Mechtorians Series 1
3 Inch Scale
By: Mindstyle (Doktor A)
Today we’re taking another look at some designer vinyl. The world of designer vinyl is an interesting side market of toy collecting. These toys tend to be high end (very expensive) and yet are often relatively cheap as well (via blind bags, etc) and there are many different tiers for collectors. Perhaps the most interesting part about designer vinyl toy collectors is that they’re often not “traditional” toy collectors, although some certainly are.
The moral of this story is that the market for designer vinyl is different than the traditional toy market. What makes a good vinyl toy good is not the same as what makes a regular toy good. It’s tough to discern for some folks and it was something I struggled with for a while. Doktor A’s Mechtorians line immediately spoke to me though, as the designs were very cool and I just had to have a couple.
Philosopher and thinker extraordinare. Responsible for the big ideas in Retropolis. Advisor to royalty, big business and the lay-mech alike. His thoughts are wonderful, colourful and huge in scope. Though he is a tad forgetful and so makes endless reams of unintelligible notes on napkins and envelopes. Not a great dinner guest as he tends to mutter to himself constantly.
Let’s learn more about Mr. Head and the amazing retrobotic world of the Mechtorians!
Packaging is a big part of the designer vinyl world and often it’s either a huge part of the production or on the cheaper smaller figures, it’s an afterthought. These small scale Mechtorians subscribe to the former mentality.
The package is truly fantastic, made of a very thick cardboard. The design oozes the same Victorian retrobotic world that the figures themselves do. The sides feature a vintage poster style like you might see for an old carnival sideshow and the back shows off the other figures in the line. There is a lot of style in these packages and while I’m not a MOC kind of guy, I love these containers. It’s also perfectly easy to reseal the character inside, allowing you to display in the box if you’d like.
Unlike most smaller scale figures, these are not actually blind boxed. Instead of having to guess which figure you’re getting, there is a nice window box in the front revealing the figure. That’s a great little feature and at $15 a pop, it makes sound business sense. Unfortunately that also means that the most famous Mechtorian character, Stephan LePodd, is hard to get your hands on. A lot of people snatched him up quick.
Inside the figure is protected by two pieces of plastic, which are also taped together. It keeps the figure safe, but there is no tape anywhere on the actual box, so you don’t damage the part you actually see.
Doktor A specializes in creating crazy sort of robots which have a certain English pizzazz to them. They’re sort of a steampunk influenced style, but Doktor A definitely has his own take on things. The story behind the Mechtorians is an imaginary one where H.G. Wells stories are true and that a friend of H.G. Wells, Professor Whistlecraft, learns of Wells traveling to the future (The Time Machine) and that Martians are about to take over the world (War of the Worlds) and creates a set of robots to send to the future to prepare. Hence the vintage stylings of the Mechtorians.
Mr. Head has a unique alien look as he’s covered in eyes, as well as rivets and metal. He looks like the side of a submarine or something, but only amplified a million times. Of course, it’s hard not to notice the huge mustache on his face as well.
He also has a large key for winding, like a lot of old tin toy robots did. It’s a nice little piece of styling. The entire figure is very well sculpted and not like some of the cheaper little vinyl pieces you might see on many Kidrobot toys. This is not a soft sculpt.
The paint is excellent, but whatever they did to make him appear to be so metallic has it’s drawbacks. The figure has some sort of grease on him in parts and honestly, I’m not sure if some of the metal in the paint istself isn’t starting to oxidize or something. That certainly makes it seem more authentic, but it’s not exactly pleasing either. The vinyl itself is hard, not rock hard, but not squeezable soft either.
There was actually green residue on the inside of Mr. Head’s package. I wiped him off, but it definitely had an effect on the figure. I suspect keeping him in package is what caused this (the figure is a couple years old), as he hasn’t leaked anything since breaking him free of his plastic prison.
His scale is a little over three inches, which seems to be the norm for this line. The paint work (aside from the grease deal) is quite sharp with very little slop in the lines, which is an accomplishment in the eyes especially. There is a definite feel of metal and even rust throughout, which may be what caused that strange liquid.
Nothing, nada, not a single joint.
This figure would be awesome if the wind-up crank turned, but sadly it doesn’t. Having no articulation isn’t really an issue as a lot of designer vinyl has few if any points of articulation. But the key would have benefited from being able to turn.
Unless you count the bottom of the box, which doubles as a stand. It’s a nice little display stand for the figure, but it’s not necessarily a traditional accessory. Then again, this guy doesn’t have hands, so short of a hat, there isn’t much you could give him.
The price will likely put off many traditional toy collectors. At $15, this is not a cheap toy. I mean, I paid this much for my Bandai Thundercats Classics Lion-O and that figure came with a heck of a lot more. Of course, you have to realize that A, this is different market, B, these are a lot smaller run (probably only a couple thousand) and C, these are made for a different kind of collector. You don’t find these at your local Target. The good news is that I found these to be a pretty good value for a designer vinyl toy.
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 7
Articulation – N/A
Accessories – Stand?
Value – 6
Overall – 7 out of 10
This is not the same kind of 7 that a traditional action figure might get. This is a different type of toy altogether. It’s not for everyone, but even us regular toy guys can find some cool odds and ends in the designer vinyl world. Hopefully that gap can continue to be bridged in the future.
I actually picked this guy up for another reason, which you may or may not see on this site at some point. I managed to catch him on sale as well, so I saved a few bucks. However, this is not a cheap toy and some of his other Mechtorian friends are getting harder and harder to find (and more expensive) so if you’re thinking of getting some, you should seek them out soon. Hopefully Mindstyle releases another series as I really dig the work that Doktor A is doing and I would definitely buy some of his other designs in these small scale options.