*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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*Review* 3A WWR Punter Bot Sniper

INTRO

“I have too many Grunts.”

That was my first thought as I unpacked my minty fresh, right off the boat, Bot Sniper. I have EMGY, Jungler, Stealth, DIY and now Punter.

“Why do I keep buying Grunts?”

That was the first thing I asked myself as I unpacked my minty fresh etc, etc…

It’s also a question I already know the answer to. I keep buying Grunts because they are awesome and incredibly difficult to pass up. Historically, all of them have been loaded to the gills (or ghillies? Whamp whaaa..) with gear. You buy just one of them and you have dozens of various load outs and looks you can set up. I think that’s what I like about them so much. Despite their same-ness, they’re all about variety. You can have 4 of the same exact Grunt and have each one look completely different. Gas-mask on/off, helmet on/off, vest on/off, jacket on/off.. you get the idea.

Of all the Grunts, The Punter promised to be the MOST exciting (for me) to date. The words “bot sniper” sent electric pulses from my brain deep into the nerves of my index finger, causing it to twitch over the “buy now” button. I steadied my hand, took a deep breath and as I slowly exhaled, clicked the button.

The wait is over and he’s here. I’ve had several days to play around with him and take some photos. He’s chilling on my shelf right now, displayed in a relaxed pose on the ledge. He’s part of my ever expanding collection, which as I look it over I find myself saying,

“I have too many Grunts.”

PACKAGING

3A continues their fine tradition of plopping some killer Ashley Wood art on the frontside of their boxes. Most of the time, the front of their boxes sport some A. Wood art  while the rest has some minimalistic design business to fill space. In this case, it seems like they went just a little further with it by adding a fun “bot killing point system” embellishment to the side.

One of my favorite 3A posters from SDCC 2012 also happens to be the graphic for the back of the box. DC target practice!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Punter seems to come with a good deal less “stuff” than the previous Grunts. No jacket, no shield, no helmet, no backpack(s), no multitudes of guns.. all in all, a little less equipped. Lean and mean. The trade offs in gear include his ghillie suit, boonie hat, pistol and that little sniper rifle you may have to squint to notice at the bottom of the pic.

THE BREAKDOWN

I was super excited to get this guy. In just about any online FPS video game I play, 9 out of 10 I go with a sniper. I think I have an affinity for the sneaky, unseen kill shot. To me, it’s way more fun to find some cozy little nook in a tree or bush somewhere with a clear eye-line than to rush in head first into the fray. Ninjas, snipers and thieves for whatever reason, just resonate with me. So of course that would carry over into the types of toys I collect.

So I unpacked Mr. Punter J. Esquire and immediately attempted to load him up with his bot killing rifle. I was hoping I could kit him out with it in some sort of standing/firing pose like one might when hunting fowl.

Wrong. The dang thing is far to big, heavy and awkward for our proud sniper to hold like that. Were the wrist joints, and all associated joints which run up the length of his arm to his shoulder water tight, you might be able to manage it. As is, this gun was meant for prone shooting or at the very least, propped on the bits and pieces of fallen bots.

I know, I know.. it’s a giant bot stopping sniper rifle meant for static, one shot kills, not a run and gun M16. Still, I can’t help but  wanting the option.

So other than lugging an unwieldy bot killer, what makes Punter so different from the other Grunts? Well sir, not a lot. I’d have loved it if 3A had taken the initiative (and the extra time/expense) of sculpting an all new head for Punter. Giving him a grizzled beard those spec. ops guys always sport or something. But no, Punter has the same odd Charlie Brown-ish one eyed squinting mug as all the others.

It’s not the end of the world, he’s got camo painted on and the boonie hat adds some character to him. Wood said he was intentionally designed to be somewhat generic. “Meat for the Machines” and all that. So it’s a fairly neutral sculpt that you could do quite a bit with if so inclined.

Anyway, if he’s doing his sniping job right, you’ll never have the chance to see his face anyway.

Since I’ve had him, I’ve kept his boonie hat on. Like the 3AA baseball cap, it’s a little small for his noggin. It’s as if 3A thinks hats are meant to be worn “floating” on your scalp, with a gust of wind becoming your greatest concern. With some effort you can squeeze it down on his head to where it doesn’t look so ill-fitted. I think it’s rather dashing. All he needs is some cigarettes or a toothpick.

While Punter didn’t come with a coat or backpack, among other things, he does have an extra vest over the standard issue Grunt vest. I can’t tell if it’s meant to serve any other official purpose but aesthetic, but it adds some nice depth to his gear and looks good. Plus I found another use for it I’ll go over later.

