#1940: Iron Man

IRON MAN

ONE:12 COLLECTIVE (MEZCO)

“Tony Stark makes you feel, he’s a cool exec with a heart of steel–As Iron Man, all jets ablaze, he’s fightin’ and smitin’ with repulsor rays!”

Thus opens the ’60s Iron Man cartoon, which, hokey as it may be, was my first real introduction to the character.  It wasn’t in the ’60s that I was watching it, of course; I had copies of the VHS tapes released in the mid-90s.  But it definitely gave me an appreciation of the character as he was from the very beginning, and above all, made me really love his classic armor.  In the ’90s, he’d moved onto the upgraded Modular armor, and that was the one that got all the toys.  Now that Iron Man’s one of the biggest superheroes in the market place, the options are more there, and if you’re looking for a nice classic Iron Man, you have a few to choose from.  Hasbro’s been killing it with their Legends figures recently, but an updated classic Iron Man hasn’t crossed their list just yet, so I’m expanding my horizons and jumping over to Mezco’s One:12 Collective for a look at their own take on the old Shellhead.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Man is a relatively recent release for the One:12 line.  Though he was shown off quite some time ago, the standard retail release just started showing up at various stores in the last month or so.  There are actually three versions of this figure available: the standard release (covered here), a PX-exclusive Stealth variant, and a Mezco-exclusive black and gold variant.  It is my opinion, however, that you can’t beat the classic colors.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.

The One:12 figures are usually a mixed-media affair, and Iron Man still is, but in a different fashion than other figures from the line.  Rather than a cloth costume on a plastic body, Iron Man is a combo of plastic and diecast metal, which I suppose makes sense for a totally armored character.  It gives him a definite heft, which I guess has something of a plus.  It does restrict some of the joints a little bit, which was a slight drag, but ultimately it’s not much different than the average One:12 figure in terms of mobility.  The design of Iron Man’s armor is clearly inspired by Tony’s classic armor from the late ’60s up through the ’80s, but veiled through Mezco’s own unique artistic sensibilities.  Essentially, they took the basic design, and tweaked it to look like it could actually be real armor, assembled on a real person.  It’s a clean, and certainly visually appealing design, and it maintains all of the important classic Iron Man markers.  The torso features a light-up feature for the reactor, with the battery and switch being pretty nicely hidden under the pod on his back.  The helmet has been designed so that you can remove the faceplate, and beneath it is a Tony Stark face which is a suitably generic comic-styled Tony face.  I do appreciate that they avoided the temptation to go heavily toward the RDJ side of things.

The paintwork on Iron Man is more involved than the average One:12 figure, and it’s actually pretty nice.  It’s clean, and the metallic colors are smooth and eye-catching.  He’s a bit brighter than a lot of Mezco’s stuff, which is a definite plus for Iron Man.  The face under the mask is up to the usual standard for this line; he’s clean and life-like, which is kind of the most important thing.  Also, the underside of the faceplate has a decal with a HUD, which is a fun, easily missed little touch.

Iron Man lives up to the One:12 standard of being quite well accessorized.  He’s got three sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, and wide palm), two repulsor effects to plug into the open hands, a uni-beam effect that swaps out for the arc reactor, thruster effects for the bottoms of the feet, alternate launching missile pods for the belt, and two missiles to plug into either forearm, as well as a display stand with an optional arm, perfect for all sorts of flight poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been searching for my definitive classic Iron Man.  The original Toy Biz Legend held me for a while, but the recent Hasbro offerings make him look slightly out of place.  When this guy was shown off, I was definitely intrigued, especially if he could possibly augment my Legends.  Seeing him in-person, plus having a ton of trade credit with All Time Toys sealed the deal, so this guy came home with.  He’s a very strong figure, and he definitely looks impressive.  His playability isn’t quite that of a Legends figure, so I’m still sort of hoping for Hasbro to take their own stab at an update, but until then, I’m pretty darn happy with this guy.

As I noted above, this guy was picked up from my friends over at All Time Toys. They’ve sold out of this version, but the stealth variant should be coming soon, and they’ve got backstock of some of the prior releases.  If you’re looking for those, or other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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#1795: Ascending Knight Batman

BATMAN — ASCENDING KNIGHT

ONE: 12 COLLECTIVE (MEZCO)

Ooooh, it’s time for me to go down the One:12 Collective rabbit hole again!

