*Review* 3A’s WWR NOM the 4th and NOM Disciple 27


Occasionally we’ll throw the switch and review something that came out a few months back. Today is one of those days as we’re tackling both 3A’s Nom 4th and Nom Disciple 27. We somehow let them slip by when they first dropped on our doorstep but still feel that they’re interesting enough to warrant a few mumblings. In fact, if you read our “Top Toys of 2012” post, you already know a little bit how we feel about them!

It was back at SDCC 2012 that I first peeked both NOMs. Nom 4th, Ashley Wood’s revamped take on his iconic Nom De Plume was one of the most exciting items I saw on display at 3A’s booth… heck SDCC! If you like, check out some of the shots we snapped in our beastly Comic Con 2012 coverage article.

The month prior to SDCC, ordering both NOMs was one of the most hesitation-free toy purchases I’d made. After seeing them at SDCC, I was confident that once in hand, these guys would be the jewels of my collection.

Whelp, as it happens..


Both NOM boxes look great. Ash’s paintings, depicting each character individually, are splashed on two panels of each packs surface which is perfect for displaying if you’re the kind of guy/lady/lady-man-lady who enjoys doing that.  It’s the kind of box art I enjoy the most from 3A/A. Wood.. minimalist design over some fantastic art.


Both NOMs come with two twin silver pistols, a baton and a spare pistol holding hand. Each figure have a full sized poster featuring the box art packed inside as well.


As it was NOM 4th who first caught my eye at SDCC, he was the first I unboxed. I cut open the wrap and flipped open the lid. Ahhhh man, he looked great. The iconic NOM De Plume single red sleeve, the red lenses in the gas mask, even with all the new additions, it’s unmistakable NOM.

The new hoses are nice and flexible. I wouldn’t necessarily call them “soft”, but they’ll most likely adjust to where you need them to. Like them or not they definitely change his look enough to clearly identify him as a separate and unique character. 4th isn’t a quick and easy color swapped NOM. He’s not the same old toy with a new toy’s price. In fact, everything on him is brand spanking new.

Built on a completely new 3A body type, 4th has all new mask and glove sculpts that look really nice. The paint, weathering and tailoring on him looks top notch all around as well.  Weapon-wise, gone is the old school De Plume pistol. It’s been replaced with a larger and much shinier new piece, of which you get two. NOM also comes with a riot baton that looks pretty swanky in it’s very own sheath.

I’m really loving the new boots that both 4th and 27th come with. They have actual laces, a first for a 3A toy and are made of a synthetic leather like material. On top of that, they’re soft enough to not impede any poses you might want to toss NOM into, yet feel sturdy enough to hold up well to bending them around. A definite positive notch for well made durability here.

The weird thing is, 4th comes by default with two relaxed hands installed and a single spare capable of holding a pistol of which, again.. he has two. So the other is for what.. balance, symmetry, personal feng shui? Not including a second pistol holding hand is one of those odd toy manufacturer decisions that you’d swear was simply a case of miscommunication between the floor manager and the guy packing up the pieces to ship out.

Someone did no get the memo.

Other than the inability to hold both guns at once, there’s a couple other things design-wise, that seem like oversights with this guy. The hands are made of a very soft rubber. Despite them being supposedly sculpted (and beautifully so) to the specifics of the newly designed hand canons, (or vice versa) the hand’s grip just isn’t firm enough to hold the weapon very well. It can and will, but it’ll fall out just as easily.

Another sadly overlooked thing, remember that cool baton we mentioned a minute ago? Neither hand is really appropriate for holding it. You can sorta wedge it in, where it probably works/looks best in the neutral hand. In practice however, it’s a very loose fit and nothing looks natural about it. It’s odd to have these kind of things in a brand new figure built from the ground up. If anything, this is the sort of stuff that should have been dead-on perfect!

Back to the good stuff! Just look at him! He looks so very cool. Like Tomorrow Kings, A. Wood nailed it when he designed the De Plume. There’s something so very dynamic and appealing about them. It’s difficult to put 4th in a pose that doesn’t flow with character. I literally spent a good hour posing and playing around with him the first day I had him.

Much of what I said about 4th can carry over to 27. The slightly too soft rubber hands, new boots, shiny guns, wicked little baton, multiple hoses and all new sculpts top to bottom. Where the real difference between the two comes in (other than Disciple’s dark complexion) is the hooded shirt.

Characters sporting hoodies are nothing new to 3A, particularly in the Adventure Kartel universe, but this is a first for World War Robot. Some bemoaned the addition as an unrealistic article for someone to wear in battle.

Pssh… I love it!

