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.