Review by Prometheum5
Ashley Wood is an Australian artist most recognized for his Spawn comic book cover paintings, Hellspawn comic illustration work, Metal Gear Solid art, and Tank-Girl work. More recently he has spent a great deal of time on his original properties Zombies vs. Robots (vs. Amazons), Popbot, World War Robot, and the newest, Adventure Kartel, working with ThreeZero toys of Hong Kong to form the toy-making partnership ThreeA, through which Ashley’s original designs come to life. ThreeA toys are most recognizable by their incredible detail and weathered paintwork.
World War Robot is a story currently told through two art books (with a third coming!) by Ashley Wood of a world that develops heavy robotics and some degree of space travel, as 1980’s Earth is at war with its colony on Mars, which has declared independence. Both sides are supplied with their war machines by Rothchild Industries, based in an impregnable facility on Luna. The shadow organization NOM (Not Ordinary Men) is working towards some unknown motive, with their most prolific member Nom de Plume being something of the ThreeA mascot. World War Robot was first a 1/6 scale toy line, but has now been complemented with the World War Robot Portable line of 1/12 scale toys. Both lines exist, with promises that most everything will be available in both lines, but the smaller Portable line allows many more color versions to be released at a time, as well as bots that would be prohibitively large in 12” scale (WWR already features the massive Large Martin, 20” tall, so obviously when there’s talk of a bot too big for WWR, it’s REAL big).
The Bertie Mk 2 bots are the standard infantry support units in WWR fiction. While the figures here have a limited selection of weapons, Berties have been shown with a large variety of weapons in Ashley’s artwork, including many types of small arms, calling to their lighter role than the rough and tumble Brambles.
Bambaland is the 3A online store, through which 3A items can be preordered direct, long before they appear for preorder at retailers, usually offered in larger exclusive sets than the retailers are offered. I was not around when the Bramble pack went up for sale on Bambaland, but I was around for the Berties and jumped on the opportunity. The Bertie Mk 2 Bambaland-exclusive Adventure 7-pack consists of the entire ‘standard’ wave, consisting of:
- Marine JEA (Joint Earth Army) with gattling gun
- Medic with pistol
- Sandy F*ck with gattling gun
- Dutch Merc Zwerte Torens with gattling gun
- Deep Poweder with gattling gun
- Dirty Deeds bloody variant with pistol and machete and severed heads
- 7-Pack exclusive Zombies versus Robots star Zomb F*cker Warbot with dual pistols and special 2-eyed head sculpt
Each Bertie comes with an accompanying Square2 recon robot with one exception. Sandy F*ck did not come with a matching Square2, but rather a Euro Defense Square2 was included. The Square2s are small blocky robots with stumpy little legs designed for recon and telemetry collecting, and are designed to be a little ‘cutesy’ in order to appear innocent and non-threatening or even unnerve enemy troops, according to the fiction. 1/6 Square2s were sold as blind-boxed trading figures with the same quality as the rest of the 3A bots, but the 1/12 WWRP versions are only being offered as accompaniment to the Bertie units in order to give the Berties a little more bang for your buck. Fans of particular schemes certainly appreciate their inclusion, as one of the advantages of the smaller scale WWRP line is the ability to assemble a much larger group of bots, and Square2s are an essential part of any WWR-universe formation.
The box is a veritable titan, featuring a slip cover adorned with a brand new piece of Ashley Wood artwork featuring the mysterious main ‘character’ of the WWR story, Nom de Plume, and the various Berties included in the pack. When the slipcover is removed, the inner box folds in half to provide a window display of the contents in all their fresh toy glory. The printing on the box includes the logos of the various figures as well as some technical details of the Bertie bot.
The WWRP Bertie Mk 2 sculpt is around 7 inches tall, lean, and sleek. The WWRP Berties use the same arms and hands as the Brambles (as well as the gattling gun ammo belts), but are otherwise a completely new figure. The Berties are articulated at the shoulders, biceps, wrists, individual fingers, neck, ‘waist’, hips, knees, and ankles. The figures are made primarily of vinyl, with a more rigid and solid feeling material for the hands, fingers, and legs, that I assume is another plastic. The joints are smooth and firm, but I noticed specifically that the legs move a little bit smoother then on the Brambles. The much smaller joints may have something to do with it, but it might also be a sign of the continued evolution and improvement 3A figures exhibit.
