Tyrus Kilemahl (Elite Ballistics Support)
Triad Toys - Gunn 4 Hire

Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys

   "The 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 guest author."

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, Jeff!

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?
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys

Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys

Packaging - ***1/4
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 figures!

Sculpting - ****
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, THAT guy!   

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?

Paint - ****
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 rosy!

Outfit - ***1/2
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 buckles.

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.

Accessories - ***1/4
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!

Articulation - ****
Tyrus is based around the Triad- Omega 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.

Value - ****
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 smiling!

Fun 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.

Overall - ***3/4
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!

Where 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
Alter Ego - $89.99
TFAW - $87.99
BBTS - $94.99 

Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys
Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys

Tyrus Kilemahl Gunn 4 Hire action figure by Triad Toys

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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