I’m going to try and make this simple for everyone out there who are short on time or attention. Stryder is awesome. I wasn’t sure how he’d ever possibly be able to match up to the high standard that ThreeZero already set with Atlas but somehow, they pulled it off…. nearly as fantastically.
If all you’re waiting to hear is whether or not Threezero hit it out of the park before you decide to pull the trigger on the preorder going on right now at threezeroshop.com then I’d suggest you go ahead, draw your wallet and start popping off shots.
If you came here to read up on more of the nitty gritty of things, then well, stay put… you’ve come to the right place.
And if’n you prefer to sit back and have move’n pictures ‘n such spoon fed ye, then cool your heels and check out our video review below!
ed I: One thing of quick note, this is a review sample/prototype that ThreeZero provided for this review, so keep in mind that it’s possible that some features may change for the better (or worse) between now and the day they ship.
*ed II: I was informed of something I screwed up in this review.. The thing I’m calling a “turret” on the right side of his head, is actually facing the wrong direction and should be pointed with the skinny side back… in fact, may not be a “turret” at all. Try to ignore it if you can, if you can’t.. sorry!
Rare area the moments in which a proto is shipped to me in it’s final, pretty, nicely designed, retail box… and once again this is not one of those moments. Stryder arrived in a generic box, covered in packing peanuts.
I’m sure your’s will show up in much nicer digs.
The most difficult thing about writing this review, is trying to avoid repeating myself too much from our previous Threezero Titanfall Atlas review – as so many of the sentiments are identical.
Amazingly intricate details, fantastic weathering, impressive articulation.. HUGE-LY massiveness! These all still pertain here and will probably leak into the conversation a few times before it’s over. But Imma going to try and focus on what makes Stryder unique in contrast to Atlas and how ThreeZero have managed to improve or even possibly come up short on the formula! (*gasp, never!)
First thing you might notice about Stryder is how much smaller he looks than Atlas (if you have an Atlas to compare to, that is). I mean, he’s actually a little taller with is legs fully extended, but he’s spindlier, lankier… built for agility.
His lankier, lighter form helps make him relatively easy to manipulate and pose.
Just like Atlas, there’s quite a good bit of articulation available to you with Stryder and it’s easier to make use of. Atlas has some great articulation but because his design features a bunch of moving panels and plates sticking about, they often get in the way of it. Stryder doesn’t have any of that noise and is free to do pretty much whatever the articulation itself allows for. He’s also very well balanced and despite being top heavy, pretty darn sturdy. Especially in his hips, you’ll find some heavy clicking joints that help hold him in just about any pose you can get him in.
An aspect of the skinny legs/arms that isn’t necessarily a positive is that they seem to make him prone to toppling over when holding his (massive) railgun. If not positioned and balanced just so, it can cause him to crumple to his knees under the weight.
More on that in a moment.
To continue our articulation chat, Stryder also has a few moving parts you can play around with. He sports a rotating turret* on one side of his head and a pivoting missile launcher with opening bay on the other. On his back, there’s a series of moving jets that rotate around for when Stryder needs to move quickly across the battlefield.
All that, along with a removable panel, opening cockpit and detachable antennae is further proof that Threezero is all about the details! The crazy, crazy details.
There’s a few “pistons” on his ankles that pop out when you pose him with his feet spread wide apart. This was apparently by design as indicated by the included instructions. They tell you to just pop them in or out as needed, depending on the pose. Given that other pistons work on a ball hinge and work to move with whatever direction you pushing a joint into.. this really seems like less of a design choice and more like a work-around to a small oversight.
Stryder has some really nice light features as well. No alien energy cores or rare dragon stones required here… a couple of simple AAA batteries is all you need to get them up and running. Threezero integrated a button on his back that alternates light functions between red, blue. He has some lights around the cockpit and pelvis area… (not a play on words) but particularly cool to me was the way the thrusters look lit up on the side!
At one point, I had a weird, I can only assume, glitch happen where the lights would start automatically switching between red and blue every 15 seconds or so, hands free style. After a few moments of flashing blue/red, it’d get stuck in what I can best describe as a fuchsia color. I’m pretty certain it’s coming from an issue with it’s wiring, this being a prototype and all, and it’s attempting to display both red and blue at the same time. I actually think it looks really cool, even if it wasn’t supposed to work that way.
Let’s talk weapons! Stryder comes with a plasma railgun that is exceptionally awesome looking. Like Atlas’s chaingun before him, it has a rotating and removable ammo barrel.
Getting Stryder to hold the weapon can be little tricky.. aka, a nightmare. The size alone takes some exceptional coordination between each of the figures arms. Something easier said than done, given all the moving pieces between them.
This is the only area that I found myself frustrated when it came to this figure set. It can be quite difficult to get him to prop his gun up in a good, sturdy, balanced pose where the gun isn’t supported in some way by the ground. The weight of the gun is just a little too much for Stryder’s finger joints to hold securely.
On top of that, one of the fingers on my Stryder snapped off when it caused him to fall over.
Now, you can see from some of the images, it’s definitely possible to do so. You CAN pose him up in some cool way with the gun held high(ish)… It’s just doing so requires the skills of an advanced JENGA player.
In some poses, even if it held in place for a few minutes, the hip joints would eventually buckle from the constant pressure. You really have to get the balance just right, which makes for some potentially precarious display options.
