April 19, 2015

Finally, The Glyos Talk!

I just recently received my Kickstarter fulfillment from October Toys' Skeleton project.  It was really just the bare bones, no pun intended, with just the Baron Dark figure and the Traveler Skeleden, both being Glyos-compatible.  I had reached out to Mebbles if he wanted to do a write up on them.  He passed on the offer, because, after all, they were mine and not his, so if anyone were to review them or whatever, it should be me.  However, I quickly found I had very little interested to.

So, I guess we are here again.  Let's have the Glyos talk.

For those who don't know, Glyos are arguably the most popular and sought-after independent toys, in America, at least.  Surely, there are Glyos nuts across the globe, but outfitted out of America, they have the highest concentration of customers here as well.  Glyos, in many ways, reinvented the collectible action figure, with rare limited runs, and interchangeable parts.  In fact, that's why some have even landed on my doorstep.

Glyos created a system where each small PVC bit of the figure can attach with another, for both easy twisting and moving, and for customization.  This system became so successful, they outsourced it to other companies to use as well, allowing cross-breeding of figure bits between many independent toy lines, including Skeleton Warriors.

So, you can see why this perfect storm of factors put Glyos where it is on top of the food chain in the independent tot scene, and really, rightfully so.  You look at something like the Traveler Skeleden, and you can tell years of experience and trial and error went into the design and the final production technique, and you can see how far they've worked with it.

Glyos figures are made of PVC, which has become something of a standard platform for mini-figures.  It's harder and more resilient than your keshi erasers of old, yet far more shatter-proof and flexible than resin.  Aside from the super soft material you'd find in Trash Pack or GPK Minikins, you'll find it a very common material used.  One could even wonder if the very first Glyos character took influence from the mini-figures of old, like Kinnikuman or Monster In My Pocket, then broke apart into tiny connecting pieces along the way, to live in both mini-figure and action figures worlds at the same time.

I know what you're thinking.  'Oh, no, we're having Part Two of 'Crapping Action Figures'', and in a way, you're right, but I feel parts of that was a bit premature.  I have seen and owned many types of Glyos figures and slug-casted mini-figures, much more than I did when I wrote the first part.  Although I feel the general opinion hasn't changed a whole lot, I think I have a better understanding why.

There is no real measurement of it.  I can't think of a point system or grading system to express why something doesn't strike me like it does others.  All I know, for me, nothing gets that wow factor, like plugging in the Christmas tree the first time, from me like expertly-done keshi mini-figure, covering all the basic requirements.  There's something ultimately artistic and beautiful in something that needs no extra production than casting.  A perfect keshi would stand on it's own, perfectly center.  It would look great from any angle and in both dark and bright rooms.  It would also speak differently, depending on the color used.  All that is needed is a single mold to cast it.

That's the benchmark for me, and with a different material, a paint application, a glued on piece, or what have you, it gets further and further away from the wow factor for me.  Who knows how much each diversion does or what pulls it further away than others?  I'm not sure, and honestly, it's something I've thought about collecting mini-figures more than anything else to no clear answer.

When MWOTR showed off prototypes of the Goliath figure, I certainly was there, begging and pleading for Mark not to chop up the original resin figure.  I wanted it true keshi, much like his Series 1 set was, however, when I got the Goliath figure, I was very pleased.  I was really pleased with my Rise of the Beasts figures as well, which are also Glyos figures, to a degree.  So what the hell is my problem?  Why does MWOTR and ROTB get the pass?  And much for the same reason, why does Trash Pack and GPK Minikins get a pass as well?  Is it just because of Mark's good looks?

Marks a good-looking man, but no.  Glyos, MWOTR: Evolution, and Rise of the Beasts, all have distinct traceable roots to slug mini-figures.  When you hold the Goliath figure or the Rhino beast, they still feel solid and chunky.  They have big, sweeping areas that are not broken up.  This is not the same for Glyos-branded figures.  The Traveler Skeleden alone is an abomination of twenty or so tiny parts connected together.  Every bit twists with another in a chain reaction of fragmented keshi, all of which is impressive and awesome as it's own figure format, but just has taken too many steps away from the original source and wow factor.

But maybe I'm just not suited for that type of toy.  I've always been a collector at heart.  When I was interested in a toy line as a child, I would want the whole set to collect and pose somewhere safe in my room.  I never tore off heads or arms and created new characters.  I didn't even give the ninja sword to anyone but the ninja.  Compound that with my introduction to Monsters In My Pocket and MUSCLE vending machine bootlegs, and it might paint a clearer picture to why Glyos is swimming upstream with me.

I know I am really in the minority on this one, but I do think Glyos is cool.  They are very-well made and creatively done.  I can see why so many people would enjoy them for any number of reasons, all of which are completely valid.  I never had Japanese sofubi when I was a child either, so which is why, when I got back into collecting toys, I think I went to what I knew I already loved.

So what's my review on the Skeleton Warrior figure and Traveler Skeleden, you ask?  I'm not sure.  I really looked forward to seeing them, and I'm glad I own them.  I'm not terribly blown away though, yet they stand merely inches away from the keyboard I type on... so, who the hell knows?

I know that makes little to no sense, but that's the Glyos Talk in a nutshell here.  I never once guaranteed a logical or reasonable conversation.  You know I'm a crazy person with a keyboard!  What did you expect?!  Thanks for reading all the same though.

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