What has kept a spark glowing in my collecting habits are the offerings of designer toy company ThreeA, which is co-owned by Australian comic book and graphic novel artist, Ashley Wood.
While 3A (as they are also known) hasn't been immune to the rising costs of plastic either, they've kept my attention thanks to their creative and imaginative subjects as well as their unique take on action figures.
I must admit, I was not impressed with the toys at first--I was hung up on realism and Ashley Wood's art tends to be highly stylized and sometimes over-the-top in design. Yet, when Hot Toys decided at the height of their popularity that they could get away with increasing their prices with every single new release, it became clear to me that I was going to get left in the dust sooner rather than later, and I had to re-evaluate the hobby entirely.
Enter the Adventure Kartel! Created by Ashley Wood and TP Louise, the AK was a group of odd adventurers brought together to fight all manner of monsters and robots. Their story is told in short, vague comic strips included with the figures, leaving the rest of the adventure up to the toy's new owner.
Wow...how simple! It's what got me into collecting G.I. Joes and other themed-toys in the first place. Give me some characters and a little backstory and now I'm 10 years old again, excited to crack open my new action figure fresh from his (or her) plastic card and get them posing and beating the crap out of each other!
Today's review is of the 3AA version of the Adventure Kartel's newest member, Rehel. In his spare time, Rehel is apparently quite the musician as he fronts a "Christian Devil Worship" band called Cloven Heart. Under his stage name, "Dragos Eraphis", Rehel rocks out with his dark hooded sweat jacket, metal T-shirt bearing his band's name, and punk'd out hair. Despite his rock god attitude, it seems like everyone in the Adventure Kartel except his buddy Tommy Mission thinks he looks a lot like a zombie!
|"Who says I look like a zomb???"|
This is just a fun figure. At first glance, he's pretty ugly, but upon closer inspection, you can see a lot of the details that make threeA toys enjoyable. He's got great paint apps, especially with the natural weathering in his clothes and face.
He also has superb articulation, with tight joints and a wide range of motion. Check out the flamingo poses he can do on just one leg:
|No wires, no leaning, no stand...just tight joints and balance.|
The goofy look takes away some of the sting of Dragos' terrifying appearance, and the figure just ends up begging to be played with and put into funny situations.
Give him a 1/6 instrument, and he's ready to party! Even a slightly underscaled bass guitar might work.
|Maybe it's a violin? A metal violin!|
All in all, a great fig from threeA!