#3280: Hulk Buster Iron Man



“When Iron Man’s regular armor isn’t powerful enough to get the job done, Tony Stark devises new specialty suits of armor — each tailored to the needs of a specific mission! The heavy combat armor contains few built-in weapons — but it boosts Iron Man’s physical strength to near-impossible levels!”

First appearing in Iron Man #304 as an add-on for the newly introduced Modular Armor, Iron Man’s Hulk Buster armor has become a steady fixture of the character’s armor set-ups.  It was quickly adapted into animation as part of the ’90s cartoon, and with its official appearance in the show occurring the much-improved second season.  The design was granted its first figure in that show’s tie-in line, and I’m taking a look at said figure today!


Hulk Buster Iron Man is part of Series 3 of Toy Biz’s Iron Man line, as one of three Iron Man variants in the line-up.  Though the armor appeared in the show, this figure’s design owes less to that look and more to his appearance in the comics, likely owing to this figure being released prior to the show’s second season, and the final design not yet being ready*.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  The Hulkbuster armor is typically a lot larger in stature than a standard Iron Man, but this one’s only a very slight bit taller, with most of his difference in size being more of a width thing.  He’s certainly bulkier, but he definitely feels somewhat diminutive compared to where he should be.  This was presumably done to keep him within the standard price point range.  As with the rest of the line, the figure’s assembly consists of a core figure with a number of armor add-on pieces, though there are notably a lot less of the armor pieces for this release than there were for the others.  The underlying figure isn’t too far removed from the whole design, but he’s certainly less impactful than the fully-assembled look.  Fully assembled, he gets an additional helmet (rare for these figures), shoulder pads, wrists gauntlets, and boots.  The coloring is a mix of metallic and flat.  It works out alright, but there’s definitely a little clashing between the reds.  At least the yellows match.  Beyond the extra armor pieces, the Hulk Buster doesn’t have any other accessories.  Not that there’s a ton more you could include, I suppose.


I was a really big fan of the Iron Man cartoon and its corresponding toy line when I was a kid, so I actually had most of the figures, especially the Iron Men.  Hulk Buster was included.  I don’t recall exactly how I got him, though I assume he was probably a gift from my parents, because they got me most of my Iron Man figures.  While I lost a few of the armor pieces to my original over the years, I was able to snag a replacement that came through All Time a few years ago.  Calling it a win.  I was always the slightest bit let-down by this figure’s scale, but he’s otherwise not a bad little figure.

*Had the Iron Man tie-in line continued, we would have received a more accurate recreation of the show’s actual animation design, also matching the stature and general concept of the Hulkbuster a bit more.  The figure was ultimately scrapped, but the molds would resurface for a few other releases, including the Battle-Action Mega Armor Wolverine.

#3267: Steve Rogers & The Hydra Stomper



Who does Peggy Carter call in for backup when she needs it? Steve Rogers, of course. In this universe, Peggy Carter jumps into action with a number of familiar faces, but even she might need some help defeating the enemy. Calling in air support, she certainly doesn’t expect Steve to come swooping in – in a Hydra Stomper suit.”

Prepare for more formula breaking, as I interlude with yet another Hot Toys review outside of a monumental number!  I seem to be doing this far too frequently, don’t I?  It’s gonna make the monumental reviews not so special.  Ah, I don’t really care that much, honestly.  I just want to review the toys.  It’s kind of the whole purpose of the site, right?

In my last Hot Toys review, I was discussing my adherence to just Captain America stuff, and how that played into some alternate universe characters, specifically when What Ifis on the table.  While What If…? is a show I had generally mixed feelings about, I absolutely loved its first episode, “What If…Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?”  I’ve already got the HT Captain Carter, so there’s only one proper way to follow-up: The Hydra Stomper!


