I can think of very few video game experiences more enjoyable than getting a friend and playing through the coop campaign of Portal 2. It’s still a great single player game, but the storyline and the puzzles they put together in the multiplayer campaign is nothing short of incredible. Ever since I first heard 3A was doing stuff with Valve I held a little hope they may tackle Atlas and P-Body. The arrival of these two is a bit of a dream come true for me. I wouldn’t necessarily call them a “grail” but they were definitely something I wanted a hell of a lot!
I believe 3A put these guys up for preorder back in May of 2013 with a projected release date of December. I’d been warned by people who have been collecting 3A product a lot longer than I not to put too much stock in the item shipping on time. So in return I gave myself and estimated March 2014 for these to show up. They managed to surpass my expectation! The figures started shipping from China a few days into 2014 and arrived at my house a couple of weeks later. I also have to say its nice once in a while to get something that is already paid off instead of getting that shipping notice and realizing my card is about to take a big hit. I’m a fan of this “pay ahead” model they got going here. Although if they start doing these Valve releases at a faster clip I may need some kind of a flex pay option, these things are NOT cheap.
There were two options when buying these guys: individual figures or the Bambaland store exclusive two-pack. Let’s be honest, you can’t have one without the other so of course I was springing for the box set. It also helped that you saved yourself around $40 going that route as well. There are no exclusive accessories or in-games codes that come with the two-pack, but you do get a giant box with both figures inside of it! The exclusive box is all white with an Aperture logo on the front. It includes Atlas with portal gun, P-Body with portal gun, two instruction books for each robot, and a print of each bot. There is also a whole mess of foam keeping the duo nice and safe for storage and shipping.
Thankfully the folks over at 3A were good enough to put together an instruction manual to help me see what parts of these robots move. Both Atlas and P-Body are not simple robots by any means. They are wiry and have a ton of small parts. A parent’s worst nightmare but a collector’s dream come true! If I just started trying to move arms and legs on the fly I would almost certainly snap something. The instructions both show me how to install the batteries, and also what joints on the figure move which ways.
Lets go ahead and take a look at our two robot friends:
Atlas is the short chubby guy of the group, but definitely the more funny one. I’d almost consider him a robotic Jonah Hill. He’s refered to as “Blue” by GLaDOS for obvious reasons. He’s certainly my favorite of the duo, and the one I would always play as.
P-Body is refered to as “Orange” by GLaDOS because … well his eye glows orange along with her portal gun. I mentally assigned P-Body a female sex for some reason when playing the game, and it has always stuck with me. I’m not sure if that is a gender bias on my part since I am basically assigning the female role to the skinny robot with long legs.
These robots have a lot of little parts, and you need to be especially careful about which ones you move. Staying true to the source material these guys are basically made with plastic only slightly thicker than the wires running through their appendages. The body plating around the frame is incredible. 3A also decided to use a little artistic license by adding weathering to the bodies and guns. While I can appreciate a pristine white Portal bot, I understand with the amount of testing these guys do its going to take a toll on the body. It’s possible the weathered look could turn people off, but I think it turned out fantastic!
Atlas definitely has a better range of motion over his companion P-Body. Atlas has a couple of points in his shoulder where he can move side to side or up and down. The hydraulics even work to an extent. Those hydraulics also scare me so I’m not going to push them to the limit. Atlas comes with an extra plate of removable eye armor. The armor is great for added personality but needs to be removed if you want his body facing any strong angles.
Both of the robots have shutters you can open and close around their eyes. I almost consider it the 3A robot version of Hot Toy’s PERS eye movement system. I love that they gave me the ability to do this because it really allows me to be more expressive with the robot’s poses.
Both of the robots can be removed from their bodies. This also makes changing the batteries a lot easier because you aren’t working around all their appendages and cradle sections. Speaking of batteries, each of the robots take a single CR2 battery inside of their body which will kickstart their light up procedure. It’s a cool little effect where the figure actually boots up for you. Once booted you can set the pupils to be more or less dilated, or even better set it to change from time to time. I personally like to leave it constantly changing when I have company over because I notice people start hovering over and around my 1/6 scale figure collection and get a real kick out of lights. Sure I hang out with monkeys but that is beside the point!
I had some expectations ahead of receiving the figures and one of those was that I would have to invest in stands for these two. Surprisingly they both have great centers of gravity and stand up completely fine on their own. This was quite a shocker to me, especially when I have six-inch figures I can’t get to stand if my life depended on it. I don’t have to worry about coming back to the studio and seeing a broken P-Body or Atlas lying on the floor. I’m definitely impressed with 3A’s engineering decisions as it appears they considered these issues when creating the figures.
If you believe it 1/6 scale Portal bots don’t come cheap. Most places these guys will cost around $200 each so if you get the set be prepared to drop around $400 when all is said and done. Unfortunately the deal you got through Bambaland for the set at $340 is long over, so your next best bet are high-end retail stores since the aftermarket is still pretty high. Are they worth the high price tag? I always want things to cost less, but the price is fair. People blow a lot more cash on rehashes of superhero Hot Toys. These guys give you a little unique variety for that 1/6 collection. The craftmanship of the robots and the cool LED electronics make these two really stand out. If you are a fan of the Portal games or Valve’s general vibe I think you’ll get a real kick out of these two. They were well worth the wait.
* sorry I could not find the batteries needed for the Portal guns in time for the review. The robots are lit up but their guns are currently out of commission. I’ll do a follow-up once I locate all the right batteries!