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.