Saturday, June 2, 2007

[Review] Twice As N-Ice

EXOHEAD is one of the fringe entrants in the neo-kaiju game, as cliched as that may sound by now. Much like other smaller artists- Cronic, Skull Toys, etc.- EXOHEAD's offerings revolve around a small universe of designs, which are constantly being modified and improved upon in each iteration. Currently, EXOHEAD's line of toys consists primarily of his "Man Machine" concept, which uses a humanoid base figure, with a meticulously sculpted outer armor. I believe this is essentially a homage to Henshin Cyborg toys, although these figures are produced in a much more manageable 6" scale. Although EXOHEAD currently has only two designs in its stable of armors- and both of them incorporating... questionable... design elements, he is always expanding his repertoire, as any good artist should. The Skull Rex figure reviewed herein was a collaborative design effort between the Skull Toys producer and EXOHEAD. Galtan is a completely new figure, just released by EXOHEAD in the past month- sort of an EXO mini, I suppose. Both have been recently issued in killer new colorways, for which the Wanted thread demands have already begun.

EXOHEAD Type-E Bolan is one of a set of the first two Skull Rexes released in November of last year. The first Rex (Type-S Marc) was created in a magnificent Walder color scheme, with a clear purple body and orange inner mechanics. (We'll see more of him soon... ) Type-E Bolan was taken in a completely different- and beautiful- direction, with an inner figure made of milky translucent vinyl with metallic blue spray, and an outer armor in glassy, clear vinyl. I remember when pics of these first surfaced online, and I couldn't decide which of the two to buy. As it went, a set was offered on skullbrain, and I just couldn't help myself. In hindsight, I'm glad I bit, because besides being highly sought after, the OG Skull Rex set is probably my single favorite vinyl purchase. These are toys that will have to be pried out of my filthy, sweaty hands, if I should ever be forced to sell my toy collection. As a note, I will also be clutching my Victory Saber between my thighs at the time. Take them if you dare.

Skull Toys and I have sort of a love-apathy relationship going. I love their collaborative works with such companies as EXOHEAD and Blobpus- Skull Rex and Docross, respectively. On the other hand, I've only picked up one of their regular or mini figures, and I'm actively contemplating its sale or trade. I do have a hard time letting go of my toys, though. I think what really grabs me about Skull Rex is the design of its helmet, which is supposed to be a Tyrannosaurus skull- but even better: its helmet opens up to reveal an inner skull head, accented with clear orange spray. Given that the vinyl is clear, you can see the inner skull when the jaw is closed, which causes it to look like an internal glow or some shiz. All I knows is that it's damn beautiful. Overall the Skull Rex armor is just an inspired, fluid design that combines everything that is good about vinyl kaiju and HC styling into a bad-ass robot with dinosaur armor.

Galtan is a totally different story. When I first heard about this release, I was left with no clear feeling of desire- a little disappointed, in fact, that EXOHEAD wouldn't be focusing on his Man Machine lineup. Galtan is based on Patchi Kaiju card artwork, and is essentially Baltan's body slapped together with a skull head and some other design elements that I do not immediately recognize. So it's a wonky little figure with a skull head and crabby claws. I figured I could learn to love it- and hell, it's EXOHEAD, and he don't make bad toys. So when a preorder was put out for the OG Galtan, I snapped it up. Ok, cool.

So when Galtan arrived, there was already a good bit of hype on it already, because the San Fran crew had already bought theirs and were in the process of showing it off on the boards. Damn townies. I, however, had to wait the week that it takes to get to our little constellation of rocks in the Pacific Ocean. Galtan gets here, and it's a nice little toy. The sculpt, as with anything EXO is top-notch, and the vinyl smells great (like Gargamel, EXO vinyl has that smell that I like to keep in little boxes for rainy days). The vinyl is also not totally clear- sort of a snowy, icy look to it.

But then I stuck it under my mega photo lights, and charged up the glow and let 'er go. Hoooooly shit. I don't know how much time I spent photographing it that night, but I just couldn't get enough. The color of the glow is an eerie electric blue, that reminds me of those fish that live deep, deep in the ocean, and use bioluminescence to attract prey. Yeah, I was into deep sea fish as a kid. The name of the colorway is X-RAY GID, which I suppose refers to the fact that the clear vinyl combined with GID, causes it to look like an x-ray image. Either way, just check out these pics:

Oh, and none of the photographs used blacklight or sunlight to achieve the level of glow. It was straight-up incandescent.

This last one was taken on a white background, which had the effect of enhancing the glow illumination.

So what's up next for EXOHEAD? Well, Skull Rex was just released in a Type-S2 version, with GID outer armor and tinsel stuffed into the inner figure. Galtan came out today as a limited full-color version, and another version will be released on June 6th by S7 as a special "RFSO" GID colorway. I'm thrilled that the man responsible for EXOHEAD is getting some time in the sun, which is completely deserved given the quality of his toys and innovative concepts (clear GID??? Come onnnnn!). The only downside is that there are the inevitable bandwagoneers who raise the level of competition for releases that are already very limited. It's ok though, I like the hunt.


geozilla ジーヨジラ said...

Great pics and nice write-up!

Just added a link over at Omni-Monster!!! (Kaiju Utopia) ( If you like it, please consider adding a link to Omni-Monster here.


RobotXMonster said...

Thanks geo! I enjoy checking out your site as well; sharp pics of lots of things that you don't normally see.

I'll add you to the link list.