Rehel and his 3AA-exclusive counterpart Dragos Eraphis are the newest additions to the 3A 1/6 Adventure Kartel family, and it is so nice to get new figures who aren’t just variations of JC, or Tommy Mission, or Shadow, or the Ankous, ad infinitum. And unlike their peers in the Adventure Kartel line, we don’t know much about these two–and I like that. One of the things I love most about 3A is the fact that I am collecting these figures because they just look plain cool–and that’s it. There’s no nostalgia factor weighing in at all here, and there isn’t even any kind of media tie-in. Sure, some World War Robot designs are practically homages to Star Wars droids, but that’s not my motivation for collecting them. These aren’t souped up, modernized versions of figures I had 30 years ago, as is the case with Transformers, GI Joe, Masters of the Universe, etc. This is a whole new thing unfolding for the first time as we speak, and it’s been so, so long since I’ve been so into something like that. And with Rehel and Dragos, I don’t need them to pull on any emotional heart strings in order for me to appreciate them. I only need them to look cool and be fun to play around with. And they both deliver on each of those fronts in spades.
There really is so much that I like about these two that I don’t even know where to begin, really. Rehel went on sale at Bambaland back in February, with Dragos available as the 3AA club exclusive. Initially, I only ordered Dragos because I flat-out love the look of him. He instantly reminded me of my brief infatuation with Scandinavian black/death metal in the mid-’90s. I eventually broke down and ordered Rehel as well because I was afraid I’d regret passing on him, and I’m so glad I got the pair because as cool as they are individually, I think they work so much better as a pair.
I should point out that they’re not wholly without a backstory. Back when they went on sale, Ashley Wood alluded to the possibility of their being Zombs, but no one in the Adventure Kartel universe was sure of that. Tommy had his suspicions, but they remained part of the AK group sporting the requisite track jackets. They’re part of a band called “Cloven Heart,” which may or may not include other members of the Kartel. They certainly look like Zombs, or they could simply be a couple of hard-livin’ heavy metal headbangers who’ve been going at it a little extra hard. We don’t really know.
Rehel also bears a passing likeness to Iggy Pop, so maybe the “hard livin'” part is true. And Dragos could be any member of any band from Norway (minus the corpse paint). Unlike most other Adventure Kartel releases, these guys don’t come with a two-sided poster that gives us a taste of what the character is all about, so until we hear something official from Ashley Wood, their story is whatever we want it to be. And I love that. I picture them as best buddies, two metalheads joined at the hip; 3A’s Beavis and Butthead.
Anyone who has any of the previous Adventure Kartel should know what to expect from these two. Pretty standard 3A 1/6 articulation and paint apps. Rehel has a bluish skin tone, while Dragos has a gray tone, both of which definitely suggest “Zomb” to me. They sport new shoes, new head sculpts, and new hands that seem to be in a bit of a “devil horns” configuration. Technically these hands were first seen on the 2012 SDCC-exclusive Zombs, but this is the first time we’ve seen them on a non-Con exclusive. As an extra touch, Dragos even has his fingernails painted black. Eat your heart out, Nikki Sixx!
The weathering on their clothes works here. Lately, some 3A figures have looked like they’ve taken mud baths as opposed to sporting clothes that look “lived in,” but these two succeed in looking like a pair of dirtbags who haven’t changed their clothes in days. Dragos’s all-black look, in particular, makes him looks as though he could be a punk-rock squatter who basically lives in the clothes he has on his back. Dragos wears a “Cloven Heart” t-shirt depicting the logo of the band he’s in. Rehel comes decked out in the standard 3A white t-shirt with the company logo. As mentioned previously, they both come with the standard Adventure Kartel track jacket/hoodie, and they both wear dirty, black cargo board shorts Ashley Wood seems to be so fond of. They look good, like authentic heavy-metal dirtbags, which is probably why I’m so taken with them.
I’m also happy to report they both came to me with zero QC issues. 3A releases seem to have been plagued with QC problems lately, at least many of the figures and ‘bots I’ve received. These two, however, are perfect. No problems whatsoever. Tight joints, good paint, nothing broken or cracked, and they came to me looking exactly as good as I was hoping they would. It’s nice to have paid the prices 3A figures command and be totally satisfied when the figure is finally unboxed. I can’t say for certain that this is the case with the pair across the board, but since I always end up with any and all QC problems that are reported, I figure if I got a good set, then just about everyone else probably did too.
Bottom line here is that I haven’t been this satisfied with two figures like I am with these in quite some time. They were definitely worth the cost and the wait, in my opinion. They are so much fun to pose in goofy “METAL!!” positions that I just can’t seem to get bored with them. Your own mileage may vary, of course, but I really can’t recommend the both of them enough. If you’re only going to pick up one, I would go with Dragos simply because I sometimes find the 3A logo t-shirts to be a bit obnoxious and it’s nice that he doesn’t have one. But as I mentioned earlier, I do think they work best as a pair. They complement each other so well.