#1198: Mark V Iron Man & War Machine




Ah, Iron Man 2, the one entry in the MCU we all sort of pretend didn’t happen.  The first chink in the armor, if you will.  Admittedly, it’s not a bad movie, just an okay one, hurt by being the sequel to one of the biggest surprise hits of 2008.  Some of the ideas presented there really weren’t bad, and if nothing else, the toys from the movie were cool.  Two of my favorite parts of the movie (and thus some of my favorite entries from the toy lines) were the suitcase armor and Rhodey taking up the War Machine mantle.  The Mark V and War Machine just so happened to be packed together for their Minimates.  How convenient!


The Mark V and War Machine were part of the Iron Man 2-tie-in assortment of Marvel Minimates.  They were one of the pair of two-packs shared between the TRU-exclusive assortment and specialty Series 35 (the other being Mark IV and Whiplash).


mkvwm2Though somewhat short-lived, the Mark V suitcase armor was one of the real highlights of IM2, being a fun concept, a fun design, and getting easily the coolest fight scene in the movie.  The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  The Mark V has add-ons for his helmet, shoulderpads, gloves, boots, and belt.  The helmet is the same piece used for Marks IV, VI, and VII, but aside from that these pieces were new to this guy.  They match up well enough with his on-screen design, and he doesn’t suffer from being overly bulked up like a lot of the Iron Man armors from this time period.  In addition to the add-on pieces, the IM2 ‘mates also ramped up the use of specialized pieces, especially for arms and legs.  The Mark V gets new upper arms and legs, which, like the add-on pieces follow the movie design quite well, and also help to prevent him for getting too big.  The paint on this guy is particularly nice, with the metallic red in particular really standing out as really sleek and polished.  Under his helmet, there’s a nice, angry/determined Tony Stark, who even shows some damage from his battle with Whiplash, making him a nice departure from the slew of other Tonys with the same basic face.  The Mark V was packed with an extra hairpiece (a recolored version of Kyle Reese’s), as well as a pair of flesh-toned hands.


mkvwm4From the moment Rhodey quipped “Next time, baby” to the Mark II in Iron Man, I was anxiously awaiting War Machine’s introduction in the sequel.  Of course, we lost the first Rhodey in the mean time, so there was no “Next time” for that particular iteration of the character.  That being said, I think Cheadle ultimately brought more to the role, and was especially good for the transition of Rhodey to true super hero.  This was Cheadle’s first of several ‘mates.  This one’s particularly heavy on the extra sculpted pieces, with add-ons for the helmet, chest piece, and gloves/forearm guns, as well as unique legs and upper arms.  Pretty much the whole basic ‘mate body is covered when this guy’s armored up.  The parts are generally pretty well sculpted, but I do feel this guy suffers a bit from that overly bulked up look that I mentioned the Mark V avoided.  It’s not awful, nor is it super out of character for War Machine, but he still looks a little on the pudgy side from some angles.  Rhodey’s paint work is decent enough, if not as exciting or polished as the Mark V.  Under the armor, there’s some nice extra torso detailing, as well as a fully detailed Rodey head.  In lieu of the hair piece from the first movie’s Rhodey, this guy’s hair is painted on, which I think more accurately portrays the close-cropped look from the film.  As far as the likeness, I can’t say I see all that much of Cheadle in the face on this one, but it’s still a pretty nice head.  Rhodey included a large gattling gun and missile launcher to plug into his torso piece, as well as a separate helmet with the faceplate flipped up, and a pair of flesh-toned hands.


This was around the time I was faithfully buying my Minimates from Cosmic Comix, but for whatever reason, his shipment of these guys never materialized.  I was hardly going to miss out on this pair, so I ended up grabbing them from TRU along with the two TRU-exclusive sets.  I find that a lot of these ‘mates haven’t aged the best, but these two still hold up pretty well, and I’m happy to still have them!

#1015: Iron Man Mark 46




Giant-Man week continues! Yesterday was a slightly more obscure character. Today’s review goes the other direction, with a character that everyone and their mother knows. Yes, it’s Iron Man! You can’t go too many series of Marvel Legends without another Iron Man! There might be, like, riots or something. This figure in particular is based on his turn as an antagonist (but NOT a villain, because there’s a difference) in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Let’s see how he turned out!


