Wednesday, May 29, 2013

[Toy] *Review* 3A Real Steel Midas

Toy has posted a new item, '*Review* 3A Real Steel Midas'

Are you ready for round two? Coming out swinging from ThreeA is their latest but
definitely not last fighting robot from Dreamworks 2011 movie, Real Steel. While
Midas wont be their last bot in the ring, hopefully that will be my last use of
boxing metaphors for this review.
I make no promises.
Last year, ThreeAs Ambush turned out to be a pretty big surprise for me. If you
check out the review we did of him, not only was he one of the most detailed
toys Id seen from ThreeA yet, he was a ton of fun to pose andphotograph. I
enjoyed reviewinghim far more than I imagined I would. So much so, that I put
him as one of my top toy picks of 2012!
When the postmandeliveredMidas and I finally got the opportunity to unbox him, I
experienced a fairly odd realization. Midas arrived to me with even more of
adisadvantage hanging over his head than Ambush had. With our Ambush review, I
went into it with only the knowledge that I wasnt a huge fan of the movie.
Thusly, I expected little from the toy. Ambush got the upper hand on me, in no
small part, due to the element of surprise. I was sucker punched by his
coolness! (Ok, heres a dollar for the overused metaphor jar) From the second I
opened the box I couldnt get over that guy. I forgot almostcompletelyhe had
anything to do with a robot fueled b/kids movie (one that 10 year old me would
have LOVED, mind you) and was simply enarmored by the incredible work ThreeA had
done in making that robot real. I expected nothing and Ambush delivered far more
than that. Midas on the other hand, well..
I see you ThreeA and I know what youre capable of!
Wow me.

image copyright Dreamworks Animation


Midas comes in the exact sort ofpackagingthat Ambush did. You can expect the
same kind of minimalistic design elements with Midass insignia hung front and
off-center. A nice, large, magnet-fastening lid covers the heavily packed bot
inside. Once again, Midass stats are laid out for you to brush up on if you
like. Hisarentasembarrassingly sad as Ambushs were. In fact, his background
reads more like that of a violent felon. His impressive mohawk is mentioned


A fighting robot doesnt need a whole lot to make it in the world today. Just
like Ambush, Midas comes practically accessory free. Some may find that a bit
boring, but you cant blame ThreeA for it. Fault Dreamworks for not designing him
an awesome robo-comb of some-such.
Hmmm.. a deluxe flowbee maybe?

As the version Ireceivedfrom ThreeA is their official bamba version, it did come
with a cool little remote controlaccessory. Like I said in the Ambush review,
its well done and cool to look at, but with no one to hold it.. its mostly just
display clutter for me. Back into the box you go, less ye be lost!

Update 2/07/13: There have been a few comments from folks saying that their
Midas did not come with batteries. Theres a chance that ThreeA included them
with mine to make it easier for me to get this review together. If so, big
apologies for the misinformation.
Update 2 2/08/2013: Confirmed that batteries do NOT come with Midas. It was
included with my sample to assist in the review. Sorry for getting hopes up if I
did. At least the batteries are cheap!
One thing of note: Midas actually comes with his eye-light batteries
preinstalled! Huzzah! I am seriously happy 3A decided to include them this time
around. I say this particularly because some battery sizes can be very difficult
to find in certain remote regions. Someone could spend the larger part of their
weekend trying to hunt them down by driving back and forth all over an island in
the middle of the ocean looking for them. Just like this someone did when he had
the opportunity to review 3As MGS REX.
I was stoked to find I would be avoiding that hassle this time around.

At first blush, Midas is everything youd expect him to be. Big, gold, dinged a
bit and sporting a ridiculously bright red mohawk.

Hes painted up bright and gold (though it reads more orange/brown in most light)
with some red accents. Hes tatted out with all manner of tribal tattoos head to
toe, which begs the timeless question of.. on a scale of Ed Hardy to Affliction,
just how douchyis Midas?

Ol Midas has been busy too! He has all manner of dings, dents and scratches
running all over him. That was one of the things I really liked about Ambush as
well,theasymmetryin the weathering and damage. An unfortunate notched mishap on
his right arm does not mean the same for his other. It definitely adds to the
realism of the character.

Im not really much for gold, but Midass paint is actually really quite good. I
wouldnt say its as believable as Ambushs or that it was as carefully applied
like that on MGS REX, but its still definitely good. SinceMidas ispredominately
painted gold (or gold leaf as the background statistics on his box specifically
state) his rusted/damaged areas are pretty much just silver to represent the
metal underneath. There are some variations in there, some layers, but they dont
read as clearly since the hues of the marks are so close to that of his top
coat. It does the job and looks fine, just not quite as well as Ambushs
scratches and marks.

Ambush gets a leg up, I think, largely because his color scheme lends itself
better to reality. He may be bright blue, but with the rust and silver metal
showing through, you feel like you may have seen an old pickup truck that looks
like him somewhere.

One thing that bothered me about Ambush was that it was difficult to get him to
maintain any extreme poses. Some areas, like his arms were fairly easy to sort
out and pose however you like. But his overall bulkiness, coupled with is small
feet and limited hip range make him difficult to balance in any pose much more
creative than his two feet planted side-by-side.
This is where Midas knocks Ambush on his butt.

Where Ambush has shell-like armored bits that need to slide over and around one
another just so you can twist and turn him, Midas is basically made up of easy
to use,undeterred, ball-joints. Very little gets in the way of moving him

His arms have several joints running the length of them which let you easily get
Midas into any type of boxingstance you can think of. Midass hands are also
articulated so you can unclench them if you feel like giving him a break after
the big fight. Thumbs areposabletoo.

Remember to keep your elbows in, knees bent, chin tucked and always watch your
opponents eyes.

