Ironhaus. His work has a very specific flavor – whether it’s the Universe of Violence, Micro Bastards, or the Murks, whenever Rommel makes a toy, you just know it’ll be bursting with tiny, gory detail from every seam. This Christmas, Ironhaus Productions has released another new surprise line – a set of minimum thirty figures, staggered 5-10 at a time, all roughly an inch or so tall.
They are smaller than one would think – sort of like the Murks, except not as chunky – but that gives them a very specific branding, and makes their clean, intricate sculpting stand out even more. These figures are cast in a hard rubber that feels like plastic, and overall they seem like a set of fantastically weird board game figures… wait, am I waisting time introducing these things with boilerplate? Look, they’re small figures, they are sold in two, four, and single packs at Ironhaus, and they are worth it. Let’s look at ’em individually!
The figures come with a short comic, giving somewhat of an introduction – the various characters seme to be created by Big Heads, and Stevie No-Arms does not have a figure… yet. The comic has cat-stomping, cat-mutating, and cat-henchmanning, which is apparently one of the running themes in the line – not for everybody, but at least one faction will involve cats. Pretty much every figure is guaranteed a spotlight on the Ironhaus site soon, though currently only a few have those stats.
Right Arm Cat was an ordinary mangy stray cat, roaming with no real direction, when he was abducted by Stevie No-Arms and was tortured at on the altar of a “Big-Head” monument. The mysterious statue absorbed the cat’s suffering and imbued him with massive strength, but leaving him subservient to Stevie No-Arms.
Time progressed, and Right Arm Cat has started to develop free will again… And it’s only a matter of time before he starts to make his move.
Likes: Pissing on shoes, jumping off of tall things and fishing.
Dislikes: Stevie No-Arms, being called “Shitty Kitty” and the phrase “transversal axis”.
With the distinction of appearing in the comic, Right-Arm Cat is a stitched-together feline monster, somewhere between Frankenstein and were
wolftiger. He’s a pretty solid Rommel design, with some of the lumpy gore that you’d expect. Great personality in his snarling face, too!
The Lieutenant is a wild pig given sentience by one of the mysterious “Big-Head” monuments that has protruded from the ground in various places around the world. He travels the lands on foot, looking for unsuspecting travelers to eat, though he ironically prefers bacon and can be bribed with a fresh new pair of sneakers or a floral print shirt.
Likes: Bacon, shoes, Hawaiian shirts, and the saltiness of human tears.
Dislikes: Hybrid vehicles, french toast, banjo music and the color orange.
Looking not unlike Alf, The Lieutenant has garneredmuch praise so far – and with good reason. When you looka at this complex design, realize that the prototype is sculpted in 1:1 by hand, and then marvel. That fur is a work of art – you and I have seen many custom and indy figures totally get lazy and skimp out on details like hair, but this figure is exact!
And yeah, he does look like Alf. Seriously, that snout!
Although he’s also clearly a wild boar. But yes, if you wanted an evil Alf, you’ve got it!
Aagnart Neribalu is as mysterious as he is menacing. Not much is known about Neribalu, outside of the fact that he is wanted “Dead Only” by all four of the territorial warlords. Clearly, they know something that the rest of the general populace does not.
The only thing commonly known about Aagnart Neribalu, is that he is searching for “Silver Yard”… But, what is “Silver Yard”?
And what lies underneath those bandages?
Take everything I just said about The Lieutenant’s fur, and apply it to Aagnart’s bandages. It’s not just that they exist, but the fact that they are coherent and cohesive, with straight lines and connecting loops. They look like the figure is really wrapped up – and at this scale, that’s incredible! He’s got a fantastic smirk, too, which helps situate him between mysterious and cocky.
DEAD CAT FOR A HEAD GOLEM
Well, that’s an indicative name! The biggest of the figures, Dead Cat For A Head Golem is a huge, patched-together monstrosity with… you guessed it, a dead cat for a head! But there’s plenty of detail besides, and again he very clearly fits into Rommel style.
I love the upside-down half face on his back/shoulder – you have to really look carefully to see it, but then you can never un-see it. I love all this detail!
DEAD KID WEARING A DEAD DOG
The Dead Kid Wearing Dead Dog is a mysterious entity, that resides on the treacherous road known as “Demon’s Throat”, in the North territory. He can rarely be found in the same place twice, and generally offers cryptic advice on how to navigate the brutal and winding road leading to the upper crest of the North territory.
Likes: Being confusing
Dislikes: Sitting still, apparently.
Wow. There we go, again. The name says it all – this is a dead child (presumbly undead) wearing the skinned pelt of a dog. His eyes are soulless and blank, and he seems like something out of a creepypasta. Even without overt gore, this manages to be one of Ironhaus’s darker figures.
Here’s a better look at that dog – yep, it’s a dead dog, all right.
While the other figures seem to be stitched-together monstrosities, Goofhead manages to up the surreal rating of the series. I have it on good authority that Goofhead is an entire species and not an individual, but… well, look at him! He’s a three-headed hairy hillbilly caveman muppet, with tons and tons of personality crammed into the tiniest toy imaginable. It’s like Cousin It went on a bad date with a Fraggle, and I love it!
THE DEVIL’S SMILE
Devil’s Smile is an unnatural abomination, given life from the dirt of an ancient burial site that a Big-Head monument sprouted from. Devil’s Smile is a herald for the Big-Head; he specializes in drawing chase on unsuspecting travelers in the Western Territory, injuring them and leading them back to the Big-Head monument where they are to be sacrificed. Devil’s smile then feasts on whatever the Big Head leaves behind.
Likes: Murder, mayhem, filth, and the fear of his victims
Dislikes: Dry ice, horse shit, cow shit, dog shit, people shit
The only single-packed figure in the line, The Devil’s Smile is certainly the most-detailed. As the servant of the Big Heads (a new Big HEad figure is coming soon), this blind, insane monster is easily the most detailed sculpt of the line. Look at those teeth! The curve of its lip! The scaly body!
Again, the Devil’s Smile shows just how much effort, hard work, skill, and talent Rommel puts into these figures. Its size is tiny, but the detailing is better than many figures twice its size. You want scary? You’ve got it!
And finally, here’s a BONUS figure – unnamed, and I do not know if he’s even available anymore, but a few got tossed into random orders. Handhead is delightfully surreal, and just bulky enough to seem like a MUSCLE (though he is smaller than the others). This is a pretty good sign for the future – who knows what other freebies we’ll see? And this is only the beginning for the Fortress of Inhumanity, too – as previously said, at least thirty figures are on the way, and we should be so lucky if they all end up this good!