IMMk462Iron Man Mark 46 is figure 2 in the Giant-Man series of Marvel Legends. He’s the second of the three Civil War-based figures in this set, which is pretty sensible. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Iron Man has an all-new sculpt, which makes this the first Iron Man since the switch-over to Infinite Series to get one. It’s quite nicely handled. All the details seem to match up pretty well to the armor from the movie. What I really like about it is the bulk to it, which makes him pretty convincingly a guy in a suit in armor. That’s nice, because a lot of Iron Man figures don’t quite manage that. The only slight downside to the size is that it makes the already small Captain America look even smaller. But, that’s hardly this figure’s fault. All-in-all a solid sculpt, though. The paintwork on the Mark 46 is actually quite nice. Recently, Hasbro’s Iron Men have been missing some of the painted details on their backs, which is a little frustrating. However, this guy isn’t plagued by this same issue, as he has all of the proper detailing he should. The application could be a little cleaner, but it’s above the usual quality we see from Hasbro. Yay Hasbro! Iron Man was packed with two pairs of hands in both open and closed poses. The open hands also include a pair of removable repulsor blasts (which can also be plugged into the feet, which quite cool) which are a very welcome addition to Hasbro’s Iron Man arsenal. Lastly, he includes the right arm of Giant-Man, which I’ll cover with the rest of figure later this week.


So, I found this guy twice before actually buying him. The reason for skipping those two was NOT because I didn’t want the figure. Nope, it was because both of those figures had their build-a-figure piece stolen out of the package by some scumbag. Bleh. Fortunately, my Dad came across this guy at the Walmart right outside of the town where my family vacations. Despite having quite a few Iron Men already, I was actually quite looking forward to this guy. The new sculpt and the extra repulsor pieces make him a definite win. He’s easily Hasbro’s best movie Iron Man.


#0952: Black Panther & Iron Man




It’s not really news to the regular followers of this site, but I really, really enjoyed Captain America: Civil War. While it was still undeniably Cap’s movie, the supporting players really stood out. One of the best parts of the movie was Black Panther, who was introduced into the MCU with a standout performance from Chadwick Boseman. I can’t wait to see more of this guy! Until his solo Black Panther movie hits, I’ll just have to hold myself over with some of his toys. Though I haven’t yet found his awesome looking Marvel Legends figure, I did manage to snag his Minimate, which I’ll be looking at today, along with his pack-mate Iron Man.


Panther and Iron Man were released in Series 66 of the Marvel Minimates line. The whole series is based on Captain America: Civil War. These two are also one of the shared sets between the specialty and TRU assortments.*


PantherIM2Amazingly enough, is is only Black Panther’s third appearance as a Minimate. He hasn’t shown up since Series 29! This one is, unsurprisingly, based on his movie appearance. Admittedly, it’s not very far off from his basic comics appearance, so he could really work as either version in a pinch. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. Panther’s only add-on is his mask, which is the same piece used by the last two Panther ‘mates. It’s a well-sculpted, simplistic piece, which suits the character very well. It’s too bad he didn’t get a set of clawed hands as well, but that’s a fairly minor nit. The rest of Panther’s detailing is done via paintwork, and it’s some pretty exceptional work at that. There’s a ton of small detail work to make up the unique texturing of Panther’s costume in the movie, and I love how much depth the variations of finish give him. Under the mask, there’s a fully detailed head, with painted on hair and ears. It’s not a perfect likeness of Boseman as T’Challa; for some reason he’s missing his facial hair (which appears to be the case with the Legends figure as well), and his expression is also a bit bland. But, it’s still a nice touch, and adds an extra bit of coolness to the figure. Panther’s only accessory is a clear display stand. It seems a bit light, but I’m not really sure what else they could have given him.


PantherIM3Tony Stark really likes tweaking his armor. The Mark 46 serves as his only armor during the course of Civil War (I believe this is the first time he’s only had one). It’s not too far removed from the Mark 45, which he wore at the end of Age of Ultron. However, there are a few minor differences, most of which seem to be there to help bulk Tony up so he doesn’t look too overpowered by Cap. As a Minimate, the Mark 46 is built from the same pieces as the Marks 42 and 43, minus the chest piece. That means he’s got add-ons for his helmet, gloves, pelvis, and boots, as well as a non-standard set of upper arms. It’s not my favorite set of pieces, and the selection isn’t a spot-on recreation of what’s seen in the film (there are way too many join lines), but the end result isn’t too bad. The upper arms are still very limiting in terms of articulation, but the effect is at least somewhat lessened by the omission of the chest plate. The paint does a lot to really sell this figure. The colors of red and gold chosen work pretty nicely together, and the detail lines all do a good job of recreating the on-screen armor. There’s a bit of slop on the arms, but it’s all minor and fairly unnoticeable. Under the helmet, there’s a very angry Tony Stark face. I like the change of expression, though I do wonder why he’s lacking the black eye that Tony was sporting during all of his armored scenes. Iron Man is packed with a spare hair piece, a flying stand, and a clear display stand.


I picked these two up from Cosmic Comix the week they were released. Amusingly enough, it was actually on the way to take Super Awesome Girlfriend to see the movie. Panther’s definitely the selling point of this set. He’s a new addition to the MCU subset of ‘mates, and the first shot a lot of newer collectors have had at a Black Panther Minimate. He’s also just a pretty solid ‘mate all around. Iron Man’s certainly not a bad addition, but there’s so many Iron Men out there that this one blends in with the crowd a bit. He’s really not bad, and he may well be my favorite MCU Iron Man. He’s just not super thrilling is all. Still, this is definitely a fun set!

