*Review* 3A SGR JC


Intro:

Check out that flow of acronyms in the title! A little like trying to decipher a foreign language, init? Since we toy collectors tend to speak in our own language anyway, I didn’t think anyone would be too put off by it. Today, I’ll be using that acronym, not only to speed along writing out a character’s long-ish name over and over again, but also because the given name of our featured toy has a filthy, naughty, dirty word right smack in the middle of it. We don’t normally print copious amounts of cuss-based brusqueness over here at RtR..  despite the fact that we review a LOT of toys from 3A/Ashley Wood. Even though we tend to cater to an older audience and don’t take issue with the words themselves, we do our best to keep things pretty kid friendly. It’s been surprisingly easy to do up until now. For those of you who are familiar with today’s figure, there’s no mystery here. The acronym works because you already know his name. But for those of you who have no idea about this guy, it doesn’t. So in the name of journalistic clarity, we decided for at least a moment, we wouldn’t worry about censors and flood the next paragraph with a few, well-placed swear words.

Alright children, you’ve been warned. The next couple sentences hold snippets of the kind of language your Fox News marathoning Grandpa yells at the TV every time a Democrat gets elected into office.

Today, we’re reviewing Shit Got Real JC (SGR JC). I ended up with him by pure chance as he was a 3A Thailand Toy Expo exclusive, which you could only snag if you were physically there. The figure I actually ordered was the open-to-all bambaland exclusive version, Dark As Fuck JC (DaF JC). Both look very similar to one another with only slight differences in the shade of their pants and arm bands. The way ThreeA handled it was to randomly toss a SGR JC into people’s DaF JC Bambaland order. It worked out sorta like a chase you have no control over. There was actually a second chase, the PaF JC (the “P” standing for “Pale”) which from the few images popping up on ThreeA’s forums, seems to be a little bit more rare than the other.

I used to own Tracky JC (shown above), but had to part with him about a year ago during a time of needed “emergency” funding.  For a long time, he was my favorite figure due to how easy he was to pose/play with and that great original sculpt. The wrapped fist sketch tee he’s sporting is one of the coolest 1/6 shirts ever and his track suit is baller to this day.  He’s one of maybe three toys I regret selling off to help pay for life necessities.

I’ve felt as though there was a hole in my collection ever since. I even attempted to replace him by purchasing one of the follow up variant releases of JC and it didn’t take. Despite being practically the same figure in a different outfit.. it just wasn’t the same. The promise of a new JC, gave me a glimmer of hope. That being said, a revamped take on a favorite character always brings with it a heavy dose of equal parts, optimism and cynicism.

The question was: Will this new version of JC be ready to rise or better left in his tomb?

The Box:

 

I have to say, the full sized, corner to corner sketch of JC’s face on the front is one of my favorite box art covers in recent memory! Nice and clean with none of that sticker slapped on a white box crap… feels like you’re getting something special. Open up the joint and you’ll see your JC packed nice and tidy in a clam shell, ready to bust out and mash some Zomb face into pieces.

It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten a figure from ThreeA that was packaged this way. They’ve been swinging towards the more stripped down (or as they like to call it, “classic”) method of packing a figure by using strips of foam and twisty ties wrapped about it’s neck, ankles, waist and arms. 9 out of 10 of my figures that come that way, arrive loose in the box. Obviously, it’s a cost saving measure and some folks are cool with the cut corners. Me? I’d pay an extra shilling or three to have clam shell packaging protecting all my future toys in transit.

If you ordered a JC from the bambaland sale and are not sure which version you received, SGR JC will have completely different box art than DAF JC… so much so, it actually says SGR on the back of the box. So check that out first and see if it matches the art below and you’ll know what’s what straight away.

A Once Over:

Last year, 3A teased an all new JC featuring a different, gruff and dynamic head sculpt. He had real bandages and lace-up military boots… and to probably no one’s surprise, was a con exclusive. I’d love to get some intel on why o’ why,  3A seems to release exciting new figures as limited con exclusives. What’s more frustrating is that often times, these figures are teased for cons long, LONG before we see a similar variant released to the general public..  not to mention the fact that there are no guarantees that they’ll release one for the general public at all.

I must have not been alone in wanting this new con-exclusive JC in my geek-strong hands because 3A listened and put up DAF JC as a general bamba sale for all to partake. I really wanted the con exclusive (SGR) but was still thrilled at the chance to get a version that at least looked very similar. After the production/shipping wait, imagine my happy surprise to find I pulled the one I originally wanted!