The ghillie suit is a little confusing at first. When laid out it looks a little like an ugly bear skin rug with pieces that extend further than the rest but none that are really even. I’m still not 100% confident I’m using it right myself. There are little ties inside that you can use to secure it to Punter in various spots, though I’ve found simply draping it on him seemed to work just fine for me. I don’t know how accurate it is to real life ghillie suits, having never had one myself. It reminds me a little of a tangled lions mane as though he was about to put on a home-made production of the Wizard of OZ. I like lions, so it’s cool.

Setting Punter up in some appropriately textured shrubbery, suit on and high powered rifle at the ready, he really does almost vanish from sight. The tip of his gun extends beyond the camouflage wrap, sure to give off his position to the most keen eyed of targets but in most cases I’d say the camo is effective.

I have to say, the sniper rifle is a bit of a hassle to deal with. It’s long and bulky. The gun grip is big and just fits in Punters right hand. There’s no place for him to grip the gun naturally with his left hand for added support. The extending legs are a really cool touch, but basically, if you want your sniper to look like he’s sniping you have to wrestle him down into a prone sniping position. There’s no short cuts. Once he’s set up like that, barring available shelf space, you’ll probably leave him that way.

I like to move my figures around from time to time. Sometimes this just means simple adjustments that take a few seconds to pull off, sometimes it incorporates other characters and a half hour. I like the flexibility. Because of that, I’ll probably pose Punter in such a way that doesn’t require him to hold his gun. That in itself has it’s own challenge as there is no built in and defined ways for him to actually carry it. No strap, top handle, nothing. You have to get a little creative.

Having Punter hold it under arm like a briefcase only worked temporarily, eventually the wieght of the weapon and the relative looseness of his wrists caused him to drop it. Checking out his back pouches for some sort of loop or strap that I could somehow fasten it to, I realized that the extra “over-vest” was sitting pretty loose on him.

Bingo.

If the over-vest is loose enough, you can feed the barrel of the gun through the shoulder loops on his back. To me it looks pretty official, like it was meant to be carried that way. Near nested tree’s be damned.

I’m not saying it’s the best solution or that it’d be practical in real world circumstances, but for now it works as decent hands free option.

What it really comes down to is that I wish 3A had made the gun so that it breaks down in some way; becomes more portable. Punter himself is essentially a stream lined Grunt. Lean and mean. He should be able to get in and get out of a situation. A sniper needs to be able to move with his gear though. As is, Punter would have to ditch the canon if discovered and run off with his bare essentials.

That being said, I sort of like the bare essentials.

Punter comes with a the same trusty side arm his cousins did. I’m not complaining, I like the gun and the fact that it actually fits properly in his hand. The new hip holster it fits in is a pretty nice touch as well.

THE FINAL WORD

I realize I didn’t have a whole lot to say about Punter. For this particular review, I tried to let the pictures do the majority of the talking. The reason is, he’s a Grunt. If you have one, I’ve covered the differences and you know what else to expect out of him. If you don’t have one well, you should remedy that. They’re great figures! Tons of gear, a good deal of configuration options. All and all, a good time and worth the price of admission.

Overall, I’m a little conflicted. Honestly, I wasn’t completely blown away (pun) by Punter (double pun? Does that negate the first?). He’s a Grunt so he’s definitely cool by association. I like his hat, snug as it is. The ghillie suit is a really nice accessory that gives him a unique look thats fun to play with and display. But the main call sign of this particular figure is overshadowed by it’s ridiculous size. In a sense, Punter’s rifle reminds me of the rocket bullet that came with the TK Heavies. It looked cool and at first, I did all I could to pose him with it. After awhile I just got annoyed with the fact it had no real natural place on the TK and it went back in the box. Despite being a good deal more useful than the Heavy’s bullet, I could totally see myself doing that with Punter’s canon just to get it out of the way. Of coures, without the sniper rifle, what kind of sniper would he be? He’s back to being just a Grunt.

The good news is that Punter is still available at several online retailers and sitting at his original MSP. Even on “the bay” you can pick off a few decent prices. If I didn’t already have so many Grunts in my collection, I’d be thrilled with this guy.

As it stands, he’s a solid addition to my army but not one I’m sure was absolutely necessary.

 

PROS:

  • A different “type” of Grunt for your army
  • Ghillie suit makes the character. Very fun to mess around with
  • Boonie hat looks great on him
  • Gun is an impressive piece of hardware and looks awesome when set up right
  • Nice box art

CONS:

  • His rifle is so huge and unwieldy that it severely limits what you can do with it
  • Same Charlie Brown head sculpt as all the other meat for the machines
  • Take away his rifle and ghillie suit and he’s basically a stripped down version of the Grunt you already have.

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*Review* 3A WWR EMGY Caesar

This review was suppose to go up right before Comic Con. Unfortunately I ran into a few snags when attempting to use my iPad to post it on the way to San Diego. Apologies!

