Mechtorians Series 1
D.J. Gramo
3 Inch Scale
By: Mindstyle (Doktor A)
$14.99

Part man, part victrola phonograph, all toy! Yes today we’re taking a look at another one of Doktor A’s strange Mechtorian creations. These little 3 inch designer vinyl toys offer a unique change of pace from the norm.

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.

D.J. Gramo

Entertainer and celebrity. Dermot Joshua Gramo spins the tunes in the most popular of night spots. His personal collection of 78’s is legendary, the largest in the world they say. It has to be noted that his rise in popularity has put pay to the careers of a great deal of the city’s wax cylinder hawkers and peddlers. Everyone wants the new flat disk records these days. It’s what’s hip don’t you know.

It’s time for more of the peculiar world of the Mechtorians. Come and join us for a spot of tea and some robotic jams, won’t you?

Packaging:
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.

D.J. Gramo on the other hand, is rather easy to find. He’s one of the less popular characters. Likely because of his design, but we’ll touch on that more in a moment.


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. I didn’t have as much of an issue with the “oil” residue on Gramo as I did with Mr. Head.

Sculpt/Paint:


D.J Gramo has a very basic design in which he looks more like an appliance than he does a machine man. While the other characters are very clearly supposed to be robots, this guy looks like something you’d find in your Grandpa’s room.


However if you look closer, he actually does have little eyes and the turntable opening serves as a mouth. As usual, the paint work here is really great with more of that almost tarnished bronze look about it. Mindstyle did some really nice things with these releases.


Probably the neatet part about this figure is that his top half comes off. Allowing you to see the record inside and actually remove it. It even has a B-side!


The design is very basic, but looks nice. This could easily fit into a GI Joe or similar diplay as an actual record player. Or you can put in with other vinyl displays to help it stand out. As a Mechtorian goes, this one is a bit lackluster, but you can’t fault the overall appearance too much… He’s just not that wacky.

Articulation:
D.J. Gramo gets a bit of articulation, which puts him ahead of Mr. Head…


His crank can be turned. It’s nothing major, but it’s a nice touch. I wished that Head’s key could have turned, so it’s nice to see that some of these figures do feature a bit of articulation.


Likewise the top half of the head rotates and so does the record inside.

Accessories:
Technically he doesn’t come with anything extra, but the record is removable.


It may not sound like much, but they could have easily just made him a solid piece. Giving him the removable record, with two song sides, is a nice touch of detail.


As with Mr. Head, the box top can be used as a nice display stand.

Value:
These guys ran for about $15 on their original release and can be even more expensive today. I snagged him for under $11, which is still too much, but I’m insane. If you’re into little designer vinyl toys, these make fun additions to your shelf or desk.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 6
Paint – 7
Articulation – 2
Accessories – Stand, Record
Value – 6
Overall – 6 out of 10

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.


D.J. Gramo scores lower than Mr. Head, even though he technically comes with more and has some articulation. Then why is he lower? His design just isn’t as visually appealing. When it comes to designer vinyl, that’s the biggest battle you have to win. D.J. Gramo is a decent little chunk of vinyl, but I likely wouldn’t have bought him if I wasn’t already getting some of the other Mechtorians.

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