Midway through 2021 Games Workshop announced a partnership with Chinese company JoyToy to produce official 1/18 scale figures of models in the Warhammer 40k line, starting with a group of space marines. Since then they’ve expanded the line to include Chaos Space Marines, Necrons, marines of various chapters, and larger units like Dreadnoughts, Helbrutes, and the Invictor Warsuit. If you’ve been wondering what these are like in person, how they stack up to other figures (like the MacFarlane Toys line), and whether they can be handed off to a six year-old, then good news! – our roster of big adult children authors have ordered a significant number of the toys and today we’re reviewing them.
Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones: Chaos Space Marines
These figures have been taunting me for quite some time and a few weeks ago I finally caved and picked up a squad (read: All five distinct figures) of the Black Legion chaos space marines. They come in individual boxes and the packaging is nice, but not really worth holding on to. That said, I’m also not a “new in box” kind of collector anyways.
Each figure comes with a card that has information about them which is entirely in what I think is Chinese (but could be Japanese), plus a pair of extra hands to swap out. Hands on these guys come in three varieties: closed fist, open hand for holding melee weapons, and open hand with the trigger finger forward for holding guns. I ended up with a little bitz box of a dozen or so extra hands after opening the whole team.
Something that wasn’t super clear to me before I ordered these is that these are absolutely toys. They feel like action figures I’d have owned as a kid, and the belt sections and tabards are made out of a softer, more rubbery plastic that moves around and gives them flexibility to pose. The weapons feel like what you’d have had on a Ninja Turtle. That they’re toys is good – my son was immediately fascinated by them and wanted to play with them, so I let him go nuts.
Now that he’s 6 I don’t worry so much about him breaking the figures but it’s definitely a potential concern, and I don’t think I’d have given these to him a year ago. While they’re definitely pretty sturdy, their arm joins are much stiffer and more fragile than I’d like, and that’s the area where even I’m afraid I might break them if I try too hard to pose them. An example:
That said, the whole set of them look pretty great and they’re sizeable lads in person. They feel much more like toys than the MacFarlane line, and clock in at around 60% of the size of those.
On the whole, these are great, and I’m planning to pick up the rest of the Chaos Space Marines range at some point – I definitely want to get a bunch of them before they become too difficult to get ahold of. That said, doing this is an extremely dangerous task, because it can only eventually lead to one outcome: Playing action figure Kill Team with my son. Which also probably means buying a bunch of the 1/18 scale dioramas and terrain sets.
Contemptor Kevin: Ultramarines
I, naturally, went with the Ultramarines because I want to have enough Ultramarines to be impressive when JoyToy finally releases Roboute Guilliman. At this point, I think it’s inevitable.
Figure-wise, I’m the proud owner of five Infiltrators, one Bladeguard Veteran, a Venerable Dreadnought, and an Invictor Tactical Warsuit. Most of the stuff remains hidden in their packages because I’m in the process of moving, but I did take a few of the figures out to showcase.
These figures are in 1/18 scale, which is *technically* the same scale as Star Wars Vintage collection. However, as you can see here, a Primaris Space Marine is going to dwarf a teenage Republic General/Imperial Fugitive. These figures are incredibly faithful to the GW boxart, with iconography done “by the book”. The paintjobs in particular are absolutely spectacular, and JoyToy has apparently stated that they use actual GW paints. Given what my fellow Kevin below had to do with his, I can absolutely believe that.
The figures themselves are extremely poseable, with stable joints in order to hold all manner of positions. Naturally, it is easier for an Infiltrator to make different positions than a bulkier Black Legion Marine. These guys easily outclass the MacFarlane figures on poseability. In terms of accessories, your average Marine figure will come with wargear that the model can take on the tabletop. The Infiltrators come with a selection of hands, their special bolters, and a removable power pack. The Bladeguard come with Heavy Bolt Pistols, Storm Shield, and Master-Crafted Power Sword. You won’t be getting a ton with any one action figure (except for a specific Bladeguard that comes with pretty much every option possible), but what you do get is appropriate and good.
In terms of durability, these are collector-grade action figures that are sold for a lower price than collector-grade figures usually go for. While my playing and posing them did not have many parts fall off, the joints could snap if played-with too hard. If you want to give a Warhammer toy to a toddler, stick with the MacFarlane toys.
I believe the going price for a basic Infiltrator is $25 – on the high side, but given the deco, poseability, and universe, this seems like a relative bargain.
But honestly, you’re not here for all that. I know what you really want. You want to know about one of the coolest action figure/action figure accessories on the market that isn’t from HasLab: the Invictor Tactical Warsuit.
