Tyrus Kilemahl (Elite Ballistics
Triad Toys - Gunn 4 Hire
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Triad Toys continues with their
cool unlicensed sixth scale series, Gunn 4 Hire. Jeff stops by tonight
with a look at one of the newest characters - tell us all about him,
Last year I got hold of my first Triad figure… and it was a hellovaway
to kick off. Lola
was also part of the Triad: Gun 4 Hire series, and she was a hot doll
in more ways than one.
Since then I’ve reviewed a couple of others, I was very impressed by Josh Randall and less so
with Taki but I’m
glad to say they are very much back on track with Tyrus here.
His back story is pretty shady, he’s basically ex-military and was
infamous for holding the highest kill record of all time, a title that
lead to him being something of an unofficial poster boy amongst the US
armed forces. But after numerous court martials for utilising excessive
violence he was forced to resign from active military duty, despite the
fact he was still willing to serve his country to the death. He is
quickly head-hunted by Gunn, the worlds leading private military
contractor and manufacturer of the highest quality, state-of-the art
weaponry. His job is to head up the newly formed Elite Ballistics
Support (EBS) unit, the first guys sent into the worlds most dangerous
conflicts, with a mission to clear a path and wipe out any guerrilla
opposition, allowing the ‘official’ military presence to gain a rapid
entry into these zones with minimum casualties.
His success in this position soon becomes legendary, making him not
only one of the most important operatives within the Gunn 4 Hire
agency, but also one of the most deadly.
So, now we know a little about Tyrus it’s time to ask yourself, do you
need him in your unit, or more importantly… can you afford not to?
Up until now all the Triad packaging I have received has been nice and
strong in construction, but a little simple on the graphics and
non-existent on the use of photography, but Tyrus has changed all that!
The over all construction remains the same, so it’s a flap fronted 5
panel box, and the thick cardboard is still used, so it continues to
have that sturdy and robust feel. But now instead of being a simple
‘single’ colour with a name or logo printed on the front, this has full
colour images of the figure on all the four major exterior panels and a
large black and white photo on the inside flap. The inside of this flap
has a tray attached holding the mask and his various weapons… or bits
of the weapons that come together to make his uber ‘transformer’
modular weapon. Opposite is a large window, through which we can see
the fully dressed and constructed figure in a clear vac-formed tray, he
lays held securely in this tray by three twisties, therefore making
sure he doesn’t rattle around in transit.
Overall this is a nice compact bit of packaging, proving once again
that most 1/6th figures don’t usually need to come in a box the size of
a briefcase. And the use of photography shows just how much more impact
a piece of packaging has on the shelf when a few nice images are thrown
into the mix.
So, not perfect, but it’s still a very big step in the right direction,
and it has a lot more going for it compared to their last few releases
that relied far too much on typography… I like typography, but not at
the expense of images, and not when it comes to packaging for 1/6th
Most manufacturers have a ‘house’
style… and Triad have always had a distinctive look, but when it comes
to levels of realism, both in sculpt and paint app, then this is by far
the strongest work I have seen from them so far. Tyrus has what could
be called ‘extreme’ features, but he doesn’t veer into caricature at
all. He looks like one of those guys all of us know, or have known. The
guy that was ALWAYS in a bar you used to drink in, always a little
leary from too much cider, and almost certainly ending up in a scuffle,
if not a full blown fight at the end of the evening. Basically he was
that guy that always tried to start up a conversation with you while
you desperately tried to avoid him… but he NEVER got the hint… yeah,
His overall look is very lean, tight mouth, Roman nose, sunken cheeks
and an intense steely stare, his hair is worn in a scalp-lock style,
traditionally much favoured by the 101st
Airborne, could this be a clue to his past? The hair itself
is a countersunk, stuck on panel of real hair, much like the old DiD
figure I just linked to. It works well but can require a little futzing
to get styled just right, I’m even considering using a little gel on it
to keep it in place. The rest of the head is bald, but he has a large
tribal tat on the back of his head, which certainly adds to the whole
badassery of his demeanour. He also comes with a pair of hands,
sculpted to look like Oakley
tactical gloves. The right is in a gun grip position, whilst the left
is in a general gripping pose.
As I already said, this is definitely the most natural and realistic
work I have personally seen from Triad to date, and I’m very impressed.
But for all that strong work on the sculpt, can they enhance it with
the paint apps… or will they drag it down?
Put simply, this is a quantum leap for Triad, it’s one thing showing a
kick ass quality paint app on your prototype, but it’s quite another to
achieve it on the mass produced figure that is put out on the market.
