#2936: Iron Monger & Obadiah Stane

IRON MONGER & OBADIAH STANE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Obadiah Stane suits up as the powerful Iron Monger to threaten Iron Man. After a long stint as second-in-command of Stark Industries, Stane is eager to exact revenge on Tony Stark.”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe officially launched in 2008 with the release of Iron Man.  It proved that Marvel had the ability to sell characters beyond just the top of their A-list, and also laid the groundwork for the merchandising juggernaut we have 13 years later.  At the time of the movie’s release, Hasbro was still figuring out what they were doing with the Marvel license, and while the resulting tie-in line wasn’t bad (in fact, it was probably some of the best work Hasbro put out in their first five years or so with the license), it doesn’t quite hold up to modern standards.  Though we’ve had plenty of anniversary stuff, Iron Man has thus far been largely untouched (barring one straight re-deco of an older figure during the First Ten Years line in 2018), leaving some pretty prime real estate available for their latest MCU-centric throwback line.  There are two Iron Man-based releases this time around, and I’m looking at the first of them, Iron Monger and its pilot Obadiah Stane, today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Iron Monger and Obadiah Stane make up one of the two mass-release two-packs for the Infinity Saga sub-set of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line.  Both of the mass release sets pair off one standard sized figure with one deluxe sized figure, which is an interesting choice.  Monger and Stane are a sensible pairing since, while Monger would certainly sell on his own, Stane’s unlikely to really find a spot otherwise.

IRON MONGER

While Tony Stark is emphatically named “Iron Man” by the events of the first film, Obadiah’s armored persona never actually gets called by the “Iron Monger” moniker within the film proper.  We get a reference to him being a war monger, but that’s really it.  That hasn’t stopped it from being his go-to merchandising name, of course, because why wouldn’t it be.  It’s a cool name.  Iron Monger’s MCU incarnation has always had to contend with the limitations of standard release pack-outs when it came to toys.  Both of his original film figures were quite under-scaled for the 6-inch line they were sold alongside, and that continued into the 3 3/4 inch figure line as well.  This release’s primary aim is getting us a true and proper movie Monger.  To that end, the figure stands 9 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  In terms of articulation implementation, this guy starts by taking a page out of the old Iron Man 2 figure’s book, and then using the over a decade’s time since then to further improve things.  He’s obviously still a bit restricted, but given the sheer bulk of the guy, he’s just about as posable as possible.  The sculpt is an all-new offering, as would be expected.  It does a really solid job of capturing Monger’s film design, improving on Hasbro’s prior attempts quite a bit.  Again, it’s been over a decade, so it kind of goes without saying at this point.  The proportions match up well, as does the basic layout of details.  He’s even got some slight texturing going on with the larger sheets of metal, matching up well with the film appearance, and adding a detail usually left off of Mongers.  The engineering on the figure is pretty decently handled as well.  There are a few moving pistons, which don’t quite work as real ones would, but do move to properly allow for posing the figure, and also add some extra depth of detail to the design.  The head and torso also make use of multi-piece construction to add some extra depth to what’s visible of internal mechanisms and the eyes and reactor.  I quite like the clear dome over the reactor in particular.  There’s a part of me that kind of wishes they’d worked in the opening hatch as seen in the film, but I get the extra logistics involved might have caused some issues.  You can kind of cheat it by popping the Obadiah head on there, so it’s not a total loss.  Iron Monger’s paint work is largely rather basic, since so much of him is just unpainted silver plastic.  There’s a fair bit of actual painted silver as well, though, which mixes up things.  Additionally, the paint for the reactor, as well as the weapons on the arms, is all pretty cleanly applied, and makes for a nice little splash of color on the otherwise sort of drab design.  Iron Monger is packed with two sets of hands (fists and open gesture), as well as two separate effects pieces for the gun attachment on the arm, a rocket for his back, and an ammo belt.  Certainly not a bad selection of extras in the slightest.

OBADIAH STANE

Obadiah winds up as more of a glorified accessory to the main piece, but he’s billed separately, and he is a separate figure, so let’s give him that much respect, I guess.  Most of Obadiah’s time in the film is just him wearing a pretty standard business suit, so that’s the look the figure goes with for him.  It makes it more multipurpose than putting him in the jumpsuit, so I can get behind it.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  He’s built on Nick Fury’s updated suit body.  Given Jeff Bridges’ taller build, it’s a good choice for his usual look, and in general it’s a slightly better implemented in terms of how the articulation works.  As with Loki, the re-use here means that Obadiah winds up keeping Fury’s sculpted holster, which isn’t accurate, but it’s completely hidden by the jacket, so it’s never going to be seen anyway.  Obadiah gets an all-new head sculpt, which sports a pretty spot-on likeness of Bridges in the role.  He’s also got an all-new right hand, which features a more open grip, as well Obadiah’s ring.  Obadiah’s paint work is generally pretty good, but not without its flaws.  The face printing works very well here, and I really love the striping on his shirt and the pattern on his tie.  The holster is left unpainted, as it was on Loki, which makes sense.  The neckline is also very uneven, which was also an issue on both Fury and Loki, leading me to believe that its something to do with how the body is laid out for paint masks or something like that.  It’s not awful, but it’s not great either.  Obadiah is packed with the improved Arc reactor he steals from Tony (which fits nicely in his newly sculpted right hand), as well as a briefcase, you know, for papers, um, just papers, uh, you know, uh, his papers, business papers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As much as I loved the old opening hatch Iron Monger figure from the ’08 line, there’s no denying that there was some definite room for an upgrade.  With all of the various MCU figures we’d gotten in the last few years, it did feel a bit like poor Monger had just completely fallen through the cracks.  I’m glad that Hasbro made a spot for him in this line-up, and I’m also glad he turned out as well as he did.  The main Iron Monger is truly an impressive piece of engineering on his own, and very much makes this set, but I’m also glad that we got a proper Obadiah.  All in all, it’s a very fun set.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

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