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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of VOTOMS Scopedog Armored Trooper
1/12th Scale Action Figure and Vehicle

ThreeZero
Date Published: 2016-10-31
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 4 out of 4

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ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Introduction

Usually when I receive an early release figure for a review, it's just a little early. It's a production figure, but hasn't quite started to ship yet. You can usually tell, because the figure starts hitting doorsteps within a couple weeks of the review.

But once in awhile I get something much earlier, something truly pre-production. Such is the case tonight with the Threezero VOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper from ThreeZero. The current estimates ship date for this guy - with the pilot figure - is 2nd quarter of next year. This figure is still being tweaked, still being speced. That makes getting in a review fun...but tricky.

Let's talk about VOTOMS first. The anime series first hit television in 1983, and has gone through a number of incarnations since. Of course, there's been a fair share of video games as well, although I don't think any of them have been released outside of Japan.

Threezero does robots really, really well. They've focused on licenses where they can exploit that ability, and the armored trooper is a perfect example.  As I said, this guy isn't due out for another 6 months, and this version is still a very early pre-production version, but it gives us a great look into the potential of the final release.

There are two versions.  One is the standard release, which I'm looking at here, which will cost you around $450.  The other is a Threezero store exclusive with a 'heavy weathering' version that is also $450.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Packaging - N/A
As an early pre-production sample, there's no packaging...yet. I'm sure ThreeZero will do a nice job, but I can't comment on it at this point.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Sculpting - ****
This is a set of two figures, done in 1/12th scale.  The 6" pilot has a sculpted helmet, no additional head. The detailing on this small helmet looks fantastic, and the attention carries over to the armored pieces on his suit.  The small tank, the two piece boots, the unusual helmet design - it all looks fantastic. Regular fans of Threezero know how well they work in this scale, and this pilot proves it.

But let's be honest - it's all about the armored trooper. And ThreeZero has created another beautiful and complex figure based on a very difficult armor design. He's big too, coming in at a full 13" tall.

The realism is created through an extreme amount of fine detail in every aspect.  The hammered metal textures, the clear lens for the 'eyes', the fit between the various moving pieces, the ton of sharply defined separate pieces that all come together to create the final beast. And this level of detail isn't just an exterior feature - the pilot's cockpit opens up in three different areas to expose the complete interior. The rounded top opens, the entire top lifts up (making it easy to put the pilot in place), and the chest opens to reveal the pilot's feet! This shows off all the small detail sculpting work inside, from the control sticks to the console.

There are a few seams that gap a bit, but that's due to the early release nature of this figure.  They are still tweaking the specs, working with the factory to get the very best final result.  Even with the small gaping here and there, I'm easily going the full four stars, and any improvements are just gravy.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Paint - ****
This is a well worn, battle tested beast.  The paint work is every bit as realistic as the exceptional sculpt.

The small details on the pilot are clean, and the dull colored rubber armor color contrasts nicely with the brighter orange jumpsuit. It also highlights the texture and wear, creating a very realistic look in this small scale.  I love the translucent blue visor as well, which adds some nice, bright, eye catching color to the overall look.

The paint work on the big, bad, armored beast mirrors the quality and realism of the sculpt. He has seen his share of battle, and he's ready for more.  The colors match the anime series look, and there's enough variety to avoid looking dull or boring. Remember all those tiny details inside the cockpit? Yep, there's plenty of great paint work there too. Doing truly realistic wear and damage is an art, and Threezero shows their mastery of it here.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Articulation - Pilot ***1/2; Armor ****
The pilot has all the usual ThreeZero articulation - that means 'lots'. The ball jointed neck is a little restricted this time however, due to the stiff hose that runs to the tank on his chest.  I'd suggest swapping in a softer material, or better yet, use a wire inside a soft rubber. That would allow the hose to actually hold the head in just about any pose you wanted.

The rest of the underlying body can take very natural, flowing poses.  The two piece boots are a major plus, allowing the great ankle articulation (ball ankles) to be extremely useful. There are also ball joints at the wrists, and the hands swap cleanly and easily.  Overall, this is a highly poseable 1/12th scale body, and collectors will have no trouble getting the figure to fit perfectly in a sitting position inside the armor. How often does that happen with a vehicle in this scale?

The articulation on the Scopedog itself is just mind blowing. As I said, you can see inside the cockpit multiple ways, and the articulation continues inside. The control sticks move, the console moves, the head rest moves - it's all designed for maximum effect.  On the head, the triple lens eyes rotate, so the larger lens can be in any position, and the entire set of eyes moves left and right smoothly across the 'face'.

The ball jointed shoulders are extendable to get better gun holding poses, and the shoulder armor moves out to avoid restricting any movement. The click elbows have a decent range of motion and can hold the weapons without drooping. The wrists are ball joints, and each finger has three knuckle joints that allow them to take pretty much any hand pose. There's a button on each forearm, and pressing the button ejects the Arm Punch 'magazine'. When the magazine is not in place, you can extend the forearms as well.