Below is a link to a quick video where I show some of the impressive
articulation Midas has at his disposal.
Note: Were working on bringing more video content to you. We want to get things
to a point where its as regular around here as all these beautimus photos. Were
still working on getting thequalityup, tweaking the video codecs and trying to
establish some semblance of quality. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our
shiny new RTR video intro! ~ knives

Now just because Midas is easy to move around doesnt mean he lacks in detail or
intricacy. Like Ambush before him, he has a bunch of joints decorated with
functioning pistons. Small flexible wires are attached at his elbows, legs and
hips. They look cool and seem to be firmly in place, but I am a tad worried
theyll become brittle over time,especiallyat his elbows. Its the one element
that stands out as fragile to me on Midas.

Just check out those lats! Dudes totally crushing his morning hot yoga sessions.
The photo above (hopefully) illustrates a cool element of Midass design. His Ill
just call themshoulder blades, slide in and out as you move his shoulders
around. Details like this make Midas fun to play around with.

Midas also has the coolest Iron Man-esque boots ever. I really love the way they
came out. To go with anappropriatelysnug, yet very forgiving ankle joint, the
feet themselves are hinged as well allowing for him to go up on his toes a
little, just in case you want to send Midas off to ballet school.

So what else.. what else? OH yeah. This guy can practically do drunken monkey
kung fu. Midas is SO well balanced. It wont take you two minutes to get him
standing, Karate Kid style on your kitchen counter. I didnt get a great shot of
the ability, but hopefully enough to get the point across.

Unlike our buddy Ambush, Midas is nimble,lightweightand (at least on the one I
got) all his joints give/take exactly how much I need them to. His feet have
just enough play to where you can adjust them to support an impressive amount of
offset weight. This single feature kicks Ambushs hiney soundly into next week.
Poor guy.

The light up eyes look pretty sweet and thanks to ThreeA supplying the
batteries, you can enjoy it from day one.

The eyes are super cool but I was a little bummed when I read the inside flap of
Midass statistics and saw that the official movie character featured a fiber
optic mohawk.A fiber optic mohawk?!! That would have been so awesome to see!
While that info was pulled from the movie and was never an advertised feature of
the toy, it would have been pretty great if ThreeA managed to pull it off .
Instead, ThreeA used stiff, paintbrush-like bristles, which stand up like
something youd see on a Roman soldiers helmet. Im sure theres some complex
engineeringmathematicsgoing on behind it that I could never fully understand as
being the driving reason they went with the brush hairs instead. I accept that.
And dont get me wrong, it looks sharp as it is. But how cool would it have been
to switch on those lights and have his whole mohawk glow a vibrant bright red
Ahhh,Cest la vie.

I actually didnt know at first that there were already batteries installed so I
went through the trouble of hunting down a tinee-tiny screwdriver to see what I
could see. Seriously, Im lucky I have a few of these laying around from my PC
building days what would the average person use to access the batteries? Maybe
toy companies should keep in mind the kind of tools the larger majority of
consumers keep around their pads before they go slapping screws the size of
butterfly teeth on their toys. Tiny screws are fine for holding bits together
that youre not meant to mess with, but for a panel that you may want quick
access to, a more common screw size would be appreciated.


Idont think I like Midas quite as much as I did Ambush. That being said, I think
Midas is, without question, a much better toy than Ambush turned out to be. So
whats the deal?
Midas beats down Ambush round after round (Cha-ching! Another dollar for the
metaphor jar!). Hes far more posable and stable. His joints move easier and hold
in place as they should. He doesnt feel near as fragile as Ambush did as hes
made up of mostly solid pieces. On top of all that, he comes ready with the
batteries youll need to run the lights in his eyes.
In short, his glowing eyes look dope, his paint looks dope, his mohawk looks
dope, his boots look dope, his various moving robo-parts look dope, his posable
thumb looks dope. I just want to be crystal, this bot is dope!

Honestly, the only things I have to whine about with Midas are mostlyaesthetic,
meaning, my own personal taste. I mentioned before Im not into gold and Midas is Hes also covered in terrible tribal tattoos like some weird future
robot from the 90s. He turned out to becompletelytrue to Dreamworks Animations
original design.
Well,completelytrue-ish. The characters mohawk is officially made fromfiber
optics, not paint brush hairs, but this is the toy and not the movie.. grumble..
grumble.. grumble.
Despite how much better of a toy Midas is than Ambush, I still believe I like
Ambush a little more. Mostly its his rusty blue pickup truck paint I dig. I just
love his paint app and how nice and contrasty his colors are. Plus all
thosefinickysteel shell bits that encompass his body, whilecumbersometo grip
when positioning him, give his form some layers and depth, which I really like
as well.
Its simple really, both are cool. Itll come down to what you personally prefer.
Quick side note: I never did figure out what the little black plastic flaps on
his shoulders are for

ThreeA has once again done a great job that further cements themselves as
masters of their craft. With Midas, The Real Steel/3A union continues its
impressive journey. Theyre two for two, will you be ready for round 3? (*cling!
Im steady filling the jar)

Top notch looking bot with great detail and sculpted damage
Fantastic articulation and balance
Very solid paint application and weathering details
As close a replica to the on-screen version as youll ever see

Batteries included! (update 2/7/13 :possibly.. possibly not) (update 2 -2/8/13:
confirmed they are not included)


Some of the body wires hinder movement which means they are more prone to break
over time
Its a shame the mohawk hairs arent made of actual fiber optics or a similar
material.. that would have been something to see!
Might be a good idea to use more common sized screws on battery access panels
Im starting to think I need to watch Real Steel again

A big thanks to ThreeA for getting Midas out to us! Lily ^ thanks you too. ~
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