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Spy Monkey Armory Series 1
Spy Monkey Creations

Spy Monkey Armory Accessories Series 1


I love it when a small company rises up with really great product - it's a joy to see a fan of geeky culture make good in this tough market.

One such company is Spy Monkey Creations. They had been working in the custom arena for years, but last year started producing accessories and weapons that went nicely with the Masters of the Universe Classics.

They've expanded this year, working on another series of weapons and accessories, but this time designed to work the the ultra cool Glyos figures from Onell Designs.

The Glyos figures are cool enough as it is, with lots of great designs and interchangeable parts. That philosophy is mirrored here - each of the 5 weapons in this first series can be disassembled into 42 interchangeable pieces, allowing you to create a huge array of different looking extras.

As I said, these are marketed to work with the Glyos figures (which are around 3 - 4"), but could also go great with the Outer Space Men figures from the Four Horsemen, or any other similarly sized characters.

It's not enough for Spy Monkey to make them all interchangeable - they come in five different color schemes (or 'colorways') as well! There's "Empyrean", which is a red PVC with black details and a smoky translucent ABS; "Bloodlust" is sort of the reverse, with a black PVC but red ABS; "Doppleganger" has an orange PVC with clear blue ABS; "Venom", a dark purple PVC with light green ABS; and finally, "Cold Steel", which is a gun metal PVC with silver ABS.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Spy Monkey Armory Accessories Series 1
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Spy Monkey Armory Accessories Series 1

I have photos of two of these colors schemes - obviously the gray ones are "Cold Steel", while the red ones are "Empyrean". Remember though, since all the pieces are interchangeable, you can swap up combinations of colors any way you'd like as well.

They are selling the full set of 5 extras in one color scheme for just $20, and you can pick it up directly from their website.


Packaging - **

It does what it needs to - gets the product to you.

The set of five comes bagged together, most already assembled but with a few extra pieces for you to use as you see fit. 

With a small company like Spy Monkey Creations, especially one that is using an online store as their main selling venue, packaging isn't yet a marketing tool. The fact that the product gets to you safely is the only real concern, and as such, this category has little to do with my personal overall.

Sculpting - ****
The five weapons each have their own name - at least the ones you get originally. You get to make up your own names for the variants you build.

The shield is pretty straight forward - it's the War Shield. Initially intended to have deadly spikes on the front with a cool jewel in the center, these can be popped on and off and rearranged as you see fit. There's also several ways to attach a handle to the back of the shield, depending on your preference and how you'll be using it in a pose.

The sword with the He-man vibe is called the Master Blade. It's simple yet deadly design works with the broadest range of characters, from knights to barbarians to pure fantasy.

The other two blades are a bit more on the fantastical side. The Demon Sabre has a blade shaped much like the wing of a bat or dragon, while the Falcon Sabre has a blade shaped more like a wing - probably no surprise there considering the name. The pommels, grips and guards follow this same pattern with one having a more dragon-like style, and the other a bit more bird-like. On the Demon and Falcon Sabre, the grip and pommel are one piece, while the guard is a second. On the Master Blade, the pommel and grip are separate single pieces, and the guard is actually three more!

Finally, there's the large war hammer, called the Dominar. There's a ton of pieces here - the handle comes in two pieces, various other pieces can be used for a pommel (I like using the hawk's head), and even the larger jewels and skulls on the head of the hammer can be replaced.

Want to pop the hawk's head on the front of the shield? No problem. Want to add a different pommel or handle to a weapon? Go for it. Want to build your own bladed weapon of death? You can do that too.

Keen observers will notice some re-use here from Spy Monkey's previous MOTUC weapons release. It's pretty minor though - a blade here, a grip there - and considering the small size of the company (and that the intelligent way they did the re-use) it doesn't bother me.

These weapons are marketed to be used with Glyos and Outer Space Men, which are in a 3 - 4" scale, usually. These blades run 4 - 5" long, making them pretty serious weaponry for figures in that scale, but I get where they are going with this. Personally, I think these look best with figures in a 6 - 8" scale, and I've added some shots with a variety of characters.

Paint - ****
With the choice of five different color schemes, you should be able to find one that works best for you. If not, buy more and swap them around to your ideal set!

These aren't painted - they are cast in the colors you see. One advantage to that is that they don't scratch or damage easily. And of course with the translucent colors, it's the only way to go.

Adding in the flecks of color to the translucent plastic is also a nice touch, giving the larger pieces some depth and dimension.

Because these are cast in red or gray or black, there's some swirling in the color. This swirling might detract from some of the colors, but it actually works to the positive for the gray. It gives the blades a Valyrian steel look, that distinctive rippled pattern that is so highly regarded in Westeros. The Master Blade in Cold Steel is the best example, and perhaps my single favorite weapon out of the entire set largely because of this color effect.

Fun Factor - ****
Yep, accessories are always fun. I grew up on the old G.I. Joe and Marx Best of the West figures, and if you didn't get 30 extra items in the box, you were disappointed. Sadly, those days are gone, but having the option to pick up packs like this that can work with multiple lines and multiple scales really helps.

The interchangeability is also a huge plus in this category. You can truly make them your own by swapping parts of different accessories, swapping in other colors, and even building your own totally unique creation. Nothing like letting the imagination get a little running room!

Value - ***1/2
For $20, you get five weapons, designed for ultimate flexibility and personal customization. Considering the current market and the size of this company, I think that's a damn good price, and you're getting your money's worth this time around.

Things to Watch Out For -
Some of the small pieces snap in pretty tight, so you'll want to use a thin knife edge to slower pry them back out to swap. If you're careful, you should have any issues.

Overall - ****
I love it when smaller companies hit the market with great product. This is the sort of thing that is a big plus for everyone - it pumps life into the market, it keeps the big boys on their toes, and it gives collectors, fans and kids more great product.

Of course, it also helps that I love accessories, especially well done, well designed, well thought out ones. Spy Monkeys' first Armory set are all those. The ability to swap pieces and parts is a major benefit, and really adds to the overall appeal. I hope we see them expand on this concept even further!

Score Recap:
Packaging - **
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
The place to go to pick these up is direct from Spy Monkey, where you'll get the full set of 5 weapons made up of 42 interchangeable parts, all for the price of $20.

Related Links -
I reviewed some of Spy Monkey Creations' MOTUC extras last year, and you'll also want to check out their website. Plus, if you like these than you should take a look at both the Glyos figures and the Outer Space Men.

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

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Spy Monkey Armory Accessories Series 1


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

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