*REVIEW* Play Arts Kai Metal Gear Cyborg Ninja

Intro

INTRO

We love Metal Gear. LOVE it. We also love toys. Lo-and-behold, Square Enix/Play Arts Kai, one of the coolest toy manufacturers out there, has combined the deuce and created one of the most successful toy lines in their mighty arsenal.
Today’s figure has been around for awhile, but we’ve just now been able to spend the appropriate time due this self-degrading Cyborg Ninja. We’ve been big fans of just about everything Play Arts Kai has put out recently. Will Grey Fox make a killing or disappear into the cloud of smoke that is action figure mediocrity? 

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Did you never learn to read? Don’t enjoy viewing all the pretty pictures we put so much time into photographing? Would you rather watch compressed, grainy streaming video? Then you should check out our brief video review!

PACKAGING

Cyborg comes in the same sort of box all Play Arts Kai figures are packed into. A big plastic window gives you a clear view of the prize waiting inside. Metal Gear’s 25th anniversary logo adorns the bottom corner to remind us all how old we are. On the back there are a few photos of Cyborg posed to tease you with a bit of his sexy-self. A thimble of apologies for the empty box photo. We didn’t dally long enough to get any sort of unboxing images when we got Grey Fox in hand. We tore that sucker open and got to the good stuff as quick as we could!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

The anguished ninja comes with his trusty ninja sword (a high frequency blade) suitable for slicing and dicing. He has an alternate hand that you have to swap out in order to hold said sword. On top of that he comes with a snap on laser gun arm. One thing of note is that both the hand for holding his sword and the gun arm are intended to be right handed. Apparently Play Arts Kai doesn’t want you to dual wield with your toys. That being said, the laser cannon will fit on either arm if you’re feeling particularly rebellious, you go-against-the-grain-toy-collector you.

THE BREAKDOWN

The first thing that struck me about Cyborg Ninja, and in fact what I can say is usually the first thing that strikes me about any Play Arts Kai toy, is just how good he looks. The sculpting and details on him are really very nice. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear this little guy was built head to toe of shiny metal and circuits. The fine folks at Squeenix really know their stuff when it comes to modeling character details.

I love the spinal column detail on his back, it’s spot on from the game. I kept thinking how cool it’d be if it was articulated and moved as you twisted his back around. It’s cool in its current form, none the less.

The glossy paint work on Cyborg is basically two tone, lots of gold and blue with a dash of grey. He pulls it off really well. There’s not a lot to complain about paint-wise, as checking him up and down, I didn’t find any bleeds or smudge details, save a few small spots on some seams. I’d say of all my Play Arts Kai figures, Cyborg Ninja has the best paint app and the least flaws. There’s a ton of little decal that really sell the cyborg aspect of him.

He’s nigh flawless.

I say “nigh flawless”  because he actually DOES have one fairly significant scar on his spotless hide. On his forearm there’s this odd matte smudge of paint. It’s like someone at the toy factory noticed an unpainted spot on him as he slid by on the conveyor belt, dipped his thumb in some crappy grey paint conveniently laying nearby and smudged over it to cover it up. I didn’t bother photographing it as it’s not showing up very well. In fact, it’s not terribly noticeable unless you know it’s there. It’s just a little odd since it does actually appear that someone went through the trouble of patching a blemish… they just took zero care when they did.

Articulation on Cyborg is what you’ve come to expect with Play Arts Kai figures. There’s quite a bit of it, and most of it works really well for some dramatic and fun poses. It does seem like ol’ robo Ninja has a little less articulation than Snake did, which seems off since he’s a ninja and he should be able to bend and twist as such to kiss the back of his own knee caps if he felt the need. Despite that, I was able to get him in just about any pose I wanted to with only a few exceptions.

I always feel like I’m relearning something about action figures whenever I start to play with a Play Arts Kai figure. As per the usual, Cyborg is loaded with various points of articulation and much of it is pretty intuitive if you’ve ever played with a toy at any point in your life. However, there’s a few little tucked away hinge and rocker joints you may not catch on your first outing. One of these is located at his shoulders.. pull them in towards his chest and they pop away from his sides. While it gives him a bit more reach than he had before, it’s not super natural looking. One thing it IS good for is that it allows for a certain lonely Ninja to pretend he’s making out with a hot babe..

