The last two years I attended San Diego Comic Con, I carried on my iphone a virtual shopping list full of con exclusives and random merch I planned to hunt down and pay ridiculous amounts of money to obtain. I’d spend the lion’s share of my time at the con working my way back and forth across the show floor attempting to cross everything off it. I’d end up flying back home with two or three bags and a suitcase full of goodies, toys, comics, shirts and the general swag you collect over the grueling, yet enjoyable 4-5 day geek-fest.
This year however, I simplified. I had a single, solitary toy on my list. Just one. 1000Toys Synthetic Human Test Body which was being sold exclusively at the Bluefin booth. 1000Toys, for those not in the know, haven’t been cranking out figures very long. In fact, this is their first con exclusive and only their second figure to officially release. The first being the original Synthetic Human. I was excited and anxious to be a part of that relatively small group of people who could get their mitts on an awesome looking toy from a fairly young, promising company.
Turns out, these were pretty difficult to snag with a long line that wrapped around the wall leading to Bluefin’s booth and only a handful available a day. Thanks to other’s kindness (James.. I’m looking at you) I was able to get one without too much of a headache and thus ending my comic con shopping spree only a few moments after I walked in the door. In doing so, I met one of the toy’s developers, the very cool, Yuta who chatted with me briefly about 3D printing and toy design. Later in the week, we ended up hanging out at Bar Basic where he showed me the (awesome) 1:1 mask prototype he’d printed up. I’m totally getting a little sidetracked here, but I’d be the first in line to purchase one if they ever make it to market!
Here we are almost a full month since SDCC and I’m finally able to get this review together. Time flies! So, without further delay…
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I like the super clean and minimalist design of the white box. However, the garish “SDCC Exclusive” sticker upsettingly ruins the aesthetic. I’d try to remove it, but I’m afraid it might tear the box in doing so. IMO, if they’re going to use stickers, it’d be cool if in the future the SDCC “official” stickers were more like the hologram stickers you see on official NFL, NBA etc tags. I digress..
On the inside there’s a black cover sheet with naught but the haunting visage of the mask. Under that, is a thick layer of dark foam with cut-a-ways to cradle the precious cargo.
Above all else, the important thing is that he would arrive back home, safe and sound and in once piece. Which, thankfully he did.
FROM ONE FRIEND TO ANOTHER:
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the box and removed the figure, which I’ll just call “Test Body” for short. Of course I’d seen pictures, and I took a peak inside while chatting with Yuta a few moments after I bought it. but I wasn’t sure what the toy would feel like or what my first reaction would be concerning it’s quality.
I think that’ll be the first thing to hit you. That this guy feels well made. Not heavy, necessarily, but solid. You’re not handling some fragile, thin-shelled, plastic toy or cheap rubbery action figure. No, the material used in the build is both soft and dense.. it certainly helps your confidence moving forward with posing and playing with him.
And posing? Wow.. I have seen a lot of very articulated action figures in my day, and the Test Body may not necessarily have more points of articulation than some other high-end 1/6th body bases, but it certainly handles it all with a bit more panache. Ever joint feels firm but smooth to move. Other than the slightest initial resistance it’s legs, I didn’t once feel concerned that a twist or turn would result in a broken figure.
Not only can you put the Test Body in just about any feasible stance you can think of, thanks to his light but solid build, he’s incredibly balanced as well. One aspect that 1000toys seems to have taken further than most other toy companies is the foot articulation. The toes flip up and down while the foot will twist side to side. And if you need just that much more articulated support for a certain pose, you can manipulate the heel as well.
Design-wise, you can see from the pictures how sharp he looks. The original was very clean with little to no logos and an opaque mask. The Test Body on the other hand, has a translucent mask and some really nice spots of weathering all over. On top of that, there’s pops of bright orange and various logos that really give him a lot of visual interest.
For accessories, Test Body comes with a pair of swap-able hands, shaped like fists. My initial response to swapping out the hands was that I wished 1000toys would have included an extra set of pegs since swapping them out does require you to apply force to them. But after switching them out a few times I found that the pegs are as well made and sturdy as the rest of the figure so the likely hood of anything snapping seems to be very unlikely.
I suppose you could consider his mask an accessory as it’s removable. The mask itself is made of a softer plastic that flexes, allowing you to use your fingernails and sorta pry it off his face. I did have a little more trouble popping it off than I thought. There’s no instruction booklet with the figure so at first thought that maybe I was doing something wrong.. but no.. pry the four pegs free (one in his chin, crown and each ear) and you’re good to go.
Ah! That’s a seriously creepy skull head!
The jaw is articulated to open and close, but here’s where the only real issue I had with the (my) Test Body lays. His jaw fell off.
From what I can see, there’s not a lot holding it in there but some of the tiniest pegs you’ve ever seen. I can push it back in there and it’ll stay fine until I go to move it again in which case, sometimes it holds put, other times a slips out. The reason which I failed to show here, is that you can pop the entire front of the face off to adjust the eyes. It’s a cool little bonus but I haven’t been able to get mine to click back together tight enough for the jaw to consistently stay put. That said, it won’t really be an issue to me since I prefer the look with the mask on and the mask hold everything firmly in place, but it is something I have to keep in mind.
At first blush, 1000toys Synthetic Human Test Body is a very simple toy. There’s no guns or swords.. you don’t get any bags or backpacks to style and move around as you like. All you get is a masterfully crafted human-like figure that you can pose and pose and pose to your hearts content.
Shooting photos for this figure was one of the longer sessions I’ve committed to simply because I enjoyed seeing what sort of configuration I could squeeze out of it. There was something challenging and enjoyable about coming up with yet-another-pose for him. I found myself continually thinking, “I wonder if he can do this?” to which the answer was almost always, “Yup!”.
The Test Body has a special place in my collection. Even though he’s 1/6 scale, he doesn’t really go with anything else on my shelf. It stands out in a spectacular way. If the Synthetic Human Test Body is 1000toys baseline offering, the next thing they roll out with is only going to build on that.Their awesome display at Comic Con teased a new upcoming figure that not only had me checking their website almost daily for new release and price information but also managed to make my desire for multiple prototypes go through the roof.
Sigh.. time to set up camp on ebay.
- Great looking figure, catches the eye
- Lovely paint and weathering
- Some of the best articulation you’ll find in any action figure, ever
- Very structurally refined, not a thing on it feels cheap
- The envy of other toy collectors
- Have a little trouble with the jaw falling off
- They’re not readily available! I want more than one!
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