There’s something so very, I don’t know.. Evil Jedi about the way he looks with all the hoses pouring out from under his shroud. He looks menacing. More a ruthless assassin than a student or disciple. I need to hunt down a spare WWR Caesar knife or TK sword to give him. That seems fitting.

Just like all the NOMS before him, 27 is a mono-sleeved guy. The difference here is that his is tailored in such a cool and unique way. The end flap covers the top of his hands and are hemmed up at a sharp “V” angle to allow for him to hold a weapon unencumbered. It’s a nice look. It kind of reminds me of that goth kid I went to school with that always had his sleeves pulled down over his hands. But you know, way, WAY better.

He may just call back to my love of ninjas, Darth Vader, and Snake Eyes, but even if that’s so, is that a bad thing?

When I ordered him, I only did so because he looked a little different than 4th. I wasn’t really expecting much to get excited about. Even after seeing him first hand (behind glass) at SDCC, I thought for sure that 4th was the hero of the show and Disciple was a sort of bland, dark afterthought.  Nay, nay. This guy is all kinds of awesome. While he shares all of the same short comings NOM 4th has, to my surprise, NOM Disciple has become one of my favorite 1/6 figures.

Back to the topic of shared characteristics, there are a couple other things in the negative column I feel need mentioning. One opinion, one fact.

I don’t love the new guns. They’re bigger, which.. OK fine, but they look like something Dirty Harry would’ve carried. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but the original NOM pistol is so iconic! It’s the De Plume gun! The new gun just looks a bit more cookie cutter. The shine is pretty off-putting (not to mention a pain to photograph) as well. I guess they’re supposed to look as though they have some sort of  brushed silver plating. But in truth, the effect isn’t very believable and they just look like little silver spray painted plastic toy guns.

The most wide spread complaint I’ve heard about these guys has to do with incredibly loose wrist joints. I hate to say it, but mine both bear the same affliction. I’ve never had joints on a 3A figure this loose. My 4th’s is, for whatever reason, worse than 27.. but both flop around like they’re trying to fly away. When I inspect the joints you can see they have a large gap in between them, when they should be tight. I’ve also heard a few people saying that one or more of their wrist pegs have broken apart right out the box. One has to wonder if the regular wrist peg guy at 3A was on vacation during the production of these figures?

“Ahh, let’s just have Jimmy from custodian services handle this one, it’ll be fine.”

The good news is, it’s just a wrist peg and a wrist peg is easily swapped out with another. The bad news is, ironically, no spares come packed in. I think every 1/6 figure I’ve gotten from 3A in the last year have come with spares. Of all the figures for 3A not to include extras with.

A wee DIY pro-tip: If you don’t have a spare wrist joint or two on hand, you can try dabbing a little super glue or clear nail polish on the peg itself (remove it from the hand and body first). Make sure to keep the joint moving while the adhesive sets in, otherwise you’ll have a stuck joint. Add as needed and after a bit, a thin layer will build up and stiffen the joint to a more workable level. Easy peasy.


With NOM the 4th and NOM Disciple 27, you’re getting completely newly fabricated figures, head to toe. While some of the newness isn’t necessarily an upgrade, I think you’d agree that the highs do outweigh the lows.

NOM the 4th is that iconic figure we missed out on years ago, that most of us could not afford today. He truly stands out on even the most crowded shelf and harkens back to the day many of you started collecting 3A. His colors pop and the impact his very presence brings to a toy collector’s shelf is undeniable.

I thought I’d share a notion I had about Nom 4th that isn’t either negative or positive, but moreso something a bit of late night writing coughed up. An observation about the growing and changing goings on with WWR.

When I finally had 4th unboxed and out in front of me, I found myself saying, “Hmmm, no one would ever wear that to battle.”

That’s when it occurred to me, I’m not so sure that 4th naturally fits in with the direction 3A and Ashley Wood have taken the WWR line. Over the years things have grown grimier, grittier and honestly, a bit more drab. The last De Plume’s, Fantome and Barguest were grungy ghost white and murky death black respectively. You could see them trading fire on the battle field and slipping behind their foes, relieving them of the burden of breath. All of the WWR Grunts are dusted in murky, muted tones and are sporting attire fairly appropriate for a war. Same could be said for the bot snipers.. not to mention the bots themselves. NOM the 4th is a little dirtier than NOM De Plume was, a little less art toy and maybe a few shades more action figure.. but to me, he feels like more of a symbol of an important 3A icon than part of the current, ever expanding, World War Robot universe.

