World War Robot Portable
Armstrong 0G – Shadow Guard
6 Inch Scale
By: ThreeA Toys
$40 (price varies on secondary market)
There are a lot of toy companies out there and a lot of product being made for both the retail and collector’s markets. Sometimes there is a crossover and often, such as the case with today’s review, the difference between the two couldn’t be more widely divergent.
ThreeA Toys is the brainchild of Ashley Wood and it’s the home for his multitude of concepts in vinyl form. Unlike most vinyl collectibles out there, Wood’s creations focus more on articulation and playability, than just looks. Not that these toys don’t look incredible, because they do. Wood’s style is impeccable, with tons of washes, details and effects that transform pieces of vinyl into works of art.
The Armstrong is a new type of robot, which has appeared in a few forms. As is usual with these types of releases, there are tons of different versions, called colorways, that offer up various “clans” of sorts for the robots. Sometimes these figures are exclusive to ThreeA’s Bambaland store and sometimes they are released to retailers. The Shadow Guard was an exclusive to the 3A website.
I bought this guy secondhand, so you get spared my thoughts on the package this time around!
The last time I reviewed a 3A toy, someone commented that they could make the same toy for much less out of old plumbing parts. I’ve yet to see anyone do that, although our buddy Rupert Valero has come pretty close. The moral of this story is that the sculpts on these robots are somewhat simplistic, but there is definitely more than meets the eye in their actual design. The same could be said for the paint jobs, which certainly look rough on the surface, but are actually a combination of intricate washes and tampos.
Armstrong is the type of robot. There were actually two types of Armstrongs released, 0G and 1G. The differences were minor, but they did have a few design quirks all their own. This series of Armstrongs all had different designs and the Shadow Guard, has a gold/bronze/copper look to it. Each of these characters were given names, something sort of different for the series. This guy is named Harrison, presumably after my favorite Beatle.
There are some nice little designs on one side, with the SG logo, for Shadow Guard. The body has neat little nods to various parts of the mythos throughout the figure. There is a story with the World War Robot stuff, but I’ll confess to being a bit foggy on it all. In a nutshell, robots, people, zombies are all fighting it out. I think Ashley Wood is sort of making it up as he goes along, so you don’t really have to be too familiar with it to love the robot’s design.
The paint washes are different for each side, with one hand being completely gold and the other being more of a dirty brown. It really gives this guy a weathered look. One of the reasons I picked him up was to do a custom paint job on him, but I haven’t attempted it yet.
The details are really good and while it looks like perhaps this is just “sloppy”, it in fact is all very meticulously planned out. The other nice element is how the articulation and design of the toy itself, blend into the design of the robot.
The scale is pretty good in the sense that this guy has some size to him. Since he’s a robot, he can basically fit in with any line. Make him a giant to GI Joes or have him do battle with MOTUC. The biggest compliment I can give the paint job is that these toys always look metal and you think they’re going to be heavy, but they are in fact, super lightweight.
The articulation is fantastic. ThreeA has more or less set the standard for articulation these days. They blow everyone else in the designer vinyl market away and they offer up tons of unique articulation that even the major toy companies should be envious of.
The arms have ball joints at the shoulders (true ball joints that is) and there are tons of cuts, swivels, hinges and the like in the arm itself giving you a plethora of movement. You can really get a bajillion poses out of these guys.
You can literally move every little bit of the hands. Allowing you to do any sort of pose you can imagine. The hands are truly a work of art. Hinge after hinge make them just as poseable (actually moreso) than a real human hand!
The legs have ball joints, hinges and swivels as well. Heck even the “eye” at the top of the head has the ability to rotate around. Toss in a couple of body swivels and you have one wicked little poseable toy.
He comes with a gun and a backpack. The actual gun that comes with this version is a rocket launcher type deal. Since I got this through a trade, mine has a machine gun type deal instead. Neither accessory is going to sell you on the figure anyway, so make of that what you will. They’re nice accessories, but they aren’t the stars of the show.
Ready for flight!
The backpack is actually more of a rocket pack. It has three rocket boosters and they are all articulated via balljoints.
The backpack can be removed, although it does leave a hole in the back of the frame of the bot if you do that.
Give this guy a big honking gun and he’s ready to unleash hell.
This is not a cheap toy in the $40-$50 range, but it’s got a ton of character and it’s super articulated. The one drawback to these figures is that they tend to be released in bulk, one design with lots of different paint jobs. The paint jobs are all so unique that it doesn’t feel like a bunch of repaints. It’s really pretty brilliant.
However, these guys tend to be short lived. They get one run and they are often only up for sale on the Bambaland website for a day or so. Sometimes only a few hours. Then they hit the secondary markets for 2-3X the price they originally retailed for. It’s best to shop early!
Packaging – N/A
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 9
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Gun, Backpack
Value – 9
Overall – 9.5 out of 10
Super poseable. Durable. Highly detailed. Fun. Able to flip you off. What more could you ask for out of a toy?
The price isn’t cheap, but when you put this next to something like a MOTUC or a Ghostbuster, that you paid $20-$30 for, the value becomes more clear. These are really nice high end toys, for a more affordable price. They’re not for everyone, but if you even slightly think they might be for you… Chances are they will be.