I’m going to go out on a limb here… albeit a very large, sturdy limb… and say that over the past couple years, 1000toys has become one of the most talked about and watched toy companies around. Despite being a very small studio with only a few figures under their belt so far, each of their releases have been highly anticipated and sell out in minutes. The result is usually a bunch of flippers holding them ransom on the aftermarket for some 2 to 3 times retail… leaving some unlucky “true” fans to smash their piggy banks while swearing under their breath.
Fan’s willingness to pay said ransom, is testament enough to 1000toys growing popularity.
It may surprise you to learn that 1000toys, based out of Japan, is made up of only 3 people. They work closely with various factories in both China and Japan to make it all come together but really it’s all due to their collective vision in that they felt they could push 1/6th toy design further than anything currently available on the market. Speaking with one of the founders, Uchibayashi Takashi about their process I learned that one of the key factors in the formation of 1000toys was simply “to make the things I wanted for myself.”
Previous 1000toys figures have been pretty bare-bones, accessories-wise. You get the figure, which has no clothing or weapons and MAYBE a 2nd set of hands.. that’s it. All for roughly $150+ retail. That may seem a little steep, until you actually get one in hand. That’s when you realize that the hype 1000toys has been getting isn’t undeserved. Their figures are easily among the most well engineered and finessed out there. You can check out our previous reviews of Synthetic Human and CaRB for more info… but like, do that after you read this one!
Part of what makes today’s figure from 1000toys so special and exciting is that it’s the first figure from them to venture into the divisive world of soft goods. “It was very challenging to say the least” Uchibasyashi said when asked if it was difficult to incorporate clothing as part of their production process. “We shifted the production of the clothes to Japan from China so that we could make checking easier…”
In a way, this is part of what’s so exciting about following and collecting 1000toys figures… as they learn and try new things, break new ground with their figures, we’re all seeing it for the first time come to fruition right along side them.
Being a collector/fan of 1000toys (or any small toy company for that matter) in a way feels like rooting for the underdog, but it’s really hard to call them that when they’re killing it with each drop.
For display cases, the artwork features a micro shot of the creepy mask face on front while the rest is kept pleasantly simple and clean, just the way I prefer it. The contents are held nicely in place by the same sort of molded plastic cage you’ve probably seen a thousand times before. I sorta preferred the soft foam inserts they’ve used in the past, but there’s nothing wrong with what’s here. Everything is sitting in there, safe and secure.
As I said in the intro, 1000toys have engineered one of the finest 1/6th scale articulated body on the market today. It’s phenomenally articulated and put together with the sort of aesthetic considerations you don’t get very often on base, figure bodies. It looks great, naked, on the shelf.. it’s a clean silhouette that works well in just about any pose you can imagine. It holds up where a lot of other 1/6th toy bodies fail due to how solid the joints are and how well realized the articulation of the figure is.
While I haven’t read much of the manga this line is based off of, BIOMEGA (it’s on my “to-read” list!) from some of the research I’ve done, it seems a lot like 1000toys production of their figures follows fairly closely to that of T.O.A Industries from the manga’s story-line. They started with the Synthetic and Synthetic Test Human, then the C.a.R.B (essentially, aforementioned synthetic humans reprogrammed to do terrible things to people) and now we have the AntiCaRB, which is the group designed to track down and take out the C.a.R.B. One leads to the next in a very natural manner.
In the toy world, that also means that one is in danger of being very similar to the next.
That’s actually the tricky bit of this review. It feels a little redundant for me to go on and on about how great the articulation works or how solid the figure feels, because I already said all that stuff before to a lengthy extent in previous reviews.
So what I need to do is try and focus on the few differences…
The real big difference between this AntiCaRB figure and the figures we’ve seen before is the fact that he’s not a nudist. He’s got clothes! Uchibayashi said in reference to the challenges of creating clothing for their figure, “We still think we can improve the overall quality for the clothes so you can expect quality to go up for them in 2016.”
So basically, regardless of how you or I feel about them right now, they’re already working on improving them in the near future.
The challenge of getting them to look right is something that even Hot Toys, who have been doing this for YEARS, occasionally struggle with. Many consider them the gold standard in that area, yet even they’ve had their fair share of figures with less than amazing looking clothing. (To be fair, Sly’s wearing mom jeans. Those are mad-difficult to pull off, I don’t care who you are!)
Well, for a first go-around, the AntiCaRB ain’t bad at all. The T-shirt and hoodie both look and work just fine. The zipper on the hoodie is well made and doesn’t feel like it’ll snap off after a dozen or so zips. The material itself scales pretty well with the figure and nothing really looked off to me. The capris (why are so many ninja characters wearing capris these days?) are a really thin material, possibly nylon and cinch at the waist. It works to hold them on but I am glad that the waist area is generally covered, because that’s the one spot that looks strange to me. Like an anorexic teenager trying to hold up a pair of pants that are 5 sizes too big. That said, they do move really well with the figure and allow you to move him around unrestricted, regardless of the pose you put him in.
Even though 1000toys made a few changes to the design of the character, the apron was pulled from the pages of the manga. From a visual stand-point, I really didn’t like the apron at first. Quality-wise, it seems very well made, but it looked odd to me draped over the hoodie. I just didn’t dig the initial out-of-the-box setup. After changing some things up, playing around and posing him utilizing the wires sewn into the seams on 3 of it’s sides, I realized that those wires work incredibly well to make the apron do some pretty awesome things. I started having a lot of fun, faking motion and wind with it. Before, I was all “Blah, wired apron is weird”… now I’m all “OMG, wired apron is fun! This is awesome!”
