Monday, January 30, 2012

21st Century Villains: Auz and Tazz Mantrackers All for just five dollars - cheap cheap :)

21st Century Toys first released 1/6 scale "The Ultimate Soldier" 12-inch figures way back in the late 1990s, starting with Vietnam and Modern Era gear. World War II figures soon followed and to make things interesting, they also released a line of 21st Century "Villains". Prices for these figures then were much lower than what we are paying today i.e. the cost of a Hot Toys TrueType 12-inch body (nude) could pay for a complete boxed 21st Century figure with outfit / uniform, gear and accessories plus weapons. You could still have some change back. Those were the days.

This was the 2001 / 2002 released 21st Century "Villains" Auz and Tazz Mantrackers which I got recently for SGD5 (5 Singapore dollars = 3.98724 U.S. dollars). To me, that's a pretty good deal and although the quality may not be the same as Hot Toys or Soldier Story, I really like the variety this set offers in terms of 1/6 gear, equipment and weapon :) And for 5 bucks, I think this is alright.

21st Century "Villains" Auz and Tazz Mantrackers comes in the pretty standard 21st Century window box packaging with velcro secured book-style flap. Nothing fancy with the cardboard boxes containing these 12-inch figures. You just throw them away after taking everything out. No worries about keeping the box unlike Hot Toys packaging which are all very fancy and nice but after taking the figure out, you find it a pain to throw the box away (because obviously we all paid good money for the box design and packaging since the price we pay for the product includes the box as well - Hot Toys won't make it for free!). If you decide to keep the box, it takes up storage space or even shelf space which is prime space in land scarce countries like Singapore. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

21st Century 1/6 scale Pacific Islander AUZ comes with the 12-inch Misfits style body including Misfits veined, flexible hands (this was considered something new at the time). AUZ wears Pakistani brush camouflage jacket and shorts. 1/6 scale Tazz (one of the indigenous peoples) comes with semi-articulated body (only the neck, shoulders and waist rotates. The left elbow moves up and down). Tazz is much shorter than Auz.

And these are the 1/6 scale gear, accessories and weapons that come with this 21st Century "Villains" Auz and Tazz Mantrackers boxed figure set. Quite a bit of stuff and a lot of them are very unique to this set. There's the brown Trapper's net measuring 13" x 13".

1/6 scale Crocodile skin Australian bush hat (or digger hat aka slouch hat) with tan band holding black crocodile teeth and two shotgun shells (red with brass detailing). One side of the brim is turned up and pinned to the side of the hat with "snap" painted gold. This was done in order to allow a rifle to be slung over the shoulder. There's also the Bushmaster harness which is a brown harness with loops for grenades and .50 cal bullets. The back / rear of the harness has a square cloth backing with two brown elastic straps and black plastic buckles for tying down the netting bundle or other load. There's also a Green rope and Tribal mask - simulated wood grain with yellow, red, white detailing and bone through nose. Attaches to head with elastic straps.

21st Century 1/6 scale LAR Grizzly Big Boar .50BMG caliber sniper rifle - comes in silver with black sniper scope and Harris bipod. There are also 16 individual .50 caliber bullets (painted brass with orange tips).

According to their website, the Grizzly Big Boar is a rifle that leaves its competition in the dust. Its, powerful .50 caliber BMG round blows its targets to pieces while its careful design absorbs most of the recoil. The container on the left in the picture below is Tazz's Blowgun dart canister (made of soft plastic lid which lifts to reveal interior, colored cream with dark tan cover, attaches through hole in cover to black wire).

There's also a 1/6 Kukri (originally spelled khukri or khukuri) - a curved Nepalese Knife, similar to the machete, used as both a tool and as a weapon. It is a traditional weapon for Nepalese people, and also a weapon of choice / side arm for all Nepalese including those serving in different armies around the world. It is known to many people as simply the "Gurkha blade" or "Gurkha knife". For his sidearm, AUZ carries the .44 Auto Mag pistol, a large caliber semi-automatic pistol. It was designed between 1966 and 1971 by the Auto Mag Corporation to bring .44 magnum power to a semi-automatic pistol.

Five (5) "No. 5 Flechette grenade" are included. The word flechette is French for "dart" (literally, "little arrow"). Flechettes were first introduced during World War One as an anti-infantry weapon that was used by fighters. Pilots would fly over enemy lines and empty canisters of flechettes over unarmored targets. By the time they reached the ground these weapons could have easily attained the speed of a bullet and were capable of punching through the helmets of soldiers below.

A shrunken head is a severed and specially prepared human head that is used for trophy, ritual, or trade purposes. Headhunting occurred in many regions of the world. But the practice of headshrinking has only ever been recorded in the northwestern region of the Amazon rain forest. The process of producing shrunken heads is mentioned on wikipedia. The practice of preparing shrunken heads originally had religious significance; shrinking the head of an enemy was believed to harness the spirit of that enemy and compel him to serve the shrinker. It was said to prevent the soul from avenging his death. These are the first 1/6 scale shrunken heads I have ever seen ;p Three different shrunken heads are included, thread through black plastic string through hole in hair knots, dark brown with black and tan detailing.

