Metal Gear Rex - A Figure by threeA
There are a few things I love more than a really well produced toy, and a good video game.
One of those things though, is when 2 companies who are pioneers and leaders in each of those areas come together and colab on a project so special that it’s almost magical!
Kojima Productions are better known as the creators of the highly successful and one of the most loved video game franchises, Metal Gear Solid. You may have heard of it! A game that is driven primarily by great story-telling, memorable characters, and excellent directing by the one and only, and a current day living legend in video game development, Hideo Kojima.
Then, in the other corner, we have threeA(3A). Co-founded in 2008 by Australian born artist of incredible talent, Ashley Wood, threeA have consistently been the producers of some of the most incredible and limited produced original toys and figures on the current day market (In my humble opinion). From the incredible details, to the more than fair prices on their releases, whatever threeA produce is an instant hit and the company and fan base have been on a steady rise of popularity for all the right reasons.
So when these two companies come together to work on a project, you know the product will be nothing short of epic. While this is the first time threeA will be directly involved in producing a Konami licensed figure, it’s not Ashley’s first time working with the company. Ashley worked with Konami and Hideo a few years ago to produce a collection of Metal Gear Solid comics. Wood also assisted in creating one of the world’s first digital comics for Sony’s PSP, the Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel. Following this, he also supplied art for the cinema scenes in the 2006 PlayStation Portable game Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and for the comic book adaptation of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
So as you can tell, there isn’t another man better suited for the job than Wood when taking the Konami’s Metal Gear franchise to a new level, and with his new toy production company well established, threeA/Wood looks set to help bring some of Metal Gears biggest and boldest characters to life in toy form like no other.
So what exactly are we talking about? Well, if the title wasn’t clear enough, there is currently a MGS figure deep in development and nearing production, and that figure is the incredibly famous, bi-pedal walking nuclear mech weapon, Metal Gear REX.
First appearing in the now classic Metal Gear title, Metal Gear Solid in 1998, REX was a walking nuclear weapon funded and developed by the US Army, which was then seized and taken over by a group of terrorists. It was up to our hero, Snake, to infiltrate the now terrorist controlled compound where REX resides, and disable the mech weapon and bring a stop to the terrorist group before its too late. Out of all the weapons within REX’s arsenal, its primary weapon was a magnetic rail gun attached as its right arm capable of delivering an untraceable nuclear warhead anywhere in the world.
There are many twists and turns in this tale, but there was something memorable coming face to face with the bi-pedal REX for the first time. A mammoth of a machine with huge power and built for a purpose to cause huge devastation on the war fields. And a very memorable fisticuffs battle finale ontop of the mech itself!
The mech, REX, set the bench mark at the time for epic man vs machine battles in future Metal Gear Solid games, and the legend of REX became an instant fan favourite!
REX also then made a surprise welcome return in the 4th installment of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, almost 10 years after its original debut, proving that many years later it still is a kick ass mammoth of machine that fans love to see in action!
So this is the task that threeA have undertaken to bring to our toy collections, though to still call it a toy is underplaying the scale and effort being taken to produce something like this while, and more importantly, doing the beloved mechanical bi-pedal character justice.
The news of this figure in production is in no way new, with first mention of eventual existence appearing sometime in 2009, with a first prototype being seen at HK Venture that year.
(Size comparison with an Apple iPhone)
As you can see, even in its early stages the guys were doing an amazing job and were definitely on the right track. The size, while rather large, is almost perfect for this type character. REX was by no means small in the source material, and he will not being considered small on your desk/in your collection either.
Since that debut in 2009 however, production and release news was rather slow over the coming months, and all hope of seeing it arrive in 2010 was slowly fading as bits of info here and there hinting that 2011 would be the eventual year of the Rex.
To summarise what we heard during its production during 2010, this is what we learnt, quoted from reliable sources…
"There will be a mini Snake figure (Shinkawa style).
It will be the most complex toy 3A has ever done, and one of the most complex toys ever.
The lower leg alone has around 30 parts.
It’s so huge and detailed Ash is thinking that this is part toy and part furniture: a new genre!
ETA summer 2011.”
and then some more..
Rex would be how it appears in MGS4 because that’s what Konami considers as canon.
And according to Kim (co-founder of 3A with Ash) some of the LED lighting parts need to be custom made just for the furnitoy.
and another prototype shot…
So it’s 2011, and whats the latest? Well, following a rather slow amount of REX related news in 2010, the first quarter of 2011 have been all rather exciting! First off, the figure definitely seems to be making its 2011 release date. There’s still hint of it being still in some final stages of production, however it was teased that we might see a final prototype of REX at SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) this year in July.
While no new pictures have showed up since 2010, Ashley Wood posted up a video these past 2 days which have just sent the fans of this figure into a mouth salivating frenzy…!
While there is no *definite* description to the above tease, the internet and fans seem to be sure that it can only be the first visual display of one thing, and one thing only…. REX’s magnetic rail gun in action! And that assumption doesn’t seem to be too unbelievable, as it sure looks like it could very well be! And if we are right, and it IS actually a working prototype of the the type of effect we might see on this already impressive looking figure, I think it’s safe to say threeA is knocking this production out of the park. Never to do things half arsed, threeA seem to be coming close as close can be when bringing the effect ‘to life’. From the pulsating run of charge, to the actual blast, then to the ‘light flux’ at the end…. its every fans’ dream come true.
All that is left now, is to wait patiently for what comes next. Whether we can expect to see more teases in the coming weeks is anyone’s guess, but what seems like a sure bet is a wealth of new pics and info leading up to, and during, threeA’s time a SDCC.
The biggest question that is lingering in the corner of everyone’s mind it seems is the inevitable question of price… While a lot of die hard fans of both Metal Gear and threeA seem to be silently avoiding the thought. ‘Cause I know, as a massive fan myself, I don’t want the price to be the nail in the coffin of the idea of owning this epic killer piece of MGS history. I’m telling myself that I don’t care what it’ll cost, I *HAVE* to have it! Though I know it will be definitely be the deciding factor at the end of the day.
What is reassuring though is the knowledge that threeA is a company for the people and, most importantly, the fans. And they have always been fair when it comes to the prices of their figures, always making their toys and figures affordable to the common fan and collector. The figures have always been heavy in value with the price that you pay for it.
Still, this is a mammoth production of a toy. And while the actual costs of the production and detail will be something we will definitely be paying for, what worries me is the additional cost of shipping. Something which is an unfortunate reality, and will definitely be a good portion of its eventual price I fear. (up to now, most, if not all, of 3A’s releases include ‘free shipping’ worldwide, though the costs will definitely be included somewhere)
But with that said though, I think whatever is announced, I know, scratch that, I TRUST that Ashley Wood and the guys at 3A will do everything in their power to make this figure within budget reach of most fans out there. And whatever it may be, I trust it will be fair. And so far looking at all the prototype photos and teases, I’m sure it will be worth every. single. penny.
So for shits and giggles though, how much would you pay for this guy when it gets released? Does price matter? Is there a limit to how much you’re prepared to pay, despite how much of a fan you are? Let us know in the comments below!
But till then, I leave you with a photoshop image of what MIGHT be the final look of the figure, and it indeed is looking to be sexy…:)
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(**all photos and images belong to their respective owners)