Try not to let that freak you out too much. Some benefit of the doubt is needed here as this is a review sample and not 100% representative of the perfectly fresh, hot off the presses, packaged version joe/jill public will eventually receive. I have no doubt that mine was put through a the paces back at his home base in Hong Kong long before I ever got a hold of him.
ALL that said, benefit of the doubt or not… I can’t help but wish Threezero had figured out how to make the gun out of lighter materials so the effects of wear and tear could be put off as long as possible. Even if the new, minty fresh figures show up with Über tight joints and have absolutely no issues hoisting that heavy beast up at whatever angle you want to pose it like, toys wear out over time and all that extra weight will cause it to wear out even quicker.
OK, lets talk about Stryder’s pilot for a few.
Stryder gets a close quarters class pilot this time around. The amount of detail Threezero packed onto this guy is mind-blowing. The blend of cloth tailoring and hard materials is the best I’ve ever seen in this scale. In fact, I can only think of one other toy that is this impressive and that’s the OTHER Titanfall pilot that came packed with Atlas.
*ed -III: this is where I take a moment to urge you to write ThreeZero and ask them politely to release these 1/12 guys individually or in two packs. They really are perfect for army building. Oh! And just how BA would it be for them to come packed with little wall diorama like those shown on display at the recent Thailand Toy Expo?? SUPER BA, right? Email them! Make (polite) demands! email@example.com
ok.. back to the review.
The paint application and details on the armor are fantastic, with scratched up logos, weathered rivets and dinged up armored plating. On the note of paint, I was a little surprised in how simple the details are on his face were, I thought it’d be more detailed. There’s some cleanly painted eyes and then what looks like a dark wash to bring out the details in the sculpt, but that’s about it. It’s fine really, maybe I’m just being nit picky.. I just think it’d be nice to have some subtle gradations in the skin tone.. maybe some stubble?.. heck, he doesn’t have eyebrows!
Still, what’s there looks great.. I love the small thrusters sticking out of the backpack and cool elements like his sidearm even if it is, sadly, only for show and not removable from it’s holster.
The pilots come with two pairs of hands.. a relaxed, open palm set and another meant for holding his rifle. Like everything else, the rifle is nicely painted and weathered right down to the tiny words and icons on the barrel.
I’d advise a little caution with the stock on the gun as during some normal, ol’ posing, it caught under the pilot’s arm as I twisted the torso and snapped off. I glued it back on with a dot of superglue.. but I never would have expected it to break so easily.
The articulation for the pilot is about what it was for the pilot that came with Atlas.. you can get some decent shooting, twisting, gesturing kinda poses out of him.. but don’t expect to be able to go too crazy with it as the armored elements prohibit his range of motion.
On the positive side, I had no issues with hands or feet falling off this time around. The head did pop off quite a few times while I was trying to squeeze him into the cockpit… but pops back on just as easily.
Speaking of which, lets talk about that for a minute.
Of course, the pilot is meant to fit inside of it’s Titan. The pilot for Atlas, you may recall had a very, VERY tight squeeze. You basically had to dislocate his shoulders and hip joints in order to make that happen. Stryder’s pilot fairs a little easier.. though don’t expect a much in the way of wiggle room. You still have to pop off his backpack and fold him up pretty tight to make it happen.. but it’s less of a hassle than before.
Personally, I’m of the mind that I like the look of the pilots posed outside of their Titan’s anyway.. so it’s nothing I’ll fuss with after this review.
Sometimes it can be difficult to ascertain exactly what people want to read about when they read toy reviews. Do they want to hear how well a toy can pose? How accurate it is to it’s on screen or in game presence? How pretty is it painted? Is it safe for kids and/or monkeys? Is it worth the money? Is it flawless? Is it PERFECT?
Well, of course, Threezero’s Stryder is not perfect. No toy ever is. The most glaring issue would be that the gun is definitely too heavy for the joints to support for very long. I’d never recommend anyone leaving him posed with the gun’s weight resting solely on his arms/wrists/fingers for any extended amount of time.
But.. that’s really it. There’s just not any huge issues. I cannot imagine a better Titanfall Stryder figure will or even could be made. To be honest, I’m starting to feel a bit like a broken record when it comes to ThreeZero. They have, once again, knocked it out of the park.
I said as much in the beginning of this review so I’ll just reiterate it here.. if you’re into big bots, love you some Titanfall, use Stryder as your default in-game load-out, or even just need a playmate for Atlas, then I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t have Threezero’s impressive set in your collection.
- Fantastic, realistically sculpted details that capture the in game robot nigh flawlessly
- Amazing paint and weathering
- A very impressive amount of available articulation
- Great looking light features
- Cool, all new pilot who shares a bonkers level of detail and tailoring for a 1/12th figure
- Railgun looks very awesome
- Looks epic displayed next to Atlas
- Railgun looks great, but is very heavy. May loosen joints if held in certain poses for too long
- Weight of railgun also contributes to top heaviness of bot’s design, making him easy to topple when it’s held.
- Some pistons must be popped out to use full range of articulation around ankles, easy work-around, but odd design choice
- Some may take issue with head popping off, though it pops back on just as easily
Thanks to my friends at Threezero for sending over the sample and as always, thanks to all of you for dropping by Rad Toy Review! The kind words, comments and emails I get from you all make it worth the effort. If you’re interested in submitting a toy for review, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org