Steve Rogers and The Hydra Stomper is a deluxe set of figures from Hot Toys’ Television Masterpiece Series, where it’s numbered TMS060, placing it just after Peggy in the numbering.  This marks the third What If…? offering from Hot Toys.  Like Peggy, this set stuck pretty close to its original anticipated release date of the end of 2022/beginning of 2023, though it did stick to the earlier end of the window.  There are two releases of the Hydra Stomper available; just the Stomper on its own is available as part of the Power Pose Series, and then there’s this set, which adds in the full pilot Steve Rogers figure to the mix.  Clearly, there was no way I was just doing the Stomper when there’s also a Steve available, right?  Right.

Steve is technically the actual “figure” here as classified by HT and Sideshow (to the point of being the one with an actual classic HT-style box), so I’ll kick things off with a look at him first.  The figure stands just over 11 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation.  Steve’s head sculpt, much like the Captain Carter figure, is an animation-inspired piece, rather than shifting him to a realistic style like a lot of Hot Toys offerings.  As with the Peggy sculpt, there’s still a degree of an Evans likeness present here (albeit, the shrunken down and skinny Evans likeness from early in The First Avenger), so you can tell who it’s supposed to be.  It’s a good match for the design as seen in the show, and it’s nice, clean, and slick.  The paint work emphasizes the animated look further, while still maintaining the usual high Hot Toys standards.

Steve’s outfit is generally pretty simple (which is true to the show), being a rather standard loose-fitting jumpsuit.  There’s an underlying shirt, albeit without any sleeves.  You won’t notice, of course, since the suit’s not designed to be removed.  Further tailored items include some harness straps and a removable back pack.  There’s also a sculpted buckle for his belt, as well as a pair of feet that look like boots.  Under the outfit, he’s got a rather small and scrawny base body, matching well with his pre-serum build.  It’s a rather nicely articulated base body, which makes for easy posing.

Steve gets a rather modest selection of extras, with three sets of hands (L and R relaxed, L and R pointing, L gripping, and R flat), and a display stand that matches with the one included with Peggy.

Moving past the Steve Rogers figure, let’s take a look at the thing that takes up the vast majority of the package space here: The Hydra Stomper!  The figure stands a little over 22 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  On its own, the suit is part of Hot Toys’ Power Pose Series, which is their way of releasing Iron Man armors at a cheaper price by cutting back on articulation in order to simplify the engineering.  As such, this figure only gets movement where it absolutely *needs* it, rather than just sort of all the places it naturally would.  All things said, the posability is still better than I’d expected.  In particular, the fully articulated fingers are really impressive.  The only area that’s truly restricted is the lower half, but on the plus side, it does keep him very stable on his feet.  His sculpt is, as expected, quite impressive.  It’s very clean and sharp, and a spitting image of the design as seen in the show.  The figure is designed to allow Steve to actually sit inside; it’s a bit tricky to get him in there, and he’s a little cramped, but it’s cool to have the option. There are light up features worked into the eyes and the torso, both of which are battery operated independently from each other.  The Hydra Stomper is packed with a flight stand, which affixes to the belt line of the figure.  It holds him rather securely horizontally, allowing for a more stable point for Peggy to hold onto the back like in the episode.  It’s a little tricky to get it all properly posed and secure, but it’s fun that the option is there.


As I mentioned in the Captain Carter review, this episode was by far my favorite of What If…?, and I was honestly already kinda sold on these even before seeing the show.  The Hydra Stomper design is just one that really works for me, and as soon as I saw this figure, complete with the Steve Rogers, I was sold on getting this set and the Captain Carter.  Since I got Peggy from Jason at All Time as a Christmas gift, this sort of became my Christmas gift to myself, I suppose.  It’s huge, it’s impressive, and it’s just a whole lot of fun.  And I’ve even made shelf space for it already, so I don’t even have that whole thing looming over me!

