Tuesday, October 19, 2010

REVIEW: Glyos Solaris Echo Morph

My army of Glyos figures continues to grow with the addition of the subject of today's review - the Solaris Echo Morph.

Although carrying a slightly higher price tag than the usual $4 to $8 range (Solaris Echo Morph retails for $15) and now no longer available through Onell Design (the toy recently sold-out), he's still a figure worth tracking down if you can find him.

Why?  Well read on and find what surprises this figure packs...

Hot Pink Action!

The first thing you've probably noticed is Solaris Echo Morph's vibrant colour-scheme.  He's cast in a very organic-looking pink tone, which to me is reminiscent of the 1980s classic pocket toy, M.U.S.C.L.E.  I'm sure - given the Onell Design crew's love of all things 80s - that this is no mere coincidence.  However, what you may not realise is that when the lights are off, the figure takes on a whole new look.

Yes, it's a glow-in-the-dark toy.  And boy, it's a doozy.

The glow effect is superb.  I remember as a kid my brother having a few of the Universal Monster kits from Aurora, the heads of which would glow in the dark.  I also remember having a Tomland Dado figure with a similar glowing bonce.  And most of all I remember the frustration of having to hold them directly under the light in an attempt to get them to glow.  There are no such frustrations here, though.

The luminosity-level of the figure is amazing.  Even in daylight, providing there's enough shadow, it glows visibly.  The photo included doesn't do justice to how effective this glow effect is and it's one of the first things that makes Solaris Echo Morph more than just another toy.

Three Heads (and Two Torsos) Are Better Than One

Like all standard Glyos figures, Solaris Echo Morph is a bipedal humanoid in his most basic form.  He shares his arm and leg parts with the other Glyos (such as the Founders) and - in his out-of-the-pack configuration - uses the Sincroid-style groin and most recent chest design, the 2-panel piece.  What I like about this newer piece is it  has a rear port, meaning you can clip in additional limbs, weapons, jet-packs or whatever else takes your fancy.

In addition to the core figure, the set includes a few additional pieces, namely a Pheyden-style pouched-belt groin and single-panel Pheyden chest piece.  There's also a Phase Arm set and a single disc piece that fits nicely into the figure's back port.

Solaris Echo Morph also comes with three heads: Phanost, Sarvos and Scar Pheyden variants are all included.  And like all the other body parts, they too glow in the dark.

Given that his name is Solaris Echo Morph, it's safe to assume he's some form of shapeshifter and these extra parts allow you to do just that.  I'd have liked to see an Exellis head in there, too, as I love that design, but there are certainly enough parts to keep you busy for a while here.

Solaris Echo Morph
What about the core figure itself?

Like most Glyos figures, it has core thirteen points of articulation and shares the same pop-in/pop-out joint system common to the range.  There are no unique pieces included but the attraction of the figure comes from its quirky glow-in-the-dark qualities rather than any specific piece of design.  I found the joints were generally easier to pop than my previous Glyos figures, the exception being the spherical component of the blaster, which seemed tighter than the other joints.  However, a bit of pushing and rotating will see you able to pop any pieces into the sphere and you'll soon be able to create some awesome-looking creatures.

The paint-job is minimal - each head has its eyes painted and the Scar Pheyden head's wounds are highlighted with a suitable scar-tissue effect.  The body parts themselves though remain unpainted.

Unlike the Founder series, the Solaris Echo Morph comes in a simple clear-plastic bag with stapled top-card.  I understand Onell Design's desire to keep production and shipping costs down and whilst it's no biggie, I do miss the Founder boxes.

Final Thoughts

Solaris Echo Morph is another great, fun toy from Onell Design.  I love the way he glows (which is probably the biggest selling point) but I also like the fact that he comes with so many bonus parts.  It's not so much a single figure as he is a figure and extras set.  You can create a standard Echo Morph then use the other parts to switch around with your other Glyos to produce ''new'' figures.  I've used the Phanost head, for example, on my Sarvos figure to - I think - great effect, with its organic look contrasting really well with the more mechanical armoured look of the Sarvos body I used.  It's the inclusion of these extra pieces that really take Solaris Echo Morph to a new dimension.

Solaris Echo Morph is another very cool, funky and fun release from Onell Design.   I have to admit, I did balk at the price initially: given that for a dollar more you could buy three standard Gendone Buildmen, you may find yourself wondering  if he's worth it.  But when you realise that the figure not only glows in the dark (and does so very well) but also comes with the extra body parts, you do begin to understand why he's a little more expensive than the usual Glyos releases.  And given that Onell Design has sold-out of Solaris Echo Morphs and you'll have to look to resellers to get one, you'll maybe find that $15 price tag was a bargain, afterall...

Production QualityA-
Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery

You can find more information on the Glyos system and visit their online store at the Onell Design website.

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