Apr 03, 2007
Veil: Specimen 129 Review
A top-flight rock poster artist, Jermaine Rogers first stepped into the designer toy world with Dero from STRANGEco -- a menacing bear-like creature with red eyes and razor sharp teeth. Rather than simply dreaming up interesting characters for his posters, Jermaine weaves a storyline which ties them into a larger universe of struggle and deceit.
While we're familiar with the Dero, we were only recently introduced to their genetically engineered slave race -- the Veil. The Veil toil underground for the Dero -- presumably on tasks deemed too mundane and/or dangerous. One Veil, Specimen 129 became self-aware and apparently is leading the rebellion against his masters. This quote from Specimen 129 to Vincent Vangogh in 1887 sheds some light --
”I was made to be unfeeling. A machine. We were bred as a workforce toward Dero ends. We were given no names, only numbers. I am called ‘129’. This was sufficient. I have been worker, henchman, butcher, hunter and terrorist. And now I am ‘traitor’. There is a dangerous game of rebellion being played beneath the world, Vincent. And my hand weighs heavily in it..."
Previously released in a special black Shadow edition at SDCC '06, Veil: Specimen 129 was recently released by STRANGEco in bright pink. While sharing visual traits with their masters - the Dero, they tower over them. The Veil: Specimen 129 figures stand at 11" tall while Dero measures a mere 7" high. The pink edition of Specimen 129 reviewed here, is limited to 900 pieces. Both figures have three points of articulation - at the shoulders and the neck.
As with the Shadow edition, the pink Veil: Specimen 129 has a deceptively simple appearance from the front -- a long legged bear-like character with large glow-in-the-dark eyes. The micro-chip protruding out of Specimen 129's head serves to put us on notice that all is not as it seems. Additionally the '72' emblazoned on the forehead raises the obvious question of what it all means. The distinguishing design feature of this edition is clearly the hot pink 'skin' color. While the Shadow edition is menacing in black, Specimen 129 takes on new life and meaning in pink. Black is perhaps too predictable, yet Pink is an unexpected choice. Stereotypically, Pink reads as safe or at the very least not threatening. What to make of a pink Specimen 129? Perhaps a kinder inner soul or perhaps an enigmatic message as to 129's intent and nature? While the truth is currently known only by Jermaine Rogers and Vincent Vangogh, the fact is that for this reviewer the pink Specimen 129 is intriguing because it poses more questions than it answers.
Veil: Specimen 129 comes in a retro style two-piece black box with teal detailing and lettering. An excellent illustration covers nearly the entire front panel. The side panels feature 129's previously mentioned quote to Vincent Vangogh and the "resist" 72 logo. The sharp looking box compliments the figure nicely, bringing Jermaine's artwork to the forefront.
Since this is a 'review' -- you're probably expecting some sort of judgment or verdict ;-) Veil: Specimen 129 has a subtle yet powerful design made more compelling by the slowly unwinding mythos that links the Veil and the Dero together. Quality wise there is little here to complain about. Considering the figure stands 11" tall , is limited to 900 pieces, and has GID eyes it offers strong value at a suggested retail of $49.95.
So where do things go from here? After unleashing powerful Jedi mind tricks over IM, here's what we know for certain. STRANGEco will release additional Specimen 129 editions in '07 including a special collector's edition only available directly from Jermaine Rogers. Also, be on the lookout for a new figure from the Dero/Veil narrative. Stay tuned for further details.
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This is looking very nice indeed, love the GID eyes, nice touch!
I picked one up not long after it's release and have to say it definitely stands out nicely from the rest of my collection.
A fantastic piece to have.