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

#3249: Iron Patriot



In the comics, the name “Iron Patriot” was first taken up by Norman Osborne, during his time as leader of the Dark Avengers, during “Dark Reign.”  With Steve Rogers dead and Tony Stark on the run, Norman repurposes their gimmicks into one leader for people to rally behind, before his eventual undoing  His design actually took some of its cues from a concept Captain America armor that was floated about as part of a proposed alternate ending for “Civil War.”  When it came time to adapt the concept into the MCU, Osborne was still off limits, so Iron Man 3 gave the Iron Patriot monicker to James Rhodes, as part of a rebranding by the US government to make his War Machine persona a little friendlier.  While it’s clearly meant to be a little goofy in-universe, it’s still very much a fun design, and one that the comics even made use of for a brief time.  There was a little bit of toy coverage for the look back when Iron Man 3 came out, but more recently ThreeZero’s started up a line of their own 1/12 scale Iron Man armors, and Rhodie in his Iron Patriot armor is their latest offering!


Iron Patriot is the third figure under the DLX branding for ThreeZero’s Marvel stuff, following up on the Mark 43 and the Hulkbuster.  Thus far, everything’s falling under a larger “Infinity Saga” banner, and they’re presumably looking at offering armors from most of the movies.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 43 points of articulation.  In terms of sizing, at over 7 inches tall, Patriot feels a little over-sized for a 1/12 line, but he appears to be consistent with the scaling on the Iron Men we’ve gotten so far from ThreeZero.  So, they’re at the very least keeping an internal consistency.  He’s also close enough that you can probably fudge him into smaller scale displays.  The articulation scheme is, like a lot of ThreeZero figures, designed with a lot of smaller moving parts that aid in moving larger pieces a greater range.  The flaps of the armor can move up and out of the way for the arms and legs, allowing for a slightly better motion.  The joints are still very tight, and you have to be careful with them while posing, but it’s honestly a pretty good set-up.  The figure’s sculpt is quite an impressive recreation of the design from the movie.  It’s a mix of plastic and diecast metal, which gives him a decent amount of heft.  The outer plates are all plastic, which allows for a slightly sharper detailing, and a slightly better depth of quality to said detailing.  Iron Patriot’s paint scheme is pretty nicely handled.  It’s certainly an eye-catching palette, and the application is all very clean.  In particular, the markings and writing on the armor are a really good touch, and they’re very sharply defined.  Iron Patriot is packed with six different pairs of hands (fists, two different styles of open gesture with spots for blast effects, and the same two styles without the spots for the blasts), a saluting hand for his right side, his shoulder cannon (which is articulated itself), two different styles of forearm plates (closed up and with the rockets out), four different blast effects, and a display stand.  He also has a light-up feature in both the head and torso.  The eyes are kind of dim on my figure, but the arc reactor is nice and bright.


For the most part, I’m pretty much content with Legends for my Iron Man armors, especially of the MCU variety.  I got to see the MK 43 and the Hulkbuster from this line in person, though, and they were definitely cool.  This particular Iron Patriot design is one I’ve really liked ever since IM3, plus it kind of vibes with all my Cap stuff, so when it was announced I put myself down on the list for one through work.  I’d honestly forgotten about him by the time he came in, but he did, and I certainly wasn’t going to pass up on him.  My initial reaction was that he was cool, but I wasn’t sure he was great.  After messing with him a bit more, I’m actually a lot more impressed with him than I initially was.

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

#3211: Iron Man Mark 47 & Happy Hogan



Tying the movie more closely into the universe that spawned it, Spider-Man: Homecoming leans a fair bit on Iron Man and one notable member of his supporting cast.  Not only does Peter work directly with Tony Stark on a number of occasions, but long-term Iron Man supporting cast member Harold “Happy” Hogan also gets his largest roles in the MCU as part of its Spider-Man trilogy.  As a Happy Hogan fan since way back when nobody knew who Happy Hogan was, I’m all about that.


