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Prototype Sincroid Exellis

Glyos
by yo go re

Here at OAFE, we take requests. (Also, we take donations.) If our readers want to read about something, we'll do our best to deliver. Since everybody keeps asking why we haven't reviewed any Glyos, we're finally getting on the ball.

Rebelling against his tyrannical creators in the Glyos System, Prototype Sincroid Exellis battles for the freedom of his mechanical bretheren as leader of the Lost Sincroid Revolution.

Hey, that's nice! I know our own Poe Ghostal has, in the past, bemoaned the imagination-limiting properties of giving a toy a pre-set biography, but for me, having a backstory is the thing that changes a toy from a shape into a character. And this backstory - he's a robot freedom fighter - is vague enough that you can still make up your own personality and motivations. Is he ligitimately fighting oppression, or is he more like Bender from Futurama raging against a system that isn't actually out to get him? Is he a peaceful leader, like Optimus Prime, or a bloodthirsty psychopath, like movie Optimus Prime? It's up to you!

The design of the figure is very... bubbly. The segments are all rounded, not square or angular like you'd expect from a robot. In fact, it's reminiscent of the grotesque art of Gahan Wilson (which isn't really a compliment, if you're not a fan of his art). Exellis's head looks like a bike helmet, and he has yellow white eyes and a narrow face.

There are many different colors of Exellis available - probably dozens by now - but this one is purple. The body, head, gloves and boots are dark, while the limbs are a paler shade. The seams between each sculpted segment of the body are given a black wash so that he looks outlined, which makes what details are there a better chance to stand out. Look at the little bump on his chin, the inset rectangles on the chestplate, or even the treads on the soles of his shoes (feet?); without the black, they'd be very easy to overlook, which would detract from the final figure's appearance.

The Glyos stand about 2¾" tall - too small to mix with any other action figures, and too large to mix with Lego minifigs. That really limits their usefulness. It's like MOTU Classics or the early ToyBiz days of Marvel Legends: until you've spent the money to get A LOT of them, they just look wrong, but then eventually you hit that tipping point and they become a scale all their own. It's a great size for a "desk toy," though: the type of thing you absentmindedly fidget with when you're on the phone or otherwise trying to zone out for a little bit.

Unfortunately, the articulation is only so-so. Exellis moves at the neck, shoulders, gloves, torso, hips, knees, and ankles, which sounds like a lot of nice joints, but they're all plain swivels. Really? Swivel knees? Swivel ankles? Bodies do not work that way! They're done as swivels because "the Glyos system" is all about removable/reconfigurable pieces, so the body pops apart at all those points. Basically, it's like a Minimate, but not as good.

It's pretty damn hard to get the pieces apart, too - they're small and rounded, so it's a challenge to get a decent grip on them - but on the other hand, that means anything you build with them will stay together like a rock. For what it's worth, the Four Horsemen's Power Lords reboot and the recent Skeleton Warriors Kickstarter both use the same system.

The Prototype Sincroid Exellis is... honestly, it's not an amazing figure. It doesn't do anything to tell me why people are so freaking gung-ho about this line that they wet themselves whenever a new "drop" happens (and oh my god, how freaking pretentious is that they call sales "drops?" It's almost as bad as calling a repaint a "colorway." It's a sale. Just call it a sale). If they cost about half as much, I might understand it; Exellis is fun, but he's not $10 worth of fun.

-- 07/12/14


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