Full disclosure: this review will not be entirely objective, because I consider the SMC folks to be my friends. After all, they created both the Dread Axe of Darkness and the Sword of Ages as exclusives for PGPoA.
Fortunately, they’ve created such an incredibly awesome product that I feel no guilt in my enthusiasm.
Up until now, SMC’s accessories have always been produced on a very small scale using resin. The toys were great, but the production runs were small and expensive. But that’s all changed. SMC Series 1 was produced in a factory using durable PVC plastic to create a professional-looking product.
The sets will be released on Friday, February 3 at 12pm Pacific Time (3pm ET) at www.spymonkeycreations.ecrater.com. Each set will cost $20 and will include the following:
- Master Blade (6 parts)
- Demon Sabre (3 parts)
- Falcon Sabre (3 parts)
- War Shield (10 parts)
- Dominar (12 parts)
There will be five colorways offered:
- Empyrean – Red PVC w/ black paint ops and Glitter Clear Smoke ABS
- Bloodlust – Black PVC and Clear Red ABS
- Doppelganger – Orange PVC and Clear Light Blue ABS
- Venom – Dark Purple PVC and Clear Green ABS
- Cold Steel – Gunmetal PVC and Silver ABS
SMC was kind enough to send along a sample of each colorway. Here’s a view of all the parts you get with the Cold Steel set:
As you can see, the set includes many, many parts–42, to be exact (a holy number to us geeks). The straight sword alone breaks down into the blade, the crossguard, the quillions, the grip, and the pommel. The axe/warhammer in the photo has ten pieces, including the rivets and skulls.
What’s more, there are very few duplicate parts: the sculpting on the crossguard and grips of the Falcon and Demon Sabres is completely different, and even the little decorative skull-faces (both removable) are slightly different. The sculpting is very good; even better than the previous weapons. The weapons themselves are narrower and the details are sharper, which may be a result of the factory production. Even more than SMC’s early work, these accessories look like they belong with the figures–no mean feat given that they have completely interchangeable parts.
While almost all of the pieces feature the Glyos Fit Function peg, the round piece at the end of the axe has a special peg that fits Trap Jaw/Roboto/Hurricane Hordak. And of course, they’re fully compatible with both Glyos and the Outer Space Men.
While there are some relatively “standard” looks for each weapon, the real appeal of these toys is the incredibly level of customization they offer. I doubt I will ever do video reviews (I’m a writer, and that’s all I want to do), but I’ll admit I’m not sure I can convey just how fun these things are with just a bunch of static photos.
I spent hours fiddling with these toys and I feel like I barely scratched the surface of what can be done with them. There are a lot of really useful parts here, and not just for MOTU collectors–for example, there are double-plugs that allow you to set two female sockets flush to one another. I have to imagine this is something Glyos fans would find extremely useful (though I’ll admit they may already be available, as I don’t follow Glyos closely enough to know).
There are parts here whose function I’m not even sure about, but I had a ton of fun trying to figure them out. These are ideal “finger food” and any fan of Lego, Stikfas, Xevoz, or Glyos is going to find themselves occupied for hours.
If you’re planning to use these purely as weapons for your MOTUC figures, be aware that while the parts do fit snugly (very snugly–my thumb still hurts from trying to push in some of the double-plugs), they do spin around. However, they only really spin if you move them, and for the most part they’ll hold their shape and position.
My one area of concern is the haft of the axe/hammer. The plastic is so durable that I’m worried it may bend a bit over time and display. However, some of the axe hafts are made from translucent parts, and those hold their shape much better.
My favorite sets are Cold Steel, the Empyrean set, and the Bloodlust set. Cold Steel is perfect for barbaric characters like Vikor, as you can see from my pics. The Empyrean set features the same star-dusted smoky plastic as the previous version, giving it a cosmic look that works perfectly for the likes of Zodac. And the bloodlust set is ideal for both Hordak and Trap Jaw.
At first glance, $20 may seem like a lot for a set of accessories, but of course you’re not just getting two sabres, a sword, a warhammer/axe, and a shield–you’re getting dozens of variations on those weapons. Given the wealth of customization options versus the scale of the SMC operation, I think the price is not just fair but perhaps even a deal.
Long story short: I love these. Bravo, SMC!
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Related Links >
- Pixel Dan’s review of Spy Monkey Armory Series 1
- AFI’s review of SMA Series 1
- Michael Crawford’s review of SMA Series 1
- Review of SMA Series 1 at ItsAllTrue
- My review of the SMC Fantasy Shields
- My review of the SMC Emerald Energy Accessories
- My review of the Blade of the Demon King
- My first interview with SMC
- Venenor’s guest interview with SMC
- Announcement of the Dread Axe of Darkness
- Announcement of the Sword of Ages