Marvel Studios “First Ten Years:” Iron Man Mk XXIII, Pepper Potts, and The Mandarin by Hasbro

Yup, the random Marvel Legends reviews are getting put on hold once again so that I can push one of these First Ten Years releases to the head of the line. This Amazon Exclusive boxed set of three figures from Iron Man 3 hit my porch this past weekend, and I was just too excited not to open it up right away. Let’s take a look!

Iron Man 3 feels like it was one of the most polarizing of all the MCU films. I still encounter people who have raging hatred toward it, and I really can’t see why. I can still remember when it hit home release on Blu-Ray and I must have watched it three times over the course of a couple of days, and my love for it didn’t even tarnish one bit. Hell, I’m long overdue for a re-watch now! Anyway, this is the first three-figure set I’ve picked up in this First Ten Years line, but the packaging is still the same. It looks good, it’s collector friendly, but I’m still not going to be keeping the box. With three figures to cover, let’s just dig right in and start with Pepper.

Never did I think I’d be so happy to own a Gwenyth Paltrow figure, but Pepper has been in a hell of a lot of MCU films and it’s long past time she got the Legends treatment. And It seems only logical to go with the movie where she actually got involved in the action. I mean, black sports bra or business suit? That’s not even up for debate. Unfortunately, this figure turned out decidedly average. In terms of sculpting and paint, this isn’t exactly a complex figure, nor did it need to be. The new sculpting for the top of the torso, as well as the bare feet, are new and appreciated, but the paint could have been a lot better, and that’s pretty sad considering it’s just a black top and black pants and virtually no intricate detailed paint hits to be had. The paint lines around her waist are downright sloppy and the bra straps could have been cleaner too. Hasbro has been doing some pretty nice paintwork in this line on even the little things like pouch buttons and belt buckles, so to see this kind of carelessness on a figure that required so little really hurts.

I do think the head sculpt is pretty solid for a 6-inch scale figure. It’s not a dead on likeness, but I can see some resemblance in there. I’d believe that Paltrow has one of those faces that could be tough to get right (I’d argue that even Hot Toys didn’t quite nail her perfectly), so I’m willing to be a little forgiving here. She also doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would approve an action figure likeness, so I’m pretty surprised we got this release at all. Either way, the printing on the face is pretty clean and the hair sculpt looks good. Maybe since now Hasbro has done the head sculpt we can look forward to getting another version of Pepper.

Articulation is everything I expect to find in an MCU Legends lady. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint just under the chest, no waist swivel, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. I will say that the ankle joints look really chunky and I think they blew up her feet a bit to make them work a bit better with those larger joints.


Pepper’s right arm can detach at the shoulder and be swapped out for the one wearing the Iron Man armor sleeve and gauntlet. There’s also a repulsor blast effect part that plugs into the palm. This extra arm is a great addition and I’ll likely display the figure with this look most of the time. On the downside, there’s no articulation in the wrist, which means getting the repulsor effect to fire in a convincing manner isn’t easy. She can’t hold her the arm straight out without the effect shooting at a downward angle. Moving on to The Mandarin…

Now here’s a figure I never thought we would ever get. I’m sure there are still people salty over how Iron Man 3 treated one of Iron Man’s iconic arch enemies. Me? I thought it was great fun and a pretty cool twist, but then I was never a big fan of The Mandarin in the comics or the cartoons. Either way, here he is Trevor Slattery all decked out in his theatrical garb and looking pretty damn great. He’s sporting a pair of camoflague pants, military style boots, and a tunic and waist wrap that has a little bit of a Middle Eastern flavor to it. The real draw here, however, is the coat, which features some really nice attention to detail in the sculpt and some beautiful gold leaf paint on the fixtures and sleeves. Even the coat itself has an embossed floral motif running through it. Oh yeah, they even sculpted all ten of his rings on his fingers.

This head sculpt is absolutely spot on as well. From his long beard to his man bun, I think they did a nice job recreating Sir Ben Kingsley in the makeup.

The articulation here is good, but a lot of it is really hindered by the soft plastic coat. It’s also lacking some of the points we’re used to seeing on the male characters in this line. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and no bicep swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s … The neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. So, what’s here is good on paper, but apart from some gesticulations with his arms, I didn’t find him to be all that much fun to pose. And that brings us to the final figure in the set…

And also the quick and easy repaint: The Mark XXIII Hot Rod armor. I’m pretty sure this is a repaint of one of the War Machine figures (Hulkbuster Wave?), if not I’ll happily stand corrected. It’s also a figure that I have a bit of a disconnect with. I want to applaud the paintwork here because it really is excellent. The gun metal finish on the torso, upper arms, and head all looks great and the flame motif on the legs and metallic red paint on the lower arms also looks superb. So what’s the problem? I just don’t really like this deco all that much. It wasn’t a stand out armor for me in the film, and in as a figure I think it just looks unfinished and strange.

