Saturday, March 20, 2010

[Onell Design] Glyos Custom Corps

Onell Designs - Buildmen

For some reason, Glyos system toys have escaped scrutiny on this blog for quite some time. The main reason is that they are given ample coverage on other websites, not to mention Onell's official blog, and I hate writing redundant articles.

To provide a brief background: Glyos system is a toy line designed by Matt Doughty and sold through his company, Onell Design. Debuting at the 2007 San Diego Comic Convention to a mild, but warm, reception by toy collectors, Glyos began with a starting lineup of only 6 toys. The line centers on Space Traveler Pheyden, and a missing Sincroid leader, Exellis- but the real 'hook' of Glyos is the toys' ability to be disassembled and recombined, much like the old Magnemo toys from Takara or building bricks. Since 2007 the ranks of the line have swelled rapidly along with an ardent fan following. We have even seen Glyos (or Gu-rai-osu) make an appearance or two at Japan shows. You definitely need to be speedier with your clicking fingers these days since nothing sits around for long in the Onell webstore. Well, nothing except phase arms.

On a spring afternoon in 2009, Glyos creator Matt decided to give his fans an extra treat by selling dozens of unique, hand-painted Glyos figures in randomly drawn blind bags. To our surprise and delight, many of the figures featured resin-cast heads of obscure or marginal characters from the Glyos universe (often those deemed too difficult to mass produce). And thus the first Custom Corps. was born. It was a runaway hit with Glyos fans and spawned a series of subsequent CCs, both produced in-house and in collaboration with other artists.

The Custom Corps. waves thus far have been:

1.X - Produced in-house by Onell Design.

1.0 - The one and only and limited to 69 total figures (oh, stop snickering). Do you have one? Better make it your avatar on the Onell forum.

1.1 (Dimension Drifters) - Intended to represent an alternate reality universe with a focus on Phanost and Sarvos, CC 1.1 consists of over 102 figures. Each figure is hand-dyed and packaged with a "relic" part.

1.2 (General Phanost) - CC 1.2 was a limited production run of several blind-bagged figures. You would receive either General Phanost (standard or reverse Altervoth colors- and a few powered-up gradient versions), Phanost in gradient Phase Armor Mk. III, or Lost Phanost. CC 1.2 also corresponds to the two Glyaxia mini-passcodes.

1.3 (Force Delphi) - The long-awaited Delphi CC is finally here! Apparently playing a key role in Passcode 5: Soul of the Traveler, the mysterious Delphi are represented in all of their forms.

2.X - Produced in collaboration with Dead Presidents / Matt Walker.

2.0 - War Monger. Mostly Buildmen and Crayboth... with a splash of Sarvos.
2.5 - Nemica Gobon. Featured in Passcode 2: The Ghosts of Nemica.
2.6 - Ceberus Gobon & Hades Pheyden. Key characters in the Glyos universe...
2.7 - Armodocs. As the name implies.
2.8 - Granthan Gobon. Featured in Passcode 5: Soul of the Traveler.

3.X - Produced in collaboration with RealxHead / Mori Katsura.

3.1 (Chaos Invasion) - The largest Custom Corps. ever, CC 3.0 totaled 262 figures. The iconic Mutant Chaos head and arm were made available to the general public for the first time.

4.X - Produced in collaboration with Hellopike.

4.0 (Altered States) - Consider this a collection of characters from the side stories of the Glyos universe, some as of yet unwritten...


Onell Designs - Custom Corps Sincroid (#17)

CC 1.0 was the formative experience for many of us in non-mass-produced Glyos. There were not many made relative to later CCs and we each were limited to buying 2 figures. So I think these tend to be the most cherished of the custom waves.

As an added bonus, each figure included unique artwork from Jesse Moore.

Onell Design - Glyos CC1 - Granthan Ops Sincroid (4-09)

My CC1 figure is this Granthan Ops. Sincroid soldier. Granthan Ops. were created as a 5 figure team in CC1; 2 of these were Sincroid soldiers.

Onell Design - Glyos CC1 - Granthan Ops Sincroid (4-09)

Sincroids are, for lack of a better term, advanced mechanoids in the Glyos universe. Exellis is a type of Sincroid, as is Noboto. These are the basic Sincroid grunt units. Granthan seems to be a planet, so I would guess these are Sincroids modified to operate in the Granthan area. Granthan Ops. Sincroids were featured in the first passcode game, so they can be considered official Glyos canon.

Onell Design - Glyos CC1 - Granthan Ops Sincroid (4-09)

This color scheme did not appeal to me at first as I find the orange/yellow clash with the black to be a bit flashy. Nonetheless, it is one of the few Passcode characters that has not been sold as a production piece; the head is a resin-cast piece limited to custom waves.


CC 1.1, Dimension Drifters, introduced a new color palette into the Glyos world. Whereas most other Custom Corps. utilize bright, eye-catching paint schemes for a fresh action figure feeling, 1.1 figures were dyed in dull, dark or muted tones. These look like machinery that might be found in your parents' garage or toys that have spent years in a sandbox. The aesthetic reminds me very much of the dusty world of Issaris in Gear's Edge.

Onell Design Glyos - Custom Corps. 1.1 - Phase Drifter Pheyden (12-09)

Through a trade, I acquired this CC 1.1 Pheyden. It is built from the clear green parts of Phase Pheyden dyed into the dark and murky tones of standing pond water; not sure where the green arm and leg connectors come from.

None of the CC 1.1 characters are from official canon, so you are free to create a story for them as you will. I've unofficially deemed this fellow Corrupted Bio Pheyden- after Bio Pheyden was infected in the Villser battle, this universe's version was able to contain the virus... but just barely. Although the virus grants him incredible strength and regenerative ability, each solar cycle is a struggle for Pheyden to maintain his mental control over the virus. Eventually, he fears, his mind will merge into the virus' directive and his power unleashed upon Glyos.

Onell Design Glyos - Custom Corps. 1.1 - Phase Drifter Pheyden (12-09)

The relic included with my 1.1 figure is a clear dark cherry red Tracker Phase Arm.


Onell Design Glyos - Custom Corps. 1.2 - General Phanost (6-10)

My General Phanost figure came in a black blind bag that was huge and bulgy, so I knew SOMETHING good must be inside. And it was! I pulled one of the Phase Armor Mk. III variants- Matt produced a rainbow series (Phanost gradient) of these armors, with a handful of each color made. Perhaps it reflects a surge of power that washes off of Phanost when he phases in the Mk. III armor for the first time.

Onell Design Glyos - Custom Corps. 1.2 - General Phanost (6-10)

The Mk. III Armor is an impressive hunk of Glyos toy. The toy is constructed from both clear and GID pieces, which were either painted or dyed to create an attractive color fade over the toy. Mk. III also features a couple of tweaks from the Mk. II Armor- the cylindrical arm cannons are replaced with Gobon-style arm blasters, and a v.2 power pack is attached to his back port.

Finally, the Mk. III figures were packed with an extra arm part, made out of clear and GID pieces dyed to match the main figure. An amazing deal for the continued $25 pricing of Custom Corps.

Onell Design Glyos - Custom Corps. 1.2 - General Phanost (6-10)


Onell Design / Glyos - General Phanost (Gradient Phase Armor Mk. III)


Onell Design - Glyos CC3 Wrecker Chaos (2-10)

As the name might suggest CC 3.0 introduced Glyos-sized resin parts of RealxHead characters Mutant Chaos and Beast Chaos into the mix of custom parts. Don't quote me on this, but I believe Lamour Supreme was responsible for sculpting the Chaos parts. These had made appearances on blog posts and at a show prior, but nothing widely available to the public. I love RxH, so of course I had to throw in my hat on this one. Each figure also came with a second head.

Onell Design - Glyos CC3 Wrecker Chaos (2-10)

And I originally pulled this purple and green Chaos soldier. According to the official CC3 chart, this is part of the 7-unit Wrecker Command team. But look closely at this one- he has a slightly different head. There was only one made of him. I figure him to be the grizzled veteran of the unit, telling war stories to the young pups. He is Kup.

We have our suspicions as to the origin of the Wrecker designation (curiously, there was also a Reverse Wrecker unit). It has been hinted that this name will have special ties to RxH. What this means remains to be seen.

Onell Design - Glyos CC3 Wrecker Chaos (2-10)

The second head included with my CC3 was a forest green Sarvos head that matches the Wrecker green armor.

Onell Design - Glyos CC3 Metalluma LR Recon Chaos (2-10)

Later, I traded my Wrecker Chaos Soldier for a shiny new Chaos TROOPER. This Chaos Trooper is a part of the Metalluma Long Range Reconnaissance Unit; his comrades rather inexplicably include a Hermit and Sincroid.

Onell Design - Glyos CC3 Metalluma LR Recon Chaos (2-10)

The Chaos' probe arm is an amazingly miniaturized version of the larger toy.

The Trooper also came with an extra Sarvos head painted in the same metallic blue as the toy's armor.

CC 3.0 unseats RxH from the designer toy realm and pulls it closer to the world of action figures. This is a great thing. It makes the material more accessible to collectors who may be put off by the comparatively high prices of normal RxH. It is interesting to note that the collaboration moves in both directions as RxH is also working on larger (more expensive) vinyl versions of Glyos characters.

The appearance of the Chaos Soldier makes me think that Chaosman has been placed into a containment suit for outer-space combat. An empty back port presents a good spot for jump jets or an over-the-shoulder cannon, should you have a few spare bits laying around. Pheyden's dimension hopping tendencies come in handy here as an easy explanation for the presence of Mutant Chaos in the Glyos universe. So there must be more than one Chaos in Mutant Zone. I guess?

Onell Design - Glyos CC1 & CC3


John K. said...

I have two from the Wrecker Command and have jealousy that you have Beast Chaos (and that Sincroid too - I have one of his Granthan Govurom brothers).

That being said, the Custom Corps are really great works of art, IMO. The detailing is tight, and seeing that someone works so hard on them makes them all the more special.

Mindless-Focus said...

Hey, this is a really good review. I actually pulled the same (almost) fig. I happened to pul CC3040 and it looks like you pulled CC3041. BTW, that non-normal head you have is actually Chaos Beast based off of RxH's Chaos Beast. I went another direction with mine tho.

RobotXMonster said...

Hey folks. I see battlegrip is pulling some traffic here. ;P

Yeah, my CC3 seems to be 041. The detail work on both is just AMAZING. Most figures suffer in close-up photography, and these hold their own.

I don't know how you guys can paint the Chaos heads. They're so tiny. I'd go blind.