Iron Man Mark 47 and Happy Hogan were the TRU-exclusive set for the Spider-Man: Homecoming tie-in assortment of Marvel Minimates.  Due to weird licensing, the Spidey and non-Spidey characters supposedly couldn’t actually cross over in the tie-ins, so these two are isolated off on their own.  It’s not the worst thing, though, since, you know, the two of them do kind of tie together…even if Happy and Tony don’t actually interact while Tony’s in Iron Man mode.  Still, it’s really not that weird.  I’m making it weird.  I’ll stop.


Iron Man’s no stranger to Minimates, especially not when it comes to the MCU.  This was his 72nd Minimate overall and his 31st MCU-based released.  This one’s based on his briefly used suit from Homecoming, which was itself inspired, at least in terms of coloring, by the Ultimate version of the character from the comics.  The figure is based on the standard post-c3 base body, and as such is about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He features an add-on for his chest plate, as well as unique pieces for his upper arms and hands.  All of the non-standard pieces were new to this figure, which is mostly surprising because this armor was really just a quick recolor of the Mark 46 in the movie, and the Mark 46 minimates all just used the Mark 42 tooling again.  These parts are a lot less clunky, though, and generally follow the sleeker design of the armor, so I generally appreciate them.  Additionally, this figure has the interesting change of not getting a helmet piece, and instead just using the standard head.  I’m not entirely sure why that was the way they went, but it’s not a terrible look.  The paint work on this guy is pretty decent.  The metallic red is super slick, and all of the line-work is nice and sharp.  The figure is packed with a flight stand and a clear display stand.


Believe it or not, this isn’t the first Happy Hogan Minimate.  Heck, it’s not even the first one I’ve reviewed on the site.  In fact, with this release, I’ll have a review of every Happy Hogan figure there is.  That’s commitment.  Or crazy.  Or there’s only three of them, and it’s ultimately nothing.  Happy has add-on pieces for his hair, jacket, and tie.  The hair piece is re-used I’m pretty sure, but it’s a solid match for Favreau’s hair style in the movie.  The jacket and tie are the World of the Psychic Venkman jacket and Spirit tie combo that they rocked for a while there, which is a pretty good set-up.  The paint work includes an improved likeness from the IM2 release, as well as actual detailing for the belt, which is pretty nifty.  Happy is packed with a clear display stand, which isn’t a lot, but it’s something.


I had to get kind of picky with what I was buying when these were first released, so I had to skip them, on the basis that I didn’t really need another Iron Man variant, and I already had one Happy Hogan.  But, then TRU was going under, and things were marked down, and I didn’t have this specific Happy Hogan, so, you know, I went for it.  Mark 47 is an improvement on the over designed nature of MCU Iron Men at the time, and I do really like that.  Happy is an improvement on the prior version, and I can definitely dig it.

#3192: Iron Man



“Tony Stark resolves to get back to basics, donning a new stripped-down Iron Man armor inspired by his most classic designs.”

Oh boy, are you guys ready for some more Marvel Legends?  I sure hope you are, because apparently the only settings on Hasbro’s release schedule for these are nothing at all and everything at once.  It’s…it’s a lot.  With no Avengers movies out or upcoming in the next year, the Avengers portion of the line is shifting over to purely comics based, which is where the most recent assortment sets its sights. The resident heavy hitter for this round is an Iron Man, who I’m gonna be taking a look at today!


