MARK V IRON MAN & WAR MACHINE
Ah, Iron Man 2, the one entry in the MCU we all sort of pretend didn’t happen. The first chink in the armor, if you will. Admittedly, it’s not a bad movie, just an okay one, hurt by being the sequel to one of the biggest surprise hits of 2008. Some of the ideas presented there really weren’t bad, and if nothing else, the toys from the movie were cool. Two of my favorite parts of the movie (and thus some of my favorite entries from the toy lines) were the suitcase armor and Rhodey taking up the War Machine mantle. The Mark V and War Machine just so happened to be packed together for their Minimates. How convenient!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The Mark V and War Machine were part of the Iron Man 2-tie-in assortment of Marvel Minimates. They were one of the pair of two-packs shared between the TRU-exclusive assortment and specialty Series 35 (the other being Mark IV and Whiplash).
MARK V IRON MAN
Though somewhat short-lived, the Mark V suitcase armor was one of the real highlights of IM2, being a fun concept, a fun design, and getting easily the coolest fight scene in the movie. The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. The Mark V has add-ons for his helmet, shoulderpads, gloves, boots, and belt. The helmet is the same piece used for Marks IV, VI, and VII, but aside from that these pieces were new to this guy. They match up well enough with his on-screen design, and he doesn’t suffer from being overly bulked up like a lot of the Iron Man armors from this time period. In addition to the add-on pieces, the IM2 ‘mates also ramped up the use of specialized pieces, especially for arms and legs. The Mark V gets new upper arms and legs, which, like the add-on pieces follow the movie design quite well, and also help to prevent him for getting too big. The paint on this guy is particularly nice, with the metallic red in particular really standing out as really sleek and polished. Under his helmet, there’s a nice, angry/determined Tony Stark, who even shows some damage from his battle with Whiplash, making him a nice departure from the slew of other Tonys with the same basic face. The Mark V was packed with an extra hairpiece (a recolored version of Kyle Reese’s), as well as a pair of flesh-toned hands.
From the moment Rhodey quipped “Next time, baby” to the Mark II in Iron Man, I was anxiously awaiting War Machine’s introduction in the sequel. Of course, we lost the first Rhodey in the mean time, so there was no “Next time” for that particular iteration of the character. That being said, I think Cheadle ultimately brought more to the role, and was especially good for the transition of Rhodey to true super hero. This was Cheadle’s first of several ‘mates. This one’s particularly heavy on the extra sculpted pieces, with add-ons for the helmet, chest piece, and gloves/forearm guns, as well as unique legs and upper arms. Pretty much the whole basic ‘mate body is covered when this guy’s armored up. The parts are generally pretty well sculpted, but I do feel this guy suffers a bit from that overly bulked up look that I mentioned the Mark V avoided. It’s not awful, nor is it super out of character for War Machine, but he still looks a little on the pudgy side from some angles. Rhodey’s paint work is decent enough, if not as exciting or polished as the Mark V. Under the armor, there’s some nice extra torso detailing, as well as a fully detailed Rodey head. In lieu of the hair piece from the first movie’s Rhodey, this guy’s hair is painted on, which I think more accurately portrays the close-cropped look from the film. As far as the likeness, I can’t say I see all that much of Cheadle in the face on this one, but it’s still a pretty nice head. Rhodey included a large gattling gun and missile launcher to plug into his torso piece, as well as a separate helmet with the faceplate flipped up, and a pair of flesh-toned hands.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This was around the time I was faithfully buying my Minimates from Cosmic Comix, but for whatever reason, his shipment of these guys never materialized. I was hardly going to miss out on this pair, so I ended up grabbing them from TRU along with the two TRU-exclusive sets. I find that a lot of these ‘mates haven’t aged the best, but these two still hold up pretty well, and I’m happy to still have them!