Every one of us. Spoiled rotten.
That was the 1st thing I thought of when I removed Optimus Prime from the sleek ThreeA packaging. I pulled Optimus from the safety of his cut foam coffin and was surprised when I felt an almost passive reaction to him.
Not in an unimpressed or poorly received way.. just a “Yup, it’s another ThreeA toy”
Which translates to, “Yup, it’s another highly articulated, insanely detailed, fantastically painted and weathered giant robot toy from ThreeA”
Let me explain. Think back to the kind of toys we had growing up (unless you’re still growing up, in which case.. get off my lawn!!”) Simple toys, unrealistic, cheap plastics, sloppy paints, limited articulation…. Back in our day, there wasn’t anything like the collectors market for action figures and pop culture collectibles like there is today. We were happy and impressed by the simplest Transformers Hasbro, Mattel or Kenner pumped on the local toy aisle. I mean, those are all still awesome in their own way.. a lot of the classics are absolutely beautiful to me.. but considering where toys are now.. particularly in articulation and engineering, it’s really hard to compare.
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!
Titanfall, arguably one of the best games available for the Xbox One, also has some of the most interesting and fresh character and bot designs (from the amazingly talented Joel Emslie) I’ve seen in a game in a long while. The incredible art direction, along with the high pedigree of the game’s developers forced me, a non-XboxOne-owning-PS4-guy, to scoop up the game for my PC the second it was available. I played it almost religiously for months, squeezing in a round or three whenever I could, to step up my game, marvel at the graphical spit-shine and beautiful giant robots adorning my screen. While I’m certainly not the best player in the game, because of it’s exciting character/bot designs and new twist on the ol’ FPS formula, it has a special place in my video game addled heart. I often find myself thinking, “I should try to play Titanfall today when I get home from the office”. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, life gets in the way and my time to spend playing video games isn’t frequent. But when I read Threezero’s announcement that they were working on toys for Respawn’s massive hit, my ears perked up and my pulse quickened. Unexpectedly, my mouse/trigger finger started twitching. I hit save on the Zbrush sculpt I’d been working on and found myself swept back into to the world of Titanfall. Stomped, punched and shot by these lovely Titan’s all over again. And I loved it.
I seriously haven’t been so excited to see a toy manifest since ThreeZero started trickling out production shots of Atlas and his pilot, months ago. But I had to question, given the insanely complex robot designs and details layered upon details.. how any toy company could pull it off properly?
Well, sometimes it pays to have faith and when it’s coming from ThreeZero, I have a LOT of faith. Continue reading →
I can probably trace the entire basis for my interest in giant fighting robots back to a few years of my childhood in the mid 80’s. As a kid, I lived in a small town in Texas a few hours outside Amarillo. I don’t know how he did it, but somehow my dad found this eclectic little Japanese import toy shop on one of our many trips to the “big city”. He knew I’d love it as I was obsessed with Transformers and Voltron, probably the two most popular robot franchises at that time to most kids my age in the states. But this little toy shop had things I’d never seen or heard of. They had VHS tapes full of this stuff called, “anime” and shelves full of these little backwards comics called “manga”. Most importantly of all, it had shelf after shelf of incredibly, mind blowing giant robots. The existence of that shop hooked me onto everything from Gundam to Godakin! I was instantly obsessed. That shop became a regular weekend destination for us, so much so that the shop owner had a small list he’d keep of all the bots I told him I wanted so my dad would know what to look for if he happened to be hunting a Christmas or birthday gift for me. Life was good and my plate was steadily full of random anime, manga and die-cast giant robots for a solid year. We eventually left the Texas pan-handle and moved away to the Eastcoast.
Despite not having access to a similar, amazing Japanese toy import shop anywhere near our new neighborhood, I maintained a fascination with Japanese robots, watching cartoons and movies that featured them as much as possible. Voltron, Transformers, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Gundam, Giant Robot and the ‘bot known here in the states as Tranzor Z.. the mighty, Mazinger Z.
I’ll admit, it’s been FOREVER since I’ve watched or read anything about Mazinger Z. But the instant I saw him teased by ThreeZero so many of those memories came rushing back. I knew I’d have to have him in my collection.
I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to preview him while he’s still up for preorder at ThreeZero’s shop. I find it a little ironic that the same toy company who is largely responsible for reawakening the toy nostalgia within me a few years back is the same one responsible for bringing such an iconic super robot from my childhood back to life.