Back in 2012 Mecha Workshop debuted Armarauders, an ambitious project featuring an all original story, comic book, and hopes for figures based on the mechs designed by Don Figueroa. A prototype was seen even back then, showing us the potential of things to come. Well, the Armarauders team has been hard at work on that figure over the last 2+ years and it’s getting close to go time. Pre-Orders for the first mech called the Bellerophon will be going up around March 1st and should ship in the 3rd Quarter of 2015. If you can’t wait any longer don’t fret, we have you covered :)
The fine folks at Mecha Workshop have sent us an early sample of the first figure, and we’ve done up a high resolution gallery for it. Over 140 pictures from every angle are inside. Check them out along with our thoughts after the break!
Impressive. The first time you pick this figure up you feel the quality in your hands. It’s heavy, featuring a mix of die-cast and high quality plastic. It moves every single way you would want. There are tons of add-ons which allow for some customization. Weapons are of no shortage, he packs dual shoulder cannons, dual rifles, and dual energy blades. The clips on the weapons come off and you can rock extra clips as attachments on the figure via snap ports. The figure sports a violet blue hue which may be hard to tell in the pics, but it isn’t pure white. All the small text is painted on rather than decals which is awesome because I hate decals (and applying them right). Overall paint quality, color, and application is top notch.
The accessories for the most part snapped into place and held their position seamlessly. You can then swivel and move most after they are inserted into the arm, back, and leg ports for some dynamic posing. I had to read the Mecha Workshop notes sent with the package to even realize that some were not yet perfected, but will be by final release.
The mech also comes with a 1.5(ish) inch figure, Cam Knox from the comics. It’s a smaller figure for sure, but it still has articulation. Elbows and Knees, a chest pivot, fist swivel via pegs, and head ball joint. He also comes with gear that gives him shoulder cannons and a dual rifle setup that combines and snaps into the back of the gear via peg, G.I. Joe style.
This was an early sample, so there are still things they are working out, the Mecha Workshop rep even sent over pics and notes from the factory showing these are being addressed. Minor things like accessory connections in a couple places and the stand connector movement. I have full confidence by the time this thing is released it will be addressed and even better than what I have here.
I am very happy with this figure so far. We announced Armarauders on day one back in 2012, and I’m glad that they’ve continued working on perfecting the figure to this point without rushing out a sub-par product. The comics are tight (check them at the website) featuring art from one of the best, if not the best, Transformers artists ever – Don Figueroa. Don also designed functioning transformation schematics for his own creations and eventually Transformers. He didn’t just draw them in each mode so they looked good. Everything actually transformed. Now that he’s doing the art and design here, that same level of accuracy is present when looking at the comics and the toys. That’s rare and that’s awesome.
So, check out our gallery below, it features over 140 shots of the EF-JAT-47FG Bellerophon (Cam’s Custom). We had a blast shooting it and we hope it gives you what you need to jump in and support the first offering from this independent company making cool ish!
Some key shots:
Basic background from the Armarauders website:
Mecha Workshop is proud to announce an all-new line of action figures featuring the Bellerophon mech. Think of the Bellerophon similar the RX-78 from the original Mobile Suit Gundam. It will function as the core design, the “skeleton” of the Armarauders figures and will have interchangeable add-ons that can connect with and customize future toys.
In a war against an alien threat that spans the galaxy, a soldier must adapt, alter, and conform as needed in order to survive and prevail. Named after the hero of Greek mythology who slew the monstrous Chimera, the Bellerophon is designed to function as a multi-purpose and highly mobile infantry unit—an ultra-advanced mech that serves as both grunt and warhorse against the onslaught of a relentless enemy. With the addition of specially designed optional equipment, the Bellerophon serves as a “jack of all trades” on the battlefield, and can be called upon to serve on a wide range of specialty missions.
Mecha Workshop will first release the Full Gear Bellerophon: Cam’s Special, and it will come equipped with custom full gear armor, fully articulated arms, legs, feet and hands, the sized-to-scale pilot as well as a detailed and sturdy docking stand from which to display the Bellerophon.
With the Bellerophon Mech serving as the core to build upon and modify, Mecha Workshop will release the Pegasus Drone which is an add-on backpack that gives the Bellorophon full flight capabilities. Other Drone Backpacks will be released in the future that can be added onto the mechas giving it a host of other cool customizable options.
The Pegasus Drone is a Triple Changer (Jet Pack mode, Turret Weapon mode and Full-Flight mode)—resembling the classic Pegasus silhouette from Greek mythology, the Pegasus Drone can either “gallop” alongside the Bellerophon in battle, hover above his enemies and allies alike or merge with its host mech.
The Pegasus Drone will come with its own unique docking stand that will be able to merge into a new configuration with the Bellerophon’s docking unit. However, the Backpack Drones will not be limited to infantry mecha, they will be able to merge with all other figures—including the fully transformable mechs coming soon from Mecha Workshop.
The Bellerophon and Pegasus Drones represent only the first of a new line of incredible mecha toys that will provide both the serious collector and casual fan with a treasure trove of fully customizable and interchangeable figures that will be a new and unique experience for each person every time they open the box.
