With the darn near overwhelming amount of prints, posters, and original art that’s available to us comic book readers, it’s pretty easy to decorate our homes to reflect our interests. Heck, we’re living in a time where you can even get a cookie jar in the shape of your favorite superhero, so clearly, there are options. There is, however a shortage of high-end, tangible, three-dimensions reminders of the inexorable and intractable power of the Law. Or there was, until ThreeA announced their brand new Judge Dredd figure.
So far the ThreeA Marvel crossover figures have largely been characters with a bit more of a fantastical bent. We've seen Iron Man, the man who lives inside a suit of armor. We've seen Doctor Doom, a calculating genius... who lives inside a suit of armor. We've seen Ultron, a literal walking suit of armor, and even the company's new Spider-Man figures feature the Peter Parker's alter-ego as a mechanical construct (though a little Peter is also included).
Now the talented team at ThreeA is finally putting its trademark spin on the first true, non-powered, non-armored hero since starting the line. This August, ThreeA will give us Ashley Wood's take on Marvel's senior Soviet spy, the Black Widow.
Though the floor presence for ThreeA was much more condensed at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, there were still some very nice surprises hidden away in the Lucite displays. During the show, ThreeA announced new partnerships with Hasbo, Geof Darrow, and Giannis Milonogiannis, as well as debuting an all-new Spider-Man figure for Marvel. The 2000 AD license is still rocking and rolling as well, with new products digger deeper into the British comic magazine's history. ThreeA is still focused on its own original ideas, but the injection of these outside brands has given the company some new ground to explore with its signature style.
"The bottom line is it’s fun. As ThreeA grows, it’s fun to bring people in," said Ashley Wood, co-founder and designer at ThreeA. "Geof Darrow, Paul Pope, even the Hasbro stuff, it’s all exciting. This is my way of being a fanboy. The nostalgia of the Hasbro stuff is exciting, and I’m a fan of the artists. I know them. I’ve known them for years. To be able to create these totems, these 3D abstractions of their ideas, it’s a very difficult process, but it makes it fun. With the Hasbro stuff, the idea is to twist it, maybe push it to the edge a bit."
Soon Judge Dredd will find himself outnumbered by the Dark Judges... at least as far as ThreeA's 2000 AD figure line is concerned. Last year, the Ashley Wood-led company unveiled the first figures in the partnership with 2000 AD, including Judge Death, Judge Fish, Judge Dredd, Sam Slade and Gronk. 2016 will see even more of the classic British comic characters come to life, starting with the terrifying Judge Fear.
Based on designs by Brian Bolland, the new Judge Fear figure will feature the imposingly-helmed Dark Judge with all the accouterments expected of the undead master of fright. Sure, he might be remembered best by more casual observers for that panel where Judge Dredd punches him square in the "face," and orders him to "Gaze into the fist of Dredd!" That doesn't mean the guy isn't deserving of his own highly-detailed and articulated figure. I mean, who doesn't want to a toy of a man so assured in his own abilities that he wears giant bear traps as pauldrons and has giant bat wings sprouting from his furnace-like helm?
Finally, ThreeA's Steel Age Batman has made an appearance. Teased ahead of San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year on Instagram, and then at the show itself with a massive banner (which you might have missed given its auspicious hanging spot), ThreeA's finally unveiled the first official images of its unique take on the Dark Knight. If you want to get technical, Steel Age Batman was actually teased all the way back at SDCC 2014, but that was just a concept image and announcement of the deal between ThreeA and DC Comics. It's taken more than a year for the Bat to actually surface.
For too long, the action figure world has been a lawless land of vagabonds, mutants and ne'er-do-wells. There's been no order out there on pegs or retail shelves. That will soon change however, as ThreeA is releasing the lawman of Mega City One to bring justice to toy collections everywhere. Continuing its line of 2000 AD figures, the ThreeA Judge Dredd will soon join Judge Death, Sam Slade, Gronk and Judge Fish. It's actually not the first Judge Dredd figure to release stateside, nor is it the first 1:12 scale action figure to debut this year, but the sudden resurgence of 2000 AD's enforcement officer in this format is welcome to be sure.
Inspired by the art of Carlos Ezquerra, Brian Bolland, and Mike McMahon, ThreeA's Judge Dredd looks as grumpy as ever in his signature Judge's uniform and helmet. The figure has been slightly stylized to give Dredd a bit of ThreeA's personality, but he's still unmistakably the bad-ass with a badge we've all come to know and respect (and fear).
ThreeA has long been crafting original figures and collectibles based on the art and designs of co-founder Ashley Wood, but in recent years, the company has expanded its reach with a variety of licenses in comics, animation and films. That essence of Wood's aesthetic is still ever present though, and his influence still informs the design sense for many of ThreeA's upcoming pieces.
At San Diego Comic-Con this year, the company went all out with a major presentation of its upcoming slate. Normally included as a small part of IDW's booth, ThreeA's installation this year was set up like an art show, and showed off a great deal of promising figures in a range of scales and sizes. With figures from Frederator and 2000 AD, as well as Marvel, it appears the company is finally ready to make a big splash in the market beyond its original works.
Have you heard about Ultron? He's the big bad in the most recent summer blockbuster from Marvel Studios, Avengers: Age of Ultron. His name is in the title. It's pretty hard to miss. Isn't it a nice coincidence then that ThreeA Toys is releasing a new sixth-scale Ultron figure?
Start your week off right with our latest link roundup.