The LAR Grizzly Big Boar .50BMG Caliber Sniper Rifle was created for accuracy, and the match grade chamber provides unsurpassed accuracy by using a bullet that was designed to shoot straight and far. This single shot, breech loading rifle features a bull pup design with all steel construction to provide a solid, dependable firearm.

ON this 1/6 scale Grizzly Big Boar Rifle, there's even a removable bolt with one .50 caliber bullet that has detailed brass and orange tip, bored out barrel.

1/6 scale Auz head sculpt of South Pacific islander features large flat nose, short black hair, dark complexion and 5 o'clock shadow. 21st Century Auz 12-inch figure wears bush jacket (collared, short sleeved, closes with three hidden metal snaps with functional flapped chest pockets and flapped waist pockets, jacket closes with camo waist belt that attaches through three belt loops and a black plastic buckle) and shorts (knee-length with functional cargo pockets and back pocket, hidden metal snap fly) in Pakistani camouflage pattern. Pakistan has a very large textile and garment production industry, and is one of the few countries in the world that still produces its own military uniforms.

The Pakistani-produced camouflage pattern appears to be a copy of the British three-color brushstroke design. Several variations of the pattern have been documented, varying somewhat in colors used as well as the shapes employed. Use of this pattern dates back to the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1972-1977), when it was employed by the Special Service Group (SSG - the Army special forces), but it saw service into the 1980s and uniforms were later exported to Somalia.

AUZ wears Brown leather boots (they come with black laces detail and black stitching, zig-zag pattern dark brown soles, molded yellow socks folded out and over the top of boot) and carries the 1/6 scale LAR Grizzly Big Boar .50BMG caliber sniper rifle on his back.

Here's the 21st Century "Villain" Auz 12-inch figure with complete gear and accessories. Not bad for a figure that is from 2001 and costing just 5 Singapore dollars (US 3.98724 dollars).

AUZ is supposed to be a Pacific Islander (or Pacific person; pl: Pacific people; also Oceanic person / people(s) or Oceanians) - a geographic phrase to describe the indigenous inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

AUZ carries the 1/6 scale Kukri (comes with brown handle, silver blade) in simulated wood shealth by his side. It can be attached to the harness with wire. The .44 Auto Mag pistol is kept in the brown cloth holster.

The brown Trapper's net is folded and secured to his harness / webbing along with the 1/6 scale Grizzly Big Boar .50 BMG Caliber Sniper Rifle.

Tazz is supposed to represent one of the indigenous peoples (most likely from the Amazon forest) - ethnic groups that are defined as "indigenous" according to one of the various definitions of the term, though there is no universally accepted definition. Most uses of the phrase refer to being the "original inhabitants" of a territory.

Indigenous peoples according to international legislation have different terms, such as Native Americans, Pacific Islander (USA), Inuit, Métis, First Nations (Canada), Aborigines (Australia), Hill tribes (South East Asia), indigenous ethnic minorities, scheduled tribes or Adivasi (India), tribal groups, or autochtonous groups. In Brazil, the term índio is used by most of the population, the media, the indigenous peoples themselves and even the government.

Taz style body is dark brown with tan loincloth, tan ankle wraps, black tribal tattoos on back, torso, arms. He has yellow / red / black bracelets, black hair, raspberry lips, bone through nose and orange ear piercing.

21st Century "Villain" 1/6 scale Taz's Body has limited articulation (useful for blowgun motion only) -shoulder of right arm can move up or down about half an inch, left arm can turn 360 degrees at shoulder and elbow is hinged to bend inward.

Taz's Blowgun (blow pipe) has simulated bamboo, cream with brown detailing. He carries his Dart Quiver (Blowgun dart canister) with him.

Here's Tazz with Tribal mask - simulated wood grain with yellow, red, white detailing and bone through nose. The mask attaches to his head via elastic straps.

A closer look at the 21st Century "Villain" Tazz's 1/6 scale tribal mask with nice details

And here's a close-up shot of Tazz head sculpt

And all these for 5 Singapore dollars (3.98724 U.S. dollars)! I cannot complain ;p


Richie said...

Classic!! :D 21st was my first figure, a Vietnam set. That was back in '97, I was 7 and I still remember all the contents of that set. Haha

alex teo said...

hi Richie glad to know you started collecting early :) imagine parents giving Soldier Story or Hot Toys figures to their children to play now - that's NOT going to happen haha in '97, my eldest son was already 3 LOL

Richie said...

Oh how i wish that was the case! haha and i believe the good thing about starting at that age is that you see them as TOYS...not as collectibles that other people just buy to display or worse, keep them in the box. Problem is, i was only 7, unable to really care for the figures and it's accessories. Though i am happy to say that my first figure is still with me,still playable! just missing a few accessories.haha

alex teo said...

Hey Richie, so glad to know that you enjoyed the figures. Isn't that the best way to really appreciate them? You know me: I cannot allow the toy to be kept in its plastic prison. The moment I get it, OUT it comes :)