Three A Legion History

By Link to Phil Back Phil Back | 07 Dec 2018

WORK IN PROGRESS A brief history of the 3A Legion, the Three A annual toy club membership that existed from 2008 to 2018.

2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

2008 - Year 1 - Pre-3AA

2008, the year it all started, or at least the beginning of 3A toys. The company was founded by Ashley Wood and Kim Fung Wong in Hong Kong. "Since the company is essentially ThreeZero x Ashley Wood, the name "ThreeA" is derived from the name of Kim Fung Wong's company, ThreeZero, and the first letter in Ashley Wood's name."* There doesn't appear to be much information related to this year online, as the official 3A site doesn't go back this far. I'll keep digging and hopefully hear from some of the first year veterans.

The 3AA (3A Associates) Membership did not exist in 2008. The first toy sale by ThreeA was June 24th (25th), 2008 with Nom de Plume. Followed by Noir de Plume, Deep Powder and the 3+2 original Tomorrow Kings + Bot heads.
Gar, 3A Legionaire

How it all began for Kim and Ash:

Kim: I collaborated with Brothersfree to produce Brothersrobber, and it was very popular and sold out quickly. One day, an American friend asked me whether I had leftover stock because an artist really liked it and would pay any price for it. I told him that I only had two sample figures left and they weren’t for sale. That friend asked me many times after that, so I told him that I would gift it to him as he was very sincere about it. As a result, even I don’t have the Brothersrobber figure! That artist is Ashley Wood. Subsequently, we decided to create toys together. The first release was Bertie MK1. My friend advised me to produce it as an 8” vinyl, as it would sell better. But Ash and I preferred to make something high-end. Ash said that the money was coming from me, not him anyway, so he insisted on a high-end toy that was priced at $300 USD each and an edition size of 500. A $300 USD toy was very expensive those days, and we were afraid that it wouldn’t sell. We asked a few American retailers/distributors but they were all unwilling to sell it because they felt that it was too expensive. Ash then said he has an online store called Bambaland that we can use. I actually had my doubts: Can an online store that sell cheaper t-shirts be suitable to sell such an expensive toy? Still, we decided to try. Unexpectedly, we sold 200 Berties on the first day, and it was sold out soon. That was how Ash and I started to team up. After that, we released Gebi de Plume and NOM de Plume.

John Hsieh (2019) via the original post on Facebook (2018?) by Raymond Daly, 3A Legion Facebook Group


3A Monthly Photo Contests
"The Monthly Photo Contest began December of 2008 at 3A hyperboards by Ashley Wood and the 3A Office Staff. After the first couple months, the baton was passed on to 3A Forums moderator "eseffinga". Figures gifted to winners were either Blanc de Plume or DIY de Plume (at ThreeA's discretion), but a gifted figure was not guaranteed every month, and was reserved for exceptional entries. Similar to the Monthly Sketch Contest. The contest was eventually closed in August 2009 due to member complaints, as people expected a "prize" every month. The contest was converted into a monthly photo thread on the forum with no more gifts"
ThreeAWiki.com (now defunct)
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

3A Toys | 3AA 2009 Membership pack on display at US Venture, San Diego Comic Con - Sparks Gallery - 2017
Photo by Phil Back

2009 - Year 2 - 3AA is Born

2009 was the first official year for the 3AA Membership club. It is estimated that there were around 250 members, but official numbers were never released.
Gar, 3AA Legionaire
2009 Membership Pack
  • 1/12th scale (WWRp) Desert Bramble with a heavy gatling gun of sorts
  • 2009 membership card depicting Ashley Wood painting of Nom
3A Monthly Sketch Contest Begins
"The Monthly Sketch Contest began as a themed sketch thread at 3A hyperboards where Ashley Wood would name a theme and participants would post their sketch interpretations of that theme. After the first couple months, the baton was passed on to 3A Forums moderator "eseffinga". Figures gifted to winners were either Blanc de Plume or DIY de Plume (at ThreeA's discretion), but a gifted figure was not guaranteed every month; and was reserved for exceptional entries. The contest was eventually closed in August 2009 due to member complaints, as people expected a "prize" every month. The contest was converted into a monthly sketch thread on the forum with no more gifts"
ThreeAWiki.com (now defunct)
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

