No sooner had I published our review of the Apollo Astrobot then did I catch a glimpse of the SHCC Exclusive variant and what looks to be a solution to a lot of the problems outlined in the review below. The main problem I had with the figure was its lack of a meaningful identity as it felt like just another mech figure in a ocean full of them but the exclusive version seems to have remedied this with a full body dirt-wash and a torn and ragged cape which combine to help build a character from the figure. Check out the SHCC version below.
Take a look at our review of the standard release below and contrast it to the SHCC version and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
We’re linking back up with Kapow Toys right here in the UK to take a look at 2 brand new Mech-based releases from Toy Notch in partnership with Toy Forge. Both of these parties are new to us and so we were very much looking to getting our hands on the figures and giving them a thorough going over.
We kick our coverage off with a look at the first bot from the line designated A01 Apollo.
1x Astrobots AO1 Apollo 1:12 scale collectible figure.
Kick things off with the sculpting and its one of the high points of the figure with a great overall attention to the intricacies of the Bot aesthetic that is being aimed for with various components clearly picked out. Theres a great variety at play here too with the figure having a model kit vibe as each pieces looks complex and connected to another component of the body with joints and detailing in abundance. All the usual Mech based designs are present here but it would have been nice to see ToyNotch push the boat out somewhat and give us something refreshing from what we expect from a Mech release.
What is here is done well and thats the main takeaway from the sculpt section with a good variety of detailing and components that help to establish the reality of the figure and hopefully in future releases we can see more experimentation to give us a lasting impression of a figure which does little to inspire excitement.
With any bot figure, theres a great danger of falling into a generic situation whereby any chance of character and identification goes out of the window and the paint application is a great way to personalise and help make the figure stand out from the crowd. The paint here comes in the form of aesthetically pleasing blue and orange used to pick out details of things such as joints. Where paint is present its worked cleanly for the most part and does help provide some sort of character backing for a figure that is otherwise lacking in any sense of self. Small things like “Caution” warnings and serial number designations are present here as might be expected from this style of figure but more could have been done to give the bot a better sense of identity.
With any Mech or Bot figures sometimes they can come across as very sterile and perfect and it’s actually refreshing to see figures that have a wash applied to them to either show age or experience in the field and I can’t help but that this this figure would benefit greatly from a dirty paint wash or at-least highlights to ground it more in its own reality.
Easily the selling point of the figure is its fantastic array of articulation both in the usual places such as the key arm and leg joints but also present here is some incredibly dexterous hands with each finger have 3 joints plus the knuckle. Its here that the figure works best providing you with a huge variety of poses which does go some way to alleviating its identity crisis by allowing you to experiment and create the character that you wish to have. The work on the articulation really should be commended and shows that a lumbering brute of a figure can be very expressive with some imagination.
The full list of articulation includes : Neck, shoulders, elbows, hands, fingers, knuckles, torso, ab-crunch, waist, knees, ankles and feet with swivels and rotations present across nearly all.
Another area where perhaps the figure suffers especially in the market that is full of established Bot licenses is its pricing, Currently at £49.99 on our sponsors Kapow Toys site, the figure doesn’t quite do enough to justify that point. Although the articulation is fantastic the figure suffers from its identity crisis and couple that with a market so dominated by Transformers and a myriad of other mech-based licenses, makes for a harder sell to the average collector. Some accessories could go a-long way here in helping to solve some of these issues by helping to establish more of a character and also pushing up the quantity of goods received for you money making the price point that much more appealing.
The presentation of the figure is neither bad nor good but sits in the middle of the road in a design sense. A standard Mech design coupled with a standard looking box design with all of the usual robot tropes presents does little to set the world alight. The figures official description does give us a glimpse of intrigue and some much needed character to the figure and is as follows :
The Astrobots are highly sophisticated machines tasked with the search for a new home for mankind. They are built to weather the toughest alien environment as their missions that them to the farthest reaches of known space. But one lone Astrobot designated Apollo has stumbled upon a mystery that will change its existence forever.
This gives us a glimpse into the full story and it would be great to see more from ToyNotch including this in the their promotion of the figures as they are suffering from coming across as lacking in self character. A license that has been able to differentiate bots and mechs is Pacific Rim as they are able to convey a variety of characters and narratives by varying the base body substantially to give each figure their own sense of identity within the reality that the figure is trying to establish.
As mentioned before , accessories or a paint wash would go a long way in giving more character definition and helping to differentiate Apollo from the next figure in the line Argus who are largely only differentiated with paint schemes. Present also here is the ability to utilise batteries and a light-up eyes function which we didn’t manage to try out but does appear to breath some sense of life into the figure. If there’s anything our toy photography community can do however, its breath life into figure through imagination and creativity.
If you want to check out the figure for yourself then be sure to check it over on Kapow Toys where they currently have it up for £49.99 and whilst you’re there check out the full range they offer for collectors here in the UK & Europe.
For more from across the toy community, stay tuned to Exclu. This figure was provided by Kapow Toys for free for promotional purposes.
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Last modified: November 13, 2018