As we mentioned last week, Spy Monkey Creations is debuting a new line of action figures called the Weaponeers of Monkaa! The folks over at SMC were kind enough to send along some review samples and with the drop scheduled for 12pm PDT today, now’s probably a good time to take a look at ‘em!
SMC made a big splash last year with their Armory Series and while I’ve been anxiously awaiting an Armory Series 2, SMC went above & beyond those expectations with a full-fledged action figure line. As the SMC gang has been teasing for months, it really is “not just weapons anymore”.
I became a fan of SMC when I picked up the Master Blade of the Empyrean a few years ago and have been following them ever since. It turns out that was a great jumping on point. Not only is a variation of that classic blade featured in the Weaponeers of Monkaa logo, but the story focuses on Empyreus, a young prince dealing with the loss of his father and suddenly being thrust into power.
Before you even get to the toys, there’s plenty of universe building going on with this line. SMC chose to really focus on that aspect by releasing an eleven chapter Prologue before revealing the figures themselves. A quick read through of the prologue shows that the guys at SMC have a great love for many of the toys and stories of our collective youth. In them, we meet Empyreus, the newly installed leader of Monkaa, and his guardian Palidar, then there’s Empyreus’ “evil” brother, the power mad Umbreus, and his general, Brutok. As you’ll see in the images, that same love of the 80s is visible throughout the figures as well.
The initial offering for Weaponeers of Monkaa will feature four main characters (Empyreus, Umbreus, Palidar, Brutok) at $12, two Gohlem army builders at $12, a $5 extra heads pack, and six $5 Close Combat Accessory packs. As with previous SMC releases, everything comes bagged. The six figures all feature the same basic construction, but like any good Glyos-system inspired figure, there are plenty of little details on each piece that makes basic “customization” easy for the average collector. Between that and the colorways, it definitely feels like there are six independent figures.
One way that SMC was able to create so many independent characters off of one build is a little funny. The various hand attachments can double as heads. Palidar’s head doubles as a cannon, Brutok’s a mace, and the standard fists give the Gohlem’s their squared off noggins. It works great, but sometimes you can’t “unsee” the faces while they’re pulling double duty. When you’re snapping toy review pics, theycan, uh… change the composition of some of your images to put it mildly.
From the neck down, these guys have a great blocky feel to them (which translates into some awesome artwork). When I opened up the box from SMC, I was having a ton of fun swapping around parts and colors and seeing what I could assemble, but I did find that I kept wanting to add a little height in the legs to better match the above-waist proportions. That’s where the Glyos system takes the SMC sculpts and kicks the figures into overdrive. If you want the figures taller? You make ‘em taller. I was a bit limited in my options to do that in these pics, but after the SMC store opens today, I’ll quickly remedy that!*
* – If you’re like me and plan to build with these figures, I might recommend picking up one of the newly discounted Armory Series One sets or some extra Close Combat sets. In addition to providing some awesome pieces for your builds, you’ll also get four more switch pincs with an Armory Series 1 set or two more with a Close Combat set. There are two included with the figure, but I could not get enough of those bad boys! My big guys are being held together by a half dozen pins each!
Out of all the sculpts, Brutok and his spiky head appeals to me the most. I think I’m more partial to the bad guys, the Vilhains, because of the great green color (Onell just doesn’t do enough bright green for me). Brutok’s spiky head and green coloring made him a quick favorite. Continue to Page 2…