Geek in the City

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Weta’s Victorious Mongoose – Miniature Version – Toy Review

Last week we talked about the Righteous Bison Invisible Particle Smasher, the latest full-sized raygun in the Weta Original’s Dr. Grordbort’s line of infallible aether oscillators. This week, Weta has provided us with the Righteous Bison’s little cousin, the miniaturized version of the Victorious Mongoose.

Sculpt

If you are not familiar with Weta’s miniature rayguns, they are essentially the same pieces available in the pricier $700 (USD) line, but scaled down to roughly one quarter scale. It’s not quite as small as the houses and landmarks you might see in a model town, but smaller that the scaled down playing cards you’d find playing Poker DK. It’s tiny – but then, that’s half the appeal. Fans of the Weta podcasts have probably heard joking references to a particular shop where full-sized ray guns are put through a miniaturization process to create the diminutive versions. With an impressive level of detail carrying over could one could almost believe some sort of “miniaturization” ray was used.

As the fifth ray gun in the miniature line, the Victorious Mongoose is a unique. Whereas the majority of the other pieces are designed as massive weapons, this is more of a Derringer pistol. Designed by Greg Broadmore and modeled by Greg Tremont, the level of detail is exquisite considering the raygun’s roughly 3-inch size. While at the same time, it has an appropriate level of proportion and design elements to it. This is a concealable raygun after all; the design rightly does not include the fins and projections that decorate the rest of Dr. Grordbort’s arsenal.

In discussing other rayguns I have often commented on how they have a believable feel about them. Cast in what Weta describes as “confoundedly weighty metal,” the Victorious Mongoose has this in common with the others of its pedigree.

Paint

The paint application on this piece could be described as minimalist. No energy was wasted in colorizing parts that don’t need it. In doing so Weta has cast the illusion of a weapon whose intended purpose is dirty work, not for show.  There is a lot of charm to that. Sure, they tapped into the Weta penchant for using paint and color to make the piece look worn and slightly rusted where appropriate, but there are no frills to this raygun.

Because of these factors, when you hold the Mongoose in your palm you can envision how a card player in Dr. Grordbort’s world would employ it. One could easily see it armed in a spring-loaded wrist rig of a man who sits patiently, pith helmet is cocked back at a rakish angle, waiting for the Venusian across from him to call his inside straight an act of roguishness.

Packaging

Like the previous miniatures in the line, the Victorious Mongoose comes in a heavy, illustration covered, cardboard box. The raygun and it’s accompanying stand are held securely in a form-fitting mold. The lid of the box opens to the side like a book binding.  The combination of these factors is handsome enough that you could display the raygun in the box.

Overall Impressions

With a retail price of $49 (USD), the Victorious Mongoose is equivalent to the cost of around ten craft beers at your favorite brew pub.  I would certainly consider this a worthy trade-off. This is a great little collectible and I have become at least as much a fan of the miniaturized rayguns as I am of the full sized versions.

The miniaturized rayguns are such good representations of the full scale versions that only size (obviously) and cost separate them. The standard rayguns run around $700 and are typically around a foot long (the 45 inch Unnatural Selector Ray Blunderbus notwithstanding). The original Victorious Mongoose itself runs $550 more then the miniature and is six inches longer. If you are a collector of more modest means, such as this writer, you can more easily afford, and have space for, a complete collection of miniatures.  The complete line of full scale rayguns would require an additional room built onto your house and probably an over-priced divorce attorney to go with it.

Clearly, the Victorious Mongoose comes highly recommended by this reviewer. This raygun would be either a great addition to your own collection or an excellent gift to the discerning man or woman of adventure in your life.

Read more musings by Robert Alpi Jr.: International Man of Mystery at his blog, Legends Ink.


Category: MOVIES, PODCASTS, PULP, TOYS
  • Dave Lockman says:

    An amazing little pistol! I’ve admired many of the Steampunk creations of Weta and others, and wish that I had the time (and talent) to spend, turning all the bits & bobs in my shed into little works of art such as these.

    Thanks for sharing this one, and the great pictures. And if you haven’t run across his work, take a look at the web site of another of my Facebook friends, Nemo Gould at http://www.nemomatic.com/nemomatic/home.html

    While not exactly Steampunk, there is a certain amount of overlap, especially in the choice of materials.

    Have a great week, fellow geeks!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:16 pm
  • Tim Hammell says:

    The miniature Victorius Mongoose is about an 1 3/4″ in length, the full size is about 7″, a bit too big to fit in a sleeve – more the size of a snub nose ’38.

    Good review, thanks for spreading the word. A great line to collect in either size.

    November 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm
  • Aaron says:

    Thanks, I will be sure to pass your compliments on. Anytime we get to promote Weta’s work, we will be all over that… Even more so if we can swing off a trip to Kiwi for some Hobbit love! (Um, that didn’t sound the way I intended it to). 🙂

    November 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

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