Tuesday, March 20, 2018
1/12th Scale TOA Heavy Industries Synthetic Human (and its Collared and Reprogrammed Variant)
If you're into toy photography, you may have seen this fellow walking around the uncanny valley. It started out as an excellent twelve inch figure, and then 1000Toys (the company that made it) shrunk it down to six inches. This is that glorious six inch figure.
Naturally, your first response is: "GAH! Get it away! Wait, is that a toy? Where can I buy it?" and that starts a wild hunt, lemme tell ya. Most people photographing this toy on Instagram couldn't care less about it's background - just that it's an awesome toy. It does come from a story, however. A manga called Biomega, which features these Synthetic Humans, created by the company titled on the toy's box: TOA Heavy Industries.
I'll admit that I didn't look that far into it. I doubt many others did either, since so many of the pictures of this figure are devoid of information and simply take advantage of the awe factor, because: Look at this thing.
Is it creepy? Is it amazing? Is it something you could even want, sitting there on your desk, daring you to wonder if it had just moved on its own?
Well yeah, duh. Good god man, get in here with the rest of us who own this figure!
Your standard Synthetic Human is so articulated that I'm not even sure where to begin. It might just be easier to say that if you can do it, then this thing can do it too.
It's one of those figures you could pose at the end of a hallway, looking around the corner, and you'd give people a moment to pause or maybe just turn around and try another direction; something opposite the tiny, creepy man clearly poised to move at any moment.
There aren't any joints that are revolutionary. It's kind of like the Captain America of toys: No special powers, but it is in peak condition, beyond all others. Many toys have used these points of articulation, but none of them have used these points so well.
With that in mind; the perfection that this toy meets doesn't leave room for much else. The figure comes with nothing but the robotic birthday suit, a set of fists, open hands, and the beautiful kicker that really makes the figure:
Gun-holding hands! Lovely, well-done hands that hold any gun you can get your hands on!
Just grab any of your favorite 1/12th scale guns and go to town, man. The hands are pliable enough to bend a bit and accept any handle, but not too soft so that it won't hold it. Juuuust right.
There is one more thing...movable eyes. The figure comes with a tiny toothpick-like item that allows you to move the tiny stalks in the back of the faceplate to move the eyes however you want. It might be my only complaint. They're so small that any little movement you make will have drastic changes in direction. Took me forever to make them seem like real eyes looking in a direction naturally. Once I managed to get them to look forward again, I didn't want to try to move them anymore. It's a great feature for folks with the patience of the gods and a steady hand, but otherwise, it's not worth the time it takes.
That's about it.
OH WAIT NO THERE'S ALSO A SKULL FACE.
The eyes can also be positioned and its unnerving stare will take your life if you stare back. Don't make eye contact.
I SAID DON'T.
No matter how cute and docile it may NEVER EVER SEEM TO BE.
Alright, all jokes aside: The faces swap easily and seamlessly. The twelve inch version simply has a faceplate that fits over the skull, but they went with entirely different faceplates for our six inch version. This relates to the fact that, for the story, these are prototypes. The faces aren't complete, and there's simple a human-like mask over the skull.
Otherwise it's horror all the way down.
Now, the title of this post mentioned a "Collared and Reprogrammed Variant." I expect that you'll want to hear about it.
There's our darling baby, on the right. "Collared and Reprogrammed" refers to a Synthetic Human that has been "collared" (like a dog) and reprogrammed as an assassin.
It's the same basic body (painted black) with modifications - almost slip-shod modifications. As if these were made quickly with basic parts so they could get out and do some basic killing as fast as possible.
There's no built in guns, and indeed, not even any room to hold guns. The hands certainly could, I suppose, but the toy doesn't allow for it.
No, this dude is all blades and metal.
The head is totally stripped of humanity, and replaced with a mono-eye and what might be multiple smaller eyes. The hand has been replaced by a simple three-fingered hand that sports---
A flip-out blade. Like I was saying about slip-shod: The blade doesn't hide or seamlessly slide out of the hand. It's just there. No beauty or elegance to it - just a shank on a terror droid.
The lower right leg is totally replaced with a heavy metal version, sporting yet another flip-out shank for those no-nonsense kills.
Similarly, the left arm as been replaced with a heavy metal attack arm. The wideness of it serves as a shield, I'd assume, and houses the main offense:
I. LOVE. THIS. Every bit of it. It exudes terror way more than the basic skull on the regular Synthetic Human. It's not just the look, but the choice of weapons. You can just imagine this thing swiftly and efficiently attacking without stopping. No matter what it's doing, there's a blade coming at you. Even if you've got it on the ground, the thing is thrashing around darting blades at you at impossible angles.
It goes without saying that the love of robots within my heart is wholly and completely satisfied with this heartless drone.
Alright! You've seen the goods. Now let's talk about caveats:
These guys are expensive, even for the fact that they're six inches. I didn't get one for awhile, because the 90 dollar asking price was way more than I figured something like this should cost (considering the lack of accessories). I was right. Eventually, 1000Toys set up a second round of preorders for these, directly on their site! They provided free shipping at the time, and the price was 65 dollars - a marked difference, and makes much more sense for what you're getting.
Now, 1000Toys is currently offering a third preorder for the Synthetic Human, at their website. At the time I had ordered (last year), that was the cheapest way to get them. The price has gone up to 68 this time around, and I don't see anything about free shipping (though there still might be, I'm not certain). These come directly from Japan, so if the shipping isn't free...then it's gona jack the price up. All I can say is that getting this directly from the creators seems to be the best way, but I can't be sure unless you go through the buying process now. I may have just hit a lucky period last year.
Regardless of how you get one of these: You won't be disappointed with either of them. They are amazing! Spectacular! Above and beyond most toys I've handled in the high-end category. There are so many high-end toys out there sporting a million points of articulation and are only able to use half of them well. These figures can run circles around the likes of Figuarts or Figma. Maybe literally. I haven't watched them at all times, and I'm worried they're organized. Plotting.
And entirely too relaxed in my house.