Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: ThreeA Adventure Kartel: Penumbra and Shadow2.

I recently spoke of how enchanted and intrigued I was by artist Ashley Wood's brilliantly designed work for his company ThreeA Toys, and now I've finally got my hands on some! At the end of last week I received two of his 12 inch Adventure Kartel figures, namely Penumbra and Shadow 2.

If you'd like to see two of the most beautifully designed and detailed figures (with the craziest clothing you've ever seen) then I implore ye to join me... after the jump! POW!

Spoilers: I really love these, and I am going to embarrass myself with my unadulterated love for them. I might even dribble a little bit. And I am totally OK with that. Because now I have these, I don't need you.

Look how stunning and perfect this art is. It doesn't even need to show the actual product. That's how crazy confident it is. It knows each box is packed with unparalleled awesome and is preparing you slowly - easing you into it - so that your eyes don't pop straight out of your head and loll onto the floor and get dirt on them.

Hang on. I need a moment.


Let's open up Shadow2 because she's the most detailed one.

The first thing you might notice is that she's dirty. And by that I mean she has dirt on her. I don't know the full storyline behind these characters but there's a strong post apocalyptic vibe. I think they might kick zombies in the face. So all the clothes are aged, worn and dirtied, but we'll get a closer look at those in a moment.

The second thing you'd notice - if you were right here next to me, maybe spooning, maybe not, no pressure - is the strong gasoline smell. See this wonderfully sculpted skull bomb:

It's a great piece, but the black paint isn't dry. It's still not dry and I've nearly had these a week. So that's the one problem here - it's leaking black into the package and I can't equip it on the figure as I don't want to get her real dirty (as opposed to artistically dirtied by skilled artisans). So that's my one complaint - a wet skull. But everything else is great!

It's hard to get across the level of detail in these photos. Although the face is stylised and simple (but perfect) the clothes are the most realistic I've ever seen. The hoodie really is a tiny real hoodie. It has a zip, pockets, pull ties on the hood, bands on the wrist. And it has that worn look of the real thing.

And speaking of weathering, look at the cracks on the design of the T-shirt.

And check out her bag while you're at it! It has all the working clasps and strap adjusters that you'd find on the real thing. It's intended to hold the skull but I'll do that in a couple of years when it's dry. 

And check out these shoes:

Cons with heels! How cool is that! How secure am I in my masculinity to be so giddy about the fashion of these dolls?

And these are like somebody shrank an actual pair of jeans in the wash... a thousand times:

And they fit amazingly. Like they're painted on. Soft goods on action figures are often bulky or don't sit right, but these crease and hang like the real thing.

There are plenty of other details do. Did you know these figures are anatomically correct? You do now.

So that was Shadow2. Penumbra isn't quite as detailed (and she's clean) but here's a couple of shots to see how they compare. They do use the same head sculpt but have a very different feel:

The puffer jacket has a ton of pockets and a completely realistic lining. And as a fitting tribute to the late great Maurice Sendak did you notice that she has a classic Wild Thing proudly emblazoned on her shirt?

It makes me really wish I had ordered some of the others. This wave also includes a couple of enemy zombie minions and two robots - one with awesome pincers. They're still in stock in some places so if your interest is piqued you should check them out. The two female figures appear to be rarer though right now. ThreeA Toys are limited, sought after, and seem to always sky-rocket in price.

I've collected a lot of crazy stuff over the years and a lot of it is mass-produced, disposable stuff that a lot of other people have (coughcoughPhantomMenacecough). But I would trade a lot of it for the chance to own more unique pieces by talented artists with a real point of view. I think Ashley Wood's work is exceptional. I need more of it.

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