3A Toys WWRp Series 1 - MK2 BRAMBLE
Ashley Wood's bots are back, smaller and more affordable...
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Earlier this year 3A Toys announced World War Robot Portable (WWRp) – 7-inch scale action figures based on Ashley Wood’s futuristic robot designs. The idea behind the line is to offer collectors more affordable versions of their higher-end 1:6th scale WWR robots. Where those bots ran collectors around $250 a pop, WWRp is marketed at closer to $45 each. Still not cheap, but they are certainly more accessible to the casual Ashley Wood fan, like myself.
The line launched in July with the Rothchild MK2 Bramble, an Armored Fighting Robot described as “very mobile and fast” and able to “pack heavy firepower”. These were sold exclusively as 3- and 6-packs via 3A Toys’ online store. Numerous paint variations were offered, including Medic, Merc, Marine, Winter, and Euro, as well as a DIY and black and white “Day” and “Night Watch” figures exclusive to 3AA Club Members. Up for review today is the 3-pack I finally decided on featuring the Marine, Merc and Euro. They took nearly 4 months to arrive, but I confess that they were worth the wait.
PACKAGING: Each bot ships snuggly in a 5th panel window box (The 3-Packs are essential three solo packs. The 6-pack is one unique box). It’s a very minimalistic design that pops with black and white intensity. Opening the flap - held firmly shut by a hidden magnet - reveals the stark sci-fi art of Ashley Wood and an informative history lesson on the MK2 Bramble. The action figure is prominently display on the opposite side, residing twisty tie free in a pull-out plastic tray.
Overall, it’s a slick presentation that should please both MIP collectors and out-of-the-box openers with its friendly design.
SCULPT: Built of tough vinyl and ABS plastics, the Bramble surprised me with its extremely solid construction. It’s a very robust figure, standing 7-inches tall and over 4-inches wide. Some folks prefer their toys 3 ¾” small, others a towering 12”. I’m a middle of the road kind of guy and Bramble comfortably fits the bill.
As for Bramble’s actual appearance, it breaks down to two types of people: Those that admire Ashley Wood’s mechanical creations and those that do not. My wife, for example, compared Bramble to a rusted-out oil can with arms and legs. For me, that basic construction screams real-world war machine; a robot built purely for combat, not winning a fashion show. It’s that raw and gritty simplicity that I find so appealing with the MK2 Bramble. That and I am a sucker for robots packing serious heat.
PAINT: Whether you like the look of Bramble or not, I think we can all safely agree that its paint applications are phenomenal. Like Ashley Wood’s paintings, the color palette used is drab and muted; a very moody mixture of dirty whites, rusty browns and grayish blues. These are military mechs and the colors used accurately reflect that. You won’t find any garish Gundam yellows and reds here. You also won’t find any pristine, shiny armor - the Brambles have been around awhile - weathered and worn by years of field combat. 3A Toys’ depiction of tarnished, rusted metal is insanely hyper-real on these toys. It is some of the best work I have ever seen, regardless of scale. Tying the amazing paint job together is the use of eye-catching numbers and insignia. These, just like the bots, have been through hell: Each painted on logo comes heavily marred by battle and wear.
ARTICULATION: Those fearing a rigid statue can rest easy: the MK2 Bramble comes loaded with useful articulation. Each arm and leg is posted on a ball-joint allowing a wide range of movement. Its flat noggin is also ball-jointed for a variety of cocky tilts, as are the wrists. Hinged joints allow for elbow and knee bending while cut joints give the waist and feet flexibility.
What’s truly amazing is the firm finger articulation; each slender digit stars no less than three cuts for incredible weapon grasping and a slew of commanding hand gestures. Broad, flat feet insure that Bramble won’t capsize, planting him nice and solid on your display shelf. I had a few instances of stiff joints due to paint (i.e. arms, legs), but had no issues working them loose.
ACCESSORIES: All Brambles, except the Euro, come armed with a massive chain gun with an ammo belt. The multi-barreled weapon is a great sculpt featuring a spade grip in the rear for firing and a forward mounted “chainsaw grip” that rotates for more controlled handling. The pliable ammo belt connects to the gun and plugs into the robot’s power/ammo pack.
The ammo packs are packed separatly from the figure and attach securely via a large plug and hole. All are large cylinders except the pack on the Euro, which is a slimmed down rectangular design. This is because the Euro doesn’t pack the heavy firepower of his brethren, opting for two deadly revolvers instead. It is these differences that really made me decide on this 3-pack over the others – the Euro was just too unique and cool to pass up.
Each Bramble also includes four cloth hip bags with working clasps. Each bag looks as if it has already seen heavy use; the material comes distressed and some quick paint apps make them appear muddy. Each bag has a small loop that slides onto one of four hooks on the Bramble’s waist. Again, the Euro stands out from the rest with the addition of two pistol holsters in place of two of the bags. Sadly, the Euro’s remaining two bags were missing with my figure. This is a problem 3A Toys has acknowledged and is working on replacing the missing bags to all that bought a Euro Bramble.
Overall, each Bramble comes with a good amount of gear. The chain gun wielding Brambles offer the most value with their larger guns, but the Euro’s chunky cool revolvers aren’t to be overlooked. It would have been nice if each Bramble came with a chain gun AND the revolvers for more display variety, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps a weapons pack down the road?
COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION: Select retailers - such as BigBadToyStore.com and Sideshow Collectibles - are the only way to purchase the Brambles solo-packed, each retailing for around $45 (+S&H). Numerous 3-packs and an all-encompassing 6-pack were offered exclusively through 3A Toys’ online store – Bambalandstore.com priced at $120 and $220 respectively, with worldwide shipping included. These are now sold out, but the multi-packs clearly offered the most bang for your buck. Unfortunately you had to pay more to save more.
3A Toys are a small, budding operation off to a solid start with the WWRp line. Their killer paint apps alone distinguish them as a toy company with talent. Ashley Wood and his loyal fan base owe 3A many thanks for these bots done right. Up next is the MK2 Bertie, a more slender, tube-like robot that’s very popular with fans. Pre-orders for a 7- and 12-pack (sadly no 3-packs this time around) were taken at the end of October and have since sold out. However, collectors looking for singles are still in luck as these have yet to surface online. Like the Brambles, these are sure to be a solid toy investment.
For more images of 3A Toys’ WWRp MK2 Brambles, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor