Sunday, June 27, 2010

[] UMOs - UMO Series 1

I received this resin figure from my Internet buddy, Phil Reed of, in a recent toy trade. Being more of a Transformers-at-Target kind of guy, resin toys are pretty far off my general radar. So let's see what a non-fan of resin thinks.

What is this toy? Battlegrip developed these figures over the earlier part of this year. From what I understand, it is a junkpile monster and the master model (fittingly) was a combination of action figure parts and original sculpting. Series 1 of the Unidentified Monstrous Organisms (UMO) (as they came to be called)- consisting of 12 unique toys- was sold in April 2010 through the webstore. - UMO Series 1

First off, here is the packaged figure. The ever-popular bag-with-header makes an appearance here. (Phil- my baggie was OPEN. It was not MISB. WTH. -RxM) Artwork is courtesy of BubbaShelby- nice and cartoonish as a contrast to the more gritty, encrusted appearance of the toy. My toy matches the header artwork (there were some variations), which is kind of neat. - UMO Series 1 - UMO Series 1 - UMO Series 1

And here's the toy.

I'll start off with some criticism.

- The toy is top-heavy. This is of particular concern because resin is not the most durable material. While the weight is fairly well distributed, the small feet and large torso make it easy to topple.

- The front is symmetrical, but shapeless; it needs to be more asymmetrical and wonky. When I think 'junkpile monster,' I think of odd ends and bits of machinery jutting out at random points. Zollmen (Japanese vinyl company) actually sculpted a screw thread on to the body of their mini junkpile monster, Dasumoga, which I thought to be a really nice touch. The front of this toy has an odd symmetry to it; I feel like I am looking for a face when there is none. Adding a point of focus on one side of the torso would improve the look (either that or give it a deliberately symmetrical face).

- Articulation. Chop them arms off and add a peg. Maybe this delves into design intent and cost concerns, but I feel like it would help the physical balance of the toy, as well as make it easier to display (smaller shelf footprint). - UMO Series 1 - UMO Series 1

But there are definitely things that I like about the toy:

- The paint work is really well done. The layered colors, black wash and gloss coat make it look very nice in photographs. Use of a black wash gives the sculpt a lot of depth, where I could see this being lost on a simple paint-over job. Battlegrip Phil painted each one by hand, so I'm pretty impressed.

- There is a lot of texture on the sculpt. Despite my criticism above, the sculpted details on UMO are plentiful, with visible effort to balance it all out. It is hard to achieve a 'random' look, since the natural impulse is to work in patterns when doing something like this. Again, I think he could have gone to even greater extremes with the sculpt details- add a protrusion here and there.

- UMO is more or less in scale with Glyos figures. Whether or not this was intentional, UMO fits in rather well with Pheyden, Exellis and their compatriots. There is a decided lack of large alien figures in the Glyos toy universe (maybe we need to build them ourselves) and UMO certainly has a place in that niche.

As seen here, I have no doubt that UMO Series 2 will soon descend upon us (or is that rise up against us?). If you like what you see here, keep watch at Heck, keep watch anyway. I read it every day.

1 comment:

Philip Reed said...

Thanks for posting this (and especially the pics). I'll think about the articulation issue.