Item No.: No. n/a Manufacturer:Orbitdyne Includes:Second head Action Feature:Swappable dome, can be "driven" by other figures Retail:n/a ($35 and up) Availability: August 16, 2021 Other: Seth Longmire Special
I'm biased. HEAP creator Seth Longmire is a longtime friend - we've written every week or more for years. When he let me know he was making a new, great robot called the HEAP - Hazardous Environment Ambulatory Pod - I was eager to see more, and he sent me sketches and updates along the way. And also the Prototype Gee Two HEAP in August 2021 - you can't buy this hand-painted collaboration between Mr. Longmire and Mile High Sofubi but other, similar figures in other colors are coming. I'd also like to note that Mile High Sofubi casts their products in Colorado, a rarity in the toy world as almost everything is produced far outside the iron grip of Major League Baseball.
Some of my favorite toys when I was a kid were simple, hollow vinyl figures like Glow Ghost Baggs [FOTD #483] and Captain Evets [FOTD #485] were weird, beloved playthings. The HEAP is not entirely dissimilar, having more articulation and a bit more in toe way of play features.
A few of these guys went up for sale and sold quickly, and that's reasonable - the figure is design that draws inspiration from a number of 20th century robots, including selections from the movies and the toy world. Depending on the colors you might see Robby, or a Tomy wind-up robot, or perhaps the B-9, or goodness knows what else. If you were a kid of the 1950s through the 1980s, you probably saw a few robots that inspired this figure.
Articulation is pretty simple - the dome is jointed and pops off easily to reveal the certificate of authenticity inside. You can also put your other figures in there. I was surprised to find it could hold most Funko Pop! Vinyl figures without much of a fuss, although very few had heads small enough to wear the HEAP's head as a helmet. Part of Seth's development process involved a stand-alone robot design as well as a desire to make a vehicle - hence its name - and this one manages to deliver a pretty nifty item on both fronts.
Due to its massive foot base, which isn't necessarily legs, or wheels, or a hovering mechanism, this 5 1/2-inch fellow is unsurprisingly quite sturdy. Th chest has nine painted buttons, two painted claws, and lots of little details which are overpowered a bit by the marvelous green and black coloration. The legs have bands like the Michelin Man or a number of robots, and the legs have some raised lines like a number of vintage vehicles. The panels are largely smooth, with a big, giant L'eggs-sized head covered in bands to give the head some definition. Again, I'm biased, but Seth's paint work is always remarkable - pink fades to purple, and it's this candy-like awesomely bright color that you can't help but immediately love. This is the kind of thing you tend to only see on indie toys, customs, or the odd very rare and expensive exclusive vinyl figure. It looks like it popped off some classic newsprint comic book page from the 20th century.
My sample also came with a clear dome with green markings, so you can better seen a figure inside the suit. It seems ideal for Funko Pop! figures (with no dome), or 1990s Kenner figures - the 5-inch ones. You can get larger figures in here but it might require some work - I got my super-articulated 6-inch Hasbro Marvel Legends Spider-Man in there, because he's flexible and can be easily folded up inside the suit. And he looks surprisingly great in there.
I've also found that the figure is big enough to store pens and pencils inside, making it a great stealth office caddy. Nobody will steal your pens if they don't know where they live.
I absolutely love this figure to death - but again, biased. A friend of mine painted something and sent it to me as a surprise, and being a one-of-a-kind hand-painted specimen I've got to be careful with it. (I will, of course, be buying any one-color plastic or glow figures he makes later just to have something to throw around and generally be careless with as soon as the opportunity arises.) As an indie toy this is the kind of thing you can give people as a gift to confuse them, but once they see it's something that can be fun to play with other toys as well as a fun little robot in and of itself, I think they'd enjoy it. The HEAP is clearly a toy made for toy people by toy people, and if you're the kind of toy people with stuff that lives outside their original boxes I think you'll have a lot of fun with this one - in other colors, of course. Because this one's mine. Given what most Sofubi figures can sell for, this one seems fairly cheap. Heck, for an American-made figure this seems like you're stealing, it's so cheap. In an alternate universe Target would have Detolfs in every store with one or two of these for sale for the toy fan who already has everything else - you'll just have to watch the Orbitdyne Etsy shop.
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