However this time Triad have managed near perfection. We’re still not
quite up there with the lofty ranks of Hot Toys and Enterbay, but
neither are we in their price category (Tyrus here is a mere $99.99),
so taking the price point into consideration I fell happy giving this
guy a full mark.
The flesh tones on the face are realistic, with gentle shading around
the eyes and on the creases around the mouth, the right hand side of
his face even has a subtle scar picked out in a slightly warmer pink.
The lips are picked out cleanly with a tone that adds just the right
amount of gloss to look wet rather than like lipstick, beneath the
mouth he has a subtle blonde goatee; this like the eyebrows is painted
in a mustard yellow with separate hairs flicked in individually to add
detail and definition.
The actual eyes are creeping ever closer to the Hot Toys benchmark, as
here they are glossy, shiny and crisply applied and catch the light
very convincingly without the need for the cursed doll dot. They’re
still not the ‘oh my god it’s so real it’s creepy’ that JC Hong manages
to consistently achieve, but they’re still very well applied!
The work on the skin tone carries on over the back of the head with a
slightly darker tone to hint at an implied shadow of new hair growth,
and it works very well. Then on the very back of the head is his large
tribal tattoo, this appears to be a transfer or stencil, but again the
application is strong and crisp, so no problems there. He also has a
tattoo on his upper left arm, which also seems to have been stencilled
on. The quality here is once more crisp, and it’s a nice detail, but
isn’t quite up there with the amazing work Hot Toys recently showcased
on their Whiplash figure.
All in all it shows just how far Triad have come in a relatively short
time. If they can continue to build on this, the future looks pretty
This guy might be ‘supposed’
to spend his time in military hot zones, but here he looks more like
he’s ready for a bank heist or perhaps to operate as a PMC SWAT team
member, I guess he could be black ops, but whatever the ‘look’ is, it
has mean mo-fo written all over it!
That said, I get the feeling that the Tyrus back story is there for
those that want it, while for many a kit-basher it’s just a bit of
fanciful fluff, it’s the basic figure and gear they want to get their
clammy hands on!
So, from the ground up, we have Oakley style combat boots, a pair of
blue BDU trousers with drawstring ankle cuffs and working cargo pockets
on the leg, all other pockets are non-functioning. There are black
elasticated knee-pads and a webbing belt at the waist. This has a drop
holster attached and strapped to the right leg while the left has a
working drop utility pouch strapped to it. Next up is his modular
weapons vest, it does say in his gear description on the web-site
that it has removable pouches, this isn’t the case, but I’m actually
glad about that as the tailoring and quality of stitching here is all
very good and the quality of seams is consistent. If the pouches had
been removable I fear this might of suffered. The pouches are however
all working and come stuffed with cut foam pieces to pad them out, but
they can easily be filled with whatever you want, the vest also has
working adjustable laces running up the side panels. The front is
secured with a working zip, the scaling is good here, not perfect, but
as a storm flap covers it when done-up it’s not much of an issue
anyway. Under the vest he wears a skin tight black sleeveless shirt,
sleeveless to show off that tat on his upper left arm. However, even
though the shirt is sleeveless his tat does end up covered as he also
comes with upper arm and shoulder armour for both arms and a lower arm
and elbow pad for the left arm, the right also has tactical Knife and
sheath that straps to his lower forearm. These panels all fit well, but
do have a tendency to slip around when you’re posing him, it’s no
biggie, but be aware.
Next up is his ‘ballistics’ face mask, this is part of the reason he
looks like he’s on a bank heist, it’s basically black with dark tinted
lenses and some weathering and subtle skull graphics applied and looks
very sinister when in place. It has elastic straps that need to slide
over the back of the head, these are pretty tight and I had a hell of a
job getting it on, in fact I ended up having to re-glue the two of the
straps as it was so tough trying to position it and to get them all
lined up correctly without them coming loose, and I warn you now it
plays havoc with his hair!
However the simple application of a couple of drops of super glue and
all was well again, and after some futzing it was worth all the cursing
and swearing (not obligatory but it helped me). In fact my top tip, to
add a little more strength to the elastic straps would be to put a
couple of stitches in each one where it threads through the mask
Then we just round off with the Oakley gloves as mentioned above under
sculpting, and his outfit is complete. Had the facemask been a little
easier to get on and had the arm armour not had a tendency to slide
around a bit then this guy would have come dangerously close to a top
score, but as it is it’s still an impressive outfit deserving of praise.
Tyrus has a neat little
haul, but his main firearm is a modular weapon that can be stripped
down and reconfigured into a variety of different guns, each for Tyrus’
specific and exacting requirements. Of course the fact that the
fictional ‘Gunn’ agency is also meant to be the worlds leading
manufacturer of arms means Triad have free reign to create whatever
cool weapons they want.
