So since the last entry introduced the uninitiated to the wonderful universe that is Ashley Wood's World War Robot, what better way to kick off a few San Diego Comic Con Exclusive reviews than with 3A Toys IDW Security Bramble!
IDW is, of course, the distributor of the World War Robot books and most of Wood's print work. To celebrate IDW's Ten Year Anniversary, Wood's toy company, 3A Toys, produced an exclusive 1/12th scale Bramble unit with an "IDW Security" paint scheme including the IDW logo and a large roman numeral 10 on his stomach plate in celebration of the company's well earned bench mark.
3A Toys (one year old this passed July!) is a direct to collector toy company that produces high end vinyl figures based on Wood's work. This year has seen some radical expansion including various collaborations and the recent announcement of a Kojima team up (as in Metal Gear Solid Kojima, which made my head explode with excitement). 3A began by producing 1/6th scale figures and have, as of this year, started the WWRP (World War Robot Portable) line of 1/12th bots to further flesh out the world with more paint schemes and variations that would be ridiculous for a 1/6th scale figure. Obviously the smaller scale WWRP line is also in a more affordable price range and a welcomed space saver.
What's most amazing, the figures lose absolutely NO detail in this 1/12th scale!
So let's get to it!
The Bramble's basic sculpt is the spitting image of the World War Robot Bramble unit. He's made out of a sturdy vinyl and sports far more articulation than one would ever expect in this scale. He has a ball jointed head, shoulders, cut bicep, hinged elbow, cut wrists, cut waist, ball hips, hinge knees and ball ankles. But here's the part that is insane: EVERY (and I mean EVERY) digit of his fingers are articulated. He can throw the horns (see above!), flip off my Transformers. solute and oh yeah, hold his gatling gun too.
Let's talk paint: in one word, 'whuuuuuuuuuooooooaaaaah...'. Weathering in your average figures looks good, it works. You see a lot of dry brushing and washes (all effects I gladly employ in my own work). Here you also get texture (as in bumpy realistic rust damage), spray effects, soft tonal shifts and best of all, its incredibly clean. I know that might sound odd to anyone who doesn't customize or paint such things but realistic weathering is a very subtle art and one of the easiest effects to screw up or over do when attempting it. Too little and your piece looks flat, too much and you've buried a sculptor's hard work. I can't even imagine how long each one of these must take.
Let's just take a gander shall we?
PERFECT example of the weathering:
And some full body shots to see the overall effectiveness:
I spent many of my first few hours with this figure just staring at it. Even once the paint has been gushed over good and plenty, we have Bramble's accessories which include four pouches, a gatling gun and a bandolier of bullets that connect from the gatling gun to the ammo drum on his back.
The pouches are art unto themselves. They have functioning clips, extra pouches, adjustable straps and do in fact open. I stuffed mine with a couple cotton balls each to give them a plump and loaded appearance. Perfect replications of realistic military equipment packs. The texture on them really sells the realism (if the functioning clips weren't enough!)
The gatling gun is black with a good bit of scrape and scratch style weathering. The bullets have all the appropriate details and connect to the gatling gun and ammo drum via peg.
The ammo drum itself boasts the 3A Toys logo. While normally I wouldn't like a company's logo conspicuously displayed on a figure, the 3A logo happens to be a very effective graphic which maintains perfect harmony with their products aesthetic. I'd honestly miss it if it weren't on there. Its also on the back so, its not like some Mike Tyson facial tattoo or something. The little danger warning label on the back is also a great example of 3A's commitment to detail. Even on the back of a figure, we're given unique and expertly executed details.
This figure ended up costing me $50 and considering it was limited to 100 units, that's ASTOUNDING. Other companies would have taken this as an easy opportunity to price gouge like there was no tomorrow. 3A kept it in close range with their WWRP singles (sold out at 3A'a Bambastore but available now at Sideshow Collectibles, links at the end). These were all sold out (via IDW publishing site pre-sale) within 24 hours and probably 90% of them went to members of the 3A forums. To boot, Ashley Wood himself took time out of his very busy schedule to be at the con and sign and sketch the boxes for fans picking up their Brambles! Regretfully I was unable to personally attend SDCC this year because I thought my work schedule wouldn't permit the time off but my friend Jamie was nice enough to pick up mine (and 4 more for fellow forum members) and get them all signed.
My prized piece now:
If you weren't lucky enough to catch one of these, they do show up on Ebay but get very costly very fast. I happened to really want this figure, not just as a 3A/Ashley Wood fan, but as a fan of IDW Publishing as well since I've been reading their titles since year one. I highly recommend grabbing yourself any of the 3A Bramble singles and be on the look out for the next wave (and my most anticipated) Bertie, which will most likely be sometime in mid to late fall.
They're more than worth it.
3A is one of the most fan friendly companies out there. Check out the 3A forums if you get a chance, Mr. Wood himself hops on now and then to talk about what he's up to, what's coming and banter with his fans. The forums also keep fans up to date and offer plenty of artist friendly threads and just a generally great community.
World War Robot Official Site
3A Toys store
3A Toys blog
To grab those singles:
Sideshow Collectibles (regular 3A retail prices!)