Off The Shelf – Mechawhales!
Tuesdays, Costello takes a toy off one of his shelves and explains how it got there to begin with.
You know how the Internet is. You see a thing, you like it, maybe even Like it, you look at it a few times in a row, and then you move on. Sometimes you think about it again in a few months and try to track it down. Sometimes, it’s just gone. Other times, it’s there. And then there are times that it’s there, and more! One of those things for me was Mechawhales.
Former Pathfinder RPG developer F Wesley Schneider was a great person to know on social media for me. His tastes were the right mix of things that appeal to me and things that I would never find on my own. In the early 2010s, he shared a short animated video about the bloody battle between alien invaders and whales in mech suits.
It amused me as much as it baffled me. Who wakes up one morning and thinks “You know what the world needs?” or “I know what I have to do” and comes up with this:
A few years later, I was all “hey, remember Mechawhales?” When I looked it up, instead of finding the familiar YouTube video, I came across the Mechawhales website, which included a lot of surprises:
- Four more animated episodes;
- A plot, wherein whales were so desperate to stop humans from polluting the oceans they forced their innate psychic powers to evolve, leading to the Whale-Human Alliance;
- Characters and a lot of thought about which whale breeds fill what military roles;
- Advertisement for a Mechwhale action figure!
It ends up, Mechawhales I the brainchild of Hauke Scheer, a toy designer. Like so many of the cartoons I grew up on, Hauke used animation to promote one of his toy properties. And like grade school through to present me, it worked. I followed the link to Big Bad Toy Store and ordered myself a Mechawhale action figure.
My Mechawhale Action Figure
According to Hauke’s deviantArt page, this is based on Whalehammer, the protagonist of the Mechawhales animated series and a hero of the Whale-Human Alliance. As a sperm whale, he is an infantry whale.
The first thing I noticed is how heavy Whalehammer is. He’s solid PVC, a tougher than usual material for action figures, with a rubbery texture that is appropriate for a whale.
There are a few points of articulation, which is appreciated but not the selling point here. While my love for GI Joe and Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. is based on their posability, I like Mechawhales for the aesthetic. The swivel arms are fine, , but the swivel wrists open up a lot of possibilities. His tail is also articulated, but barely and for no reason.
That’s it for play features. The weapons aren’t removeable or articulated. Whalehammer’s a bit of a brick, but if all bricks were as exciting as a Mechawhale, I’d have been a brick layer!