*Amusingly enough, in a similar fashion to the Hawkeye/Vision set, the first Black Panther ‘mate was packed with an Iron Man variant.  History repeats!


#0752: Age of Ultron Minimates Boxed Set




So, Series 61 and 63 of Marvel Minimates, plus the two TRU exclusive sets and the blind bagged figures, did a pretty reasonable job of getting us just about every important character from Age of Ultron. We got the whole Avengers team, plus several Ultrons, a few Iron Legion drones, two minor villains, and the Hulkbuster. However, DST felt that wasn’t quite enough, so we’ve gotten an extra, special five figure (that’s a whole extra figure!) boxed set to fill a few holes in the collection.  Without further ado, let’s have a look at Final Form Ultron, Iron Legion 01, Tony Stark, Iron Man Mark 45, and Nick Fury!


This set was one of the SDCC-exclusive sets offered by DST this year. The sets were then available at various retailers following the show.


AoUMatesBox3Ultron looks a little….I don’t want to say puffy…  Yeah, so this is Ultron in his Vibranium infused body from the film’s big climactic battle, which is ever so slightly different from his main look for the rest of the movie. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ultron uses the base Minimate body, with non-standard pieces for the head, hands, and feet, as well as add-ons for the shoulders and torso extension. All of these pieces are re-used from prior figures; the head is from Ultron Prime, the hands originated on DC Minimates’ Cheetah, the feet are from Nightcrawler, and the add-ons are pieces we’ve seen on numerous prior ‘mates. It’s definitely a hodge-podge of pieces, but the end result actually looks pretty sleek. Also, he amends the issue of size that plagued Ultron Prime; he’s not huge, but he’s certainly got a level of imposing-ness to him. The paintwork on this figure is superb. The silver is nice and cleanly applied, the detail lines are nice and sharp, and he does a pretty great job of replicating the film design. Everything looks really great, and he’s even got a full set of detail lines on the normal arms under the bulked up shoulders. Ultron includes a spare set of normal hands and feet painted silver, for those that don’t want the more unique pieces, as well as a clear display stand.


AoUMatesBox6Okay, so if there’s one thing this set might have been okay without, it’s another Iron Legion drone. The blind bags ran into a bit of an issue by seriously over-packing drones 02 and 04, which kind of got us all down on the drones in general. That said, there are actually supposed to be five of these guys, and we only had two (three if you count the Ultron Mk 1 as drone 03), so I guess getting another of them isn’t the worst thing. Of course, if I were choosing one more, I’d probably go with 05, since you could include the scepter the drone steals, but DST went with 01. I guess having 01, 02, 03, and 04 is better than having 02, 03, 04, and 05. This figure is virtually identical to the other two drones we got (reviewed here). He’s a vanilla ‘mate, with a fair amount of painted details. Obviously, he’s got “01” in place of the preceding “02” and “04,” and he’s also got grey accents as opposed to the blue and black, respectively, of the other two.


AoUMatesBox2Hey, it wouldn’t be the Avengers without another Tony Stark, right? The “trying to lift the hammer” sequence from AoU was definitely one of the more popular scenes from the movie, so it’s not a huge surprise to see Tony in his look from that scene. Tony has 5 sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, vest, tie, and rolled up sleeves. These are all pieces we’ve seen numerous times before, and they do a good job of capturing his look from the scene. His paint is pretty simple, with mostly base color work. The facial likeness somewhat resembles RDJ, though I don’t think it’s as good as some of DST’s other versions of the guy. It’s also a little bit too high set. Tony includes one of his Iron Man gauntlets (taken from the Mark 43), which is kind of key to the scene, as well as a spare set of arms and a jacket piece, and a clear display stand. It would have been cool to include Mjolnir here, but I can’t say this guy’s lacking for extras.


AoUMatesBox5We got the Mark 43, we got the Hulkbuster, and we got a basic Tony. What’s left? The Mark 45, Tony’s armor from the last fight scene. It’s only a little bit different from the Mark 43, but it’s still its own armor, and it continues the trend of each model streamlining the basic design just a bit more. Structurally, he’s just a basic ‘mate, with the helmet from the Mark 42/43. It’s not 100% accurate, but at this scale, it’s close enough. The paint is the important part here, and it’s handled quite nicely. The red and gold are distinctly different from each other, and they’re both nice and bright. The details of the suit are rendered pretty nicely on the body, and look pretty accurate to the source material. Under the helmet, there’s another Tony face, which is much angrier looking than the regular Tony. It looks even less like RDJ, but I much prefer a different expression that looks less like the actor than the same expression over and over again. The figure includes the same hairpiece included with the other Tony, as well as a flight stand, and a clear display stand.


