#2431: Crimson Dynamo

CRIMSON DYNAMO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Hey, remember how I mentioned Black Widow needing to borrow some foes from Iron Man?  Well, she did it again.  It’s okay, there’s more connective tissue this time.  When it comes to Iron Man foes, it’s a bit tricky for them to really stick.  I mean, how do you manage to become the arch enemy of a guy who’s actually just his own arch enemy?  The spot’s pretty much permanently taken!  There have, nevertheless, been a few characters that have hung on for a bit, including one of his two Soviet counterparts, the Crimson Dynamo.  Dynamo’s a pretty early addition to Stark’s rogue’s gallery, and the original Dynamo is definitely interwoven with Black Widow, who was still a villain at the time.  Of course, there’s been twelve different people in the armor since then…yeah, there are a lot of Crimson Dynamos.  It makes getting decent toys a little tricky, because, honestly, where do you start?  Well, let’s start here, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Crimson Dynamo is the Build-A-Figure for the titular Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Dynamo’s first time as an official Legends release.  He was originally slated to be part of Toy Biz’s Series 13 “Bring on the Bad Guys” line-up, but was dropped before they went to prototype.  The Valentin Shatalov did get a 6-inch release in the Iron Man: Armored Avenger line that ran briefly after Iron Man 2, but proper Legends was on hiatus at the time.  Now we’ve actually got one.  I know.  It’s a pretty big deal.  There have been 13 different Dynamos over the years, so there are plenty of designs to choose from.  Hasbro opted for the Gennady Gravilov version of the character, which was introduced in the early ’00s Epic Comics miniseries based on the character.  While it doesn’t quite have the staying power of Dmitri Bukharin’s more classic armor, it’s honestly not a bad design at all, and it’s at least one that got a little bit of dedicated focus in the miniseries.  It’s also a slightly more natural fit for a Build-A-Figure.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  There’s a little bit of re-use here: he’s got the legs from the Iron Monger/Mandroid Build-A-Figure.  While not a perfect match for the armor design in the comics, they’re close enough to work, and flow pretty well with the rest of the sculpt stylistically.  The design of the articulation scheme is also really great, so I can’t fault Hasbro for wanting to use them again.  The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and it’s quite impressive at that.  It translates the comics design quite nicely into three dimensions, and there’s a lot of really fun little detail work mixed in.  The slight cracking on various pieces of the armor, the texturing on the upper armor, and the rivets all throughout really give this thing a lived-in appearance.  It’s not a sleek, top-of-the-line Stark design; this thing is built for functionality over appearance.  I was also impressed by how well they worked in the articulation.  I liked the Mandroid a fair bit, but it was a little restricted in its movement, at least on its top half.  This guy, on the other hand, is surprisingly poseable.  He’s also incredibly stable, which I’m all about.  The paintwork on Dynamo is mostly pretty basic.  A lot of the color work is just molded colors.  It’s all pretty clean, and replicates the comic colors well enough.  I really like the clear plastic for the vials on his wrists; it adds some dimension to the figure.  There aren’t any accessories for Dynamo himself, but given the size of this guy, that’s pretty easily excused.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really like Crimson Dynamo.  I’d go so far as to say he’s probably my favorite Iron Man foe (although I also quite like Titanium Man).  Perhaps my biggest problem with Iron Man 2 was not getting a proper Crimson Dynamo out of it.  I’ve been waiting for a good Dynamo in Legends form for a while, and I was definitely happy to see him crop up here.  Yeah, I still really want the Dmitri Bukharin armor at some point, but this is a really good design, too, and this figure is an early contender for my favorite Build-A-Figure this year.  He’s really solid, and I really like him.

With the movie being pushed back, I think this assortment is one that people might overlook, and that’s actually kind of too bad.  Crimson Dynamo is the definite star for me, and building him was honestly enough to get me on board, but upon completing the set, I find myself enjoying pretty much the whole thing.  The movie figures are all really solid (even if Red Guardian’s not quite screen-accurate), Winter Soldier’s a fantastic solo release, and Crossbones is a good clean update of a pretty important character.  Only Spymaster’s really a drag, and even then, he’s not a *terrible* figure.  I expected very little from this set, but I’m actually really happy with the final product.

#1644: Crimson Dynamo

CRIMSON DYNAMO

IRON MAN (TOY BIZ)

“As the United States had its armored champion in Iron Man, so did the former Soviet Union have their own crusader — the Crimson Dynamo! His first mission was to destroy the symbol of Western democracy — Iron Man — a mission which led to the first of many defeats for the Dynamo. As the Cold War came to a close, so did their animosity; now these uneasy allies focus their combined might against such foes as Fin Fang Foom and Titanium Man!”