The NOM Disciple, with his Jedi good looks, has become one of my favorite 1/6 figures. When I ordered him, I really only did so because he looked a little different than 4th and my other De Plumes. I wasn’t really expecting much to get excited about. 4th was supposed to be the hero of the show, right?  Maybe to some, but to me, the NOM Disciple takes it by a knife’s edge and is all kinds of awesome.

I think the reason I can forgive such glaring QC issues is that despite their mutual shortcomings, you still feel like you’re getting something of quality. From the box art and poster to the stitching on the new laced up boots, these NOMs feel special.

These two figures really are some of the nicer pieces out of 3A in the past year and can still be had for a song or two on the aftermarket. If I had to choose one, I’d probably go with NOM 4th despite digging on 27 a good deal more. Mainly because as a 3AA 2013 member, we’ll be getting NOM Blanc, who’s essentially a grey/dirty white version of NOM 27, as part of the package.  Even if you didn’t snag 3AA this year, NOM the 4th is “the last” of his kind.. or so they say. If that holds to be true, he’s your last chance to grab a classic style De Plume. In the end, either one would be a great choice that I think you’ll be more than happy to have on your shelf.


  • These are some fine looking gentlemen with great weathering, paint and tailoring
  • The De Plume redesigns are a solid step forward and feature all new parts, ceiling to floor
  • The new boots are really well done and look fantastic
  • NOM 27’s hoodie adds so much menace and mystery to the character.. it’s truly awesome sauce
  • Love the baton and sheath
  • Your chance to own a classic 3A icon. (sort of.)


  • Weak, limp wrist pegs that you’ll want to patch or replace right out the box
  • Only includes one pistol holding hand (but comes with two guns) and no baton holding hand
  • The pistol holding hand is very soft and doesn’t firmly hold NOM’s gun
  • The new gun design, while not necessarily bad looking, is a bit more  generic than the original and iconic De Plume pistols














Top 10 Toys of 2012

It’s that time again people! The end of 2012 brings with it the dawn of 2013, which gives us good cause to levy the hammer and proclaim our picks for the top 10 toys of the year! It was a little tricky compiling this list. For one, I’m slightly touched by a fever.. one in which cowbell has no power and only various heavy doses of sudafed seems to keep somewhat tamped down. For another, I realized going over my shelf that each toy in the list has it’s own set of qualities that seem to outshine some yet are overshadowed by others. While one toy may be incredibly fun to play with, another may look impossibly realistic thanks to an astounding sculpt and/or paint job. What merits equate “Toy of the Year”?

As with any review, 99% of it is opinion. In this case, the opinion happens to be mine. I hope you’ll find some common air here and there but even if you don’t,  I’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts. Let us know what your top 5, 10, or heck, 100 toy list is this year!

To qualify, the toys need to have been shipped/delivered within 2012, though not necessarily released (sold). 

Without further ado, the top 10!

10. 3A x Bandai Zaku Gundam Inspirational Model

I’ll say it now to get it out of the way, I’m a big fan of what Ashley Wood has done so far with 3A’s Gundam license.

The purest may disagree with me. Ashley Wood’s Gundam Zaku creation polarized fans of both 3A and Gundam when it was released earlier this year.  Many fans called foul after seeing that Wood unceremoniously got rid of the mono eye that’s been so inherent to the Zaku character. Others saw it as simply a hybrid of sorts, between 3A/Ash’s own gas mask-sporting Noms and Bandai’s iconic evil robot. While I could understand the disappointment some fans may have felt seeing the design stray so far off track from what was expected, I was more than blown away by just how dynamic the figure came out. As a friend of mine said, “Zaku looks like more of a giant space marine than a Gundam robot.”  So it’s called Zaku, but it doesn’t really look like Zaku? Strangely, I have zero problem with that. I truly hope it’s not the last we see from the partnership.

You can read our full review of Zaku here.

9. Play Arts Kai Metal Gear Solid: Solid Snake

As the only non-3A toy on the list this year, Ol’ Snake is the odd man out. Still, the joy of seeing Square Enix Play Arts Kai releasing such a great quality version of one of my favorite characters in video game history soundly earns him the spot. I can’t WAIT for more classic Metal Gear Solid figures to roll out from this line.

Read our review of Solid Snake here.

8. 3A Action Portable (AP) Zombs

We never did get around to writing a review for these little buggers, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get around to playing with them to our heart’s content. The action portable Zomb infestation was easily one of the most exciting events for 3A fans this year.  With several blind boxed (carded) options to be hunted down, the BST action reached a fever pitch. Ultimately, the excitement died dramatically once they actually started to land on doorsteps. Fairly heavy saturation of certain variants caused their perceived trade/sell value to plummet and many can still be had for a song. Which is awesome, because these brain chompers are awesome!

