UNKL Brandís JunPo
UNKL Brand toys always tell a story, usually one that involves an ordinary person rising up to do extraordinary things. This coupled with the team's excellently clean designs always make for sought-after toys. JunPos are no exception and their designs do a few things that I haven't seen in a Designer Toy. The story behind this series is this: The JunPo is an underground organization who has vowed to protect the human race from the very thing that threatens its existencegreed. These public servants hide within unremarkable lives while secretly performing remarkable acts such as deep sea clean up or urban renewal. So far, only three of the sect have come forward into the light and they are what you see before you: Axl (blue) focuses on deep sea search, rescue, and discovery; Tran (green) concentrates is focus on urban chemical clean ups; and Raj (red) is the mole of the group searching and exploring underground. Having such a rich but open ended back story really adds to these toys' character.
The design of all three JunPos is the same. They have four legs (like many UNKL toys) and a wide base guaranteeing a sturdy foundation. The body tapers slightly up to the head. I like how the back is more tapered than the front giving the impression the person inside is bending forward a bit. Also, subtle curves like those at the belly and rear give the character a more organic or real feeling. Each toy features six points of articulation and these are all found on the arms (wrist, elbow, and shoulder). The elbow twists are cut at an angle to add to the posing pleasure. The head is also more tapered in the back than front and the coolest feature of these toys' sculpt is the fact the helmets are a soft rubbery vinyl that you can squeeze and feel a smaller hard head inside. This feature is really great and totally new to me in a Designer Toy. Echoing this rubbery feel are the hands. They are also made of soft rubber, but there are no harder hands inside. These two details really set the toy off in my mind. But the most impressive features of all on these guys are the paint apps. UNKL is known for their attention to detail, and even in these rather clean designs, there is no simplicity. Each JunPo has a different set of goggles, respirator vents, and crest on the left forearm and back. The crests represent their specific duty in the JunPo as well as go together with the other two to tell the complete story of the basis of the order. The toys are cut rather symmetrically with a line to indicate a seam of sorts but this is offset by the aforementioned crests. Everything is very clean without any runs or light spots.
The packaging is nice, but nothing too fancy. They come in a window display that sports a nice design layout and the story of the JunPo. These toys are meant to be taken out and displayed so that you can enjoy them from all angles and read the information on their backs (not to mention squeeze their heads!).
I was totally blown away by these toys (if you couldnít tell by now), and they look so much better in hand it's unbelievable. I'm late to the UNKL following, but they have made me a believer! If you're looking for a well crafted toy that will look great with your science fiction collection, these are just what you need.
UNKL Brand has a great site with info on the design team, art shows, and lots of great stuff you can buy. You should check it out and pick up a set of Junpo straight from the source!
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