Grey Fox: “oooh baby.. ooooh sweet lordy.. muah muah muah…”
Snake: “dude…”

I think Snake’s on to him.

As I mentioned before, the hand that Cyborg holds his sword in is the same arm that you’re supposed to remove when you put on the laser gun arm. Thankfully, you can ignore that if you choose and toss the laser gun arm on his left side, leaving his other arm free to swing a sword around. If the scope of the canon being on the far side from his body doesn’t bother you, I think he looks particularly cool in this setup.

Play Arts Kai figures have always felt solid and well made. They have a heft to them that gives you the impression that the toys are built to last. For the most part that’s true. PAK toys are some of the higher quality figures out there. That being said, a few things continue to bug me about them. One is the articulation system. It’s not that the system itself is bad, it’s actually pretty advanced for this scale of action figures. The problem lies in the fact that most of the joints are held together by simple swivel ball joints which are unreliable in how well they stay in place when posing the figure. It works well in most cases, but on literally every PAK figure I’ve owned there’s been at least one that comes off in your hand the second you try to bend or twist it. With cyborg, I had two spots like that. The first and most noticeable was his right leg, which kept popping off at the hip. It’s incredibly easy to pop back on, but it’s annoying when you realize how well set in place the other leg is. Why couldn’t they both work equally as well and just STAY ON? The second piece is less a joint and really just a part of him that comes off absolutely every time I move his arm, his elbow pad. I imagine I could put a small drop of glue in there to keep it from happening if I wanted, but again, it’s strange to me that I’m having so much trouble with one while the other stays securely in place as you’d expect it to.

Arms or legs popping out of their joints is probably nothing new to those of you who collect Play Arts Kai figs. It’s a weird QC thing that I’ve heard countless people gripe about  all over the webs.. but I think they’re getting better at remedying at least the more common issues. In most cases, any QC problem you’ll come across will only amount to a small annoyance on an otherwise great figure.

The one thing that bothered me the most, however, wasn’t the randomly self severing limbs, but the tiny skinny baby elf feet Cyborg Ninja is cursed with.

You have to be some sort of toy balancing Jedi to get him to stand up and stay standing. The heft I was speaking about earlier that gives you that “quality” feeling whenever you pick up a Play Arts Kai figure is working against Cyborg in this case. Those little toes are just not meant to hold full grown Ninjas. I can’t tell you how many times I’d get him balanced on a shelf, where he’d sit for 30 minutes.. all the way up to a couple of days, only to have him randomly crash to the floor thanks to a rogue gust of wind. I had a similar problem with PAK’s Arkham Asylum Joker, which frustrated me to no end, until I finally relented and put him on a stand. I’m much happier now.
If you pick him up, I’d recommend either leaning Cyborg against something or getting a figure stand for him as well. You’ll save yourself some unneeded frustration and be much happier if you do.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Cyborg Ninja may not take Snake’s place at the top of my Play Arts Kai hill, but he’s still a very solid and awesome figure. If you’re a fan of Play Arts Kai and Metal Gear, then you should have him in your collection. At $60 plus, I wouldn”t give the recommendation lightly. I really do believe you’ll be happy with him chilling on your shelf.

Just remember that occasionally a limb or joint may pop off. At most, it’s a minor annoyance and not a big deal because they should pop back on really easily. Fox’s main demon is his inability to easily stand unassisted.. a truly strange problem for a ninja to have. Go get yourself a figure stand or pose Cyborg in a way that doesn’t require him to balance on the two legs Dr. Clark gave him and you’ll forgo many a stumbling frustration.

Square Enix Play Arts Kai has released yet another high quality, awesome looking figure. While not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, these guys are less than most collectors’ toys go for and look just as good in many ways. I’m loving this toy line and how Play Arts Kai is handling it. I can’t wait to see which character they roll out next. At the very least, Cyborg has quadrupled my anticipation for when Raiden FINALLY comes out next month. I’ve been anxiously waiting for him to ship since I saw the prototype at SDCC this last year.

We’re counting the weeks!

Review to come!

