Marvel Legends: Iron Man (Neo-Classic Armor) by Hasbro

Holy hell, the new Marvel Legends figures are beginning to trickle out both in retail and across the Cyberwebs. I honestly didn’t think we were going to start seeing these until November. I knocked out the first two waves by buying them by the case, but when I saw two lone Wave 3 figures, Iron Man and Mystique, hanging on the pegs, I couldn’t resist getting them individually. We’ll check out the first one this week, then I’ve got to take care of some unfinished DCUC business over the weekend, and I’ve got a themed week planned for next week, so who the hell knows when I’ll get to Mystique.

Yes, it’s Iron Man in his second Legends appearance in only three waves. Ok, it’s technically the third if you count that blue repaint in Wave 1. And there’s the glorious, eye-catching Marvel Legends packaging. God, I love it! You get comic book style and action figure goodness married together in a perfect package. The only way this could be better is if ML figures actually had a reprint comic book as the backing for the figure. Oh wait, they did until Hasbro got hold of the line!

The first thing you may notice is that there’s no Build-A-Figure part, instead you get a big figure stand, recycled from the 6-inch Avengers movie figures. The stand is sculpted to look like a number of hexagonal tiles strung together. There are several pegs so you can position the figure in different stances, and the stand will hook together with other similar stands in various ways so you can create a big display. I like these a lot, and if Hasbro would sell them in packs at their web store, I would probably buy a bunch. Since the previous two waves were named after their BAF, Hasbro has just called this wave “Epic Heroes.” Fair enough!

When I heard Iron Man was going to be in another wave of Legends, I wasn’t thrilled. Sure, it makes sense, as he’s a huge personality in the Marvel Universe right now and with Iron Man 3 soon to be released, the character will continue to make bucket loads of money for Disney and Hasbro for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, I was a lot happier when I saw the choice for the armor. The Neo-Classic armor is a nice break from the modern stuff we’ve been getting so much of lately.

First off, I want to thank Hasbro for finally bulking up Iron Man a bit. My main complaint with the Extremis Armor release was that he was so small compared to the other 6-inch Avengers on my shelf. Stand him next to Steve Rogers from the same wave and, well, there’s clearly a problem. The added bulk to this figure comes closer to looking like he’s scaled about right for a guy wearing armor. He is, however, notably shorter than the Extremis Armor Iron Man from the first wave, so in some way Hasbro took a slight step forward and a slight step back. Proportionally, he looks good with two exceptions… his hands. Those hands look awfully tiny to me. I do, however, dig those clunky Mega Man style boots.

Since this is the older style of armor, the figure is built off a standard muscled buck with separate sculpted armor pieces on the chest, shoulders, arms and legs. I’m really keen on the head sculpt, which offers a bit of depth around the eyes and mouth slots, although not as much as the production photos suggested. After being exposed to so much of the sleek new armor suits both in the comics and on the big screen, looking at this style is like looking at a vintage automobile. It has a retro charm and sexiness all of its own.

The figure’s sculpting is solid, but I think it’s the color that really makes this figure stand out. Hasbro used just the right shade of gilded gold paint for the body and a beautiful deep, metallic red for the armor plating. They may be the only two colors on the entire figure, but man do they look great together.

Iron Man’s articulation includes a ball joint in the neck, arms with ball jointed shoulders, double hinged elbows, hinged wrists, and swivels in the biceps, forearms, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs and lower legs. It looks like there are hinges in the ankles, but they are useless because of the way the boots are sculpted. The torso features a swivel at the waist and an ab crunge hinge in the chest. It certainly isn’t the best articulation we’ve seen in the line, but some of the restrictions come from the style of the sculpt and I think Hasbro did their best to work around this where they could. One notable point is the hinged shoulder flaps to allow for greater arm movement. I really would have liked an extra neck hinge so he could look up if I pose him on a flight stand. It’s also worth noting that the peg holes in Iron Man’s feet don’t go deep enough to work with the figure stand! Come on, Hasbro!

I’ll confess Iron Man was the one figure in Wave 3 that I was looking forward to the least. He certainly isn’t one of the shining beacons of the line, but he’s certainly not terrible either. A number of little issues cause him to land right in the middle of the average range on my patented Marvel Legends figure Cool-O-Meter. Still, it’s nice to see this armor in this scale and I’m definitely content to put him up on my shelf where he looks damn good. That all having been said, I’m still pretty sure he’ll wind up the peg-warmer of this wave, although with how well these figures have been selling in my area, there may not be any peg-warmers at all.

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