Aloha! It’s a been a little bit since our last review. Life has been crazy this past few months with a move and a baby on the way, as well as taking my first official steps into toy design! All good things of course, but sadly they’ve taken a lot of my time and attention away from kicking out the quality reviews you guys and gals have come to expect from RtR.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually written about 10 different, almost complete reviews in my spare time over the past couple months. Toys from 3A, Hot Toys, Acid Rain and a few others have all been met with my critical eye and slathered with my remarks. I just haven’t had time to take the photos/shoot the videos and publish the darn things.
With life showing zero signs of slowing down, I decided I needed to bite the bullet and do whatever it took to find the time to get a new review published! I was so excited to finally have Hot Toys Star-Lord pop up on my front porch last week, I figured if there’s ever a good excuse to stay up into the wee hours just so I can break the wheel, this is it! 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.
Check out that flow of acronyms in the title! A little like trying to decipher a foreign language, init? Since we toy collectors tend to speak in our own language anyway, I didn’t think anyone would be too put off by it. Today, I’ll be using that acronym, not only to speed along writing out a character’s long-ish name over and over again, but also because the given name of our featured toy has a filthy, naughty, dirty word right smack in the middle of it. We don’t normally print copious amounts of cuss-based brusqueness over here at RtR.. despite the fact that we review a LOT of toys from 3A/Ashley Wood. Even though we tend to cater to an older audience and don’t take issue with the words themselves, we do our best to keep things pretty kid friendly. It’s been surprisingly easy to do up until now. For those of you who are familiar with today’s figure, there’s no mystery here. The acronym works because you already know his name. But for those of you who have no idea about this guy, it doesn’t. So in the name of journalistic clarity, we decided for at least a moment, we wouldn’t worry about censors and flood the next paragraph with a few, well-placed swear words.
Alright children, you’ve been warned. The next couple sentences hold snippets of the kind of language your Fox News marathoning Grandpa yells at the TV every time a Democrat gets elected into office. Continue reading →
There’s been few collectibles that I’ve reviewed where I’ve found myself so conflicted as I have with 3A’s Real Steel series.
On one hand, you have the film from which the toys are based. Certainly, far from the worse film ever made.. but just as far, if not further from being anything I’d consider a classic. There’s not a lot of reason to get excited when someone points at a generic box and says, “Hey, that box is full of Real Steel swag! I can’t wait to see what’s inside”, said nobody ever.
On the other hand, you have 3A who have a knack for deftly tackling technically and visually challenging figures. It’s something they do so well, they could probably make action figures pulled from Battleship Earth and people would still be hard pressed to resist picking up a figure of Jon Travolta on account of his. “amazingly realistic alien goatee and forehead weathering!”
And that’s just the thing. There’s a lot of reasons for someone to be interested in these guys. I know some of you out there really enjoyed the film and have been picking up the figures because the franchise and the characters are something you really care about. Just like I know some of you grabbed them because they’re really cool looking robots and you can’t resist a cool looking robot. I’m sure some of you even picked them up because you’d blindly buy anything 3A puts out, banking on quality. Those and all of the ones in-between are all perfect reasons I’d say, to consider adding some Real Steel goodness to your collection. For me, I take them for what they are, great looking and impressive toys.
The final bot (that I know of) from 3A’s run with the Dreamworks franchise is this big purple guy in front of me, the ever-so-glossy, samurai-esque, Noisy Boy..