Because he’s a repaint of an earlier figure, he doesn’t come with any extra goodies. No extra hands, no repulsor effect parts, and that’s all pretty disappointing considering the price of this set, which I’ll get into presently. I don’t dislike this figure, but it feels like one of those lone Walmart Exclusives that I would pass up because it doesn’t feel essential to my collection and it doesn’t have a BAF part. Yup, just like all those Back in Black Deadpools that are clogging up the pegs at my local Target.

Wow, what a mixed bag this set turned out to be! I was excited for both Pepper and The Mandarin, but Pepper turned out to be a pretty mediocre figure and while The Mandarin is pretty solid, it doesn’t justify the $70 I paid for this set. Especially since I could have easily passed on the Hot Rod armor. Hell, $70 for a three-pack of normal sized figures without much in the way of accessories is pretty high even if they all turned out to be excellent must-have releases. Even more surprising to me is that the set appears to have sold out on Amazon, as currently only available from Marketplace scalpers at twice the price. If this were just Pepper and Mandarin at $40 I would have been a lot more satisfied with this purchase, as it is

Marvel (Iron Man) Legends: Iron Man Mark 42 Armor by Hasbro

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.

Marvel (Iron Man) Legends: Iron Patriot (Rhodey) by Hasbro

It’s time once again for Marvel Universe Legends Monday! This has been a polarizing summer of movies. Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Into Darkness… battle lines have been drawn in the Interweb forums and fanboys have been having at each other over these films. I quite enjoyed Iron Man 3, although I’ll admit one of the sticking points for me about the movie early on was the use of the Iron Patriot armor. It took me a little while to come around and concede that copyrights being what they are, there was no way we were ever going to get Norman Osborne and The Dark Avengers, so having War Machine don the paintjob and the name only made sense. I can (begrudgingly) see that now and have accepted it. Debates over the use of the character aside, I love the aesthetics of the War Machine armor in the movies, and I must admit it certainly looks sexy decked out in the Iron Patriot colors.


We’ve already looked at the three figures that make up the first half of this Iron Man Legends wave. There’s not much new here. The character art looks fine and the figure is mounted on his tray beside the Iron Monger BAF part.



Iron Man 2 had its own line of Legends scale figures, and I’m guessing that this release is based off that War Machine mold, but I don’t own it and the Jameson is making me too fuzzy to do proper research, so I’m only guessing. Either way, I confess that I really love this sculpt. It’s both curvy and angular in all the right places and there are plenty of little panel lines to spruce things up. What I’m not as keen on are some of the plastics being used here, particularly the bare red plastic used for the hands and arms. It’s a little swirly, and it doesn’t hold up to the beautiful metallic blue and silver used for the rest of the figure. The quality also doesn’t feel quite up to par. It’s hard to put my finger on what it is exactly. The seams are a bit uglier than usual as well.


And speaking of paint, it’s worth noting that my figure has some stray paint on the face mask. If I was buying this guy off the pegs, I probably would have passed and tried to find a better one, but I got him sight unseen online. In retrospect, it sort of looks a little battle damage-y, so I can live with it. I am, however, really happy with the way the little tampo marks came out, particularly the Lt. Col. James Rhodes on the breast plate. It’s just a nice cool touch.


Patriot comes with a detachable shoulder mounted gun. There are two peg holes in the back so it can be positioned over either shoulder, but it really only looks right to me over his left shoulder. The gun features a swivel, as well as a hinge so that it can fold up or retract entirely behind his back. Of course, you can also just pull the whole thing out if you prefer.



Let’s roll out the articulation… The head is ball jointed and hinged as well, which gives it that little extra bit of movement that I love. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and hinges and swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and hinges and swivels in the ankles. There’s also a ball joint in the torso that features a really nice range of motion. It’s also worth mentioning that the shoulder armor is soft, rubbery plastic so as not to impede the range of arm movement. What does bother me is that the sculpted armor on the wrists won’t let the left hand bend back to bring his palm repulsor to the ready unless you cock the arm at the elbow.


Despite my issues with the plastic and a couple of paint flubs, I still really like this figure. He’s far from perfect, and that’s a shame because he could have been a homerun if not for some of the niggling little issues. That having been said, he looks damn fine on the shelf and he really is fun to play around with. It’s too bad the QC guys were asleep on the job and let this one slip out the way it did. Not a terrible figure, but he doesn’t live up to some of the better work we’ve been getting out of the Marvel Legends line.