It’s been a while since we’ve heard from our friends over at Ori Toy, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy. Over the last couple of years they’ve joined forces with Kit Lau at Skronex to launch an entirely new toy property: Acid Rain, The War Under Pollution. As their first release starts to hit specialty retailers, the guys were nice enough to send one along to me so I could help spread the word.
The Acid Rain line is set in a world where World War II never ended. As the war carried on, the losses grew beyond the human casualties as the effects on the environment were also being felt as well. Eventually the struggle became more about securing what was left of the limited resources, using new machines and weapons that are designed for the new toxic environment.
Our first weapon of war in this new line is the Stronghold, a brick-like tank that’s been given the nickname “Quad-eyes” for its four large front-facing cannons. But before I get into the figure, I wanted to take a moment to mention the box. The box is covered in some wonderful art and interesting patterns to mimic rusted metal. But the most interesting design has to be the hole that’s been cut out so you can actually feel the gritty texture of the vehicle. This is the first of many small details that push this vehicle beyond just a product and into an actual labor of love.
Another nice detail is the instruction manual. The back half of the booklet displays how to transform the vehicle from tank to mech mode, and also where to insert the battery. (Yes, I said battery. But I’ll get to that in a minute…) The front half of the book displays a brief history of the Stronghold vehicle in the Acid Rain universe. There are even sketches showing it off and pointing out certain features. My particular favorite was that this tank was originally a construction/farming vehicle that was upgraded by citizens to protect their boarders from hostile forces.
Stronghold comes out of the box in tank form. While its cube-like appearance may not look incredibly dangerous, it does give off the feeling of being very heavily armored. I could easily see a vehicle like this plowing through a dynamite factory as if it were strolling through a car wash. Of course this chunky tank still has bite with its four 90mm turret guns and double barreled cannons.
The sculpt of the vehicle seems simple at first glance, but on closer look you see a ton of tiny sculpted details like raised panels and panel lines, handles to grip, and standing platforms with crosshatching designs. The figure is also covered in panels, doors and hatches that can be opened and closed. I was very surprised to discover that all of these details don’t come at a cost to the quality of plastic, which is very sturdy.
Quadeyes has limited articulation in tank mode. The dome can swivel from side to side, while each gun on it can swivel up and down. Unfortunately that’s about it, unless you count all the panels and hatches that can be opened and closed. This brings me to my only complaint about this vehicle; the treads don’t seem to move. They look like they should, but I can’t get them to budge.
Stronghold’s transformation is incredibly easy and intuitive, and there are a couple of nice engineering tricks that make it pretty enjoyable. The whole process gives off a very realistic impression. Unlike the physics bending conversion of a Transformer, I can actually see a real world mech moving like this.
Quadeyes is a much more imposing force in robot mode. Overall the domed head and blocky body design reminds me of a robot toy from the 1950’s, only instead of antenna he has machine guns and instead of pincer-like hands he has death dealing mortar launchers. Continue to page 2…