– Knives

INTRO

Fact: 3A’s release of the WWR Caesars was one of the/my most anticipated toy releases of the year. I wasted no time grabbing an EMGY when he dropped on Bambaland. I’d would have liked to snagged another color-way as well but what my parents told me when I was a child unfortunately still holds true. “Money does not grow on trees.”

Fact: A few months later, I purchased the awesome looking 003 which came as part of the Father and Son two pack. I was stoked.

Fact: I received my Father and Son two pack in the mail and was absolutely over the moon with excitement to get home and open up the massive box. I smiled at the thought of basking in what was sure to be some bright red form of toy geek nirvana.

Fact: Watching the clock at work because you can’t wait for 5pm to roll around only makes time move slower. Avoid clocks when anxious.

Fact: I finally opened the two pack and was incredibly underwhelmed, let down and saddened when I did. (review here) Good feeling gone. Hope for mankind lost.

Fact: I put off opening my EMGY for over 3 days as the weight of disappointment that close together would surely cause me to burn my collection and by proxy, my house, to the ground.

Fact: The wife would not be pleased by this. I advise to avoid fire under distress.

Fact: I finally opened my EMGY Caesar.

Fact: I smiled.. more than once.

Fact: I’m writing this review at 7:00am in the morning at the top quarter portion of a six hour flight, in a crowded cabin and next to a screaming baby.

PACKAGING

A color coded slip cover is the first thing you’ll see when opening up your Caesar. For EMGY, you get some stark yellow design elements and a dash of logos to balance things out.

Slips are nice, but a little boring. Underneath it, we get to the good stuff. A printed image of a super cool Ashley Wood painting. The painting itself features the dome topped Gravedigger. It’d been cool if Ash did a unique piece for each color-way, but being as there were close to 50 different ones (ed note: exaggeration) I can’t fault them for simplifying it.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Obviously, you get a giant yellow (EMGY) bot, along with his huge rifle, side arm and knife. You also get a little catalog of the ghosts of 3A past, aka toys you can’t get anymore less you brave the treacherous after market sea. You also get a pretty awesome WWR comic as part of the deal.

The comic is pretty short, and save for a few select panels and some really nice paintings on the last few pages.. it’s relatively light on exciting content. But it tells a little WWR story which has an actual beginning, middle and end (take that Popbot!). WWR is something many like myself have been asking for more of since Ashley put out the World War Robot collection several years back, and just like so much of what the man does, the result has me clamoring for more.

THE BREAKDOWN

This is a first for Rad Toy Review. I’m basically reviewing the same exact toy as I did a few weeks back with the 003 from the Father and Son two pack. There are some immediate, obvious contrasts of course, one is red, the other yellow, but at their core, they’re the same thing.

So what’s a fellah to do? How do I write a new perspective to something I JUST wrote? Well, as it happens, the clothes do indeed make the man. On some accounts, the machine.
Emgy might as well be an entirely all new toy as the differences between the two, if only aesthetic, feel truly immense.

Let’s being shall we? I went with the EMGY color-way not out of any particular love for yellow, but because I’m fortunate to have both an EMGY Grunt and EMGY Dropcloth. The three should look smashing together on display. (hint: they do)

The WWR Caesars are all part of 3A’s LUX line. This is intended to mean that, for a price, we get a higher quality, more refined and all around better collectible. My vocal reaction to the claim upon first unleashing 003 to the world was this giant, disappointed “meh”. EMGY on the other hand, holy crab cakes! Look at this sexy beast!

3A did some really good things with the paint job on this big fellah. The layers of weathering we’ve come to expect from them is all here with streaks and smears, sponged dirt and splatters. Take a closer look and you’ll see some of the stuff that calls back to the 3A of yesteryear.

We have silver metal popping out from underneath his yellow coat, edges worn by harsh conditions and the elements. There’s small flecks of red here and there, subtly offsetting the dominate dirty yellow. I haven’t seen toy “metal” look this metal in a long, long time! Say what you will about the design, Caesar is painted up very,very nice.

Big guns. That’s been sort of a theme of late with the big bots I’ve reviewed. Zaku had an absolutely massive beast of a gun and while not quite as huge, Caesar’s isn’t too shabby either. EMGY C is one of the select Caesars to get the newly designed smart rifle. Other’s came packed with the same rifle that previously came with WWR Armstrong’s.

How well designed this new smart rifle is, like so much else in life, is completely objective and probably up to your personal tastes. I think it’s pretty great. It’s heavy, hard edges and bulky barrel look tough. The removable clip, scope and color coordinated bits add some interest. It’s an all new look for WWR and projects as though it’d pack a heavy punch. Something which seems well suited for a Caesar.

Standard issue with all stripes of Caesar is their harmonic knife and trusty side arm. I loved on the knife a bit in my 003 review and I stand by said loving here. The knife is a sick piece of kit. Of course EMGY’s has yellow accents to ensure no one picks it up by mistake and runs off with it.

