Weaponeers of Monkaa Action Figures
Item No.: WOM-001 Manufacturer:Spy Monkey Creations Includes:Sickle, sword, 2 extra fist/heads Action Feature:Swappable parts galore Retail:$12.00 Availability: October 1, 2012 Other: Same (or very similar) red color as Venjorun Armorvor
This is a neat one. We saw some big expansions in Glyos in the last year, with Banimon and Spy Monkey Creations adding to the pile of PVC parts we already had from Onell Design, the Four Horsemen, and RawShark Studios. The new Weaponeers of Monkaa line is basically 1 pack of weapons and 1 figure painted and configured in multiple ways, so you can pick up Empyreus (or any of the figures) and get many, but not all, of the parts available in that color. At about 5 1/2-inches tall at the ears, this figure is one of the larger Glyos releases and feels heavier than his siblings. While closer in size to the Outer Space Men, the figure has more parts and feels significantly chunkier, plus these have many-- arguably too many-- options for display. One figure is enough to keep someone busy for a while because there's a bunch you can do to swap around parts, much like Bionicle and other constructable figures.
It's fun, and it's easy to swap parts with other Glyos figures to mutate this thing into whatever you darn well please. It's not easy to put the heads on other Glyos bodies, but pretty much all other Glyos heads fit on a Weaponeers body just fine. It's a tighter fit to put one of these heads on, say, Gobon.
Most parts are double-sided, from the body elements to some of the heads. Heck, let's start with the heads. This set includes five red plastic heads (a sixth is sold separately in a head pack), two of which are fists which double as Gohlem heads, one is a three-piece Empyreus head with articulated ears, another is a gun-shaped cannon which is also Palidar's head, and a red, Megatron-like head for Umbreus. These add a lot of personality to the figure while adding to its arms, quite literally, as you can use fists or cannons or whatever, plus the figure has a sword and a sickle. It's meaty for $12, compared to a $10 (or I guess now $21) Outer Space Men figure or an $8 Glyos figure, you get a whopping 28 parts.
In addition to the heads, the feet and all three pieces of the torso are also reversible. The feet have a single box design on one side, and a couple of toes on the other. The crotch has a different design on either side, and the abs are either sculpted abs or a flat design. His chest has two unique designs, one of which looks more than a little like Optimus Prime. Heck, the entire figure works well as a pastiche of the toy lines of the 1980s with influences from Crystar, Battle Beasts, Transformers, and Masters of the Universe. Its level of articulation is greatly improved over any and all other figures made of Glyos parts, as some swell cut joints allow the figure's arms and legs to spread more so you can get them onto a vehicle like a Rig Runner or whatever else you feel like.
Customizers may enjoy tearing these apart as well, right now one of the most popular custom builds is that of the aforementioned Crystar. You might also delight in popping off the square faction symbol piece on the chest and adding it to the Armorvor, which only improves their Battle Beasts-ness. The weapons peg into the fists or the cannon's tip. (I believe the horrifying medical term is "sounding" and for God's sake don't look it up.) Armorvor figures have no problems using the new Monkaa weapons, which make a nice stand-on for vintage Battle Beasts gear.
From where I sit, the figure's only real flaw is that it might be a little too heavy for the purposes of Glyos. Most figures in this line are lighter and much more simple, the joints on my Monkaa figures are a little looser than my Pheydens and Armorvors and Gobons. Gravity makes these figures a little harder to pose for nifty combat photography, but don't let that stop you from buying them as they're great toys to keep around for you to futz with while you watch TV. I don't know that I'll be buying too many more of these until (or unless) some funky colors come up, but I'll definitely pick up any and all new molds Spy Monkey Creations puts out.
Oh, and I should also point out that my order came with a stack of 7 trading cards. One was for Spy Monkey Creations, and the other six were bio cards with tech specs for the initial six figures. It's a nice bonus, and part of a top-notch marketing effort on the part of the Spy Monkey Creations people. They also put together a web site with a very long narrative, complete with comic book-like artwork as a teaser for the line's launch.
As someone who seeks out greatness and newness, I have to say that this one is unquestionably new and at the very least, pretty good. For a first figure, Spy Monkey Creations hit this design out of the park and I can only imagine what we'll get once they refine their style and technique down the road. It's weird that the heads are also hands, although it seems like less of an issue in my hands than it was when I first saw the photography. It's a nice figure and a solid design, with an edition size estimated to be in the hundreds (so far). For that reason I'd suggest buying one sooner than later, they may go out of stock for a while and then you'll be sorry if you have to wait. If you don't have any Glyos figures of any sort, I would suggest kicking off your collection with Onell Design figures and then graduating to Monkaa stuff. It's worth getting a couple to play with, definitely.
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