2010 - Year 3

I'm still digging up information on the 2010 membership, referred to as "new recruit day", January 15th, 2010. There were a limited number of membership spots available, according to the official site. New recruit memberships apparently "SOLD OUT" on the same day. It also appears that previous year members had a special window on January 8th, to renew. Membership was $150 USD and included the typical 15% discount, access to 3AA exclusives and the following:

3AA 2010 exclusive bonus figure with membership card and T-shirt in exclusive box; [Approximately] 450 [were produced]
Gar, 3AA Legionaire
2010 Membership Pack
  • WWRp Nom de Plume (Exclusive to 3AA, 1:12 scale)
  • 3AA T-shirt
  • 2010 Membership card
3A Hosts DIY de Plume Contest
"The DIY de Plume Contest (2010) took place on 3A hyperboards between December 30th and February 1st of 2009 and 2010 respectively. The contest required board members to design an original creation and concept for their DIY de Plume customization plans. The purpose of the contest was to find ThreeA fans who genuinely wanted a DIY de Plume for customization purposes, and as a fun way to gift the figures out to those people. The winners were (listed by 3A hyperboards username):"
  • Makadi3000
  • Spooky Boy
  • therethere
  • Fireflew
  • BFLV
  • anubis2night
  • rerezero
  • wwwetworks
  • pollyanna
  • When Forever Comes Crashing
ThreeAWiki.com (now defunct)
3A Motion Ad Contest
"The 3A Motion Ad Contest was a contest that ran for four months (August to December) that asked ThreeA Legionnaires to create a motion advert for ThreeA to use "Anywhere we can shove it." Out of nine total entries, 3A Forums user zzzzz won. The award for this contest is one of each ThreeA standard release for a 12 month period."
ThreeAWiki.com (now defunct)
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

2011 Membership Pack from worldofthreea.com
Photo elements from WorldofThreeA.com

2011 - Year 4

The 2011 3A membership pack was available as a 24-hour sale, priced at $150usd. Like other years, it offered the 15% discount "at Bambaland or Bambasia" for 12 months.

2011 Membership Pack
  • Exclusive Action Portable OYA TK (1:12 scale)
  • Membership Card
  • 2011 3AA Hoodie
  • A fancy box!
  • Adventure Kartel comic by TP Louise and Ashley Wood, never to be sold again
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

Example blog post alt
Photo by World of ThreeA (left); Phil Back (right)

2012 - Year 5

F-Legion was the figure for 2012. It came packaged in a bag, stapled and wrapped inside the 3A messenger bag. Also came with a 3A baseball cap. You can read a great review of the 2012 membership pack here, and here's a great overview video from YouTuber, Yama86

2012 Membership Pack
  • F-Legion figure (1:6 scale - First year this scale was offered in the membership pack) - cyborg, articulated fingers, zip-up face mask, killer sneakers, dusty jeans, and rugged looking jacket. Carries a wooden baseball bat. From the world of Adventure Kartel and as the story goes, F-Legion is associated with the mysterious Robot Island from Adventure Kartel.
  • 3A messenger bag - black with a cool 3A script pattern lining
  • 3A black baseball cap with white script embroidery
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

Lastronaut lands in 2014 - by ThreeA
Photo by World of ThreeA

2013 - Year 5

2013 3AA membership opened up on January 15th of that year for $180 USD. In addition to the standard 15% discount, the membership included the following:

2013 Membership Pack
  • WWR Blanc Hunter NOM (1:6th scale)
  • 3AA NOM T-shirt with bullet container
  • Signed Blanc Hunter print
  • Personalized membership card
  • 5th year 3AA veteran members received an extra t-shirt and NOM prey box