I love a good toy, and there’s no denying that Mezco’s recent star-studded line of mixed-media 6 inch figures is full of some pretty darn good toys.  Of course, they’re also pretty darn expensive toys, too, and I can’t really throw quite as much money at them as some people seem to be doing.  Nevertheless, I’ve been looking at their offerings in little dribs and drabs here and there.  Today, I look at another, and a fairly recent one at that.  It’s Ascending Knight Batman!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ascending Knight Batman was released in the spring of this year, as part of Mezco’s One:12 Collective line.  There have already been a handful of Bat-variants in the line (hey, the guy sells toys; can’t blame Mezco for cashing in on that), but he’s notable for being the first of the Batman figures to be a Mezco original design, albeit one inspired by outside elements.  Like Greg Capullo’s Zero Year suit, the Ascending Knight is a re-imagining of Batman’s first appearance design, through a more modern lens.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

Ascending Knight Batman continues the One:12 trend of two different heads with each release.  The first is the more standard of the two, being your usual masked Batman, stern expression, piercing glare, and all.  This is where the biggest Detective #27 influence comes in, mostly via the distinctive curved shaping of the ears.  It’s sharp, it’s clean, and it’s super sleek.  It’s also a very specific look, divergent from your basic Batman, which is honestly kind of refreshing.  The paintwork is clean and bold, and I particularly like the super shiny sheen on the whites of the eyes.  The second head gives us an unmasked look at Bruce Wayne.  It goes for more of the suave debonaire sort of look, rather than the more battle-hardened appearance we’ve seen on other unmasked Waynes.  It fits pretty well with the “early in his career” take that this figure is offering.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting something of a Jason Isaacs vibe from the head; not where my mind usually goes for Batman, but it works reasonably well for this particular figure.  Like the masked head, this one has very clean application for the paint; I’m happy they’re keeping the molded flesh tones for most of these figures; it definitely gives them a more lifelike appearance.

Being from an earlier time in his career, this Batman is built on a smaller body than the previously-reviewed Dark Knight Returns version.  I believe it’s the same basic body that was used on Space Ghost, though it’s a little hard to tell, since the costume doesn’t come off.  Said costume is another mixed-media affair.  The main body suit and cape are cloth, though neither is the straight spandex construction like on DKR Bats and Space Ghost.  The body suit looks to have started that way, but there’s a rather complex overlay of rubberized painted elements, giving the suit a more kevlar-like-armored-appearance.  It’s still all shades of grey, as it should be, but there’s an extra level of flavor added by this method.  The cape is a heavy pleather piece.  Apart from the material, it’s cut rather similarly to the DKR Batman.  The pleather certainly looks cool, but its extra rigidity means it can be a little more difficult to work with when posing.  The cloth parts of his costume are augmented by a healthy helping of sculpted plastic parts.  The cape is held in place by a sculpted neck piece, which sits atop it, and helps create a better flow to the masked head when it’s in place.  There’s a sculpted logo as well, which plugs into the front of his chest.  It not only makes the logo stand out a bit more, but it also keeps the costume clinging a little closer to the torso.  For his earliest appearances, Batman had a distinctly differently-styled utility belt, which has been translated to this figure’s belt, albeit with a more modernized twist, and tons of great little technical details.  On the downside, the belt doesn’t seem to want to stay closed, at least on the figure I’m reviewing, so it comes loose fairly frequently.  The costume is topped off with some swanky boots and gloves.  The boots are interesting, as they’re standard combat boots, laces and all, but  you can see where Bruce has slightly modified the very tops, giving them that distinctive peak that his boots always had; it’s a fun real-world touch.  Perhaps the most distinctive and memorable part of the original Batman design, when compared to later iterations, are the gloves, which only went up to his wrists and were very definitely purple.  This figure doesn’t have those.  Instead, he gets sort of an amalgamated design, which still features the shorter appearance, but keeps the more traditional black coloring, as well as trowing in a par of the wrist blade/scallops he always had in later years.  It’s a change that works a bit better with this incarnation of the costume, while still maintaining the overall spirit of the original.

Ascending Knight Batman is packed with a sizable selection of accessories.  In addition to the previously mentioned unmasked head, he also includes seven interchangeable hands (in pairs of fists, open, and beatarang holding, as well as a right hand for his grappling gun), a grappling gun with fully retracted hooks, extend hooks, and a hook with a line attached to it, a small cross bolt of some sort, a bat-brass knuckles looking thing, a display stand (with flight attachment, and a set of armature for displaying the cape extended), and 10 batarangs.  That’s quite an assortment.  Admittedly, a lot of it’s stuff that seems more suited to being laid out as a cool armory display, and less suited to actual use with the figure.  The hands are by far the most useful, and I can see the grappling gun getting a decent amount of use, especially with this design.  The batarangs are definitely cool, but 10 of them almost seems excessive.  But who am I to complain about getting *more* accessories?  The cape attachment for the stand is fine if you want to just set this guy up in a free fall sort of display, but after spending about an hour fiddling with the  one included with DKR Bats, I didn’t personally find the end results on this one to be worth the hassle.  The option being present is certainly appreciated, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After missing out on the DKR Batman and not having much interest in any of the DCEU-related offerings, this guy is really the first Mezco Batman to catch my eye.  I’ve always been something of a sucker for the First Appearance Batman look, and this is undoubtedly a fun reimagining.  I don’t know that I can say this figure quite has the same raw fun factor of the DKR Batman (that one set a seriously high bar to clear, believe me), but he does come pretty close.

Like the last One:12 Collective Batman I reviewed, this one’s not actually mine.  He was loaned to me for review by my friends over at All Time Toys. If you’re interested in owning him for yourself, he can be purchased from their store front.  And, if you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.