The side arm looks great as well. Color coordinated and with a trigger guard that actually fits Big C’s fingers. Something that shouldn’t even be review worthy, but as 3A can be pretty dyslexic about whether or not the weapons they give their characters actually fit or not, it seems worth mentioning. It also helps when posing him Solid Snake style with blade and pistol at the ready.

Shields. The EGMY crew has an abundance of them and they are in many ways, synonymous with the color-way. While all the Caesars sport a shoulder shield of some kind, I thought it was fitting they gave EMGY two.

This is where I must address what is basically my only real complaint about Caesar.. EMGY Caesar that is. The weight of the shields on his arms are too much for the balljoints at his shoulders. This could be an isolated thing and I just lucked out with one of whom’s BOTH arms flop around needlessly at his sides. I say that, because I don’t recall having the issue with 003. Maybe he warped some in the heat during shipment or maybe he slipped past 3A’s QC. Whatever the case may be, it sucks to get a new toy and immediately have an issue on your hands. I’ll say this here, 3A’s Customer Service is some of the best out there. They’ve helped me out countless times in the past with all sorts of little issues ranging from scuffed paint to broken weapons. Even replaced things I broke myself! But to fix this, I’d have to ship Big C back to them. That’s not cheap nor is it something I want to deal with.

Instead, I went for a bottle of super glue and slowly built up a fine layer around the joint until I got it tight enough to hold the poses I needed him to.

Speaking of pose. You can get quite a bit out of the big guy. He’s the most articulated bot out right now from 3A. His size does inhibit how spryly you’ll be able to move him around, but with some patience and little work you can squeeze a ton out of him.

The skirt draped around EMGY will be familiar to anyone who’s owned a dropcloth. All the pros and cons of the waist high moo moo are included as well. The biggest negative being the bags, sheath and holster are all held on by little cloth tabs tucked into it’s waist band. More likely than not, the second you take your Caesar out of his package a few of them will already be untucked and the bags will be hanging loosely. I miss the good ol’ days when bags had loops on the back and a belt strung through them to keep them solidly in place.
I’ve been dealing with this small annoyance since day one of collecting 3A. I’ve learned to accept it, but it still irks me the slightest bit. A little tip: If you pull your straps through and get enough slack you can simply tie them together for sound keeping.

FINAL WORD

Night and day. Red and yellow. That’s how different the 003 and EMGY Caesars are. 003 was a mountain of plastic disappointment, looking cheaper than it should have and frankly, dull. My EMGY Caesar however, is the bee’s knees. The killer paint app, the double shields, the tough flat head, the newly designed smart rifle, a harmonic knife and the ample articulation make for a really fun and impressive bot.

I want to pose this guy.. move his arms around into exciting poses with that awesome canon/rifle/broomstick. Get him sneaking up behind a grunt with blade drawn for the kill. Lots of cool, exciting and fun ideas pop up just looking at this guy sitting here.

There in lies the rub. I know I’ll probably never bother.
Once he’s set up on my shelf, he’ll most likely stay exactly however he sits from now until I absolutely HAVE to move him. The fun of grabbing a toy to mess around with during a moment of downtime isn’t really an option. He’s just too big and cumbersome to easily toss around. A crowded shelf of carefully placed toys doesn’t help.

It shouldn’t matter to me. I’m technically a grown up.

EMGY Caesar is awesome. Figures like this are why I collect 3A. Loose shoulder joints aside, I’m completely satisfied with how they produced this guy. I guess what I’m starting to see with my own collection is that I just don’t NEED any more big bots. They become permanent fixtures and eat up a ton of space.

So even though I have this new toy that I want to kiss and hug and call George, it’s probably the last 1/6 scale giant robot that I’ll be adding to my collection.

Of course giant robots are what got me into 3A in the first place.

Giant robots are cool.

Like really, REALLY cool…

Sigh… I have no will power.

 

 

PROS:

  • Fantastic attention to detail from paint/weathering to articulation and accessories
  • All new bits and pieces head to toe
  • Epic big bot with great articulation. High kicks galore!
  • Huge shields, huge gun, huge bot = huge awesome
  • EMGY looks baller when paired up with his crew

CONS:

  • Shields are heavy and may cause issues when posing the arms
  • 3A still uses little tucked straps which fail to keep bags/sheaths/holsters tight and where they’re supposed to be. The 14th century called and wants their buckle-less straps back!

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Wednesday’s Wallpaper of the Week

This week’s Wednesday Wallpaper comes by way of awesome from Ictoys!

Thank you sir for taking the time to shoot this wonderful image for us here at RtR!

click on your desired screen resolution to download!

“Emgy” by Ictoys

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see you next week!