Pros:

  • One of my favorite Metal Gear characters fully realized
  • Square Enix knocks the sculpt out of the park… again
  • Quite a haul of articulation
  • The paint and details are really well done, despite one odd blemish
  • Love the laser canon arm and displaying him with it and his high frequency blade.

Cons:

  • Skinny little baby elf feet are no match for Cyborg’s body heft – he topples easily
  • A few joints will probably pop off when you’re posing him
  • It’s probably isolated and unique to mine, but the shoddy paint patch work on his forearm is an real eyesore


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*Review* 3A and Valve’s SDCC 2012 Companion Square

INTRO

This may be the shortest review in RtR history. I won’t even call it a review,  it’s more of a “Hey kid, quick peaking in my window!”

I love Valve. Not to sound like the guy who says “I love lamp”, Valve is a game company that makes awesome games. Half Life, Portal, Counterstrike, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, etc etc.. Games that I’ve been playing since I was a wee boy. They make magic in a box and I’m a long, long time fan.

When 3A announced their partnership with Valve software, I literally did a back flip over a donkey. Hunting down a donkey in Hawaii is more difficult than it may seem, but the occasion called for and justified it completely.

I imagined how awesome 3A’s version of D.O.G, The Combine or Zombies would be. As cool as Adventure Kartel was, I thought Team Fortress figures would be even cooler. An image of a 1/6 scale Freeman sitting on my desk with his bloody crowbar and “buddy” headcrab came to mind almost instantly.

Whelp! Instead of any of that awesome sauce, 3A’s first offering to us was this guy. A toothy, smiley 1/6 WWR (Portal?) companion square. Basically 3A’s iconic Square with the decals of a companion cube.

Cute.

PACKAGING

A clean white box is the initial home of your companion square. Some nice decal/design work that seamlessly integrates a bit of 3A and Valve’s unique charm

WHAT’S INCLUDED

There’s the little guy! Daaawww… Other than the cutest little square I’ve ever seen.. Yes he IS! Other than bucky here, you also get a card that has codes and what not on the back that supposedly does something awesome somewhere Valve-y.

I admit, I have no clue what it does. I’ll need to load up PORTAL and look into it further.

THE BREAKDOWN

I’ve always preferred the classic stub legged, two eyed squares to the newer long legged, mono eyed ones. I had a.. we’ll call it.. impassioned discussion with a friend about why one is better than the other.. he standing on the opposite side of the fence than me on the subject. His argument was that the stub legs never made any sense in WWR. How are these little guy suppose to be scouts, move quickly, slip behind enemy lines etc? Plus he hated their goofy, cutesy face.

He said, “The longer legs on the MK2’s made a lot more sense for recon. Plus, the monocle eye is far more menacing and creepy.. even with that buck tooth grin.

And there it is. This is a robot with buck teeth. I’ll repeat that, a ROBOT with freak’n buck teeth. Long legs or not, it’s not SUPPOSE to make sense. Why are you trying to make it do something it’s not suppose to do? THAT doesn’t make sense.

To me, aesthetically, these MK1 style squares are cute and perfect just as they are. They’re iconic to 3A and will remain that way long after we’ve all forgotten how ugly and stupid the MK2’s were. Argument won, simply because this is my site. Suck it Garrett!  😉

Honestly, there’s not a ton else to say about this guy. The paint and weathering is of your standard grade A, ThreeA quality and the companion cube likeness is immediately recognizable. The heart shaped decals look like and are where you’d expect them. As an afore mentioned fan of all things Portal, it’s fun to see all the little references such as the “Aperture Science” logo and falling cube warning.

Basically what it’s going to come down to is if you like the MK1 squares or not. Also, are you man (or woman) enough to deal with pink hearts on your toys? If the answer is “yes” than you’ll love this guy.

I’ve gotten a few reports from people saying that theirs has a different decal on the back plate than mine.        I wonder how many variants there are…

 

FINAL WORD

I know a lot of people were moaning that this was a stupid SDCC publicity stunt and not at all something the fans wanted. Where’s our Gordan Freeman? Where’s our D.O.G? Where’s our Left 4 Dead Zombies? Why isn’t the grooves of the companion cube sculpted into the square instead of just painted on? The list of not-long-for-this-world horse beating goes on..