First off, that mug is killer and one only a mother could love. We find he’s gotten a little more raggedy since we saw him last.  JC hasn’t slowed down to mop the blood and spittle from his face. With the sculpted, blood spattered nose bandage, under-eye tat and a beard which doth flow-eth longer, I think he looks absolutely awesome.

Going along with his tough-as-nails visage, his entire person is covered with a scrambling of tattoos.. most with religious nods. JC’s a tortured soul, hellbent on redemption and taking out as many zombs as he can while breath still hides behind his beaten and bloodied lips. Despite some stylized anime-esque exuberance with his hair, he’s the hardest looking 3A Adventure Kartel figure, make that, 3A figure PERIOD, I’ve ever seen.

Side note: I want to see someone cosplay as this guy at comic con this year!

When I first saw the arm bands, I thought.. “Yay!” Then I tried to move his wrists and realized the bands locked them into whatever position the guy who’s task it was to wrap bands at 3A’s hatchery had decided to wrap them, so I thought.. “Boo!” Then, I fiddled with them for awhile, holding my breath as I twisted his wrists with significant force. They suddenly loosened up and his hands were free to swivel as desired. Once again, I thought..  “Yay!”

I guess one could worry that their JC may show up and not have the same graciously giving wrist binds and be stuck with the tough decision of leaving, cutting or unwrapping them completely. I’d like to believe that there’s a deliberate, by-design split in them meant to allow for some function at the wrist… but I’ve only the one so I have no way to know for sure! So, a heads-up there if you’re still waiting on yours to show up.

If for some reason, you don’t like the look of the bands, they’re probably pretty easy to take off. (Putting them back on.. shudder!) I haven’t done it personally but, I have seen pics of what’s underneath and his fists still sport the same sculpted wraps as the OG JC did. Unlike OG JC, his forearms, while tatted, are smooth and sculpt-free. I think the cloth wraps are a pretty important and unique character trait to this particular figure so I’m leaving mine be.. but to each their own.

SGR JC shown here holding a Bubo/Goat resin bat.

Dem pants, son. I don’t know why Ashley Wood has such a thing for capri man-pants. Most of his Tomorrow Kings have them, a few zombs and now.. Mr. SGR JC. I’ve met and spoken with Ash on a few occasions and he wasn’t wearing them.. I checked.  So I don’t think he’s pulling it from any personal style preferences. Maybe they’re just really fun to draw? I dunno.

I’m not hate’n on man capris. (Though, who would fault me if I was?) I really like the way they look on the TKs. They add a lot of character and seem to fit in with their younger, hip style. But on JC, they look a bit out of place to me. From the original pictures pre-sale, I honestly thought we’d be getting full-length, military style camo cargos, tucked into his boots… but they’re obviously not that. Anyway, it’s a personal preference. Nothing wrong with them, really. I suppose I could think of them as extra long board-shorts. His boots, while not original to him, are awesome. They’re the same, super cool, laced-up, faux leather ones we’ve seen on last year’s NOMs and Merde Missions.

Some may have preferred to see the return of the rad blue tennis shoes that classic JC wore, but I think these boots fit better with the more grizzled and battle-worn JC we see here. The best thing about them is that you lose no ability to pose the guy thanks to the flexibility of the material. Plus, the wider sole aids in giving him excellent balance.

The Final Word:

SGR JC is a winner. While not completely original, I feel like the few things we see on him that were borrowed from previous 3A figures, work really well. He doesn’t feel anything like the countless shadow, inky, GID and color swapped variants we see so often from 3A. No, this JC looks almost.. I stress, almost..  good enough to replace the original.

I wish we saw more of this type of thing. He’s doesn’t feel like a re-release or variant.. he’s a re-imagining or better yet, an evolution of an already awesome character. SGR JC is a great looking figure with just enough originality to make him truly interesting and worth a spot in anyone’s collection. If you don’t have him already, I’d highly recommend tracking him down.

The Good:

  • Great new head sculpt
  • Cool painted details like tattoos and blood splatter
  • Strong evolution of the JC character
  • Perfect figure for getting quick and dynamic poses

The Bad:

  • Some bits re-used from previous figures
  • Bands look cool to me, but may require cutting or rewrapping to allow for any wrist articulation

 

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