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REVIEW: The Urbanites’ Cleabus

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Background

Christopher Lee
came up with the original concept of The Urbanites in 2004.  The group is based in a close-knit neighborhood of colorful individuals.  Lee’s style takes advantage of basic shapes and intense colors.  This gives his work a unique look.

Chris teamed up with Wheaty Wheat Studios to release toys based on The Urbanites.  The first figure released is Cleabus, the radish farmer, with Mellow soon to follow.

Cleabus was born into a long line of proud radish farmers.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good at farming.  Ashamed, Cleabus ran away from home with his favorite hat and a bag of radish seeds.  After months of working at it, he was finally able to master the art of radish farming.  Cleabus was so good at farming that he was able to grow a huge radish to live in.

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Packaging

Wheaty Wheat has gotten this packaging down.  Not only is there a adequate artwork from Christopher Lee, but you can read the entire story of the character on the back of the box.  Also, the double interlocking plastic trays means that the figure won’t shift en route to you…and that it’s not a pain releasing Cleabus from his temporary home.

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The Figures

The 2.5” tall Cleabus is available in two versions – Regular and
Vintage (Sepia tone).  The figure is in scale with the other characters
in the series (which is why the giant Mellow is 8” tall).  Since he’s a
radish farmer, Cleabus comes with one of his radishes…as well as a
removable hat. 

The Regular version is limited to 800 units, while the Vintage Cleabus
(an Octane 3 exclusive) run is 400 pieces.  Each is individually
numbered.

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Our Opinion

Like Joe Ledbetter’s line, Wheaty Wheat has done an amazing job
bringing this 2D character to 3D form.  Cleabus, drawn as a blocky
character, maintains that look in the vinyl figure.  That is done with
a surprisingly intricate layered sculpt and a paint application that
shades those layers to stand out.  For example, the nose is a shade
darker than the rest of Cleabus’ face.  That makes it stand out just
enough.

Some collectors might be disappointed that the figure is not larger
than 2.5” in height.  When you look at the line in it’s entirety, the
scale of Cleabus is appropriate.  When/If the entire cast of characters
is released, it will be an interesting array of colors and sizes.

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You can pick up the Regular Version at the following:

3DRetro: $12.99
Frozen Empire Toys: $11.00
Fugitive Toys: $11.99
Panik's Toy Box: $13.99
Rocket Pop: $12.99
Strangekiss: $13.95 

Cleabus Grades:

Quality: 10/10
Paint: 9/10
Durability: 9/10
Hype: 9/10
Fun Factor: 9/10
Value: 10/10
Overall: 9.5/10

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