3A WWRP Bramble (Medic)
|Character Design||Ashley Wood|
|Toy Design||Ashley Wood|
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.
World War Robot is a story currently told through two artbooks (with a third coming!) by Ashley Wood of a world that develops heavy robotics and some degree of space travel, as 1980’s Earth is at war with its colony on Mars, which has declared independence. Both sides are supplied with their war machines by Rothchild Industries, based in an impregnable facility on Luna. The shadow organization NOM (Not Ordinary Men) is working towards some unknown motive, with their most prolific member Nom de Plume being something of the ThreeA mascot. World War Robot was first a 1/6 scale toy line, but has now been complemented with the World War Robot Portable line of 1/12 scale toys. Both lines exist, with promises that most everything will be available in both lines, but the smaller Portable line allows many more color versions to be released at a time, as well as bots that would be prohibitively large in 12” scale (WWR already features the massive Large Martin, 20” tall, so obviously when there’s talk of a bot too big for WWR, it’s REAL big).
In WWR fiction, the Bramble MkII was a heavier infantry support and light anti-bot unit designed to one-up the ubiquitous Bertie robot (review coming as soon as I get home and can open my box!). Featuring a massive gattling gun and what is described as a bit of a gung-ho attitude, if you are on a battlefield, you want a Bramble at your side.
Now that we’ve got the fluffy stuff out of the way, let’s talk about the toy! The WWRP Bramble is made of durable vinyl with some bits being a harder plastic, (such as the hands and feet), a soft PVC ammunition belt, and real cloth pouches with working plastic buckles.
The Portable Bramble toy is not quite 8 inches tall and features incredible articulation, leaving nothing out from the 1/6 design. Articulation consists of ball jointed shoulders, neck, hips, and ankles, swivel biceps, waist, elbows, and knees, and fully articulated hands. Out of the box everything is snug and solid feeling, and after having the toy for two months and handling it often, nothing has loosened up.
Equipment for the standard Bramble is one big, mean gattling gun, with a large ammunition tank that attaches to the back by a chunky and secure peg. The gattling gun features a rotating barrel and articulated handles so there is no problem getting the big gun into the Bramble’s hands convincingly. The gun barrels are a single hollow piece of softer material (either PVC or Vinyl) and have a slight bow from the packaging and a little bit softer detail than I would like. The ammunition belt is an even softer material, which I assume has to be PVC, and pegs into the gun and ammo drum. The belt tends to come off when reposing the figure, but it’s not terrible. Worth noting is that on the first WWRP Brambles, the 3A club exclusive, the gun barrel handle broke on most people’s figure, but the design was revised for the full release and the problem was eliminated.
One of the hallmarks of Ash’s robot designs is his attempt at showing the robots as part of the rank-and-file army alongside the humans. As such, the robots all feature equipment pouches, assumedly a combination of stuff for the robot and extra gear for the troops. It is not uncommon to see armored fighting vehicles covered with extra gear and backpacks so the troops don’t have to carry them, so letting your robot carry your pack is really the next logical step. The pouches are a soft material, maybe nylon, and feature working plastic buckles, so everything opens. The pouches are one of the areas where the 1/6 origins of Ash’s toy plans are evident, as no expense is spared to provide the same experience and detail in both scales.
The paintwork is arguably the biggest selling point on one of these figures, and the pictures should make it readily apparent why. Each ThreeA figure is hand painted, as intricately detailed and weathered, with a full complement of decals unique to each paint scheme. The Bramble pictured here is from the Medic Corps, which I assume makes it an escort for battlefield medics while they tend to the wounded. I am really not sure how so much detail is packed into the paint work, but it really is stunning. There are some washes and chipping work, but it is all done in many layers to add depth and history. Even the pouches feature some dirty and staining. I can understand how some people would be turned off by the heavy weathering, but the fiction makes it sound like WWR has been dragging on, so it would make sense for the equipment and bots to start looking quite worn down. What’s funny to me is that, while the Medic scheme is quite striking, the weathering on this guy is probably the weakest of the Brambles I own. I will add a couple shots of other Brambles I have next week for comparison.
The last thing to touch on is the price and availability. The full-size WWR line is typically expensive, but not outlandish for the product, considering some of the robot figures have been 20” tall. The WWRP line, on the other hand, is amazingly priced. At retail the Brambles were about $50, which to me at least, is a steal. For that money you are getting a hand-assembled and painted multi-media robot figure with incredible detail and amazing articulation. The biggest problem now is actually finding them for anything near retail… scalpers unfortunately love Ashley Wood stuff due to the limited nature, but fret not, there are always more toys in the works from 3A, including more Brambles. 3A stuff is really only limited because of the quality of the product… the development and production time of 3A toys is pretty long, but the end results are worth it. I think 3A would crank out the toys in much higher numbers if they could, as Ash really does seem to love being able to make cool stuff for his fans, but either the product quality or work time would have to suffer to increase the numbers.
|Posted 1 March, 2010 - 15:17 by Prometheum5|