Look, this was the first thing out of the gate. To me, it’s a handshake. A glimpse meant two give us a good idea that these two companies are joining up and are planning some cool stuff down the line. We’ve seen glimpses already of the incredibly intricate Portal bots on display at 3A’s Reventure. The other SDCC exclusive was from Team Fortress, the Heavy’s “Sandvich”. I think that alone shows we can expect some really unique things to come from this partnership.

And I, for one, am really looking forward to what’s next!

Pros:

  • MK1 Squares are the best Squares
  • The Valve/3A partnership exists!
  • Buckteeth robots are indeed cute
  • The paint/weathering is done very well. Not a quick or sloppy app. in sight!

Cons:

  • SDCC exclusive makes it more difficult for fans to get
  • If you don’t like bucktoothed robots, this guy won’t do anything to change your mind.

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*Review* IDW’s SDCC 2012 Zomb

INTRO

This year’s SDCC was my first. In previous years, I’d find myself staring and drooling at all the cool exclusives offered at the con. This year I’d actually have a shot at scoring them first hand. The slightly annoying bit is that unlike the past few years, my “want” list was pretty light. A couple prints and two or three toys were all I was after. At the tippy top of that tiny list was publisher IDW’s Zomb from their Ashley Wood created series, Zombies vs Robots.

IDW had a presale a few weeks prior to the con. I was dead asleep when it went live, but through some randomness of chance I woke up in the middle of the night, glanced at my phone and saw the words “SDCC Zombs up for sale!” on my twitter feed. In a half-asleep blur I worked my way through their site and secured my two.

Though blind boxed, the zombs were available in two skin colors with two different colors shirts for a total of 4 different combinations. The boxes themselves were supposed to have a color coded dot on them, but the stickers rubbed off several of the boxes in transit.

The color codes are as follows:

Blue = red shirt, grey skin
Green = white shirt, grey skin
Orange = red shirt, orange skin
White = white shirt, orange skin

(thanks for laying it out dtrain!)

For this review, you might notice my zombs have marker doodles all over their shirts. That’s because I asked Ashley Wood to sketch on them. Rufus Dayglow was standing next to him when he started and used him as a bit of inspiration. Thus the birth of “Rufus Zomb”. On my red shirt zomb he sketched a simple, smiling girl and the words “Fun Girl” underneath.

Like most sketches you’d get from Ash, they’re pretty quick renders and a little on the sloppy side. But I love ’em. Rufus Zomb is da coolest!

PACKAGING

Sweet. That’s what I said when I saw the box art for the first time. ZvR played a huge part in getting me into Ashley Wood’s art (that and his stint on Metal Gear Solid) and the box is smothered with illustrations that call back to that fun comic series.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

3A is apparently making a play to help save the planet by doing away with the toxic plastic bubble shell. Either that or it’s a lot cheaper to wrap toys in torn up bits of cardboard. The Zombs are basically free floating amongst the strips, but the padding works well to keep them safe and snug. The Zombs come accessory/poster/extras free. Just them, you and the room.

THE BREAKDOWN

These are the first Zombs out of 3A (cough, IDW) that actually looks scary. With their pitch black eyes and craggy maw, these are some sinister creatures.

They still have similar stylized hair and the big ears that their Adventure Kartel brothers do, but they feel very different. Far more ferocious. These are the runner Zombs of your horde. Unlike the boiler Zombs who slowly lurk around the shadows, the ZvR Zombs run screaming at you from the alleyway, teeth bared for flesh. The paint app on his head and body are really nice. While the grey skinned Zomb appears grey overall, his skin is mottled with specs of blue, brown and black. In fact, it looks like blue is the base color and the main grey fleshy skin tone is painted over it. Once again, there’s no blood to speak of but the paint is broken up in such a way that it gives off a nice decaying flesh look.

Other than the new head sculpt, most of ZvR Zomb’s getup it borrowed from elsewhere. The slim body is used for the first time on a Zomb which adds to their overall agile appearance. But as expected, it’s the same one we’ve seen on Rothchild and the RVHK TKs. The red chucks (which I really dig) are Tommy Red’s, the cargo’s probably from one TK or another. The hands are actually interesting because they are technically a new sculpt, but we saw them first on Rehel. Thing is, as of this writing, Rehel hasn’t shipped yet. So in some ways, the hands are unique to the zombs and it’s Rehel who’s reusing them.