So ready your vocal chords! The enjoyment of these little guys definitely continues and if you’ve yet to grab any yourself, they shouldn’t be too difficult to track down.

7. 3A HK ReVenture Old Guard Tomorrow King

I hesitated putting this guy on the list since they were relatively difficult to get a hold of. You either had to be one of the lucky souls to actually attend 3A’s ReVenture event in Hong Kong or be lucky at the draw to snag the few “left overs” dripped to Bambaland a few weeks afterwards.

The reason he’s here is because he is a classic Tomorrow King, through and through, the design of which is so near perfect, it’s difficult to explain what makes it so. Somehow, Ashley Wood and 3A have hit the nail squarely on the head with TKs, and fans claw at their screens and jazzercise in unison each time a new one  comes along.

While the red shirt variant wasn’t on the top of my list among the four available, I still count my lucky stars to have scored him. He’s earned a spot both front and center on my shelf, as well as right here in the top ten.

Read our Old Guard TK review here.

6. 3A WWRp/WWR Caesars

Yeah, I combined Caesars in both scales for my number six spot. The massive and mighty 1/6 WWR Caesar is astonishing to see on display. Since I went with an EMGY colorway, mine is set up with my other EMGY figures and he looks amazing. From the paint details to the articulation, everything is spot on. That being said, I don’t ever remove him from display or even try to repose him. He’s a little too cumbersome and tucked back behind other things to easily manipulate. Instead, he sits there to be admired in all his glory from a safe distance.

On the other hand, the 1/12th WWRp Caesars are the perfect size to pose and play with. While we still haven’t gotten an official review together for them, I’ll go ahead and spill the beans that these guys may be 3A’s perfect 1/12th robot toy. I can’t compare apples to apples as I chose the JEA and RIP colorways for my WWRp opposed to EMGY in WWR, but I can say that I’ve interacted with them a lot more. They look and feel more like toys and so I end up treating them as such.

So at one scale, 3A’s Caesars are astonishingly BA to look at, on another, incredibly fun to play with. In my eyes, it’s a tie. A win – win, whichever way you go.

Read our full WWR EMGY Caesar review here.

5. 3A Jungle Vet

We’re only at the halfway point of this top ten list, yet we also happen to be at the toy that I had the most fun with this year, Jungle Vet. Of the many “sold blind” new Adventure Kartel figures, he was among the most anticipated. I admit, I assumed he wouldn’t warrant such bated breath. Boy was I wrong.

Despite his kit-bashed appearance, the combination of articulated fingers and mono-eye contributed to making Jungle Vet one of the most fun and often posed toys in my collection. The photoshoot for our review lasted all day, and it was one of the few times that it didn’t feel that way.

You may be tempted to shoe-horn in here a member of the Finger Gang or even King Thumb himself as they share many of the same traits as Jungle Vet, but I think JV’s Ankou head with it’s rotating eyeball give him the edge. That and he was first!

JV is a goofy, and most importantly, FUN addition to anyone’s collection.

Read our full review of JV here.

4. 3A Real Steel Ambush

If you had asked me 6 months ago if I’d have a toy based on the Dreamwork’s Real Steel movie in my collection, much less in my top ten of 2012 list, I’d have given you a sideways glance that’d cleave you in twain. The movie was.. well, it was what it was. Big CG robots, punching each other time and time again to the tune of a thin script and a fairly silly plot. The idea of making kids toys based off the line is a no-brainer. On the other hand, the thought of making a high-quality, expensive, designer toy based on the franchise sounded nuts.

3A didn’t see it that way. They played to their strengths and showed the industry how it’s done. They took a mediocre, second rate, movie character and turned into one of the coolest, most surprising and detailed toys in my collection. If you have him in yours, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t, good luck finding one for a reasonable price as they’re pretty scarce. The good news is, it looks like Atom is right around the corner. I wouldn’t miss out if I were you.

Read our full review of Ambush here.

3. 3A Queenie of 7 Bones

The 7 Bones collection from Ashley Wood’s Popbot line is one of the most readily collected amongst 3A fans. To the majority of Popbot aficionados,  it’s hard to go wrong with Tomorrow Kings. They’re basically samurai crossed with jedi in hip, urban gear. So, generally epic. They are assassins and warriors for your showcase that are as fun to play with and pose as they are awesome to have on display. Tomorrow Queens on the other hand, have always been relegated to simply standing there due to their vastly more limited articulation/clothing combination. To many, they come off as glorified if not overly sexualized barbies with bigger boobs and slightly more fire power. Many love them, but the love isn’t nearly as widespread. I’ve had a few in my collection over the years, but they’re always the first to go when some collection thinning is in order.

