Art 300: Universe of Violence from Ironhaus Productions and Eric Nilla

Universe of Violence – Boss Figure #2: Elephunt
By Ironhaus Productions and Eric Nilla

Universe of Violence – Boss Figure #2: Elephunt
with Extra Gorewad Monster and Pack-In Accessory

Elephunt - Back

Elephunt - Front

The Universe of Violence figures were created by Ironhaus Productions and Eric Nilla. There are numerous figures from the line, but this review focuses on the second Boss Figure: Elephunt. The figure was packaged with a random Gorewad figure (in this case, the Blemmy figure) and a random accessory (in this case, a RIP headstone).

This set was purchased for $16, which is an incredible deal for essentially three rubber mini-figures – with Elephunt featuring a large, removable headpiece. As the largest and focal figure of the set it makes sense to begin with Elephunt.

Elephunt without Mask

The Elephunt figure is simply stunning. It is just a bit taller than your average mini-figure. It also has a substantial feel to it because of the size. This version was cast in a red rubber, although various versions were available. This version also had a purple headpiece.

It is nearly impossible to argue with the quality and originality of the Universe of Violence figures. The fact that what started as a very small project became nominated for a Designer Toy Award speaks to that fact. However, many reviews and pictures of the Elephunt figure only featured the front of the figure – which is too bad. Being able to appreciate the figure from every angle really shows the love and craftsmanship that went into the figure.




Holding Mask

The separate headpiece is very unique for a mini-figure and, again, there is no room for debate regarding the quality and craftsmanship. The headpiece fits perfectly with the figure, but also can be held in the hand of the figure. Whether intentional or not, this ability provides collectors with different options for displaying the figure – a key feature with a two-piece mini-figure.

Odd Stance

The only potential criticism of the Elephunt figure could be the stance of the figure. When the figure is viewed from the front it looks to be slightly reared back, perhaps as if he was roaring or stretching before a fight. However, when viewed for the back the stance looks very unnatural – maybe even impossible. The detail and sculpting quality of the figure is what actually brings attention to the odd stance. Everything else is so perfect, that the stance becomes very noticeable. This is a minor criticism, and one that is not going to be noticeable by collectors when the figure is placed on the shelf.

Blemmy - Back

Blemmy - Front

The Blemmy Gorewad figure is cast in a rubber, glow-in-the-dark, two-tone yellow and orange. The Blemmy figure is significantly smaller than Elephunt, but serves as a wonderful addition. The look of the figure can suggest either hellish, helper minion of Elephunt or dim-witted underdog combatant. Even though the Universe of Violence figures are designed as collectibles, this pack-in toy mentality is what makes the inclusion of the figure so brilliant.

Color Change Headstone

The last accessory is a heat-activated color change headstone. It is difficult to read, but the tombstone says, “RIP.” While nicely designed its small, and complicated design makes it more difficult to fully distinguish the detail. Upon close inspection the rocks, earth, tombstone, and writing are noticeable, but its tiny size loses that detail sitting on a shelf. This is a welcome addition to the set although it does not positively add anything, nor does it take away from anything.

There will not be any additional Universe of Violence figures added because Universe of Violence has been discontinued.

This review is coming far too late. The figures were purchased in January of 2013 and the review is taking place in July of 2013. It’s also taking place after Universe of Violence was nominated for Best Mini-Figure Line of the Year. Heaping praise on at this point seems almost too easy, but that is because this line of figures deserves all of the praise and accolades it receives.

Packaged Figures

Regardless of the outcome for the Designer Toy Awards, Universe of Violence was without question the best mini-figure line of the year. Simply look at the other nominees. The vast majority fall into small vinyl toy category or hipster collectibles. These figures have very little focus on being a toy and an almost pretentious focus on being “art.” Many of those figures are beautiful, but certainly don’t feel like they have broken new ground. The ones that do break some new ground, feel like new waves of the same designer product. Of the small group that feel original (i.e., B.A.S.T.A.R.D., MINI 10-DOH!, OMFG, etc.) they still owe a great deal to a pre-existing property. Universe of Violence is 100% original. There is nothing even remotely like it.

But being different isn’t enough, there has to be quality and attractiveness and Universe of Violence has it in spades. The Elephunt set is a spectacular example of that. I am almost speechless when I look at Elephunt and the UofV figures. Attempting to shower the figures with the praise that they deserve begins to feel like hyperbole – even though it is the furthest thing from it.

Elephunt size comparison to other figures.

Sadly Ironhaus Productions and Eric Nilla have discontinued their spectacular collaboration. In a funny way, it’s a good thing. Universe of Violence can be the rock star that died too early and left fans wondering, “What if?”

While new figures will not be released both Ironhaus Productions and Eric Nilla will be selling some of their remaining figures. Collectors should absolutely make sure they add these figures to their collections. Not only are the figures phenomenal, but their brief and relatively undocumented nature makes Universe of Violence a truly collectible line of figures.

Rear of the Header Card

For more information about Universe of Violence, Ironhaus Productions, and Eric Nilla, check out these links:
Ironhaus Productions’ Blog
Ironhaus Productions’ Store
Eric Nilla’s Store
Eric Nilla on Facebook
Eric Nilla’s Blog

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  1. #1 by Eric on July 19, 2013 - 4:59 am

    Always talking crap on my sculpting… I see how it is! Haha, j/k. Thanks for the spotlight, he is one of my fav figures I have done, and yeah there are a few things I wish i could change, but oh well. If you knew the problems I had when making him… 🙂

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on July 19, 2013 - 9:04 am

    Yeah, it’s a real piece of shit (said with dripping sarcasm).

    I can only imagine the challenges. Frankly it pained me to complain or note anything remotely negative about the figure because I love it so much. However I’ve always strived to provide objective observations of figures. I would have been lying to myself if I hadn’t noted it – because I did notice it.

    But that’s why I shifted to the Objective/Subjective set-up. When I really loved figures, being objective stopped me from gushing over them. The new set-up, I think, gives the best of both worlds.

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