Iron Man is the non-numbered figure for the Controller Series of Marvel Legends. He’s based on Alex Ross’s updated Iron Man armor, which is his current set-up in the comics.  It’s a fairly nice merging of modern aesthetics with his classic design elements, offering a look that’s both unique, but still reads as a standard Iron Man.  Definitely a solid choice for the line-up.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This Iron Man’s articulation scheme is probably the best we’ve gotten on a Legends Iron Man.  The 80th body and its spin-offs certainly weren’t bad from a movement perspective, but his figure takes a lot of the things that Hasbro’s learned from other lines and implements them for Marvel.  In particular, the neck is a mix of two ball joints and a universal, resulting in a ton of range we don’t usually see.  And, it’s all worked in really well from an aesthetic standpoint, making it doubly successful.  His sculpt is an all-new affair, of course.  It’s a really nice recreation of the armor as we’ve seen it on the page.  The depth of detail is also quite impressive, in part because it’s handled with so many separate pieces that are all assembled.  The only part I’m not super crazy about is the shoulder armor, which is a softer piece that goes over; when posing, it can be slightly restricting, and I worry about warping it by leaving the arms up for too long.  Beyond that, though, it’s a really strong sculpt.  His color work isn’t terrible, but it’s probably the figure’s weakest aspect.  The reds and golds are largely molded, rather than painted.  For the red, it means its not metallic; not the end of the world, but it doesn’t quite have that same pop.  For the gold, it means he’s got the swirls going on.  On my figure they’re rather prominent on the faceplate, which can be a tad distracting.  The actual paint application is all at least pretty clean, though, and I do like how the whites really stand out from the rest of the armor.  Iron Man is packed with two sets of hands (repulsor blasts and fists), and the two-part blast and smoke effects that were first included with Ironheart.  The replusor hands get the full wrist articulation, which I’m very happy about, and I’m also happy to see the Ironheart effects turn back up, as they’re honestly pretty cool.  It’s a shame that there’s not an unmasked Tony head, but there are at least options available.


With classic Iron Man and Modular Iron Man checked off, there’s not a ton left on my Iron Man checklist, but I’ll admit that I’ve liked this look since it was first shown off and was on-board for its inevitable Legends release.  When this one was announced, I was definitely planning to grab it, but didn’t think much beyond that.  It’s actually a pretty awesome figure.  He’s not my standard armor or anything, but it’s just hard to deny that this is a really, really good Iron Man figure.

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

#2970: Happy Hogan & Iron Man Mark XXI



Moving along the Iron Man timeline with our reviews here, we make our way to the final entry in that set of films, Iron Man 3.  IM3 had the good grace of being the first MCU film to get the Legends treatment proper, which was a pretty big deal at the time.  That said, it was just two movie-related figures in an otherwise comics assortment, which meant we just got the rather barebones Mark 42 and Iron Patriot releases, with scrapped releases for War Machine Mk II and Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin.  Later Legends treatments got those additional two released, and there’s been a slow trickle of a few additional House Party armors every so often.  We get one tribute to the film in the Infinity Saga set, featuring Stark Industries Head of Security Happy Hogan, as well as one more House Party armor.


Happy Hogan and Iron Man Mark XXI are a Target-exclusive two-pack, released in the Infinity Saga sub-line of Marvel Legends.  They started hitting retail at the beginning of October, and have thus far been hitting in at least okay numbers.


Stark Industries’ new Head of Security gets caught in the middle of the battle as Iron Man gears up to face an all new powerful threat.”

After six film appearances (with a seventh in later this month), Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan finally gets some Legends coverage.  Not bad for a guy in a suit, I guess.  The figure stands just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Happy is a much larger guy than any of the other suit-wearers we’ve gotten, so he requires mostly new pieces.  He borrows the arms from the Logan version of, well, Logan, but is otherwise sporting all-new parts.  I certainly appreciate getting more variety to how the guys in suits are built; things were beginning to get a bit samey.  I do appreciate that he’s even got a pocket on his shirt under the jacket, showcasing that he’s just a little bit more working class than most of the other suit wearing guys we’ve gotten.  The only downside to the sculpt is that they’ve neglected to give Happy his ID badge, which is definitely gonna set him off.  C’mon guys, everyone needs to be wearing their ID badges.  By far the best part of the sculpt is the head, which has a pretty spot-on likeness of Favreau circa IM3, which is when Happy really comes into his own, so it’s a good choice.  He’s got a good recreation of Happy’s usual “sunny disposition.”   Happy’s paint work is reserved, but works well.  Mostly it’s just the face, which is quite lifelike.  Theres a few other spots on the suit, namely the belt and buckle.  It’s all pretty clean, and it does the job well.  Though he may not have his ID badge, Happy does at least get his cellphone.  It’s a tiny little piece guaranteed to be lost, but hey, it’s still a cool touch.