The different configurations allow it to be a grenade launcher, assault
rifle, machine gun and short range sniper riffle… not bad!
The magazines are removable and the details are crisp and sharp. I did
find however that some parts didn’t clip together that well, so I had
to use a few microscopic bits of blu-tack to keep them secure. You may
want to use a drop of glue here and there. But as this is meant to be a
modular weapon, that would kind of defeat the object.
I also feel it needs some paint applied as the finish is that of shiny
plastic, I would have preferred gun metal or even matte black, so some
weathering would have improved its look no end. His pistol on the other
hand is well painted with both black and steel elements, a removable
clip and a working cocking mechanism. The Tactical knife that fits in
the arm sheath looks to be based on a carbon fibre design because of
the textured surface it is given and luckily it stays in the arm sheath
well. Sadly, as if oft the case with 1/6 figures, the handle is too
small to be held by him convincingly, but it still looks good in
position as part of his tactical gear when he’s all kitted up. He also
comes with Bluetooth communications device that fits around his left
ear nice and tight and lastly a pair of Oakley shades. The arms on
these were set a little too wide for Tyrus when fresh out of the box,
but a quick dip in boiling water and a gentle squeeze to make the arms
closer together and they then fit just fine.
So, again some great and inventive work here, but the modular weapon is
let down with it’s lack of paint finish and the fact that some bits
don’t fit together as well as I would have liked. I also feel he’s
missing a few grenades, not only ‘smoke’ ones to hang around his
person, but also some shells for the grenade launcher. However I’m
nitpicking as overall the selection is good, and with minimal work it
can look pretty awesome, so this category gets a cigar, but it’s a
panatela rather than a full corona!
Tyrus is based around the
base body which has pretty much all the articulation you
would expect, and then some extra thrown in for good measure. It’s not
a body that looks great naked, but generally I find the best
articulated base-bodies never do, and as Tyrus is clothed that’s not of
concern. However, everything you expect on hi-end 1/6th is present and
correct, with double knees, elbows, waist, mid torso and an impressive
range at the hip and shoulder. It hangs well on the whole, but does
need some careful manipulation to get the very best out of it, but with
minimum work it looks very convincing. One of my favourite joints is
the neck, as it can look up and down acutely and tilt in all directions
to inject a lot of character to his poses. I also found that even
though he is in boots the articulation at the ankle is still very
strong, meaning all manner of standing, walking, kneeling and action
poses are easily achievable. And you’ll be pleased to hear he has
neither stiff nor floppy joints anywhere on the body. All are easy to
move and position and also strong enough to hold when placed in free
standing positions, so the lack of a stand in accessories is a moot
point as Tyrus stands just fine without the need of one. I would have
liked the arms to have been made in a slightly more matte finish to
help in his overall aesthetic, but that doesn’t really effect how he
poses, which is pretty much faultless.
With an RRP of $99.99 this guy has ‘deal’ written all over him. The
haul of accessories isn’t huge, but it is however inventive and well
executed on the whole. The base figure has a great range of
articulation, and to top it off the sculpt and paint apps are pretty
damn impressive; especially when consider the price-point manages to
stay the merest of whiskers the cool side of $100. So, if you feel the
need for a new heavy duty bad ass to swell the already swelling ranks
of your 1/6th army. Then this guy will have both you and your wallet
Factor - ***1/2
The figure himself poses well and with that mask and weapon combo has a
lot of display options. He works great as a standalone character but
also lends himself to no end of ‘henchman’ or ‘dystopian future’
troops, hell, he’d even make a good back up man for Hot Toys John
Connor in the Terminator: Salvation line. And the fact that Triads
paint app is so strong here, means he can even stand alongside such
characters and hold his own in terms of quality.
As I just said, the paint apps and sculpt mean this figure feels much
more hi-end than the last couple of figures I had from Triad. His
outfit is well put together and his accessories are an interesting mix
of function and puzzle… just wait till you try fitting the bits
together… it Makes Batman’s sticky gun look like a walk in the park.
The base body has a pretty outstanding range of articulation that isn’t
hampered by the outfit, so I’m confident enough to recommend this guy
as a very solid buy. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how Ghost
and those Dead
Cell ladies turn out. hubba, hubba!
LATE-EDIT, Mike just reviewed Ghost
here… very nice!
to Buy -
You can buy this direct from Triad for the RRP of $99.99
as listed above, alternatively you can bug your local comic store to
get him in or try eBay where I have seen him for between $89.99 to the
RRP of $99.99 (but always check those shipping rates).
Some of Mike’s sponsors also have him
Ego - $89.99
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.