Friday, October 19, 2012

Figure Friday: Weaponeers of Monkaa

I like being surprised.

While I did expect a certain amount of surprises from Spy Monkey Creations' new toy line Weaponeers of Monkaa, I had not expected to be blown away. And the surprise wasn't just that the toys were well made, and extremely versatile, but also that for an independent toy line, you're actually getting A LOT of toy for your money. 

I'd argue that when quality, price and play value are taking into consideration, this is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone and everyone. 

Read on for details and images. 

At this point, there are already tons of reviews out. And most of them positive. While I don't consider this a review, I have to agree. What's not to love? In fact, I'll start with the only thing I found as a negative. "That new toy smell" you're used to from other toy lines... Well, it was more of a funk here. The Weaponeers of Monkaa smelled weird. I assume SMC use a specific type of plastic I'm not used to. But I guess it's the best plastic for the use these toys are intended for. And I can guarantee you, when all is done, at the end of the day, you won't care that the plastic smells strange. 

The packaging is simple, it's a small plastic bag with a sticker. The shipment included collectors' cards for all the characters, even though I only ordered four of the six characters. In fact, I ended up with two full sets of cards. The cards show the artwork we've seen, as well as a small bio and statistics for each Weaponeer. 
I'm a big fan of trading cards, so while I would have preferred a carded figure for display reasons, I almost prefer this way. I mean, these are anyway not toys that are meant to be kept MOC (or MIB in this case). 

I ordered the two heroic characters, Palidar and Empyreus. I prefer the color scheme of gray and red. The two villains were purple and green. Exactly like Scorponok. I also took home the two "Gholems", since I love translucent toys. And finally, I got three sets of additional weapon pieces. 

The first thing that kinda took me by surprise was that every part. Every single part of the figures could be removed. You could in fact disassemble the figures entirely. Break them down to parts that looked like nothing at all. And then, obviously re-assemble them at your choice. Also notice that most of the heads double as hands... or other things. 

In my mind, this is a bit like a mix between Lego and action figures. And it's been a long time since I used that much time playing with an action figure. Here's what I ended up with. 

A few standard builds
Insects of some sort...
A tiny dude. I liked this one. 
A Starcraft Battlecruiser
I have no idea what this is. 
In essence, this was extremely fun. The parts all feel solid, even if you tug and tear them. Bigger constructions naturally end up more loose-jointed, but the quality of these toys are amazing. Easily on par with the best from big toy companies, in terms of quality. All the parts included with each separate character has a paint job, while the armament packages are solid colors. 

One part I wished I had more of was the tiny plug connecting two holes. The armament package included two of these. 

I also see I should have ordered at least one gray armament package, simply for the fact that it was fun making weapons. And gray weapons make a bit more sense than red or translucent teal. 
And of course, these can all be used as weapons for other toy lines. Masters of the Universe Classics being the most relevant. SMC has previously made amazing weapons for MOTUC, so it only makes sense that the Monkaa stuff could be added to He-Man, Skeletor and their friends. 

I'm surprised. This is so much fun, and I'm surprised over the entire way these toys were presented to us. The fact that it's a small, independent company. The quality of the product. The amazing customizing potential. Even the characters and the background story was sort of fun. 

I'm at the point where I almost want to give a Weaponeer and his additional arsenal to all my friends for Christmas. It's the perfect toy to have on a work desk, next to your computer. It's also the perfect gift for a kid. Honestly, these toys are solid, and fun. Maybe not the youngest ones, as it took a bit of force to assemble/disassemble. The rest: Get them a Weaponeer of Monkaa!

Thumbs up from me. Go get your sets before they sell out! Enjoy your weekend!

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