This thing is huge. Standing almost a foot high (taller than a Warhound Titan), pre-painted, and almost fully poseable, the JoyToy Invictor Warsuit is probably one of the coolest action figures that I know. The toy is locked to the Twin Ironhail Heavy Stubber, but otherwise has all the other bells and whistles an Invictor has. It also comes with a removable, fully articulated, decoed, and equipped Infiltrator.
The joints on the Invictor itself are quite tight, and once I have the shelves to hold the Invictor, I do not anticipate any drooping or other issues – it is an absolutely solid hunk of plastic, and well worth the asking price.
The one downside is that the way the fingers are assembled make it difficult-to-impossible to grasp the heavy bolter pistol. This means that when you find the appropriately-scaled cowboy hat, you’ll probably need to have it about to draw instead of having drawn the pistol.
The Venerable Dreadnought is likewise an amazing figure, even if it is a fair bit smaller than the Invictor. The legs of this monster are likewise fully articulated, so you can put the monster in a forward-facing crouch, or pose it standing triumphantly on an appropriately-scaled hero rock. It does not, however, have any weapon options: you get a twin Lascannon and a Gravis Fist with Storm Bolter. The arm with the Gravis Fist is articulated, but the fist itself is not. This means, in pertinent part, the Venerable Dreadnought cannot hold a 40K scale VenDread, nor can it give people the finger.
Nevertheless, it is still a solidly constructed toy and a welcome addition to my shelf.
Kevin Fowler: Blood Angels & Terrain
This is a well-timed review! I ordered a set of Death Company Intercessors a loooooooong time ago and they finally arrived. I will echo the above comments of quality (for the most part – more about that later), these are pretty beefy figures. I’ve tried to focus my figure collecting in my wizened age – the only lines I pick up nowadays are SH Monsterarts Godzilla and the occasional Super 7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ultimates. While these figures are in a different scale, the build quality seems right on.
Even when you buy a pack of multiple, each one comes in its own box.
The intercessors (both standard and Death Company) come with a pretty wide variety of extra gubbins – 2 extra sets of hands, a holster and pouch that snap onto the belt, a chainsword, a bolt pistol with removable magazine, and a bolter. The DC guys have an alternate unhelmeted head option as well.
I really like the regular BA Intercessor’s deco and it’s sold me on some of the upcoming BA command squad guys as well.
Next up are my long-awaited Death Company Intercessors. I’ve always loved the DC aesthetic and this was a slam dunk pick for me. Unfortunately, one of them had an issue with chest deco.
I don’t know how widespread of an issue this might be, but I found that some gold details on other figures were brittle on other figures and brushed on a bit of varnish. To fix this dude up I went over to the paint desk and checked some colors out. It is possible that this is a match for a GW pot, but nothing I tried stuck out. In the end, a mixture of Army Painter Bright Gold and GW Ironbreaker was a perfect match. I varnished over the whole chest with satin varnish to seal it in an even out a bit of the lumpness from the initial tears.
These guys are suitably badass and really look like blown-up minis.
OF COURSE WHEN THERE ARE SPACE MARINES INVOLVED, THERE HAS TO BE A PRIMARIS LIEUTENANT!
LT Tolmeron is suitably blinged out and has plenty of options: a… toothy alternate head, as well as open and closed hands, a pistol, and a power sword. The gold deco on him did not have issues, so maybe the Death Company issue was a one off.
My only beef with the red-armored Blood Angels is that they have less “painterly” edge highlight details on the power armour than the Death Company figures do – but they still look rad as hell.
There is also terrain!
Say hello to the Building Depot: Staging Area. The build here is actually a bit tricky – everything is completely modular. Each floor and wall piece is held in place with some sort of support or connector; some joins are a whole lot easier than others. A few tabs needed a slight bit of sanding for ease of assembly but mostly it just took some persistence. The detail and weathering on these is just about the best I have seen for an action figure “playset” Some of the kits look like they are a whole lot more stable than others – if you choose to invest in one of the sets that is taller and thinner, there is some potentially for it to have a bit of a wobble to it. For this kit at least, there were no pegs to stabilize the feet, so you may be relegated to stable poses.
Deco problem aside, I love this line and look forward to adding more figures in the future!
These are some incredibly solid figures, and absolutely scratch the itch of “Warhammer 40,000 action figures you always wished you’d had as a kid but just didn’t exist.” They’re fun and posable and work surprisingly well as toys. And if the JoyToyWarhammer Twitter account is anything to go by, they’re making an absolute ton of these in the next two years and covering minis we never expected them to even touch (chaos knights!), and that’s something we’re not sure our bank accounts can handle.
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