AoUMatesBox7At last! A character who wasn’t released in any of the other AoU assortments! Fury was originally slated to be one of the figures in the blind bagged assortment before being pulled from the lineup, so it’s not a huge shock to see him turn up here. The figure depicts Fury in his somewhat more distinct look from his earlier appearances in the film. He gets two add-on pieces for his hat and coat. The hat comes from the Amazing Spider-Man Vigilante Spider-Man, and the coat is from Punisher War-Zone’s Frank Castle. These parts match up pretty closely with the look from the film, and their well-sculpted in general, so that’s good. Fury’s paint is fairly simple. He’s got a fairly drab color scheme, with a bit of detailing for the belt, shirt, and face. The face doesn’t really look much like SLJ, but he’s a decent looking Fury. Also, I really like that the eye patch’s strap goes all the way around the head, even under the hat, though it’s a little frustrating that the head has a peg hole at the top for the hat. Fury includes a spare head with the eye patch removed, a handgun, and a clear display stand.


Since I didn’t go to SDCC, I picked this set after the fact, courtesy of Luke’s Toy Store. This set doesn’t cover a whole lot of new ground, but it’s still a solid addition. Ultron is a significant improvement to Ultron Prime, Fury and Stark are both valid variants, and the Mark 45 and the Legion drone are decent enough. The final AoU line-up is pretty impressive!


#0600: Tony Stark – Mech Test




Holy crap, I’ve actually written 600 of these things. Wow. And people are still reading, like, at an increasing rate, even. I think I’m actually not scaring people off! Yay! Anyway, another milestone means another “Deluxe Review.” So, we once again dive into the world of high end collecting, with another figure from renowned toy makers Hot Toys.

HT first got into the Marvel game with the first Iron Man film. Over the last few years, Iron Man’s kind of been HT’s bread and butter. It seems like no matter how many versions of the guy they release, the demand just isn’t dying down. I’ve already looked at one of their more conventional Iron Man variants, but my personal favorite is actually a Tony Stark figure. Let’s check that one out!


Tony is part of HT’s main Movie Masterpiece Series. He’s number 116 in the line, and he’s numerically the fourth Iron Man figure in the line. He stands roughly 12 inches in height and has…ummm….a bunch of articulation. As with lots of HT figures, the clothing covers the majority of his joints, and since I’m not really in the habit of undressing these guys, I don’t really have an exact count. It’s worth noting that the movement in the arms is somewhat restricted, due to the armature on his arms. The figure’s appearance is based on the sequences of the first Iron Man film where Tony is testing out the mechanics of the armor, specifically the flight systems. Not the lengthiest portion of the film, but certainly an important one.

TonyMechTest2Let’s start things off by checking out the head sculpt. RDJ has one of those likenesses that seems to be difficult to capture, especially for Hot Toys. That being said, even though it was only their second attempt at a full RDJ sculpt, I actually think it holds up as one of HT’s better attempts. There are still a few issues here and there. I think the biggest issue with the likeness is the eyes, which seem maybe a little off. I can’t put my finger on it, but they just don’t seem right. Regardless, the sculpt is certainly of a high quality.  It’s full of some great texture and it really looks like a real person’s head. The paintwork just enhances this, with the expertly handled detailing for which HT is best known.

Typically, an Iron Man figure from HT is going to be a fully-sculpted venture. However, this one’s a little bit different. His costume is made up of a short-sleeve t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a pair of pants, knee pads, a few belts and straps, his boots, and his arm exo-skeletons. The short-sleeve shirt is a little too big to be in proper scale, especially around the collar, but it’s passable. The pants are pretty nice, an feature working pockets and belt loops. The kneepads are a nice hybrid of tailored and sculpted parts, as actual kneepads would be. The big work here is on the armored parts, which feature some tremendously detailed sculpting. You could almost be fooled into believing they’re actually made up of many smaller parts, but they’re just solid pieces. They are also exquisitely painted, which just helps to further the realism.

TonyMechTest3Under the costume is a fairly standard narrow-shouldered True-Type body, with a few main changes (that I know of, anyway). The biggest is the upper torso, which has be reworked to feature Tony’s signature Arc reactor. In addition, the arms (and torso) have been slightly re-worked in order to facilitate a light-up feature. The arms are wired up and can be plugged into the battery pack cleverly hidden in one of Tony’s pouches, and the torso features its own battery pack. The light-up feature works decently enough, however the batteries don’t last very long.

Tony was a little on the light side as far as extra pieces went, though he included one fairly large accessory that made up for it a bit. He included:

  • 2 pairs of interchangeable hands
  • A pair of shoes
  • Dummy
  • Display stand

The hands come in “repulsor” and relaxed varieties. Both pairs are gloved and allow for use of the light-up feature. It’s certainly nice to have the option of relaxed hands, but they really aren’t that different from the repulsor hands, making choosing between them somewhat pointless.