“Mark XXI, codename ‘Midas,’ is a fully loaded high-altitude suit built by Stark that’s outfitted with enriched gold titanium alloy.”

There are a great number of varieties of Iron Man suits presented by the film’s “House Party” concept.  Many of them are quite unique, while others are really just re-decos of prior armors.  This one’s one of the latter.  Dubbed “Midas,” the Mark XXI is a recolor of Avengers‘ Mark VII, done up in all gold as a reference to Iron Man’s distinctive all-gold armor from the early Silver Age.  Unsurprisingly, the figure is likewise just a re-use of the Mark VII mold.  He stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  The sculpt worked well for the Mark VII and it works well for Midas as well.  It’s hard to fault Hasbro for the re-use, especially when the mold is as good as this one.  The color work is changed up, of course, so that he’s now all gold.  It’s a mix of molded plastic and painted sections, so there’s som variety to the finish.  It doesn’t look half bad.  Midas gets the same accessory selection as the Mark VII: two sets of hands and blast effects, all in changed up colors to match with the core figure.


Happy Hogan is one of those character’s I’ve always loved in the comics, and I’ve been thrilled to see him actually get to grow over the course of his MCU appearances.  I didn’t have the highest hopes for a Legends release, but they’ve been pulling out all the stops recently, so it’s not the craziest thing.  It was definitely cool to see him show up here, and I like that they went with his IM3 appearance.  Midas isn’t one of the more thrilling House Party armors, but the original base figure was nice, and so is this one.  There have been worse space fillers in these two-packs.

#2969: Iron Man Mark III



“Tony Stark takes on the world’s worst villains in the Mark 3 suit: a technological wonder equipped with a variety of stunning enhancements and upgrades.”

Back in the early days of this great Legends review journey, when I still was young and hopeful about Marvel Legends, I discussed the earliest days of the MCU, back when it was just Iron Man.  Hasbro didn’t quite have their game down at that point, and while the tie-in figures for Iron Man weren’t bad, there’s certainly some room for updating at this point.  I already looked at Iron Monger, but I’m finally circling back around with a look at the title character, sporting his fancy (at the time, anyway) Mark III armor.  Let’s have a look at that one!


Iron Man Mark III is the second-to-last of the five single-packed standard release figures in the Infinity Saga sub-line of Marvel Legends.  He’s the second of the two Iron Man offerings as well, and only the third officially Iron Man-branded offering under the Legends banner.  He’s based on his appearance in the final third or so of the first film, when Tony’s gotten the armor up and running, but it hasn’t yet taken the beating it would during the battle with Iron Monger.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme marks the really big improvement here.  He takes a few pages out of the Mark VII’s book in terms of layout and structure, but also adds in drop hips, a shoulder armor structure similar to the way the Classified Series has been handling them, and just generally a greater range of motion on all of the joints.  The Mark VII was pretty great, and this one just does a little bit better than that.  His all-new sculpt does quite a nice job of capturing the suit’s design from the movie, properly machined and geometric.  As with the VII, the III benefits from a much better scaling to the rest of the Legends line than other MCU Iron Men, which is certainly a plus.  Not quite so much a plus on my figure (and hopefully only on my figure) was the big glob of glue on the front of his full helmeted head.  I was able to remove it most of the way using a knife, but it was certainly no fun, and it results in my figure looking just a touch rougher than I’d like it to.  Beyond that, the QC does seem okay on the figure.  His color work is generally pretty decent.  I quite like the metallic red plastic, and the application on the gold paint is overall pretty cleanly handled.  I also like how they’ve used the printing to do the arc reactor, giving it more of an actual illuminated effect.  The Mark III is packed with an alternate head with the mask flipped up, two sets of hands (fists and open for blast), and three swappable plates for the right forearm, allowing for collapsed, rocket launching, and shield.  I was genuinely surprised by the lack of any repulser effects, but I’m not unhappy with the selection we got.


