Review by Prometheum5
Ashley Wood is an Australian artist most recognized for his Spawn comic book cover paintings, Hellspawn comic illustration work, Metal Gear Solid art, and Tank-Girl work. More recently he has spent a great deal of time on his original properties Zombies vs. Robots (vs. Amazons), Popbot, World War Robot, and the newest, Adventure Kartel, working with ThreeZero toys of Hong Kong to form the toy-making partnership ThreeA, through which Ashley’s original designs come to life. ThreeA toys are most recognizable by their incredible detail and weathered paintwork.
Real Steel was the greatest science-fiction action movie of 2011 and a true masterwork of modern cinema. Criticized by the unwashed masses as 'Rock' Em Sock' Em Robots the movie', Real Steel is actually based on the 1956 Rickard Matheson short story, Steel. Steel was also the basis for a 1963 The Twighlight Zone episode of the same name. In Real Steel, generally unpleasant but sometimes lovable people control remote control robots to kick the snot out of each other while an absentee father grows closer to his son and we all learn the true meaning of family. That meaning, apparently, is that directing robots to beat the piss out of each other for sport is better with family.
Ambush, the Comic Book Crusher, is the first fighting robot introduced in the film and the first in ThreeA's line of licensed Real Steel 1/6 scale figures. Inside this monolithic box is a true feat of modern toy engineering.
The box and packaging are their own incredible expression of toy luxury. The fold-over cover is made from thick cardboard and secured by magnets. Inside the box is an ecological nightmare of layered, die-cut foam that encases and protects Ambush.
Ambush stands around sixteen inches call and is made from hard but slightly springy injection plastic with a few soft PVC parts, rather than ThreeA's usual primarily soft vinyl construction. The figure is made from too many parts to count, but everything is assembled with enough durability that it does not feel scary to pick up and handle the toy.
The spine on the back is made from soft plastic and flexes with the torso segments. All of the armor panels are separate parts attached to an inner mechanical skeleton, and most of the pistons work.
The stature and presence of this figure are insane. It's huge and bulky and sleek and lean and menacing and everything Ambush was in the movie and the smaller toys were not.
ThreeA's paint and detail work are second to none when it comes to rusty and weathered robots, and their expertise really shines here. The Real Steel world is a dirty one, and Ambush fits right in. The mainstream fighting robots in Real Steel are clean and shiny. Ambush is debuted in a backwater farm fight against a one-ton bull, and is anything but clean and shiny.
All those pistons in the shoulder and neck work. The engineering and amount of parts used are staggering.
The big elbow pistons work. I have read some reports of people receiving Ambushes with loose elbows, but mine are nice and tight. There are enough moving parts interacting around most of the joints that it does not seem like they would loosen up.
The knees and ankles also feature working pistons and heavy duty, tight articulation to support this mammoth figure. The ankle pistons are on ball joints to move with the ankle.
The wrists are crazy. The hands can swivel where they attach to the wrist plate, but the wrist plate is also mounted on a ball joint so it can angle and rotate, and the four pistons are on ball joints to move as well.
Ambush also features an opening panel on his chest that reveals his power charging port. The panel feels durable enough, but fits quite tightly and can be difficult to pull out.
The toy features light up eyes, but no batteries are included. A note in the box reveals that three 'AG1' watch batteries are needed. 'AG1' is not a commonly used designation, however, and it took me three trips to the drugstore to find that I wanted three SR621SW batteries. There are few tasks I dread more than having to try and buy watch batteries.
The batteries are quite small and require tweezers to jam into the tight compartment, but once they are in the results are pretty impressive. A tiny switch on the back of the head activates the lights, which are bright but contained to just the eyes. There is no light leakage around the head.
Ambush is big, detailed, mechanically astounding, and has light up eyes. He is also impressively articulated and works just like his on-screen counterpart. Getting Ambush to balance can be a bit tricky, but the ankles have enough range of motion to sit level on the ground and keep him upright.
With those pistons and giant armored boxing gloves, Ambush delivers thunderous blows.
Such a massive figure really benefits from being posed with some smaller human-sized figures for scale. Ambush looks great terrorizing smaller squishy characters.
Unfortunately, Baby Doll is no slouch when it comes to felling giant mean robots.
Ambush even looks great beating on some of ThreeA's previous, original gigantic robot figures. Posing Ambush with the earlier Heavy Bramble shows the range of ThreeA's engineering skill and design aesthetics.
Ambush is available at retail for $329.99. There was also a Bambaland direct version that was a bit cheaper and came with a different box and a 1/6 scale robot controller accessory. The Bambaland version is actually available from Big Bad Toy Store for $379.99, but I don't think the bot controller accessory is work an extra fifty bucks. For three hundred dollars, Ambush will be the most technically impressive toy in many collections. It's a lot to spend on a figure, but the price makes sense and I have no issue with the price. More than the fact that it's a $300 toy, Ambush's biggest problem is that it's a $300 Real Steel toy. I loved Real Steel, but it was hardly a smash hit world-changing event. I don't know if there are that many dedicated Real Steel fans out there, but ThreeA fans seem to be picking up Ambush and enjoying him, and are eagerly awaiting the second release, Midas, the Gold-Blooded Killer.
|Posted 4 December, 2012 - 06:14 by Prometheum5|