The helmet, IMO is fantastic looking from a design perspective and at first glance, it’s a pretty sweet piece. However I feel like it misses some beats in a few spots. One cool aspect is that you can flip the shield up to see his creepy peepers underneath. The less exciting thing about it is that it pops off WAY too easily. It pops back on just as quickly, so it’s not a huge deal to me, but I’m probably sitting at 90% with how often it’s come off when I’ve tried to flip it up. Having to put your toy back together every time you move it does something to your psyche… sorta diminishes that feeling of quality you may have initially had about the toy before you started playing with it. Even if you know better.
I also think that, while the mix of gloss and matte paints makes some of the details stand out on it, the grey bits look like straight up plastic. Which again, sorta cheapens the whole presentation. I blame 3A for my preference on toy paint. Toys and accessories that are meant to be metal, look the part thanks to chips in the paint, rust, etc… I think a light dark wash or some light weathering would have really set it off. I’d love to see someone with real skillz be brave enough to custom “metal-up” the helmet. I just know it’d look killer.
My last small gripe about the helmet is the hose that attaches it to the Vader-esque chest plate. It’s made of a solid, non-bendy plastic. On one hand that makes it full-proof to attach on both ends and have things sit exactly where they’re meant to. The bad side is, you can’t move his head around with it attached. I can’t help but wonder if they’d gone with a rubber or more flexible material to allow for some give, if that would have worked a little better.
I got around it but undoing the chest piece and essentially hanging the whole thing around his neck so it moves around with his head. It actually works pretty well and since the loose straps are covered by his hoody, doesn’t look half bad.
You get 4 whole sets of matching hands to play around with, which is pretty awesome. Unlike some of my other figures, I actually don’t mind swapping hands out frequently to fit the pose. Most of the collectibles I have include a spare change of wrist pegs because popping hands on and off has a high tendency to break the pegs themselves. 1000toys simplified and improved things here dramatically. There’s no notch or rigged bit to lodge into the hands and/or wrist, instead it’s just a smooth cylinder that fits perfectly into the hand. It holds firm but remains easy to remove without fear of something somewhere snapping off in the process.
If you didn’t know, this AntiCarb is actually a part of a four man “Anti Carb squad”. Each with it’s own color accent and unique weapon. 1000toys did things pretty smart by hitting all the big international conventions this past year and releasing one per-show. USA folks who attended SDCC got this guy, Seiji (Blue Porcelain)who comes with a katana. That worked out well for me because it’s been my ninja weapon of choice since watching TMNT as a kid… even if Raphael was my favorite.
Seiji can wield his katana in just about any manner you can think of, which makes posing him pretty enjoyable. You wouldn’t think a single accessory would elevate the fun to be had with his guy so much, but it does. Combine that with the illusion of his dynamic wind generating wired apron and you’ll find yourself finessing a pose for a half hour, only to break it down a few minutes later to find the next perfect one.
Other than the katana, Seiji also has a blade that flips out from each of his foot, just like the C.a.R.B but twice as many! Speaking of the C.a.R.B, the AntiCaRB shares body parts from the knees down with them while the rest is made from the synthetic human.
I will mention articulation here for a moment. I found that the extra toe articulation in his feet did make him a little more difficult to balance than previous figures, even the C.a.R.B had one standard leg you could really count on. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still easy to pose and balance, but as his foot is a little thinner and has less of a flat, sturdy surface space, there’s less to get a good foothold with.
I’m know I’m kinda all over the place with this review and even though I’ve been showing it off in the pics, I almost forgot to talk about the creepy-as-balls mask he comes with. For being the “good guys” the creepster mask isn’t doing them any favors.
I love it, though. Tucked under the hoodie it’s perfectly spooky and vicious looking. As with before, you gotta be a little mindful when removing the masks because the pegs are pretty substantial. They attach at two points at the top and bottom of his head so loosening it up can be a little challenging. It may result in you prying the face off as well so be careful not to lose those adjustable eyeballs! They’re some slippery suckers.
It may sound like I’ve had a lump of negative things to say about this figure but it’s like anything you may come across. When you hold something up that’s “ok” (the helmet) next to something that’s “absolutely amazing” (the figure itself/previous figures from the line)… the “ok” thing is going to look out of place. Because of that, I had to have some critiques, most of which were aimed squarely at the helmet. For such a cool looking accessory in concept, I feel like it could have been tweaked to be so much better.
For this review, I tried to mostly talk about the aspects that are different from the base Synthetic Human/C.a.R.B bodies. We’re talking the clothing, helmet, mask, sets of hands and sword, most of which I really liked! If you want to read full on gushing, I’ll once again point you to our reviews of the Synthetic Human and C.a.R.B as the majority of what I loved about those figures still applies here with the AntiCaRB!
The final word is that I really like this figure a LOT. The majority of the fun to be had with this toy may be somewhat genetic from 1000toys previous figures but I’d say that thanks to the accessories, he’s even more enjoyable to pose and play with than they are.
I can honestly say that every time 1000toys teases something new I get the same excited, anxious feeling in my gut that I used to get when I first started seriously collecting figures 6 or 7 years ago. AntiCarb delivers. He’s one more notch in the belt for 1000Toys, and will be taking up an increasingly rare space on my shelf that I won’t be getting back anytime soon.
- Same solidly built, balanced and amazingly articulated body as their previous figures.
- Clothing is simple, fits well and doesn’t restrict the articulation at all.
- Apron is fun to arrange for more dynamic poses
- Overall design of character is awesome
- Super creepy face mask looks great
- Hands are easy to swap out on the fly without being loose
- The helmet, while a an awesome design, feels a little cheap with a face shield that easily falls off and some bland paint work/ looks plastic
- Hose between chest block and helmet is solid plastic/doesn’t bend
Thank you Uchibayashi and Yuta from 1000toys for being great guys and providing some info for this review. It’s always good talking to you and I can’t wait to see what you do next!
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