The shoes are a fairly standard pair of HT dress shoes. They’re molded in matte black. Truth be told, I didn’t keep track of the ones included with my figure, hence them not being pictured. I guess they’re meant to allow you to display a more casual Tony, though, it’s somewhat pointless, since the arm pieces can’t really be removed.

TonyMechTest4Dummy is definitely the coolest of the accessories. He’s integral to the mech test scene, so his presence here is much appreciated. He’s very nicely sculpted and painted, and matches up pretty much perfectly to the machine from the film. He isn’t perfect, though. A lot of his pistons and joints are just mock pieces, and don’t actually move the way they’re supposed to, which is somewhat frustrating. Also, he’s rather fragile. The bottom piece of mine just snapped one day, sending the poor bot tumbling. Hence the carefully cropped photo. Still, he’s a fun enough piece.

The display stand is actually different from the normal HT stand. It’s a flight stand, which is nice, considering the scene this figure is replicating hinges on Tony flying. The base is designed to look like a section of Tony’s workroom floor, which it replicates quite nicely, and there’s also a nice little engraved name tag at the front. I do wish it were just a little bit more compact, as it’s quite a shelf-hog as it is, but it’s not the worst thing ever. He also included a tri-fold cardboard background depicting the rest of the workroom. It’s rather simple; just a screen shot of the room, which can be stood behind the figure. Not the most exciting thing, but it’s there.


Tony here was a combination birthday/graduation present from my parents. Some kids get a car or something big to take off to college. Me? I got an action figure. Not that it’s really that surprising, right? Tony was only the third HT figure to be added to my collection, and he was the first Marvel HT I got, which makes him pretty special. Truth be told, he’s still one of my favorites, and I find him to be far more interesting than just a basic Iron Man.


#0566: Iron Man – Mark 43 & Black Widow




Alright, it’s the Age of Ultron Minimates extravaganza part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)! I kicked things off with two of the film’s new characters, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, but now I’ll be turning back to the “old faithful” characters that we’ve seen a few times before. Iron Man is the “oldest” MCU character, and Black Widow isn’t far behind him. And look at that, they’re even packed together. How convenient.


Iron Man and Black Widow are part of the first assortment of Avengers: Age of Ultron-based Marvel Minimates. They are one of the two sets in the first assortment to be available both at Toys R Us and as part of Marvel Minimates Series 61.


IM43WidowAoU2It would be weird to have an assortment of Avengers merch without an Iron Man, so here he is. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 12(ish) points of articulation. As noted in the name of the figure, this is Iron Man in his Mark 43 armor, which he ends up wearing for the first half or so of the film. It’s worth noting that this makes him not actually fit with the rest of the team’s final battle looks, though it does mean you can display them from the opening battle. Structurally, this figure is the same as the Series 49 Mark 42, which is rather sensible, given that the 43 was just a recolored 42 in the movie. The add-on pieces for the 42 are serviceable, and they do a decent job of replicating the movie’s armor, but they have a few issues. Chief among them is that the upper arms are sculpted in such a way that the shoulders are effectively nothing more than cut joints. That’s really limiting to the figure. In addition, the figure feels a little too built up in general. The 42/43 are meant to be rather sleek, but the ‘mates are rather chunky. All that aside, the pieces do feature some nice detail work and some nice, sharp lines. The paint on Iron Man is pretty decent, actually. In particular, the shades of red and gold that have been chosen are nice and vibrant and have a really great finish to them. The line work is all pretty decent, although it’s perhaps a touch faint. As has become the norm on Iron Men, there’s full detailing under the helmet and torso. The torso offers a cool look at the inner workings of the armor, and the head offers a look at Tony’s face. The Tony face isn’t as good as some of the previous ones; they seem to have missed the mark on the RDJ likeness. The Mark 43 includes a spare hairpiece, a rocket blast piece, and a clear display stand.


IM43WidowAoU3In the comics, Black Widow is a marginal member of the Avengers at best, but the movies have changed that. There, she’s upgraded herself to one of the most central members of the team. And that’s pretty cool. Her presence in Marvel Minimates is rather reflective of this change. Of the seven Minimates of the character, five of them are movie-inspired. Anyway, onto the actual figure. Widow is roughly 2 ½ inches in height and she’s got 14 points of articulation. She is, of course, based on Widow’s main appearance in the movie. Structurally, she’s similar to the Winter Soldier version of Widow from Series 55. She shares the same belt and one of the holsters, but loses the Widow’s stingers. Also, the hair has been replaced with that of Battlestar Galactica’s Pegasus Six, which is actually quite a good match for her hair from the movie. This Widow ends up being a bit sleeker than previous versions of the character, which is a plus in my book. Widow’s paintwork is certainly passable. There is a bit of slop around the edges of her arm bands, but other than that pretty much everything is clean. One thing I noticed is that the detail lines seem a little duller here than usual. Things such as the “tron lines” kind of fade into the rest of the costume, and the details on the face seem a little light. Speaking of the face, it presents a good likeness of Scarlett Johannssen, but the somewhat vacant expression is a little disappointing in light the Winter Soldier Widow’s more intense look. Widow includes two eskira sticks, a handgun and a clear display stand.