Whichever came first, the Rehel or the Zomb doesn’t really matter I suppose. The hands sculpts are cool and I doubt these guys, or Rehel will be the last we see of them. The tattered and torn tee-shirts lack the usual front “3A” logo or Ash image. Instead we get a blank front and a brain graphic that reads “brain pie orgy” on the back. That worked out fine for me since I was able to get Ash to doodle in the available space, but I thought it looked a little unfinished before.

I didn’t realize this until posting, but apparently I didn’t get a good shot of the back of his shirt. At this point, I’m too lazy to drag my camera out, pose, light and reshoot him. Thus, I hope you can piece together the general idea between these two images.

I don’t really consider different color shirts much of a variant so I sort of wish I’d gotten on grey skin and one orange skin, just to have one of each. I say that now, but when I was looking at them at SDCC, the orange skinned Zomb was very orange. The orange read more like a “special” colorway like Shadow, Inky or Blanc than something that can naturally stand with the rest of your regular collection.

One big difference between my zombs and any other figure in my collection is the way their joints work… or should I say, sound? Even though I have Rothchild and a RVHK TK who both share the same slim body as these Zombs do, neither of them feel/sound the same.

My Zomb’s joints pop. As if I’m moving tiny gears, there’s incremental clicks at every major joint point. My buddy Scott was the first to notice this. We never got around to opening his to see if they shared the same “feature”, but I’d assume since it applies to both my Zombs that it’s not a unique trait.

I’ve yet to notice any hinderance caused by this, but it’s a little off putting, especially the first time it happened. Popping, creaking or cracking toy joints do not usually mean things are going as you planned.

Popping joints aside, I’ve had a ton of fun with these two in the short time I’ve had them. They pose and balance very well, they look super cool and there’s just enough new on them to make them feel original.

Going over these guy with a fine tooth comb I did notice one thing that seems to more or less underline the kit-bashy ness of these guys. Taking the new Rehel hand’s and stuffing onto the slim body may have seemed like an easy no fuss idea. The problem is that Rehel’s wrists are a good deal larger than those on the slim body. At some angles, it looks like our boy is wearing flesh colored gloves or zombie Hulk hands.

Without the long boiler suit or tracky jacket to cover it up, I more than once stopped to look it over. I still can’t decide if it actually bothers me or if it’s simply something I noticed looks slightly out of whack. It’s not a deal breaker by any means. A fun toy is fun toy.

FINAL WORD

Zombs are fun. I didn’t “get” the Aventure Kartel line of 3A toys until I got my first Zomb. The classic 3A boiler is among my favorite figure in my collection. The head sculpt on him is probably the best we can expect to see from 3A. The other iterations of the Zomb head designs have been good, but they haven’t been able to hold a candle to boiler’s.

This is the first time a Zomb has come out that I haven’t felt compelled to compare him to the previous Zombs. There’s no need to see how he stacks because he feels so different than the others. While they’re still laced with some 3A charm and maybe the slightest tinge of  classic zomb goofiness, the large majority of what you get with a ZvR Zomb is far more scarier and evil looking than what we’ve seen before.

The ZvR are some of the more versatile 3A (cough, IDW) figures yet. They can mesh with just about anyones collection. They can sit with your AK Zomb horde and represent the faster/vicious/runner Zombs that Tommy and his crew fear running in to. You could throw them up on your Popbot shelf and give your TKs something to chop at. They also work well with the bots in your WWR collection. It can’t really be Zombies vs Robots without robots, right?

I really love the ZvR Zombs. They look great, they’re fun to play with and my pair happen to be doodled on by Ash himself. Admittedly, that may have caused some bias.

A part of me enjoys the exclusive/limited drops, particularly when I score. I’ve been on both sides of the boot so I know how it feels to miss out. I feel super fortunate that I happen to wake up in the middle of the night and lock down my preorders. So many did not and missed completely. As much as I love exclusive toys and “winning” cool limited things, I do hope we see another version of this guy down the road for general release. It’d be a shame to relegate his coolness to the paltry few who via happenstance, got lucky.

