Yes, Marvel Monday is going on hiatus for a little while, folks. It was originally introduced to get through the huge backlog of Marvel Universe figures that I had to open, but now I’m more or less caught up, so I’m going to free up Monday for other things. When I do get some more MU figures, I’ll likely just deal with them whenever I can slip them into the week. Anyway, today we look at the last packaged figure in the Marvel Legends “Iron Monger Series” and tomorrow we’ll check out the Build-A-Figure himself.
There’s the packaging. We’ve seen it before, I like it a lot, but I’ve got nothing new to add. I will take this opportunity to say that I have not been a big fan of the Mark 42 armor design. I thought it looked terrible the first time I saw it in stills from the movie and I didn’t like it at all when I saw the initial product images of the forthcoming Hot Toys figure. But here? For some reason I’m really digging it in this scale. That’s either a testament to the quality of this figure or proof that my initial feelings about the design were all gut reactions. Actually, it’s probably a little of both. Let’s get him out of the package and see what he’s all about…
So, my original issues with the Mark 42 design lie squarely in the deco. There’s just too much gold versus red. And the gold is more matte than it should be. Maybe I would have accepted it more initially if it were designed as one of the off-beat specialty armors, but no, it was being billed as the main armor for Iron Man 3. The deco hasn’t changed, so why doesn’t it bother me so much here? I think there are two reasons.
First, the sculpted detail helps to break it up a lot. Hasbro did a very nice job on this guy, and the figure is replete with plates and panel lines that make the gold a little less intrusive to me and maybe a little more logically placed. There’s a little more red in the legs then I remembered too, and that helps a lot. Overall, the intricacies of the figure’s sculpt persevere over the deco and make it work. The other issue is the size. On the big screen, on a big 1:6 scale figure, there’s just so much more of it. On this smaller scale it just isn’t that bad. I still think the figure would have worked better if the gold was more brilliant, but either way it still works for me. It’s kind of a shame that Hasbro didn’t produce a worthwhile 3 3/4″ scale version, of the same quality as the Iron Man 2 figures, because I probably would have liked it even more.
Hasbro packed the Mark 42 with lots of useful articulation. The neck is ball jointed and has an added ratcheting hinge, which works splendidly. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and ball joints in the wrists. The only issue here is that the armor plates on the back of his hands do inhibit the wrist articulation a bit. It’s the same issue I had with the movie Iron Monger in this same wave. The legs have ball joints and swivels in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and rocker joints in the ankles. Alas, the hips are the funky hip joints that Hasbro will not give up on. Also, the sculpting of the thigh armor inhibits the movement a bit. You can’t really get him into that deep ground-pounding pose. But even despite some of the limitations, there’s a lot of nice potential here for posing this figure.
The second half of this wave was certainly a strange one. Ultron was the figure I was anticipating the most and I was buying the Mark 42 just to complete my BAF. As it turned out Ultron was my least favorite and the Mark 42 was the shining star of this trio of figures for me. He’s probably tied with the Rhodes Iron Patriot as my two favorites in this assortment. Sure, it’s still my least favorite of the movie armors, but Hasbro did some nice work on this guy and in the end it really won me over on the design. I’ll be back tomorrow for a quick look at the Iron Monger BAF.