The biggest problem faced by the ‘90s Iron Man toyline was Iron Man’s overall lack of a really strong rogue’s gallery.  I mean, he’s got Mandarin, and….alcohol?  That’s hard to do in a toyline, though.  Another good, solid Iron Man foe (and my personal favorite) is Crimson Dynamo.  Unfortunately, Dynamo wasn’t very prominent in the cartoon that the toyline was based on, so it took a few assortments.  Still, at least he got a figure.  Living Laser was on the show a couple of times, and he never did…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Crimson Dynamo was released in Series 4 of Toy Biz’s Iron Man line, as the assortment’s only villain.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  This figure uses Dynamo’s armor design from the Valentin Shatalov incarnation of the character, which was the most recent version  of the character at the time of this figure’s release.  It’s got a lot more silver than most Dynamo designs (the cartoon even recolored the whole thing red to keep him consistent with other versions), and is a but thinner, making it much more similar to an Iron Man design.  Personally, I’d have preferred one of the earlier models, but I think it’s fair to say this version worked a bit better with the overall style of the line.  As with all of the Iron Men and War Machines of this line, Crimson Dynamo’s fished look is completed using a base figure with a bunch of clip-on armor pieces.  Dynamo had 9 clip-on pieces, for his chest plate, back plate, gauntlets, belt, boots, and helmet horns.  What’s that you say?  You don’t see any horns on his helmet?  Yep, mine’s missing his.  I’d have borrowed them from my dad’s figure, but his is missing them too.  They have a tendency to go missing.  Why they didn’t just make them a permanent fixture of the head is anyone’s guess.  I can’t imagine why someone would want him without them.  The rest of the armor is cool enough, though I’m not a huge fan of how the boots work, since they make posing the figure a bit difficult.  Another major issue with the figure’s design is linked to his action feature, which launches a missile from the middle of the figure’s torso, resulting in a big hole in the middle of his chest.  Another item that harms the integrity of the figure’s appearance for essentially no good reason.  On the plus side, the paint’s decent enough.  Moderate slop on the edges of the silver, but nothing too terrible.  Beyond the clip-on armor, Dynamo also included a flame-styled projectile, meant to go in that big gaping hole int he torso.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I believe Dynamo was a gift, possibly for Christmas.  I definitely remember getting one of the other Series 4 figures for Christmas that year, so I think Dynamo was part of the same set of gifts.  Honestly, Dynamo is one of the line’s weaker entries.  Off costume choice, and a number of very strange design choices in the actual implementation of the figure.  He’s hardly a bad figure, but he’s still a rather frustrating one.

#0936: Silver Centurion Iron Man & Crimson Dynamo

IRON MAN – SILVER CENTURION & CRIMSON DYNAMO

MARVEL MINIMATES

IMSilvCentDyna1

Hey, how ‘bout another Minimates review? Yeah, that’d be nice, wouldn’t it? And it’s even a Marvel review! I certainly haven’t had many of those recently! Riiiiiiight

Iron Man is undoubtedly one of the biggest name characters in Marvel’s pantheon now, but that wasn’t always the case. Prior to his first movie, there were only five Iron Men in the whole Minimates line, and absolutely none of his foes were represented. Even with the success of Iron Man, Tony wouldn’t get his own comic-themed series until the release of Iron Man 2, which brought us not only some important armor updates, but also some of Tony’s most prominent foes. Today, I’ll be looking at Silver Centurion Iron Man and longtime foe Crimson Dynamo.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in Series 36 of Marvel Minimates. As noted above, the series was released in the summer of 2010 to coincide with Iron Man 2’s release.

IRON MAN – SILVER CENTURION

IMSilvCentDyna2After sticking with more or less the same look for about 20 years, (and then giving said look to James Rhodes after Tony developed a bit of a drinking problem) Tony decided to mix it up and go silver in 1985. While the armor wasn’t incredibly long-lived (lasting about three years real-world time), its rather unique design, and its place in the “Armor Wars” storyline have helped to make it rather memorable. This is actually the second incarnation of this design in the Minimates form. The first was a Previews exclusive, and was from much earlier in the line, so the update was certainly warranted. The figure stands about 2 ¼ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. He’s built on the usual body, with add-on pieces for his helmet, gloves, belt, and boots. All of these are new pieces, and they do a pretty great job of translating the design from the comics. The helmet is slightly too short for the head, but not terribly so. What’s weird is that the prior Silver Centurion had the same issue, despite they two using two different helmet pieces. Aside from that, he’s pretty great, though. The paint on this guy’s pretty strong. The metallic are in full play, and they make him look really sleek. He’s got a bit of detailing on the faceplate and torso, which look nice. Under the helmet is a full Tony Stark face, which has more than a passing resemblance to Timothy Dalton. To aid in showing off the Tony face, the figure includes a spare hair piece, which has been re-used from Series 31’s Captain Marvel. It’s a pretty pitch-perfect match for Tony’s look from the time, so that’s good.

CRIMSON DYNAMO

IMSilvCentDyna3Dynamo gets my vote for best Iron Man villain, if I’m being honest. That’s probably part of why I wasn’t super wowed by Iron Man 2, since it kind of smashed him together with Whiplash and gave us that weird Mickey Rourke character that graced the screen. I’m kinda still hoping to see a proper Dynamo at some point. At least I got a Minimate out of the deal! This figure’s based on Dmitri Bukharin, the fifth incarnation of Dynamo, who’s probably the most definitive of the possible choices, since he was Dynamo during both “Demon in a Bottle” and “Armor Wars,” and his armor is considered the classic Dynamo armor. The figure has add-ons for the helmet, chest armor, gauntlets, and boots. He’s a bit chunky, but that’s pretty appropriate for this incarnation (and most other incarnations) of the character. There’s some pretty cool details in those parts, and the re-use of the Widow’s Stingers from the Champions version of Black Widow is pretty clever. His paint’s mostly just metallic red up and down (as it should be), but he also has some nice detailing on the chest armor and the visor, as well as a full detailing on the underlying head and torso. The head is what makes it clear that it’s Dmitri; there’s no mistaking that mustache! He also includes an extra hairpiece, re-used from Egon Spengler. Dmitri was often shown bald, but it’s a nice inclusion nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most Marvel Minimates, I got these guys from Cosmic Comix when they were first released. Series 36 was a series I had been looking forward to for quite some time, and this pair was part of why I was so invested in it. There are a few minor flaws here and there, but I remain very happy with this particular pair, and they’re two of my favorite Iron Man-themed ‘mates.