Pros:

  • The new head sculpt is really cool/evil/vicious/bitey looking
  • Really like the Zomb/Rehel hands
  • The grey skin has a lot of nice paint texture on it
  • The only SDCC 2012 exclusive I was really excited about and I managed to score it.

Cons:

  • Clicky joints. Slightly terrifying.
  • A little on the kit-bashed side of things
  • Orange skin is a bit too orange.
  • As an exclusive and an awesome one at that, it’d be a shame if the general 3A Zomb collecting population didn’t have a stab at owning at least a variant of him

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*Review* 3A’s SDCC 2011 Action Portable Boba Fett (prototype)

INTRO

I’d say it’s pretty darn fitting that the day before we leave for SDCC 2012 that we post something awesomely amazing from SDCC 2011. Courtesy my buddy Eric Gant, who very well may be the single luckiest toy collector in the entire world, we’re bringing you something truly special. 

Last year, Ashley Wood and his scrappy little toy company 3A made a small handful of one-of-a-kind Star Wars figures in a bold attempt to get Lucas and his ilk to pay attention. Two of those figures were classic white Storm Troopers while one was the ever so awesome and fan favorite, Boba Fett.

Via some dark wisardry, Eric is now in possessinon of that very same Boba Fett. The only one in the world. I’ll let him tell you in his own words how.

We here at RtR are very proud to be able to exclusively share with you Eric’s in depth review of the one and only, 3A Action Portable Boba Fett. 

I hope you enjoy!

Knives

*most pictures taken by Eric. Some pulled from 3A’s forum

What’s up fellow toy fans; this is Eric.

Check it out: I dig threeA.

I also dig Star Wars.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that these two universes would ever collide. But then, at the 2011 San Diego Comic Con, I witnessed a sight that outright rocked my world: 1:12 scale prototypes of Star Wars figures, produced by threeA!

Ashley Wood: The man behind the threeA + Star Wars concept

There were three figures on display, each pulling in the passing fans like the Death Star’s tractor beam: A pristine-white Stormtrooper, a dirty, weathered Stormtrooper, and one of the most iconic of all Star Wars figures- the Legendary bounty hunter BOBA FETT. Each figure was presented on a blistered card-back that harkened back to the vintage Kenner figures produced back in the 70’s, complete with the old-school Star Wars header & glamor-shot capturing the characters in a kick-ass pose.


Unfortunately, these figures were not for sale. As it turns out, threeA toys was showing the figures in a bid to gain licensing rights to produce the things. Rumor has it that Hasbro & Lucasfilm said “No-Go” to making them in the United States, so Takara was approached in an attempt to release them in the Asia market . This story ends with a huge kick to the nuts:

The deal fell through.

A few months after their debut, one of the figures was offered up by threeA as first prize in a contest held on the official online forum. Up for grabs: The threeA Action Portable Boba Fett prototype! As you can imagine, there were a ton of entries, all equally incredible. Being the Star Wars fan that I am, I threw my hat into the ring as well. I gave it my best shot, but didn’t really expect anything to come of it. But when all was said and done, I was shocked to discover that I’d actually won!

Today, I’m going to attempt to share my love of this figure with a brief review of packaging, paint application, articulation, construction, and accessories. Please excuse me if the pictures are a little lame; I’m still only a yellow belt when it comes to photography.

PACKAGING


All I can say is “Perfect.” The thing that fuels my collecting habit is nostalgia. When a toy is just right, it opens a door to the magic and wonder I felt as a kid. The packaging on this thing takes me right back to my introduction to Star Wars collecting, and with good reason: Its a spot-on homage to the original Star Wars figure packaging. Boba came on a blistered card featuring the famous Star Wars logo, with a huge photo of the Mando himself dominating the card. Of course, since this figure is in 6-inch scale, the card is considerably larger than the cards used for the 3.75 inch Star Wars figures. The cardback is matte black, with the Star Wars and threeA logos sharing space on the bottom. Accompanying them is a disclaimer: “Not licensed, not for resale, sample only.

“The icing on the cake: Ashley Wood, co-founder of threeA, personalized the card with a sketch of one of his trademark characters, Bamba Lad, on the back. On the front, he signed the card, “Best regards from 3A,” along with some simple instructions:

Open Me.”

And so I did.