After the craziness that was acquiring Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, getting this set was actually rather simple: I just picked them up from my local comicbook store. I can’t say that this is a set that thrills me. The Mark 42 was not my favorite Iron Man Minimate, and the 43 still has several of the same issues, plus the step down in likeness. Widow fairs a bit better, and I do like a lot about this figure. I think that swapping the heads on this one and the Winter Soldier version might provide me with my preferred version of the character.

#0532: Iron Man – Mark 43




When it comes to casting comic book characters for the big screen, it can be difficult to find someone who can properly convey such an important, larger than life character. Often times, things end up toned down, causing a less entertaining end result. Occasionally, those casting directors strike gold, and end up finding someone who is irreplaceably brilliant in a role. That’s what happened with Robert Downey Jr in the role of Tony Stark. That guy is just totally spot on! He’ll be reprising the role for the fifth time in this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is, of course, getting its fair share of action figures. So, let’s have a look at a figure of RDJ as Iron Man, shall we? (I need to work on my segues a bit…)


IM43bIron Man is a part of Series 2 of Hasbro’s Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s the second of three figures in this particular series to be directly from Age of Ultron (following Sunday’s Captain America). From the looks of things, Iron Man will have at least three different looks over the course of the film. This figure is based on the first of those, the Mark 43, which appears to be just a re-decoed version of the Mark 42. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and sports 31 points of articulation. Sculpturally, the Mark 43 is 100% identical to the Mark 42 released in the Iron Man 3 tie-in line. Luckily for you, dear reader, I don’t own the Mark 42, making this one all-new to me! It’s a pretty good sculpt; it looks accurate to the film design, it has pretty good internal proportions, and it’s at least a little bit feasible that there’s a person inside of this armor. The legs could probably stand to be a little thicker, as they seem just a tad thin currently, but that’s minor. The details of the armor are all pretty well handled, and everything seems to line up with where it would be on the “real” armor. One issue of note has to do with movement related to the shoulder pads; if the arms are in an upward position for any decent length of time, the shoulder pads get a little bit warped. Previous Hasbro figures with such a design have usually had articulated shoulder pads in order to prevent such issues, so it’s possible that said joints are just stuck on mine (which is a whole other issue). Paint is one of this figure’s key areas, what with it being a re-paint and all. Fortunately, the Mark 43 ends up with a generally well-handled paintjob. The colors all seem right, and everything is applied to the right areas. Some of the gold areas are a little fuzzy around the edges, but they are generally pretty good. The only real issue I encountered on my figure was a bit of paint rub on his right thigh, where some of the gold rubbed off. It’s a minor issue, but one to keep an eye on if you find them in-store. Another thing that separates the Mark 43 from the 42 is the accessory complement. In addition to the requisite Build-A-Figure piece (Thanos’ left leg, in this case), the Mark 43 also includes an extra head with the faceplate up, revealing Tony’s face. It’s a well-sculpted, well-painted piece, and it actually manages to get a pretty decent RDJ likeness. It’s a really great piece to have, especially given how often IM is presented this way in the movies, and it’s even backwards compatible to the Mark 42 figure!


Okay, if you’ve read the Cap and Spider-Woman reviews, it really shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where the Mark 43 came from. Mostly, I just wanted this figure for the Thanos piece, but I was interested in the figure at least a little bit. I didn’t actually have a proper Movie-style IM in this scale, and I will admit to liking the 43 design a fair bit. The 42 wasn’t bad, but the colors didn’t jibe with me. Reversing them for the 43 really makes it work. Add in that the figure is actually pretty well executed and the inclusion of that pretty sweet flipped-up faceplate head, and you’ve got a figure that is quite a lot of fun. And he also comes with that Thanos piece!


#0250: Iron Man Mark VII




Alright, I’ve gotten to 250 reviews. Amazingly, people are still reading these things. I guess I don’t drone on too much, right? Well, it’s been another 50 reviews, which means it’s time for another “Deluxe Review.”

Once again, the figure is one of those produced by Hot Toys, producers of extremely high-end action figures. They like to pick up the licenses to super hero movies, so it was no surprise to see them pick up the license to The Avengers in 2012. Today I’ll be looking at a version of a character that has been HT’s bread and butter the last few years: Iron Man Mark VII!


The Mark VII is a part of HT’s Movie Masterpiece Series, number 185 to be specific. He stands a little over 12 inches tall and features 68 points of articulation in his default set up. The figure is based on the Mark VII armor, which is the armor that Tony wears during the final battle in Avengers.

