to feed the strap back down through the wee loops. On some of my previous Dropcloths, the straps were long enough that I could twist and tie them together to fastened them better, no such luck this time around. It’s a small annoyance that’s unique to Dropcloths and has bugged me since practically day one of collecting 3A.. looks like it’ll continue to do so.

All the accessories look pretty fantastic and are a ton of fun to mix and match for your setup. I’ve heard some complain about the size of the shotgun, but to me it works well. It basically looks like something a SWAT team would use in close quarters combat. Sawed off with a grip to help with the recoil.

The new knife, as I mentioned earlier, is something completely new, looking more like a cleaver than and combat knife. I really like it. If a Slaughterhouse 1.5 is released however, 3A will need to do something to make him stand out more since cleavers are kinda his thing.

There’s also the classic EMGY Droppy baton. I’m pretty sure it’s the exact same one the OG EMGY had, which is a good thing!

You also have a sub-machine gun and some dual pistols at your disposal. I stated earlier that all the weapons were unique and new to 1.5, but the pistols are actually the same ones we’ve come to know and love from the OG Dropcloths. If it ain’t broke..

The accessory that’s probably gotten the most “press” has been EMGY’s shield. A favorite accessory for collectors, many were disappointed when photos of the “new” shield started to pop up. It seems 3A couldn’t leave well enough alone and decided to redesign/paint the whole thing.

My first reaction to the photos was the same as a lot of other people’s, “Oh no! What have they done?” It just didn’t look very good. Blotchy yellow paint surrounded by ugly brown smears. A EMGY icon that was seemingly drawn on by a 4 year old. I definitely got why people were getting upset and I found myself siding with the throng of pitchfork wielders.

But then I saw another picture that seemingly displayed a sense of depth and even realism, causing me to question my first take. While waiting on mine to arrive, I’ve seen people’s posted pictures that make the shield look pretty darn great, and others that make it look like it was painted with crayons and baby feces. I decided to reserve my judgement and keep an open mind until I had it in hand.

So finally in hand and out of the box, sitting in front of me I can with all honesty say… “Huh.”

It ain’t bad. In fact, I’d probably say it’s more “realistic” than the old shields. There’s depth to it, much like the paint on the EMGY himself, and more layers than you’d expect just looking at the photos. The brown is actually very metallic and looks like good, worn out, rusty metal. The paint that appeared so soft and smudgy to me in photos online, actually makes good visual sense up close. It’s a nice, realistic effect.

So it’s more realistic, but is it better?

In the end, I’ll be placing this guy up with my other EMGY crew, all of who are wielding similarly painted and weathered shields. Right now, it looks harmonious, as most want their crew or colorway of choice to look, but the new shield is going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Even without that concern, standing on it’s own, I think where I find real issue derives from exactly what I was saying earlier.. up close, it looks realistic, up close, you can see the depth, up close, you can tell there’s some great techniques at work. However, take a few steps away, all you can see is a strange, bold and distracting pattern that doesn’t look or feel like anything else in your collection. From three feet away, It reads more like a bad camo pattern, than rust and chipped paint.

In short, where the paint application has gained technique and possibly sophistication, it sorely lacks any harmony and visual congruence. Particularly when paired with any of your other EMGY, shield-bearing, figures.

FINAL WORD

I gotta say, I’m incredibly happy with how the EMGY Dropcloth 1.5 came out. I think 3A knocked it out of the park in the majority of it’s innovations and improvements from the original. It’s hard to compare new to old, because the OG has such a special place in my toy collecting heart, but toy to toy, the 1.5 is probably a “better” toy. Whatever that means.

I feel like the Dropcloth 1.5 is a good example of how ThreeA is working to improve and advance everything they’re doing production-wise. Tweaked and improved articulation, a more detailed and layered paint application and a butt-ton of weapons to fiddle with. It may not thrill everyone that the paint isn’t the exact same or a perfect match with the rest of their EMGY crew, but I almost see it as a necessary evil in the process. It’ll be interesting to see how other well known color-ways will fair, if and when they’re released in the future.

The shield is just something that you’ll have to decide how you feel about it yourself. I know some will love it from the moment they grip it in their eager, balmy hands. I’ve read recent comments from some people who were adamantly and vocally against the new paint work, only to decide they liked it MORE than the old version once they had it in-hand. Of course others stand by their opinion that it’ll only be fit for display once it’s repainted the “right” way. Until then, it shall remain in the confines of it’s packaging, never to feel the sun on it’s blotchy yellow and brown skin.

I’m not exactly sure how I’ll handle mine just yet. I know for sure I won’t be leaving it in the box like some useless or unloved accessory. One of my favorite things about this guy is just how many different poses and combinations are possible with him. The shield alone gives you quite a few! In the long run, I may not display mine front and center along side my current EMGY setup, but I think I’m going to figure out a way to strap it to his back, ala Captain America or something.

All in all, I think ThreeA did a top-notch job with the EMGY Dropcloth 1.5. It’s their most articulated and pose-able bot yet. He’s also loaded up with more unique accessories than any previous ThreeA figure to date.

For those like me who started collecting ThreeA around the same time the original Dropcloths came out, I think the 1.5 heralds back to those days. It should give you that nostalgic tug you were hoping for, while still delivering something fresh. For those who are just starting to get into ThreeA and the 1.5 is the first bot in your collection.. oh the slippery slope you’ve stumbled upon, my friends.

Give your wallet my condolences.

PROS:

  • A very solid and worthy upgrade to one of the most outstanding toy robots ThreeA has to offer
  • Nice weathering and paint application
  • Tons of accessories to mess with!
  • Great “enhanced” articulation over the previous version

CONS:

  • I think the shield paint work is pretty good, but it’s not at all cohesive with the rest of the figure which causes it to stick out like a sore thumb on the shelf
  • While the paint application itself is great on Droppy 1.5, the fact he favors orange more than the traditional yellow of previous EMGY figs will bother some collectors.
  • A few missed opportunities for detail work (ie: EMGY’s eyes are blank, where Peaceday’s were painted and some areas of cloth are untouched by weathering)

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3 thoughts on “*Review* 3A WWR EMGY Dropcloth 1.5

  1. Pingback: Spotted Online – World War Robot Dropcloth 1.5 Review at Rad Toy Review

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