#2970: Happy Hogan & Iron Man Mark XXI

HAPPY HOGAN & IRON MAN MARK XXI

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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.

HAPPY HOGAN

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.

IRON MAN MARK XXI

“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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

IRON MAN MARK III

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“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!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

THE HYDRA STOMPER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“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 FIGURE ITSELF

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 ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

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.

#2897: War Machine & Maya Hansen

WAR MACHINE & MAYA HANSEN

MARVEL MINIMATES

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!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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).

WAR MACHINE

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 HANSEN

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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.

 

#2863: Hologram Iron Man

HOLOGRAM IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Ever the innovator, Tony Stark takes flight in holographic form, a computer-generated avatar and an enduring force for good.”

Back during the Iron Man 2 tie-in line, there were a *lot* of Iron Man armor repaints, many of them under the heading of “concept”.  One of them was a re-deco of the Mark VI armor in a translucent blue with white detailing, pattered on a holographic representation of the armor from the film.  It was a pretty cool looking figure, and I even reviewed on this very site, quite early into my run.  Apparently, Hasbro was pretty big on the idea, too, since they’ve decided to bring it back around for the larger scale with Legends.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hologram Iron Man is figure 6 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the third and final Iron Man variant in the assortment.  It’s technically an all-comics assortment, but I don’t believe that this particular design has actually been used specifically in the comics.  It just seems to be more of a conceptual thing, just like the earlier one.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is using the molds of the Civil War Mark 46.  It’s not the same as the Mark VI used before, but we don’t really have a properly upgraded Mark VI mold available right now.  This one’s got a fairly similar, and is, quite honestly, one of Hasbro’s best movie Iron Man molds.  I’ve always been quite a fan, and it has a good distinctive look that works for the single color molding this figure calls for.  The figure is obviously molded in all blue plastic, which gives it that holographic look, but to enhance that, there’s some white detailing, which is honestly more involved than I’d expected.  I really like it, and it gives him a lot of pop.  The figure was packed with two sets of hands, in fists and repulsor, plus two effects pieces.  The repulsor hands predate the move to get rid of the full wrist joints, so these have the full range of motion, which makes me very happy.  Also included is the head of the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

At three Iron Man variants, this set does feel a little Iron Man heavy, and I think this guy might just be one too many.  If one needs to go, he certainly feels the most extraneous.  That said, I had the smaller version of this because he looked cool.  I have this one for the same reason.  It’s a cool concept that makes for a cool toy.  I definitely dig that.  He’s nothing if not a fun toy, which does at least give him more merit than some of the more boring and drab variants that have been forced on us more recently.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2860: Ironheart

IRONHEART

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A certified super-genius, Riri Williams turns a dorm room project into a high-tech, high-flying suit of armor— and becomes a force for good.”

Though Tony Stark may maintain that he and the Iron Man armor are always one and the same, that hasn’t stopped him from handing off the armor to others, from time to time.  The latest in that bunch of people is Riri Williams, an MIT student who built her own suit of armor, and got Tony’s attention.  So, when he got knocked into a coma in Civil War II, she was granted the mantle, at least for a little bit, and ultimately came into her own, assuming the identity of “Ironheart.”  And now, she’s also got herself an action figure.  That’s the biggest victory, really.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ironheart is figure 4 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  Given the Iron Man theme of the set, she’s a natural choice.  Also, this marks Hasbro’s first time making an Ironheart, though they were beaten to the actual first figure by Minimates, who did her in 2018.  Still, this is pretty notable, so I’m not gonna fault them too much.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  Following the trend set by Lady Jaye in the Classified line, Ironheart’s articulation is notable for featuring double joints on the elbows.  It works super well, and feels really smooth when in motion.  In general, her articulation scheme gives her a really wide range of motion, which makes for a pretty enjoyable time when it comes to posing her.  Additionally, she’s got the pinless construction on both the elbows and the knees, which helps keep that sleek feel going.  Ironheart’s sculpt is all-new, patterned on Stefano Caselli’s design for her first cleaned up armor design.  It’s very clean and polished, which I really like, and it’s a rather accurate recreation of the design as it’s seen in the comics.  It certainly pairs off well with the more streamlined Invincible Iron Man figure from a few years back, though it honestly even improves upon how that figure was implemented, in terms of both look and functionality.  Her paintwork is generally pretty straightforward, as most Legends are.  It’s very shiny and slick, which is appropriate, and the application’s all pretty cleanly applied.  In terms of accessories, Riri is pretty well off, getting an alternate unmasked head (patterned on her later look while piloting the armor), two sets of hands in fists and repulsor poses, two new repulsor effects, two new smoke effects, and the leg of Ursa Major.  I’m a little bummed that the repulsor hands are back to fixed wrists after the Modular armor had the proper joints, but otherwise I’m very happy with the selection here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not a Bendis fan in the slightest, so I wasn’t reading Iron Man when Riri was introduced.  I caught her once she moved over to the Champions, and I generally enjoyed her there.  I can’t say she’s a must have character for me, but she’s got a pretty kick ass design, and it’s always nice to add a little more diversity to the shelf.  On top of that, she’s just a very nice toy.  Genuinely very fun.  I can definitely get behind that.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2858: Stealth Iron Man

STEALTH IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Tony Stark designed the Stealth Armor to maximize on concealment over offensive weaponry.”