"I think it was the year of Pascha, personally I had fun with Pascha, and it was great to see you guys did too, sure she ain't for all, no weapons or fantasy tropes (I guess some peoples fantasy) but the audience was there and that made it all the sweeter! I really enjoyed the Dolphin sale, he is a main part of the AK story and his story isn't over, far from it!" - Ashley Wood, Q and A (#15)

"Always want to do better, 2013 was like every other year, a exercise in what I can do better. 2014 push further, dont look back!" - Ashley Wood, Q and A (#13)

NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

2014 3AA membership pack by ThreeA Toys | Ashley Wood
Photo by World of ThreeA

2014 - Year 6

2014 - the year of the Lastronaut. This figure and complete packaging for this year's set was beautiful (and heavy!).

2014 Membership Pack
  • 1/6th Scale Lasstranaut Collectible Figure from Ashley Wood’s Popbot Series. Not to be re-released in any other colorway.
  • 3AA 2014 Membership Card.
  • Lasstranaut Art Book (12” x 12”, Softcover, 32 pages).
  • White T-Shirt with Lasstranaut Design & Illustration on Front and Back (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL).
  • Vellum Top Sheet with Lasstranaut Painting by Ashley Wood (approx. 17.5” x 17.5”).
  • Lithograph with Lasstranaut Painting by Ashley Wood (approx. 17.5” x 17.5”).
  • Illustrated Box Set Containing All Contents Listed Above.
  • All renewing 2013 3AA members were to receive "the bonus garb", and sixth year veterans were to get a "6th year vet version showing their heritage"
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

2015 packaging art and design by Brent Ashe
2015 packaging art and design by Brent Ashe

2015 - Year 7

The 2015 Membership pack brought us three 8" figures, plus the quirky "JJ McGee" -- a plushy yellow costume(?) for the N.O.M commanders in the set. Certainly weird but fun.

From the 3A promo art:

  • "We looked into the shadows and saw absolution".
  • "We looked into the shadows and saw JJ McGee".

The membership cost was $190 USD.

2015 Membership Pack
  • 2 x 3AGO N.O.M Commanders
  • 1 x 3AGO Command Guard Bertie Mk2 - Exclusive To This Set Only
  • 1 x JJ McGee Thingy on a Thingy Stand
  • 1 x 3AA 2015 Black T-Shirt (choice of XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL)
  • 1 x N.O.M Commanders print signed by Ashley Wood
  • 1 x 3AA 2015 Membership Card with Strap Thing
  • Returning 3AA vets (Anyone Resigning From Last Year) Receive An Exclusive 3AGO TK Head !
  • All In A Great Box, It's Where JJ Likes To Be!
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

VON DE PLUME in 3AA Membership 2016 - by ThreeA
Photo by World of ThreeA

2016 - Year 8

VON DE PLUME came packaged in a brilliantly designed tube, padded with shredded packing paper. The set came with a paper sleeve poster and a pack of awesome stickers featuring Ash's artwork. The bold black and red design of the packaging captured the essence of this figure perfectly. Packaging and branding was designed once again by Brent Ashe. Brent also designed the stickers, labels and membership card, featuring illustrations by Ashley Wood.

2016 Membership Pack
  • Von De Plume (1:6 figure)
  • Clever poster tube-style packaging
  • Sticker pack
  • Double-Sided Poster
  • Toy catalog
  • Membership card
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

2017 3AA membership card
Photo by Phil

2017 - Year 9

2017 Membership packaging and branding was designed by the amazing Brent Ashe and featured illustrations by Ashley Wood.

2017 Membership Pack
  • --
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

2018 3AA Membership card, passport and sticker | ThreeA Toys

2018 - Year 10

2018 was the final year of the 3AA membership club. In speaking with Ash at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), he mentioned he wanted this membership kit to be a special and memorable set. He did not disappoint.

2018 Membership Pack
  • Les Mort 13, 1:6 scale figure
  • Les Mort 13 comic book - A wonderfully produced comic book in terms of design, illustration and creativity.
  • Decorative box with folding lid and magnetic closure
NOM logo | ThreeA Toys

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