THE BREAKDOWN

Paint Application

If I had to pick one area in which threeA consistently beats down all competition, it would be paint application. From my first glimpse of threeA’s WWRp Dirty Deeds Bertie, I’ve been regularly blown away by the painstaking attention to detail that goes into finishing the figures. It doesn’t matter how large a figure’s production run is. Each piece looks as though it was lovingly hand-painted by a master craftsman. Boba Fett is no exception.


Back in 1977, Star Wars blew the collective minds of the movie going audience by showing something that had never been seen before: A sci-fi space opera that actually looked real. One of the keys to making the Star Wars universe look believable was the ‘run-down’ or ‘used’ look everything had. The ships, weapons, costumes, EVERYTHING was weathered, rusted, and broken-in. Boba Fett exemplifies the Used Universe look. Because if that, he’s the perfect canvas for threeA to work its magic on.


Nearly every detail on this figure is painted and weathered to make it mirror the onscreen appearance of Boba Fett. From the hints of chrome gleaming through the scars marring the matte green finish of his helmet to the sun-bleached yellow of his shoulder pads, everything on this figure screams “Real.” It looks as though two techniques are employed to achieve this look: actual paint layering and chipping, and splatters of painted-on rust. These techniques work best on the helmet, shoulder pads, knee pads, and backpack. On the chest & clavicle armor, this technique is accented by the application of miniscule splotches of ochre-yellow to create the effect of paint-fading.

I kinda dig it!

Construction

This figure uses the same base-body used by all of threeA’s 1:12 scale male figures. The “Action Portable” body is a milestone in small-scale action figures: It has the same articulation as the 12-inch figures produced by threeA, which themselves rival the bodies used by 12-inch figure producers like Hot Toys and Sideshow.

Action Portable Blanc DePlume body showcasing the AP design

The base body features ball jointed hips, joined immediately by a swivel at the upper thigh. Knees are double-jointed, allowing the body to achieve human-like poses. The pelvis, waist, and chest are 3 separate parts, allowing more mobility.


There’s a rotating joint at the waist that is similar to the O-ring joint used by old GI Joe and Mego figures, but uses a spring mechanism to hold the parts together instead of the rubber O-ring. A similar joint is used between the abdomen & upper torso. Together, this set-up allows the figure to twist, bend, and rotate in ways no human ever could.
There is also an ingenious swivel & swing joint at each shoulder, which allows the arms to pivot forward and back, along with a ball joint with a cut above the biceps, double jointed elbows, and ball-jointed wrists.


But enough about the body-construction. What makes this thing special is the covering! To turn the base Action Portable body into Boba Fett, threeA constructed a number of new pieces. Starting off, to capture the look of the actual Boba Fett costume, the wizards at threeA took the direct approach: They constructed a miniature replica of the actual Boba Fett costume. This puppy is sewn together using scaled-down stitches, capturing the look of the suit without the clunky, toy-looking stitch work found in 8-inch Mego style figures.

The suit is made up of several layers. There’s the main jumpsuit, which covers the figure from ankle to neck and extends down to his wrists. Over that is a short-sleeved vest that covers the torso. This piece has a large armor piece on the back which supports the jetpack,
and two pieces of shoulder armor.


It’s topped off by a single piece of armor that covers the upper clavicle area. The upper body is finished off by the chest armor, which is actually made up of four separate pieces that fit together puzzle-like over the chest.


Let’s move to the extremities. Each knee is protected by knee-armor consisting of a molded piece strapped to the leg by a short length of elastic/fabric cording.


The arms terminate in Boba’s patented wrist-armor. Each piece fits over the forearm of the jumpsuit, and has all of the weapons & gizmos faithfully replicated in 1/12 scale.


The helmet is something special. Instead of a single, solid piece of material, the helmet is hollow, and fits over a featureless head.


The feet are perfect replicas of Boba Fett’s boots, right down to the two little spikes protruding from the toes. Simply incredible!


