Monday, May 4, 2009

Toy Review: Glyos System Series Reverse Pheyden

Seems everyone is doing toy reviews these days. I figured that I should do it as well. I'm reviewing a figure from the Glyos System Series action figure line from Onell Design. These are relatively low-run action figures produced by an artist named Matt Doughty. Matt has created a whole world of characters that are infinately customizable due to completely interchangeable parts and oodles and oodles of color variations. Each figure in the basic line is comprized of 13 interlocking parts that can be swapped out between the characters in the line. Each Glyos basic figure stands at 2.75 inches tall and features 12 points of articulation. This review isn't particularly objective, because I happen to love these figures. But this is my blog, and I guess I can pretty much do whatever I want to, eh?

Today I'll be reviewing Reverse Pheyden.

Pheyden is one of the main characters in the Glyos System universe. The official product literature says:

"Hailing from the fabled Edge of Space in the mysterious Glyos
System, Space Traveler Pheyden journeys through endless
dimensions securing the order of the infinate universe and
patching holes in the fabric of time."

That said, one of the charming aspects of the Glyos System figures is the fact that nothing is really set in stone about the characters. There is a great deal of open-endedness about the play patterns and character personalities that lends itself to the imagination of the consumer. Pheyden can be literally anything the buyer wants him to be. This aspect greatly appeals to me, as I was always fond of underdeveloped characters in fiction. Reverse Pheyden features a color pattern that is... well... reversed from the standard Pheyden figure that started the line. Where the standard Pheyden had light gloves, boots, torso and helmet with dark arms and legs, this version has light arms and legs with dark helmet, torso, boots and gloves.


This figure is sculpted with a whimsical, "cartoony" feel that directly matches the line artwork of Matt Doughty and collaborating artist Jesse Moore. The lines on the figure are crisp and deliberate, but just soft enough to maintain the "animated" look. Intricate, almost microscopic pouches, gadgets, and clips are sculpted on the tiny belt and vest of the figure. Even the bottoms of the feet of the figure feature detailed designs. It's amazing how much detail Doughty was able to pack into the sculpt of the figure. Each arm has a different sculpt, with the right arm bent at a slight angle and the left arm straight. Both arms angle slightly away from the torso. The legs are sculpted with a slight bend, but due to the interchangeable design, you can easily turn the legs to straighten them out if you so choose. The figure is injection molded in PVC, and features almost invisible mold seams.


The figure is mostly molded in the appropriate colors, but features a few key paint applications. A dark wash has been applied to bring out the lines of the figure, and it does the job quite well. It's not uniform enough to look machine-applied and gives the figure an organic, individual feel. The eyes and the neck of the figure are painted, and the apps here are extremely well-done. The eyes are very straight, and there's a bit of gloss on them, giving them a bit of life. The paint is quite durable and doesn't seem to rub off easily.


The figure has 12 points of articulation, all of which are swivel joints (due to the interchangeable nature of the figures). The joints are surprisingly tight, but they are easily removable. The pegs that connect each joint are very sturdy and show no signs of fatigue after multiple removals. The figure can be posed in some amazing stances due to the placement of the joints. For a non-ball-jointed figure in this age of ball-jointed figures, this little guy is quite limber!


The standard figure doesn't really come with any accessories, but his right hand is molded to hold most Star Wars or GI JOE figure weapons. Onell studios is working on a line of attachable weapons for the figures at this time.


This is one tough little monkey. Since he's made of solid PVC, this sucker is able to take some serious abuse. There are even videos online of people throwing their Glyos figures at walls, onto parking lots, etc. Well... why take my word for it:


Come on! You've got little alien and robot guys with multiple points of articulation and awesome colors... then you add to that the fact that you can swap arms, legs, heads, and butts... you've got a recipe for play right there! It's like a Lego minifigure with an attitude!

And significantly more parts.


Here's where it gets dicey for some people. I'm the king of cheap. It's just how I grew up. I pass up $8.00 Star Wars figures some times because I don't feel they are worth that much money. I get excited when I see clearance signs. I buy used toys at flea markets to save dough. I love me some cheap toys! Glyos figures are NOT cheap. But... BUT... you are going to get every penny's worth out of these guys. Matt Doughty has bent over backwards to make these guys as inexpensive as he possibly could while maintaining a certain level of quality and collectibility. These aren't mass-produced Hasbro figures. They are produced in lower numbers and are really more like art pieces than cheap playthings. That said, they are extremely playable. I'm not a fan of vinyl art figures. I don't hate them... I just can't justify my spending 40, 50, 60, 70, etc dollars on figures that aren't really meant to be played with. If I'm going to toss out money, i want something that's going to be a bit more than a shelf decoration. Glyos figures run at $8.00 a piece. You may think that's a lot to pay for a figure that C-3PO could look down on, but these guys are well worth what they cost. Doughty has offered even more value by creating a section of his webstore called "The Junk Shop." In the junk shop you can purchase 13 randomly selected pieces to create one complete figure for $4.00, or you can get 39 pieces to make 3 complete figures for $10.00. Sure, they look like something Dr. Frankenstein threw together, but they are great ways to get parts to make custom Glyos figures, and there are several communities online where people trade figure parts to make the figures they want.

Glyos figures strike a chord with many 30-something males (and females I guess... I don't know many toy-geek chicks). Kids who grew up with Tomland's Starroid Raiders and Mego's Micronauts can see a striking similarity in these figures both in style and size. Kids today would probably appreciate the tabula rasa nature of these figures, allowing them to project their own imaginations onto these 2.75 inch space men. I love them, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Try one out today... They're more fun than setting your face on fire!


Onell Design

Onell Design Store

Glyos Junk Shop

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