Three A – a deferred pleasure

So the thing about toys from Three A, aka 3A, (the production company representing the partnership of artist Ashley Wood and producer/distributor Kim Fung Wong) is that it’s all a waiting game.

Most everything they produce is announced and goes on sale, after an appropriate amount of teasers have also snuck onto various blogs and forums, well ahead of when it ships. This stuff is mostly bought on a pre-order basis, months in advance of production, and because 3A are such a powerhouse of creativity they’re production always seems a little overstretched and therefore frequent delays occur in items shipping.

I would hazard to suggest however that the net result of this is, all in all, a good thing, here’s why: Remember those letters you wrote off to Father Christmas as a child, what felt like ages before you’d get to open those packages beneath the tree? Half the fun was in the anticipation. For most of us, we knew we’d get some cool things, it seemed like an agonisingly slow process counting away the days until Christmas morning, but the excitement was building all that time. My conjecture is that 3A are inadvertently giving us that childhood thrill all over again.

Here’s support for that assertion from my experience. In 2010 i was lucky enough to get two Three A Bertie’s, if you’re not in the know, a Bertie is an only-vaguely humanoid combat robot, as conceived and developed by Ashley Wood. [note to self insert a pic here! 2nd note to self, cannot find pics of my Berties – take one to post here!]

So when I saw that Three A were bringing out a set of similar robots, Armstrong’s, I had to add a couple more to my collection. Now these were a retailer edition, which simply means the factory releases them to a retailer who sells them to you, rather than you buying direct from the Three A online store. The retailer still knows about the product way in advance and in most cases retailers will still sell these as pre-orders. So you makes your choice and pays your money and waits your wait until Three A ship the toy. Now of course there is the extra wrinkle that the toy is shipped to your retailer of choice, who then has to re-ship it on to you.

I bought my three Armstrong’s on April 4th and the advertised shipping from Three A was July, so right from the get-go I know I’m looking at four months of anticipation minimum. But, you see, what happens in the intervening months, while your excitement is building, is that Three A start revealing the next toy, and the next, so, if like me you then sucumb to the Pudding Boss and the TK Yellow Hornets and now the Caesar, what you are really doing is building up a treasure trove of overlapping deliveries with parcels appearing at strange intervals based on things you saw and paid for months previously…

So as of writing, in a classic example of how this works, my Armstong’s are still en route (they got shipped to an old retailer address by mistake = another month’s delay in them reaching me), but in the meantime the Pudding Boss has arrived – and like those long ago Christmases of childhood memory, i had all the excitement of opening my parcel, guessing what it may be, but delighting all the more as it was bought so long ago that i’d sorta forgotten a little bit too.

So to all those griping about Three A with regard to shipping delays, I say, relax, just see the extra wait as more time for the anticipation to build and a bigger thrill when the toy arrives.


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