[toc title=”Table of Contents” class=”toc-left”] When I first interviewed Matt Doughty of Onell Design, he was hard at work sculpting the Rig (you can even see it under the lamp light in this pic). While I was there, we discussed vintage toys we’d enjoyed, and I mentioned having owned the Macross 4 Part II set of vinyl toys as a kid (I believe my parents bought them at Hobby
World Town at the Hanover Mall). I mentioned how fond I’d been of the yellow figure (no idea what his official name is–I’ve never actually seen an episode of Macross), and Matt, being Matt, knew exactly what I was talking about and agreed it was a great piece.
What’s interesting is that the Rig would turn out to be very similar to that Macross figure–a hollow vinyl robot who had the same smooth, chunky feel. The difference, however, is that the Rig, being a product of the Glyos world, would be more than just a bipedal robot. Through a couple of simple twists, it could be two different robots, a spaceship, a tank, or whatever you imagine it to be.
The Rig arrives in a simple clear plastic bag–no real packaging per se.
Design & Sculpt
The Glyos aesthetic has a sort of 1980s science fiction videogame vibe–-sort of a cross between the characters/spaceships in a classic Atari or NES game and the far-more-detailed art on the cover of the videogame box. This love for 8-bit sf gaming is reflected in the growing Glyos media empire, which includes games, videos and comics. Scott Pilgrim would love Glyos.
I’ll admit I haven’t been sucked into Glyos, mostly because I’ve just never had as much interest in building and swapping parts as other toy fans. I had my Legos as a kid and have had brief, passing interests in properties like Stikfas, Microman, Xevoz and Bionicle, but it’s never grown to the full-blown obsession of a Masters of the Universe, Hellboy, or Batman.
But I can tell you a number of fellow collectors whom I respect will swear by Glyos; one recently told me, “Presently I’m enjoying the Glyos stuff much more than any of the other lines I collect. Glyos seems to be the only line I actually ‘play’ with. Most everything else winds up on a display shelf after about an hour, but the Glyos stuff is always in use.”
This is the second Rig–the first came with a gray-and-green color scheme. I bought that the moment it came out, and I think I may have been one of the first to order this Rig, too. While I haven’t gotten into the smaller Glyos items, I love the Rig. The anime-videogame-robo-mech aesthetic, the big, chunky design, and the smooth vinyl feel of the toy is just really appealing to me.
Depending on how you orient the Rig, it can look like an ED-209-type robot, a cockpit-driven mech, a tank or a small spaceship. The spaceship (seen in the first pic) is one of my favorite poses, but it does require balancing the vehicle on the “robot” face. This was difficult to do for my original green Rig, but it works very well with the blue one.
The Rigs aren’t quite as versatile as other Glyos products; you can pop off the torso and swap it with an Armadoc, as seen it this ItsAllTrue review. Evidently the arms can come off too, but the sockets are very tight; whenever I’ve tried to remove them, the plastic has started to turn white as it bent, so I recommend warming the arms up with a hair dryer before trying to take them off.
Plastic & Paint
The Rig is molded in gray plastic, with what appears to be a matte coating on it to maintain the smooth look and feel. It’s highlighted in black and blue (as opposed to black and green in the first release).
I like the blue even more than the green, but that’s primarily because blue is my favorite color. My only complaint with the paint work is the black lines etched along the details; they’re a bit thick and uneven, giving the toy that homemade look and feel of most Glyos product. I understand that it’s probably a design choice and partially a limitation of Onell’s budget, but I do wish the lines were more even and a bit less toy-ish.
The Rig moves at the waist and shoulders. I’m not really sure where else I’d want it to move, except perhaps a T-crotch for the legs.
The Rig is a solid hunk of plastic. So, no problems.
The Rigs cost $25 apiece, which is expensive for a toy of this size and shape, but when you take into account the limited production run, the relative small size of Onell Design as a company, and the comparative cost of many vinyl toys on the market, it’s pretty fair.
For Glyos fans, the Rig is a fantastic addition to their collection, a large foe for the Armadoc. But even for non-Glyos fans, the Rig is a great toy, one you could stick on your desk at work (like I did) or hand to any kid and watch their imagination go wild.
Where to Buy:
The Rig is sold out, but there will definitely be another release (probably in a different color scheme), so keep an eye on the Onell Blog for news on the next sale date.