First appearing in 1981, a Stealth variant of the standard Iron Man armor has become a rather common place variant for the character going forward.  They don’t tend to have a ton of media appearances, but it’s still a pretty easily banked upon variant, since it’s easily justifiable as a straight repaint.  There have been three updates since (at least, going by the comics), but it’s really hard to do better than the Model 7 armor that originated the concept, and which is really only done proper justice when it’s a repaint of the classic armor.  Hey, doesn’t Hasbro have an updated version of the classic armor mold that they *just* put out in the last two years?  Why yes they do.  Maybe they should do a Stealth variant.  Oh, wait, they did.  Sorry, it just snuck up on me here.  It was hard to see it.  Because it’s so stealthy, you see.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Stealth Iron Man is figure 2 in the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s our second Iron Man variant, but he won’t be our last.  It’s the first time in a while that we’ve gotten a Stealth Iron Man in Legends, and the first time ever that he’s just been a standard release, rather than a variant or a very hard to find exclusive like the last two.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Surprising no one, Stealth Iron Man is a complete parts re-use of the 80th Iron Man figure.  Given that the two armors are supposed to look the same, and always are drawn as nothing but a color swap, this is a totally justified case of re-use.  It also helps that it’s just a really good sculpt, so seeing it turn up again certainly isn’t hurting my feelings.  This figure’s main selling point is its new color scheme, which is now all monochromatic and dark blue.  Well, sort of monochromatic; there’s actually some slight changing in the exact shades, corresponding to the red and yellow sections of the normal color scheme, which is honestly a nice touch.  Technically, the armor’s supposed to be all black, and the blue was just a coloring technique in the comic, but I think the blue honestly makes for a slightly more interesting design.  The Stealth Armor keeps the two sets of hands from the 80th release (colored to match, of course), as well as the unmasked head (which also gets a slightly tweaked paint scheme), two blast effects (in red this time), and the left leg to the Ursa Major Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been expecting the release of this guy since we got the 80th mold, so it’s not like he was a shock when he was shown off.  That being said, I was still happy to see him finally crop up.  He’s a rather by the numbers release, but he does very well playing by those numbers, and it makes for a strong addition to the line, and a really fun Iron Man variant that certainly earns its place in the line-up.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2856: Modular Iron Man

MODULAR IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A dazzling technological achievement, the modular suit allows Tony Stark to reconfigure sub-systems like boots, gloves, helmets and scanners on the fly.”

For the first couple of decades of his existence, Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor was on an upward trend of advancements.  Everything kept getting sleeker and more streamlined.  The Silver Centurion and Neo-Classic armors marked a slight step backwards, or perhaps maybe just a lateral movement, but in 1994, the trend went back to advancement with the introduction of the Model 13 armor, better known as the Modular Armor, which streamlined down the core armor, and focused more on different systems to add-on for specific needs.  The armor only stuck around for about a year and a half in the comics, but it made its mark in popular culture, thanks to its inclusion in both Iron Man: The Animated Series and Marvel Vs Capcom 2, which kept it in the eyes of a whole generation of super hero fans.  Because of that, there’s been some definite call for an update to this design for Marvel Legends, and Hasbro was kind enough to oblige.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Modular Iron Man is part of the Ursa Major Series of Marvel Legends, which has been just starting to hit retail shelves in the last month.  It’s an Iron Man-centric set, which is something we haven’t seen since the Iron Man 3 tie-ins, which means it’s something we haven’t seen at all in this packaging style.  It feels a little bit overdue.  Likewise, Modular Iron Man also feels a little overdue, since this marks his first figure in this style since when Toy Biz was running things, back in 2006.  That’s a while.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is pretty much the same as that of the 80th Iron Man, which is a reasonable set-up for such a character.  He does get an extra joint at the base of the neck, which adds a little more motion there. The shoulders are a bit limited, at least on mine, but he’s otherwise got a pretty decent range.  He also makes use of the pinless construction for both his elbows and knees, which helps with that sleeker appearance.  Despite his similarities to the 80th base in terms of build and articulation, Modular is a totally new sculpt.  I’m honestly a little surprised, but certainly not upset.  He deserves it, and it was definitely a good call.  The whole thing is very clean and well-rendered, and certainly looks like the armor as it was depicted in the comics.  The various modular hook-ups are all separate pieces, fixed in place on the main figure, which helps sell the depth, and also means there’s room for some later version that swaps out for some of his modular attachments, I suppose.  Other than that, it’s a really good looking sculpt, and a really nice rendition of this armor design.  It’s a good, solid, sculpt.  Modular Iron Man goes for a more real world take on his color scheme, so we’re going for metallic red and gold.  While it’s maybe not as striking as a nice red/yellow set-up, it does match with Hasbro’s usual colors for their Iron Men more recently.  It’s a decent look in its own right, and it’s actually pretty light on any real painting, which keeps it quite clean looking.  Modular Iron Man is packed with two sets of hands (fists and repulser blast), as well as two blast effects.  I’m glad that both sets of hands actually get full wrist movement, but this guy does otherwise feel a little bit on the light side.  An unmasked head and maybe one or two extra effects would have been cool.  As it stands, he’s just pretty basic.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting a truly phenomenal classic Iron Man in 2019, this was my next major want for an Iron Man, driven even more by last year’s also phenomenal War Machine figure.  This guy was my most wanted figure from this set by a good margin, and I was super thrilled to get my hands on him.  While I’d maybe have liked some extra accessories, and I’d also love to see a version with flat colors, there’s still no denying that this figure turned out really, really well.

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 and their eBay storefront.

#2794: Tony Stark – A.I.

TONY STARK — A.I.

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“After a tragic battle, Tony Stark lives on in digital form as a hologram at the helm of a high-powered robotic suit of armor.”

It’s time to bring back Tony Stark to life!  …yuck, okay, sorry guys, I can’t let that grammatical monstrosity stand.  It’s just…wrong.  Sure is a good thing that it’s only here on my website, and no one’s spent serious money on placing it on a billboard or something.  That would be super embarrassing.  Moving on.  So, following his body going comatose, Tony Stark’s consciousness continued on as an A.I. for a bit, mostly serving as an assistant to Riri Williams’ Iron Heart, but occasionally “suiting up” on his own and occupying a more classic Iron Man armor.  One of things is more inherently toy-etic than the other, which is why we’re looking at an armored up A.I. Tony figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tony Stark (A.I.) is figure 6 in the Mr. Hyde Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the second non-Shang-Chi figure in the line-up, and the last single-packed figure in the set.  While Iron Man classically doesn’t have much to do with Shang-Chi, he *is* the Mandarin’s usual nemesis, so there’s at least a little bit of a tie there.  Certainly more of one than there was for Civil Warrior, and honestly, it’s more sensible than the other Iron Men we’ve gotten shoved into unrelated movie assortments.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  From a structural stand-point, this guy’s mostly a parts re-use from the 80th Iron Man, which is fairly sensible, given that the A.I. occupied a replica of Tony’s classic armor.  It’s honestly the best sculpt Hasbro’s produced for an Iron Man, and the definitive take on the classic armor, so it’s a solid choice.  Right out of the box, he’s not sporting the helmeted head, since they want to show off the hologram set-up.  So, he’s got an all-new unmasked head, designed to replicate the slightly more modern Tony that the A.I. was patterned after.  It’s a nice piece, and is quite distinctly different from other unmasked Tonys.  It’s not really my brand of Tony, personally, but it’s accurate to the source material.  He’s also got the standard classic helmeted head from the 80th figure, which was certainly the best head from that set.  The major change-up for this release is color scheme.  While the 80th figure was going for more of an Alex Ross-inspired, darker colored and metallic scheme, this one is done in flat colors.  It gives us a nice, more comic-styled red and yellow color scheme.  There’s a slightly more modernized aspect to it, with the blue for the eyes, mouth, and arc reactor, but otherwise, it feels very classic 70s.  I really like the new color scheme, and it does the sculpt a lot of justice.  In addition to having the two heads I mentioned previously, Tony also includes the two sets of hands from the 80th release, as well as a pair of repulser effects, done up in blue to match the holo head.  Also included is the right leg of the Mr. Hyde Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As much as I loved the three 80th Avengers (and believe me, I did love them), the one thing I did notice about all three was how subdued the colors were.  I’ve been hoping to see some slightly more classically colored repaints.  Iron Man’s a good proof of concept on that, without being a straight re-release.  The colors really pop on this figure, and add a new life to him.  I genuinely don’t know which of the two I prefer, and that’s kind of a dilemma for me…

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 and their eBay storefront.