The Mark VII is different from most HT figures in that he is a fully sculpted figure, instead of relying on different materials for a costume. The Mark VII features an entirely new sculpt to accurately reflect the armor’s design in the movie. The sculpt is based on the 3D models of the suit created for the movie, so it should be pretty much spot on. However, there are a few areas that are noticeably off. The wrists are a tad too skinny, as are the elbows, which makes it hard to believe a person is actually inside the suit. Also, the eyes are just a tad too large to be accurate. It’s not terribly noticeable in person, but quite obvious in photos. Their only the slightest bit off, but it makes quite a difference at this scale. Those issues aside, the rest of the figure’s sculpt looks pretty much dead on.

The paintwork on the figure is phenomenal, but is once again different from most HT work. On this figure, it’s absolutely imperative that the paint be exactly on the mark, otherwise the figure won’t have the appropriate machined look to him. HT has pulled this off excellently, with nothing out of place. They’ve even added a few small dings and scratches to make the armor look slightly used. Everything looks really great!

The Mark VII includes a huge selection of accessories, even getting more than the usual HT faire. He features:

  • An unmasked head w/ armored collar
  • 6 interchangeable hands
  • Extra wrist armor for repulsor hands
  • Battle-damaged faceplate
  • Battle-damaged chestplate
  • Interchangeable arms with lasers deployed
  • Battle-damaged shoulder pads
  • 3 interchangeable sets of Thigh armor
  • 2 Wrist rocket launchers
  • 3 interchangeable sets of shoulder mounted armor
  • A display stand

The unmasked head is not unexpected, as it has become the standard for a HT Iron Man release. Robert Downey Jr must have a difficult likeness to capture, as HT has never quite had his look down. This one ends up being a bit off the mark. It’s an odd case where it’s not a bad Tony Stark sculpt, but it has only a vague resemblance to the actor who plays him in the movies. I don’t hate it, but it’s not HT’s finest work. From a technical standpoint, it’s great. There’s some wonderful texture work, and it looks like a real person, just not the one they’re going for. The paint is up to HT’s usual standard, which is certainly nice to see. The collar piece slips fairly easily over the neck and the whole thing attaches to the MVII body without too much trouble.

There are six hands: two fists, two articulated, and two repulsor. All of them look great, and match the rest of the body wonderfully. I like the articulated ones in particular, as they provide the greatest variety of poses. The repulsor hands have been specially sculpted to allow you to depict Iron Man with his hands in blast mode as shown in lots of promotional material, and they have their own set of wrist plates to aid in this effect.

The figure also includes several pieces to allow him to be displayed in a “Battle-Damaged” mode. These pieces range from simple repaints of normal pieces to complete resculpts. They swap out with relative ease, and look pretty good when in place.

The thigh and shoulder armor come in three possible sets: closed, fully deployed, and removed. The closed is what the figure comes wearing, as they depict the default look. The deployed fit well with the Battle-Damaged set-up, for that middle of the battle look, and the removed allow for the figure to be streamlined. All of the pieces swap out pretty easily, though they’ve also included a small tool to help remove the pieces without risk of damage.

Lastly, Tony includes a basic display stand with Mark VII printed on the front and the Avengers logo on the base. It’s a simple piece, but it helps connect him with the rest of the figures from the set.


Like most of my other HT figures, the Mark VII was ordered via Sideshow Toys’ website. I had not initially planned on picking this figure up, as I had intended to make do with my earlier Mech Test Tony Stark from the first Iron Man. However, as I got further into the Avengers line, I realized that the display wouldn’t look right without a proper Iron Man. So, I waited until I was certain I’d have the money and placed a pre-order for the Mark VII. I’m glad I decided to go for it. The figure was definitely on the expensive side, even for a HT figure, but I honestly feel he was worth it. He’s the best version of the character available, and he has a lot of display options to keep things interesting. And the truth is, he is Iron Man…

#0193: Mark I, James Rhodes, & Mark II



Minimates, Minimates, time to review some Minimates! Yep, it’s more of my favorite line of toys to review, Marvel Minimates. It’s a long running line, with almost 60 main series, plus lots of supplemental boxed sets and exclusives. And I own a very large portion of them, so there’s quite a few for me to review. Today, I’ll be looking at a set from the tie-in series for 2008’s Iron Man. It’s James Rhodes and the Mark I armor, plus the variant Mark II armor.


These guys were released in the 21st series of Marvel Minimates.