As mentioned before, the Boba Fett uses the same base-body used on all of threeA’s other Action Portable figures. But where they stand at 6 inches tall, Boba comes in at about 6.25 inches. The reason for this is largely due to the way the boots fit on the ankles. So far, we’ve seen two different methods of attaching feet to the AP body: The AP Tomorrow King figures have sneakers which join with the ankle via a pair of tiny double-sided ball-joints. This provides a wide range of motion. The AP DePlume figures get rid of the ball joint and instead feature sculpted boots that fit directly over the ankle stub. Boba Fett’s boots are a hybrid of these two techniques. A ball joint is used, but instead of being double sided, it consists of a single ball protruding from the top of the boot. This slips into the ankle peg, giving the boots a wider range of motion than the DePlume boots, while also increasing the figure’s height by almost a quarter of an inch.

AP Hatchery vs. Boba height comparison

The other factor contributing to the figure’s height is the helmet. This, along with the boost added by the new boot joint, makes the Boba Fett stand taller than the other Action Portable figures. If we were to scale him up to 1:1 scale, Boba Fett would stand around 6 foot-three.

AP Hatchery with a Boba-Boot Height-Boost

Articulation

With the AP Boba Fett, the faithfulness to the design of the costume and armor is a double-edged sword. It looks freaking INCREDIBLE.

I’ve owned a variaty of 12-inch Boba Fett figures, going back to the first 12-inch figures made by Kenner. Most can’t hold a candle to the AP Boba. Even though its only 6 inches tall, this thing beats most of those bigger figures hands-down when it comes to looks.

The layers of clothing and armor pieces also appear to somewhat limit the figure’s range of motion. I say “appear” because I haven’t worked up the courage to push this thing to the limits yet.

When posing this thing, a voice in my head is always shouting a warning: “Careful; or you’ll break it!”
Because of that, I have to admit that I’m a bit timid when it comes to putting this thing into different poses. But in the grand scheme of things, any limitations in range of motion are far outweighed by the aesthetics of the thing. And it still has more articulation than any 4-inch Boba Fett produced by Kenner or Hasbro, ever.
Accessories


I’m not going to include the removable wrist-guards, knee armor, or uniform in this category. It’s what makes the character who he is. With that in mind, the figure comes with the only accessory that it needs: A handy-dandy blaster!


As with every other aspect of this figure, the blaster is a screen-accurate replica of what Boba carries around in the movies. It appears to be held in place by a tiny dab of glue on the thumb, most likely to keep it in his hand while different prospective license granters passed it around & drooled over it. It would be easy to pry it loose, but I haven’t bothered yet. It’s right where it belongs.


BOTTOM LINE


I feel incredibly fortunate to have this thing. Not only is it my favorite threeA piece, it’s my favorite Star Wars piece. Hell; it’s the favorite piece in my entire collection, period.


Sitting down to fiddle around with this thing brings to mind a famous quote from Return Of The Jedi: “It’s a trap!” What I mean by that is once I start, I find it difficult to pull away and get on with my day. On the card, just looking at it is like being a kid again, and seeing that Millennium Falcon sitting under the tree on Christmas morning.

Out of the package, playing around with the figure is equal parts joy and terror: Joy at the sheer coolness of the thing, and terror at knowing that if something breaks, there’s no way to get a replacement.

Overall, there’s only one downside: The knowledge that for now, there won’t be any other 6-inch Star Wars figures made by threeA.
Thanks for checking out my review. If you’d like to hear a recording of my initial impressions upon first opening the figure, along with some discussion about it with some friends of mine, please check out the threeA radio Podcast, episode 31.
Here’s a link: http://threearadio.podbean.com/2012/07/07/episode-31-the-circle-is-nowcomplete/
-Eric

Eric didn’t do pro’s and con’s, so I made some for him.

Pros:

  • It’s the only Boba Fett made by 3A in the WORLD
  • It’s the most articulated and detailed 1/12 Boba Fett in the WORLD
  • It’s incredibly produced and accurately designed.
  • Again, It’s the only Boba Fett made by 3A in the WORLD

Cons:

  • Lucas and his boys didn’t immediately hand over the license to 3A, no questions asked
  • No one except for Eric and his children’s children will ever be able to hold and play with this Boba Fett
  • The world is a darker place without these in each and every home
  • Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

Thanks again Eric, and remember if you ever get tired of the overwhelming burden of owning the single most incredible 1/12 Star Wars action figure in existence.. he always has a home at Rad Toy Review 🙂 Thanks man!

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