• Bellerophon Mech Figure
• Cameron Knox Pilot Figure
• Bellerophon Docking Station
• Javelin, 500mm Caliber, Omega-Class Long Range Anti-Vehicle Shoulder Cannon (x2)
• Full Name: EF-JAT-47FG Bellerophon (Cam’s Custom Deluxe Pack)
• Ares-Class Thunderbolt Dual-Action Rifle with APP (Accelerated Proton Plasma) Cannon, and 380mm Caliber, Recoilless Railgun (X2)
• HEAP (High Explosive Armor-Piercing) 380mm Caliber, Explosive Round Magazine (X4)
• HEAP Magazine Holder (X2)
• Hydra Multi-Launch (Medium and Long Range) Missiles System (X2)
• Aegis Mark V Spaulder – Heavy Shoulder Armor (X2)
• Hoplon Composite Armor Leg Shields with Compartment (X2)
• Hoplon Composite Armor Knee Guards (X2)
• Daedalus Rocket Propelled AMP (Arial Maneuvering Pack) Short-Range Heavy Thrusters (X2)
• RAJ (Rocket Assisted Jump) Boosters (X2)
• Talaria Heel Jets (X2)
• Waster Tri-Blade Energy Blades (X2)
• Waster Tri-Blade Grip (X2)
• Jetpack with Anti-Waster Personal Artillery Cannons (X1)
• Assault Rifles (Component Backpack) (X2)
• Clear Pilot Display Stand (X1)
• Bellerophon Clear Head Dome-piece (X1)
• Cam’s Custom exclusive color customizable Docking Station (10 Detachable Parts) with Working Platform and Locking System (X1)
• Mechanical Designer: Don Figueroa
• Pre-Orders Begin: March 2015
• Estimated Ship Date: Q3 2015
• Estimated Retail Price: $200 USD
Quick interview with Valent Wang of Mecha Workshop
Toyark: Armarauders launched back in 2012. You’ve slowly developed the property as a comic, and fine tuned your first figure repeatedly, sharing with the fans on social media along the way. Could you explain your reasoning for taking your time with the first figure?
Valent: We’ve never done anything like this before so it took a very long time to develop. More importantly, we wanted to do something original and have a story behind it, that alone took a long time to hash out.
We LOVE interacting with our supporters, and we treat ourselves pretty much like one of them, placing ourselves in their shoes.
Many in our community gave feedback and we always do our best to listen. We recently started a private group on Facebook called “Armarauders: War Room“, where we hold polls that play a role in our toy production. Currently, we are still a pretty small tight group, but we welcome any toy enthusiasts to join!
As some might know, the Bellerophon mech started out as a 11″ toy with a 2″ pilot. Apart from the community’s feedback on wanting a smaller figure, we thought that scaling down the mech to 9″ might help with future toys which are way larger. For instance, if the Bellerophon mech is 11″, the transformable Centaur Mech Chiron would be standing at 15/16″ tall(in bot mode). We know that most toy collectors are running out of space ;) With that being said, down-scaling the mech from 11″ to 9″ might seem easy, but it’s harder and more complex than one would think… Since the pilot still has to remain at 2”. We had to sacrifice a lot of cockpit details, along with several other edits to get a 2″ pilot into the chest of a 9″ mech.
We also spent a year restructuring the whole interior structure of the Bellerophon mech, as it did not come with universal “connection points” at first. The interior structure of the Bellerophon mech is as complex as 60’s Robin is cheesy :P
Toyark: Could you tell the fans a bit about the people working on the project, comics and toys? There are some big names attached.
The Bellerophon mech is designed by Don Figueroa. And then it was fully hand-sculpted in 11″ by Luca Zampriolo of (Kallamity). Keiichiro Maeno of (T-REX) then down scaled it to 9″ and basically finished up all the 3D designs. Action Toys helped create the pilot 3D designs. The box art was done by Hidetaka Tenjin, with him advising on the toy color schemes. E.J. Su was then working on another comic line of ours when we seek his opinion on the pilot color schemes. E.J. then did up some samples which we loved and ended up using. The toy colors were greatly influenced by our comic colorist, Enrico Galli.
The Cam’s Custom exclusive docking station was intentionally colored to look like how it would appear in the comics. We did not want the Docking Station to be just a typical “black or grey display stand”. Normally, a display stand would highlight the displayed toy. However, this is not what we are going for. We wanted the Docking Station to be part of the toy, more like a play-set. Sen-Ti-Nel will be helping Mecha Workshop in the manufacturing and distribution of this Bellerophon.
Both Brandon M. Easton and Dan Taylor are our writers. Don Figueroa and E.J. Su are both drawing and designing. Enrico Galli does a lot of special effects, colors and some illustrations. Thomas Mauer letters the comics. Sherard Jackson does our Armarauders SD (Minirauders) comic strips.
We are also very grateful to those that helped and supported us along the way, it’s a long list! You know who you are! :)
We would also like to extend our thanks to all the behind-the-scenes team members(translators, comic color flatter, etc…).
Toyark: The comics are still going strong, can you tell us a bit about them, where to get them?
Valent: You can download them for free here, http://bit.ly/ArmaDLs (Link does not work on iPhones though, and you must have a Facebook account).
We are currently working on a download section on our main website.
Or if you would like to support the comics, you can get them from comiXology, http://bit.ly/ArmaComix.
We are also planning to publish a TPB which consist of additional artworks and lore once we finish up Story Arc 01 (Issues #1 to #6).
Toyark: Now that the first figure is getting ready for release, will we see more of Don Figueroa’s awesome designs as toys? If so, how long?
Valent: Yes! We certainly hope so! The variant-color Bellerophon should be released a few months after the first one. We’ve completed the 3D designs for the Pegasus Drone(The Triple-Changer mech that combines with the Bellerophon) and we’re currently prototyping it. We cannot really tell yet, it would depend on how well the first toy does. If the response is relatively good, we should be able to get it out within the year.
Toyark: Anything else you’d like to let the fans know about Armarauders, go for it!
Valent: This first toy is the beginning of things to come, triple-changers, combiners, etc… will be our next goal.
Do stay tuned to our series if you’re a fan of Pilots, Mechs and Robots.
If you would like to interact with us, feel free to pop by any of our social medias and chat us up! We’ll be more than happy to oblige, and if you would like to join in the toy production process, Armarauders: War Room is the place for you!