I fondly remember my Prototype Iron Man from the ’08 line, but, much like Monger, I knew there was definite room for an upgrade.  With all the fancy suits that have followed, it can be easy to overlook the Mark III and its importance in the grand scheme of things, but I’m certainly glad Hasbro didn’t, and finally gave us a really good version of the armor.

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

#2951: The Hydra Stomper



“In the universe you know, Steve Rogers was the first Avenger, Captain America. In this universe, Steve is injured and fights in ‘The Hydra Stomper,’ an Iron Man armor created by Howard Stark.”

Hey, we’re back with just a touch more What If…? before we jump down a different Marvel rabbit hole for just a bit.  In 2006, Marvel ran an alternate universe miniseries, Bullet Points, which explored a world where Dr. Abraham Erskine is killed prior to turning Steve Rogers into a super soldier.  In this alternate reality, instead of becoming Captain America, Steve is given a suit of armor, and becomes that universe’s Iron Man.  Elements of this story were re-used for the first episode of What If…?, where, after Peggy gets the Super Soldier serum instead of Steve, he still wants to help out in the battle.  Howard Stark uses the recently recovered Tesseract to power a suit of Iron Man-inspired armor, dubbed “The Hydra Stomper.”  He’s far too large to be a standard release, so Hasbro has instead released him as his own solo release, tying in with the main assortment.  Let’s have a look at him today!


The Hydra Stomper is, as noted, a larger-scale solo release for Marvel Legends.  He’s larger than the usual deluxe release, and is at the same price point as the Surtur figure from the Infinity Saga line.  By far, he is the largest of the What If…? associated figures at this time.  The figure stands just shy of 9 1/2 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  In many ways, this figure’s construction is similar to Iron Monger, although it’s worth noting that there are no parts at all shared between the two figures.  Just similar structures, likely because they’re both big Iron Man-inspired designs that were in development by the same team at roughly the same time.  The Hydra Stomper sports an all-new sculpt based on its design in the show.  For this alternate universe armor, the designers have clearly put a lot of effort into homaging Tony Stark’s original armor in the comics (which also served as the basis of the Mark I in the MCU proper), with its bulkier build, the slightly different layout of the faceplate on the helmet, and the presence of the antenna on the shoulder.  What was that antenna for, by the way?  Research says it was for extending his range for radio signal.  Well, I guess it was the ’60s, and that was a bigger thing then.  It makes even more sense when you move it back to the ’40s, even.  Whatever the case, the original design is a fine starting point, and Steve was even seen using essentially just that armor in the aforementioned Bullet Points story, so it tracks.  For the purposes of the show, they’ve done a bit to more clearly sell the WWII-era military branding of the design.  Effectively, it looks like a Jeep that walks.  Unsurprisingly, I am okay with this.  The figure’s sculpt does a nice job of recreating the design from the show, and turning it into a hefty, impressive looking toy.  The line work is all pretty sharp, and he looks properly machined for the role.  Range of motion is a little limited at a few spots, as is expected with a figure this chunky, but he’s generally not too bad.  The roughest bits are definitely in the legs, especially at the knees and hips.  He also does need a little bit of care when it comes to making sure he can stay balanced, especially when the rocket pack is in place.  Said rocket pack is removable, and features posable thrusters.  It’s a decent piece itself, though it does fall off just a touch easier than I’d like.  As it stands, it’s not really possible to get Captain Carter on his back like in the show, even with the handhold present on his back, which I was a little let down by.  Hydra Stomper’s paint work is pretty basic for the most part, but it does what it needs to.  The few printed sections on the armor look nice, as does the slight variation in the exact color of olive drab.  Hydra Stomper is packed with two sets of hands (open gesture and fists), plus two blast effects for the rockets.  It’s not a ton, but he’s also a rather sizable figure, so he doesn’t really feel lacking.


