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Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.
by yo go re

It's very common, in the stories of any culture, to have all the weird things happen in "that place over there." If you want to keep your audience from wondering why all the cool stuff you're telling them about has never once happened where anyone has seen it, why, that's just because it happens somewhere else. Somewhere, conveniently, that is hard to verify. Thanks to scientific advancements, the distance needed between the listener and the setting has gotten progressively larger. Modern versions usually have to resort to alternate realities, for example, while Victorian England ate up wild tales about what went on in its colonies around the world. But you go back as far as ancient Greece, and all the cool stuff happened about 150 miles across the Agean Sea on Crete.

Commonly thought to be a giant man of bronze, Talos is actually the name of a small group of four identical, enchanted, bronze statues and the eternal protectors of the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. Gifts from Zeus, they roamed the shorelines of Crete, protecting Queen Europa from marauders, pirates, and even threats from below the waves.

In the original myths, Talos was (as Poe taught us) indeed just one robot, and he circled Crete three times a day. Since that would mean he had to pass the same spot every eight hours, and Crete has a coastline of 650 miles, we can determine that his walking speed was at least 80 miles per hour (even more, if you account for the time that he had to stop to throw rocks at approaching ships). And wouldn't that still leave a lot of coast unprotected? Anchor just outside of stone-hucking distance, wait for him to walk past, and in four hours he'll be on the exact opposite side of the island.

So if, as this toy claims, there are four of them, does that mean they move at the same speed at thus any specific location sees one of them go by every two hours, or does it mean that they only walk at 20 miles per hour, and it's just the fact that they look identical that's making observers think they're seeing a solitary man of bronze?

Talos is made from the Vitruvian HACKS male body, but that doesn't mean he looks like every other figure we've reviewed so far. For one thing, until now we've only taken a look at Spartans - Crete was home to the Minoans, which was an entirely different civilization, so his armor is a different style. Instead of a shaped breastplate, he wears a shirt of scale armor with solid plates over the shoulders. He wears a skirt, like the Spartans, but his has two layers of leather straps hanging above it, rather than just one. He also has the sandaled feet, but his greaves have a curled pattern both on the sides and on the knees.

His head is new (in so much as none of the figures we've touched thus far have included it) - like the Spartan Warrior, he has a short haircut and a full beard, but it's not the same sculpt. It fact, the hair seems a bit thicker, and the beard is gigantic: this is the Leonidas head from Wave 3! Nice to get a peek at it here.

But the thing that really sets Talos apart from the other HACKS is his paint. Unlike the last Talos toy we took a look at, this one is not all green - rather, taking a cue from NECA's Conan, he's metallic with a bit of green airbrushed on to create the look of a patina. The shade of the "metal" is more yellow than it was on Conan, but if you look at Ancient Greek bronzes, it's not incorrect. He absolutely looks like a living piece of statuary, which was the goal of the piece.

Talos, the Eternal Warrior of Bronze, has a balljointed head and neck; swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; a balljointed torso (limited realistically by the chest armor); balljointed hips; double-hinge knees; and swivel/hinge ankles. The set's accessories include an extra pair of hands with the hinge joint running the other direction, and a display base to help the figure stand in extreme poses. The right knee on mine wasn't properly connected when I opened him, but pushing the pin into place was very easy.

He wears the same helmet as the Cursed Stone Spartan, and his other accessories include a spear, a sword, and a scabbard that can sling over his shoulder - all stuff we've seen before, but not in these colors. It's possible he's also supposed to come with a shield: there's a spot in the tray where one would fit, but there's also a spot in the tray that would allow him to wear his helmet, and that was just behind him in a bag with the sword and hands; the art on the Kickstarter page suggested he'd come with one, and the drawing on the box shows one, but still, it's possible it was just cut before production.

Given the description that Talos is only one of four identical statues, we really need three more of him to complete the set - but he's a Kickstarter exclusive, not a figure you can buy from Boss Fight Studio's website, so the only way to get three more is to barter with Kickstarter backers. So maybe owning a quartet is unrealistic, but even having one is nice.

-- 06/03/16

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