While stranded in a cave, being held captive by a terrorist cell, Tony Stark builds his first suit of armor, dubbed the Mark I, from scrap parts. That’s right, Tony Stark built it. In a cave. With a box of scraps! The Mark I is built on the standard Minimate body, which means it has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. The figure has 10 sculpted add-on pieces: helmet, chest plate, upper arm covers, lower arm covers, thigh covers, and boots. All of these pieces look great, and have a tremendous amount of detailing. The coolest feature about the figure is what’s underneath of all those pieces: a whole Tony Stark! Add the included hair piece and spare feet, and you get a pitch perfect interpretation of what Tony wore while working on the Mark I. It’s a great touch, and this was one of the very first Minimates to implement such a feature. The paint work is very detailed and quite cleanly applied, especially on the underlying Tony pieces. This is by far my favorite figure in the set, and in fact the whole of series 21.


James Rhodes, or Rhodey as Tony likes to call him, is Tony Stark’s best friend and confidant. This figure is kind of funny now, given that it’s based on Terrance Howard’s ill-fated portrayal of the character, and is in fact wearing the very outfit he has on during the infamous “Next time, baby!” scene. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body with two add-on pieces: hair and jacket. Both pieces were new to this figure, and both are pretty much spot on to how Rhodey looked in the film. The paint work on the figure is pretty nice, with no real slop, and some very nice detail work on the shirt and pants especially. The face isn’t quite Terrance Howard, and it seems like the skin may be a tad too dark, but it’s a valiant attempt. Rhodey included no accessories.


After he returns home from captivity, Tony decides to refine the Mark I, and builds the Mark II. It’s a sleeker design, and it’s a bit higher powered. It’s also a really easy repaint for toy companies, given that it’s really just a silver version of the Mark III, the film’s main armor. So, here it is, for pretty much that reason. The figure is on the basic Minimate body, with 6 uniquely sculpted pieces: two-piece helmet, chest piece, gloves and legs. All of these pieces are well sculpted, and look accurate to the movie. Not as impressive as the Mark I, but still pretty good. The paint is fairly basic, being mostly one shade of silver, but they did put all the appropriate rivets on, which is a nice touch. The figure includes a spare set of hands and legs, and a hair piece, to allow a more disassembled look.


I really loved the first Iron Man film, and patiently awaited the release of the tie-in ‘mates. They kept getting pushed back, which was very annoying, but once I had them, they were one of my favorite series of Minimates for a very long time. I still love the Mark I, and all the amazing detail present in that little guy!

#0042: Tony Stark & Heartbreaker



Hey, look!  It’s review number 42!  And it’s doubly funny, because the not only  is 42 the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but it’s also a significant number in this year’s Iron Man 3.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at another selection from my large Minimates collection.  This set once again comes from the Marvel Minimates line.  It’s Tony Stark and the Heartbreaker from the Iron Man 3 tie-in Minimates.


These two were released as a Toys R Us exclusive set in Diamond’s Iron Man 3 series.


Tony is depicted in his workshop gear from the film.  He’s built on the basic Minimate body, so he stands just over 2 inches tall and has either 14 or 12 points of articulation, depending on which pair of feet you decide to display him with.  He features sculpted hair, boots and gloves.  The hair piece is a generic piece that’s been used a few times before, but it’s accurate to Tony’s look from the film, so it works.  The boots and gloves are reused from the Mark 42 armor from this same wave of figures.  It’s a sensible reuse, given that they were just the boots and gloves from the Mark 42 in the film anyway.    Tony also includes a spare set of hands and feet.  They’re the basic Minimate pieces, molded/painted in the appropriate colors.  The rest of the detail on the figure is conveyed through paint.   The face is an okay depiction of RDJ, and is unique in that it has him wearing his control visor.  The detailing on the torso is also really cool, especially the texturing on the gray parts of the shirt.  Tony’s rounded off by a clear display stand.


The Heartbreaker armor is one of the many armors shown during the climactic battle in the film.  It’s a unique look, and one of my favorites from the film, so it was a good choice for the line.  The figure’s built on the base Minimate body, but with newly sculpted upper arms and legs.  He stands about 2 inches tall and has 12 points of articulation due to his sculpted boots.  Heartbreaker features a sculpted helmet, torso-cover, waist-armor, gloves and boots.  As far as I can tell, everything but the boots is a new sculpt.  The sculpt is nice and clean, if a bit bulky in places.  The paintwork is a bit less detailed than most Minimates, relying mostly on the sculpted pieces.  Heartbreaker also includes a hair piece to trade out with the helmet to show the Tony head underneath.  It’s the same piece as the one featured on the Tony in this set which makes for good consistency.  Like his pack mate, he’s rounded off by a clear display stand.


These were yet another TRU.com purchase.  Like many TRU purchases, it was far from smooth.  In fact, if it weren’t for a very helpful poster on the Minimate Multiverse, who posted the SKUs for each set in the wave, I wouldn’t have been able to get this set, because TRU.com had every set in the wave labeled “Iron Man 3 Minimates Assortment”!  I’m really glad that I did get this set because I think it might be my favorite from the Iron Man 3 line.  In fact, one could say not getting this set would have been …heartbreaking!(Badumsh)