The Hydra Stomper is something that almost feels tailored to me, really.  I mean, it’s Steve Rogers in a big, boxy suit of armor with lots of utilitarian design elements and just a hint of Jeep.  And he’s green, even?  What’s not for me to like.  Unsurprisingly, he was the What If…? figure I was looking forward to the most, so of course he was also the last one I was able to get ahold of.  That’s just how it goes, right?  The final product isn’t without its flaws.  I wish he was a little more stable, and I wish it was easier to replicate Carter riding on his back like in the show.  I also kind of wish that they had gone the Monger route and packed him with a pilot Steve figure, but I can see why that might have been seen as sales prohibitive this early in the game.  All those things don’t take away from the fact that I really, really like this figure, and I’m glad to have gotten both he and Captain Carter so quickly after the episode’s premiere.  He’s definitely very fun.

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

#2936: Iron Monger & Obadiah Stane



“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!


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.


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 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.


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.

#2897: War Machine & Maya Hansen



Now listen up, here’s the story, about a little guy who..isn’t content to not review a War Machine this week.  So, yeah, I’m pulling out an MCU set, going back to Iron Man 3 for a look at War Machine and pack-mate Maya Hansen!


This pack was part of Series 49 of Marvel Minimates, the specialty component of the Iron Man 3-tie-in ‘mates.  It’s one of the two sets contained there in which was completely exclusive (although War Machine didn’t really feel all that exclusive after the three nearly identical releases that followed).


The actual War Machine armor doesn’t appear in Iron Man 3 proper, but it did figure prominently into the merchandising, and has a somewhat minor role in AoU. It’s just the same as his Iron Patriot armor, but done up in his more traditional War Machine colors.  Structurally, this figure’s the same as the Iron Patriot ‘mate. He’s got add-ons for the helmet, torso piece, waist, upper arms, boots, and gloves. I thought the armor looked just a bit pudgy on that figure, and I still feel that’s the case here, but it’s not horrible at all.  I think it’s really the helmet that throws it off.  His paint is pretty decently handled.  I do quite like the Air Force linsignias from the gloves, and his facial likeness works pretty well for Cheadle.   War Machine includes the usual clear display stand.


Maya was a moderately prominent character in the comics, especially at the time of the Extremis arc, so she was a sensible choice for the movie.  Of course, she doesn’t really do a whole lot in the movie, but as Extremis’ creator, I think she earned her spot here.  She has three add-on pieces, one for her hair, one for her skirt, and one for her purse.  All three parts are re-used, but they work for her look, so its sensible.  They’re well-sculpted, and the hair in particular is one I quite like, so I’m always down for seeing it crop back up.  Maya’s paintwork is solid work.  It’s clean, and she’s actually rather colorful for a civilian.  The funky pattern on her skirt certainly helps things.  Her likeness is actually a pretty surprising match for Rebecca Hall, especially given how simple it is, but it turned out quite well.  Like Rhodey, Maya’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but I’m not sure what else she could have been given.


As with most Minimates of this vintage, I picked these up the day they were released from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix.  I recall getting the whole set on a run to the store in the middle of a day of classes, and then carrying them all around in my bag while wandering around campus that day, opening them up one set at a time as I had the chance.  War Machine is a sensible case for parts re-use, and is a pretty solid figure.  Of course, he’s a little harder to like in light of the three almost identical releases we’ve gotten since, but that’s hardly this figure’s fault.  Maya’s far from the most thrilling figure in the set, but she’s also not the most boring, so she exists in a nice middle ground.  Ultimately, this set’s probably the least spectacular of those included in the line-up, but it’s not a bad one.