The hips are extendable as well - it's part of the 'crouch' mode transformation, which I'll discuss in greater detail in another section - and the knees and ankles allow for decent stances. On top of all this, just about every plate, ever cover, every piece moves in or out, in a truly impressive display of articulation.

Just when you think you're done, and you're all the way down to the feet, you see the extending 'picks' (spikes that can be driven down into the ground) on the side of each foot, and the rolling wheels on the bottom of each foot. That's the sort of detail you should expect - and get - at this price point, and Threezero delivers.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Accessories - Pilot ***1/2; Armor ****
There's not a ton of extras here, but remember - you are getting two complete 'figures'.

The pilot comes with his M571 gun, which fits tightly in the holster on his belt.  He also has seven hands - a pair of fists, a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of gripping hands for the cockpit control sticks, and one extra gun grip right hand. These all swap easily, with no fear of breakage.

The Scopedog has a gun as well, and it's a big one. The set comes with the GAT-22 machine gun, with large stock and long barrel.  It has an adjustable cloth strap as well, and the front grip can be positioned downward or to the side for various two handed poses.

Pop a pin out, and the large stock is removable. Take off the long barrel, replace with a short barrel, and you have the short gun version you saw in the very first photo. The swap is relatively easy, and both versions look amazing.

There's also a fair amount of 'ammo'. There are eight armor punch magazines, two already in the arms, and 3 on holders on either hip. These hip mag holders can be replaced with two additional triangular magazines for the machine gun, if you prefer that look.  For most of the photos I went with a machine gun magazine on the left hip, and a armor punch set on the right hip.

The long antennae on the dome are actually removable, and you can count them as an accessory if you'd like. I pulled them off in some of the photos, since they can get in the way of some arm/head poses.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Transforming Feature - ***
One of the coolest features of the Scopedog Armor is the collapsing crouch mode. The detailed instructions show how to adjust the hips, knees, ankles, and various pieces of armor to get the figure down into the low crouching position, where the pilot can easily enter or exit.  This is another area, like some of the joints, where they are still tweaking the final design to get the best possible outcome, but it's already pretty damn sweet.

I will note that in my photo the arms are bent. You can pop off the hands, and flatten the plate on the wrist, creating a clean look. This will make the arms just the right length to extend straight to the ground without any bend.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Outfit - Pilot ***1/2
The armor doesn't have an 'outfit', but the pilot does. The cloth jumpsuit looks great, and fits really well considering the tiny scale. It's also slightly dirty looking, matching the general grime of the overall set. It doesn't get in the way when inserting the pilot in the cockpit either, because the material is quite thin and soft.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Fun Factor - ****
With this level of articulation and interactivity you'll have nothing but fun with this guy. There's a ton of possible poses with multiple gun configurations. You can keep the pilot inside the cockpit and expose him by opening the dome, or opening the entire cover. Or you can display the two figures independently in a million different ways.  This is pretty much the definition of a 'fun' figure for collectors and fans of the license.

By the way, in the photo below you can see one of the extra machine gun magazines on his hip, as well as the armor punch magazine partly ejected from the forearm.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Value - **1/2
While this guy is $450 direct from ThreeZero, you can get him a little cheaper from other retailers. You're getting a truly amazing amount of articulation and detailing, unlike most figures in this scale.  This is a BIG vehicle, and a very complex design.  They could have cut corners and therefore cut price, but that wouldn't have been a better value - just a cheaper figure. If you're looking for something really impressive for the collection, this guy is it.

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned it earlier, but the small, thin antenna can be bent or damaged when you're working with the head and cockpit lid. I generally removed it when I was working with the top, and just replaced it again once I had the head (or the pilot) in the position I wanted. Otherwise, you should be good to go!

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Overall - ****
Threezero has several of these 1/12th scale armored units planned or produced from a variety of games, including Titanfall and Full Metal Ghost. The overall quality is really impressive, and this Scopedog is one of the nicest figures at any price I've seen all year.

Fans of VOTOMS will be thrilled with this combo set, and while the one I worked with was still a pre-production model, it's already 99% there. They could release this figure tomorrow, just as it is, and I'd go four stars.

While it's technically 1/12th scale, I included a shot below with the 1/6th scale T-45 armor to give you a better idea of just how large and impressive this figure is. It's a hefty chunk of change, but this is a case where all that cash is going toward all kinds of cool features and an exceptional design.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - N/A
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - Pilot ***1/2; Armor ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Transforming Feature - ***
Outfit - Pilot ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

ThreeZeroVOTOMS Armored Scopedog Trooper and Vehicle action figure by ThreeZero

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- you can get the exclusive through the Threezero store, as well as the regular release, for $450.

- has the regular for $430.

- Entertainment Earth also has the regular, but at $450.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Another excellent high end release from Threezero is the Fallout T-45 armor, which I reviewed last year.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2016, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved.