PLAYBOY TONY STARK, RAZA, BATTLE-DAMAGED IRON MAN MARK III, & IRON MONGER
There was a bit of hoopla going down when it was announced that DST had not acquired the license for Spider-Man: Far From Home and Marvel Minimates would subsequently be skipping the film. It caused some drama amongst the fanbase, largely because for the first time, after a whopping 22 films and 11 years, an MCU film would not be getting any Minimates. That’s kind of a big deal, since Minimates got in on the ground floor, with by far the most expansive product offering for 2008’s Iron Man. It played a definite part in getting them back out to a more mainstream audience, and even had a role in getting them back into Toys R Us. There was a main assortment of four two-packs, plus a TRU-exclusive two-pack, and then finally a boxed set to fill in the only real remaining holes in the line-up. I’m looking at the boxed set today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The “Hostile Takeover” set was officially the final item in DST’s coverage for Iron Man, available exclusively through Action Figure Xpress, DST’s go-to retailer for exclusives at the time. The set featured a pair of slight redecos (Battle-Damaged Mark III and Iron Monger), plus one new look (playboy Tony), and one all-new character (Raza).
PLAYBOY TONY STARK
After the lead-in which established the cause of his abduction and injury, the movie flashed back, and reintroduced us to Tony Stark, who we meet in a Vegas casino, wearing the number we see here. It’s a pretty distinctive look, so the main line’s decision to go with a more standard suit-ed look for civilian Tony was seen as a slight missed opportunity (but only slight). Its presence here is probably one of the few civilian Tony looks that was actively campaigned for. The figure is built on the usual body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Tony made use of re-used parts, with the hair from Admiral Kirk and the jacket/shirt from 1984 Biff Tannen. The hair’s not quite a perfect match for Downey’s hair in the movie, but it gets the job done and is easily swapped out if you don’t like it quite so much. The jacket piece, though, is a pretty brilliant re-use, and I imagine that this piece’s very existence probably paid a large role in getting this figure made. The paintwork is more involved than you might think. Rather than just being straight black, his pants are a dark brown, and even have some detailing on the bottoms, which is a cool touch. He didn’t originally have the detail lines on his torso, though; I added those after the fact. He included no accessories, but I’m not sure what he would have been given.
Raza was the set’s one unique character. As the leader of the “Ten Rings,” there was a lot of speculation at the time of the that he was going to be the movie franchise’s Madarin. Ah, simpler times. Prior to this set’s release, he was the only notable character from the film who hadn’t been released, so there was a lot of excitement about him being included. Raza got the only new parts in this set, with a brand-new jacket/skirt combo. It’s kind of bulky, and a little restricting, but otherwise a solid recreation of his garb from the film. His paintwork is actually rather involved. The stubble on the face is very nicely rendered, as is the camo on his jacket. That goes beyond the level of detail we tend to see. Raza was packed with an assault rifle, which was actually unique to this set, which is a little bit surprising, but cool nonetheless.
BATTLE-DAMAGED IRON MAN MARK III
Tony’s main armor, the Mark III, takes quite a beating over the course of Iron Man, so it’s probably one of the most sensible battle-damaged variants ever. It also gave DST another chance to re-use the new armor tooling, which I’m sure was their primary rationale. The figure makes use of all re-used parts, as you might expect. That includes the helmet, chest piece, gauntlets, and armored-up legs of the standard Mark III (and Mark II and Stealth Armor too). They were an amazing addition to the line at the time, and they’ve actually held up alright. They merged the armored suit with the ‘mate style better than later offerings would, at least from my view. The removable faceplate is also still really cool. The paint work for this figure took the standard Mark III paint and messed it up, adding cracks, scuffs, and even a few bullet holes. It’s a very convincing assortment of damage, and actually stands out very well from the standard detailing. Like all of the armored figures from this movie, this guy has a complete alternate look, allowing the armor to be stripped down. There’s an extra set of legs and hands, as well as an alternate hair piece, which showcase a seriously pissed off Tony Stark. This figure also adds in the repuslor gauntlets, break fins, and blast base from the Stealth Armor, this time done up in the standard Iron Man colors.
BATTLE-DAMAGED IRON MONGER
Last up is the figure that’s possibly the least essential in this set. While Obidiah Stane’s Iron Monger suit takes a little bit of damage over the course of the film’s final battle, it’s nowhere near the level of what happens to the Mark III, nor is it particularly notable when compared to the standard figure. He’s using all the same parts as that release, which certainly plays to his favor, since the original Iron Monger was the star of the original Iron Man line-up. It’s a good sculpt, and a wonderful miniaturization of the film design. The thing is, this is the second time we got it, so it did feel a bit redundant, especially so close to the original release. Pretty much, they added some slightly darker patches, and that was it. Under the armor, things are slightly different. There’s still a fully detailed Obidiah Stane, but this one’s a little angrier, and has a few rips on his jumpsuit. But, the most important addition? The standard flesh-toned hands, which were missing from the original release.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Iron Man Minimates were some of my favorites, so I was determined to put together a full set. This one ended up being a Christmas present from my parents. I can’t say I had much investment in this set beyond just getting everyone. Raza was unique, and the Tony was certainly an improvement over the first one, but for me the real star was actually the Battle-Damaged Mark III, who does a very good job of justifying his own existence.