That all changed with Queenie. Unlike much of what we see out of 3A, from clothing to sculpt, Queenie is/was completely new. As the leader of 7 Bones, Ash thankfully saw it fit to give her a new, more articulated body as well as a bit more dancing room in her pajamas.  She’s also the only 3A figure to carry a bo staff and sport an eyepatch (other than Bleak’s dog, Custard). She’s still curvy and almost awkwardly big boobed, but she comes across as a no-nonsense tough girl who can handle herself on the battlefield.

Queenie feels like an individual and all her own. Among the  multiple variants of Zombs, Tomorrow Kings, Grunts, Dropcloths, Caesars and Popbots, that’s an incredibly refreshing thing.

I’m crossing my fingers that 3A has more unique characters like her in store for us in 2013.

Read our full review of Queenie here.

2. New Noms 4th and 27th

When I saw the new Noms at SDCC this year, I was ecstatic in the confident knowledge that I had broken down just weeks prior and pre-purchased both. Behind the shiny clear glass, they looked amazing. The new Noms consist of Nom 4th, a fit redesign of the orignal Nom De Plume and Nom 27th, a dark all new take on the classic design, under the guise of “disciple”.

In that glass case on the showroom floor, Nom 4th was the show stopper. Once the boys finally landed on my porch and I got them free of their packs, Nom 27th took the lead by a nose with his cool hooded shirt and substantially more menacing appearance. I bounce back and forth between which I prefer, thus the shared ranking on the list.

Ashley Wood claims these are the Noms he wished he could have made from the beginning, had money been no object. A generous host of gas mask hoses, actual laced boots, sheathed dual guns and baton as well as some truly lovely stitching support that claim. I still love the classic Nom designs with Jung De Plume being a prize in my own collection, but the new Noms certainly have the character and style befitting the Nom name.

If you missed out on 4th and 27th, don’t loose hope completely.  If you’re interested in grabbing a 3AA 2013 membership, come January, you’ll have a chance to grab Blanc Hunter as part of the deal!

1. Blind Cowboy and Ghost Horse Super Set

I knew what my number one was going to be long before I sat down to make this list. There isn’t anything else like it out there. This duo stands out in a room, regardless if they’re stuffed in a crowded display case or set up all Lonestar on top of a bookshelf.

Alone, BC himself is actually one of the more.. muted figures to come from 3A this year. He’s not perfect. His hat is a little on the puffy side and his white shirt lacks the fit that you probably wish it had thanks to a weird velcro strip. He’s also light on a few accessories that could have taken him to the next level. It’s not that he comes bare-arsed or anything. He’s got a gaggle of hand canons strapped around his waist, a cool red poncho draped over him and a dirty bandage covering his scarred visage. He’s got character, it just doesn’t come screaming out at you when he’s by his lonesome.

Paired with his trusty and very dead steed, Ghost Horse, they become a different thing altogether.

Few pieces can match the presence of this set. Toy enthusiast and annoyed wives alike have marveled at it on various occasions.

BC & GH summarize what makes collecting high end designer art toys so satisfying.  It’s a near perfect balance of something to play with and something to admire. You have  the action figure element, with guns and boots and bandages, and then you have the artistically and impeccably executed Ghost Horse sculpt that could make you question what exactly defines something as a “toy.”

If you want to read more about our opinion of this set, you can check out one of the thickest and most picture stuffed reviews out of the RtR chamber to date right here.

As an initially planned one-off, those who missed the set looked left to drink their own tears for the foreseeable future. Luckily for you, 3A decided to release a second run in 2013 dubbed the Dead Equine Super Set , essentially a monotone version of the same set.

That means that those of you chomping at the bit to add the Blind Cowboy Super Set, our official pick for 2012 Toy of the Year, to your collection have a very good shot at making that happen.

That also means that 2013 already has a Toy of the Year nominee!

Some Honorable Mentions:

3A Light and Shadow Oya Set – I’d have tossed this set in the top ten in a second but I feel that since they were gifted/awarded, never available for sale and are incredibly rare, they’re not really a release at all. They’re still awesome though!

3A’s Metal Gear Solid REX – He’s still set to ship out soon. A tiny handful of people somehow ended up getting their orders around the same time we got our review sample, but the official shipment hasn’t gone out and isn’t scheduled to do so until February of 2013. Keep your chin up REX, there’s always next year!

Thanks so much for a great year guys! We really appreciate you guys swinging by and checking out the stuff we’re doing. We have a few new things planned for 2013 that are sure to up the ante around here and we’re excited to show you!
See you in 2013 with more in depth, photo-filled toy reviews!

Happy New Year!

– Knives

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