Berties are equipped with a ‘belt’ of pouches much smaller than on the Brambles, and figures with pistols include a working cloth holster. The pouches all have working buckles, and the holsters feature Velcro straps. The belt hooks on to any and all of four hooks around the Bertie's waist, and I like that it is one secured piece that does not come off easily. The pouches on the Brambles are not that secure, and have a tendency to fall off while handling those figures. Each Bertie also includes a backpack piece, either a small powerplant for the pistol-ed figures, or a large ammunition drum similar to that of the Brambles with gattling guns, but smaller and leaner, just like the Berties, as well as some weapons, as described above in the set breakdown. The pistols feature a rotating chamber and the gattling guns feature moving handles and a rotating barrel assembly. My single biggest complaint on the Brambles was the single-piece hollow vinyl gun barrel being slightly squishy and prone to warping, but that problem is completely eliminated here, as the barrels on the Bertie’s gun is made from three separate hard plastic tubes, all fixed to a single mounting bracket. The gattling guns also feature the same extremely soft and flexible ammunition belt, and I am happy to report that the fit of the belt to the gun and ammo drum is better overall.
The Square2s stand around 2 inches tall and feature articulation at the waist, hips, and knees. The joints on these guys are tight and smooth, and the figures balance pretty well for being tiny and super-articulated.
The paint and finish on these guys is exceptional all around. Each figure is unique, features its own set of markings, and is weathered differently.
First up is my favorite, the Marine JEA. I’m a sucker for green schemes, and the more sea-green color of these guys along with the cream-colored accents really pop. I think these guys also feature the most convincing weathering, with a great deal of chipping and rust, evidence of their heavy use as part of our frontline defense against the Martian invaders. I also like the brass-colored ammo belt the best.
The Medic is packing a pistol and looks ready for a rapid operation to escort a battlefield medic on his way to a patient in the field. The yellow grimy weathering matches the previous Bramble perfectly. The Medic scheme is really quite striking with its sharply contrasting red markings.
Sandy F*ck is a desert operations bot, and features a heavily chipped and dry-rusted finish, suggesting a long and arduous career being sandblasted by harsh desert winds.
The Euro Square2 matches a specific Ashley Wood painting from the WWR art books, but is an oddity in this set. There is a Euro Defense Bramble, but it is from a different down and features blue trim instead of red, with different markings. I like having the Square2 all the same, but its presence in this set is something of a mystery.
The Zwerte Torens Bertie is a mercenary bot of Dutch persuasion, and features a patchwork finish and traditional Dutch heraldry. The unique and detailed decals, as well as the multicolored finish make this guy stand out on the shelf.
Deep Powder is a snow camouflage scheme, featuring some very cool markings and serious rust.
The Dirty Deeds Berties are a fan favorite unit, explained in the first WWR art book. A squad of 12 Berties was specifically programmed by the Earth forces to infiltrate the Rothchild Industries facility on the Moon and kill Rothchild himself, in the hopes that it would help end the war. Nobody is really sure what happened, but upon landing on the Moon, the DD squad went rouge and killed its handlers, seemingly going off for their own purposes. The Dozen was not seen for years, until it finally resurfaced slaughtering whoever stood in its way under the command of the shadowy Nom de Plume. Their goals are unknown, but their reputation is very much known, and they are a fearsome bunch. The DD Berties are known to collect trophy heads, typically severed with their favored machete. The Bambaland pack DD Bertie is heavily blood spattered, in order to differentiate it from the Dirty Deeds Dozen boxed set that was released at the same time. My one complaint here is that on the original 1/6 DD Bertie figure (made before 3A existed), a net pouch was included for the severed heads, and that was not included here. It would be nice to have something to put the severed heads in, which feature great detail, so I will probably make a netting bag myself, but it seems like a glaring omission.
Finally we have the exclusive figure of the pack, Zomb F*cker. First seen in the Ashley Wood-illustrated and co-created comic Zombies versus Robots (and then versus Amazons), the Warbot was the star of the show, a foul-mouthed independent thinker among his more drone-like fellow bots. ZvR(vA) takes place in a separate universe that features similar designs to WWR. The Zomb F*cker as he appears here is a new version of the character, as in the comics the Warbot was much bulkier and featured the peg-legs of the original 1/6 Bertie figures. ZF features a two-eyed head and really unique markings and weathering. The torso and shoulders and shiny silver with some rust developing, while the limbs and head are a darker metal color covered in a patina similar to what copper develops. It all adds up to a really unique figure among the more heavily weathered bots of the line in the pack, and gives ZF something of an action-star feel, which is true to the comic. The weathering on the exhaust pipe under the neck even makes it look a bit like a cigar!
We’ve covered a huge and varied assembly of figures here, and I think the pictures still do most of the talking, but the Bertie Mk 2s and Square2s are the next step in the WWRP line and a sign of more good things to come. Now that we have three types of bots, we can start to match up figures with the Brambles of the same schemes, and start assembling mixed squads. I know I will be focusing on expanding my Marine force with every release, as well as Medic Corps. Retailer single Bertie Mk 2s with matching Square2s can still be preordered from some retailers for around $50.00 each, so if you are interested in trying out a 3A toy, don’t sleep! There are some rumored retailer exclusive Berties that may still be on the way as well.
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