Marvel Legends (Okoye Wave): Invincible Iron Man by Hasbro

Here we go, folks, it’s the last packaged figure from the Marvel Legends Okoye Wave and it is… Iron Man!?! Oh, Hasbro! Well, I guess you’ve been so good about cutting back on your Iron Man releases, I’ll give this one a pass. And in fairness, Hasbro made it so you don’t have to buy this one in order to complete the Okoye BAF, but even so, I couldn’t resist picking this one up when I saw it on the peg. There’s just so much cool extra stuff in the package!

I believe this is Tony’s armor from a recent run of the “All New, All Different” Avengers, or something like that. As most of you know I’ve been on a sabbatical from Marvel’s current books until they get their collective comic book house in order. But hey, I don’t need context to appreciate another variant of the Iron Man armor, especially when it’s a comic-based one. So, let’s get him open and see what he’s all about!

In the comics, it seems like the more advanced Tony’s armor gets, the simpler it looks. That’s definitely the case here and I really dig that. From memory, this suit reminded me a whole lot of the Extremis Armor figure we got way back in the Terrax Wave. When I put them side by side, it’s maybe not quite that striking, but there are similarities. The limbs here are a little bulkier, the torso less stylized, and he doesn’t have the shoulder armor. I like the economy of panel lining, as most of it resides in his abs, and the crystal-style Arc Reactor is pretty cool. He also has a cool looking spine sculpted into his back.

The coloring here is predominantly red plastic. There’s a little of that swirly effect in it, but not too much. Indeed all the red here has a nice, bright new car luster that makes for a snappy looking figure. Gold paint is used sparingly on the toes, inside of the thighs, the biceps, and the fingers. You even get a bit of matte gray under-suit showing around the neck and under the arms. Also, you may note that the pegs in the elbows aren’t painted to match the gold areas. This bugs the hell out of some people, and I get that, but it doesn’t really bother me at all. There are no repulsors sculpted into the bottom of the feet, but for all I know that’s part of the armor design and not an oversight.

I’m a little iffy on the design of the helmet. The eyes have evolved into almost non-existent slits and the face plate has a sharp angle running down the center. It’s certainly different, and I’m thinking it might grow on me the more I mess around with him. I do like the blue used for the eye slits, as they almost give off a glowing effect under the right lighting.

You also get a really cool comic-based Tony Stark head, which really sold me on this whole package. It’s a beautiful sculpt that borders a bit between comic and animated. It’s got some pretty sharp paint and the sculpting for his hair is especially well done. Gotta dig that pompadour! All in all, I think this noggin looks fantastic on the figure.

The articulation holds no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, and hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge under the chest, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. The joints all feel great and I can sort of get him into an acceptable ground pound pose… well, with an emphasis on the “sort of.”

Iron Man comes with two sets of hands, and these include fists and the open hands for firing off his repulsor beams. He also includes a set of blue blast effect parts, which can peg into the open hands. The effect parts work OK, but they do droop a little because they’re made of soft plastic and that ruins the effect a bit.

Lastly, you get this big cannon that clips onto either of Tony’s arms. At first, I thought this thing looked like one of the goofy oversized missile launchers that Hasbro loves to pack in with their 4-inch figures, but I’m guessing it’s supposed to be something that deploys and retracts from the suit. I actually like this thing a lot and you can plug the effect part into the end of it as well. It’s pretty fun.

I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but this figure turned out to be quite a nice surprise. I don’t think the armor design is going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m happy to be getting some more comic-based armors, and while I wouldn’t want this to be an everyday look for Tony, I can get behind it for special outings. Granted, I’m a pretty easy sell when it comes to Marvel Legends. I’m probably as close to a completionist as you can get without actually being one, so it’s not like this one was a hard sell, but I’m definitely glad I picked it up. Come on back tonight and I’ll have a look at the Okoye Build-A-Figure!

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Marvel Legends (Giant Man Wave): Captain America and Iron Man (Mark 46) by Hasbro

Last week saw the Blu-Ray release of Captain America: Civil War, a film that I thoroughly enjoyed in the theater and have now enjoyed even more in the comfort of my own home. Over and over again! Coincidentally, I’m also doubling back to start my look at the Civil War inspired wave of Marvel Legends. Considering I’m so backlogged on these figures, I’m going to be doubling up on a few of these so that I can get through the wave a little quicker than usual. It seemed only natural to kick it off with Cap and Iron Man.

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And here they are in the packaging. Not much new and noteworthy to talk about, other than the movie branding and some nice blue panels on the sides with character art. If I’m being honest, I bought this pair solely for the BAF parts and I doubt I’m alone in that. Let’s look at Cap first to find out part of the reason why…

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Yes, this is Age of Ultron Cap from last year’s Thanos Wave with a fresh coat of paint, and the new deco doesn’t really thrill me. The blue is a lot darker and the white bands from the biceps have been replaced with more dark blue and a less notable red stripe. Most of the other minor differences are just areas where red accents have been either added or taken away.

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Speaking of other things that have been taken away, last year’s release included two extra hands and an unmasked head. Here? Nope, nada, bupkis! The only accessory Cap comes with is his shield.

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It’s the same shield we saw last time, which means it’s got the more realistic straps and detailed sculpt inside. Unfortunately, there’s no way to attach it to his back, unless you use a big wad of blue tack. The bottom line is that unless you’re after a darker, grittier look for Cap, or you want yet another of Cap’s shields rattling around in your accessory tote, the Giant Man head is the only reason to even consider this purchase. Not a bad figure, by any means, but it would have been an easy pass for me. Congratulations Build-A-Figure gimmick. You won this round!

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Iron Man’s Mark 46 armor fares a bit better, as I believe this is a brand new sculpt, but I have so many god damn Iron Man figures in my Legends collection, my eyes start to glaze over when I try to remember them all. It’s at least notably different from the Age of Ultron Mark 43, which was mostly a repaint of the Iron Man 3 Mark 42. Oh, god. I need to lie down. F.R.I.D.A.Y. get me an ice pack.

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I actually dig the look of this design a lot. The overall figure is a lot cleaner than the last two with a little less panel line clutter and the gold is toned down even more than the Mk 43. The more buff look of the chest is pretty cool and the partially shrouded Arc Reactor at least shakes things up a bit. The paint here is also pretty sharp and clean and the red plastic is shiny and vibrant. Alas, the Mk 46 takes a hit when it comes to articulation. All the points are there, but the shoulders inhibit the range of motion in the arms and the hips don’t have a lot of motion either. He’s a solid figure, but there are only so many poses you can get out of him and that’s frustrating.

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Cap may have been cheated out of accessories, but Tony wasn’t. The Mk 46 not only comes with an extra pair of hands (one pair of fists and one pair of repulsor blasting hands), but also a couple of effect parts designed to peg into his palm repulsors. Yeah, they’re blue and that’s odd, but they’re still pretty cool and that’s coming from someone who isn’t generally impressed by effect parts. But even here, there are issues with the articulation. The wrists are limited by the arm sculpt, so getting his hand straight up into the firing position while the arm is held straight out is impossible. You’ve got to bend those elbows!

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You can also put them in the peg holes in his feet. It doesn’t quite position the blasts where they’re supposed to go, but it still works just fine.

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One last thing worth mentioning is the scale here and how it feels off between them. Obviously kids are going to want these figures so they can make them fight each other. And by kids, I my 43-year old ass. But put them toe to toe with each other and Cap doesn’t just come up short, he looks downright puny. I get it, Tony is a guy wearing a suit of armor, so he should be bigger than you average guy. But this is Steve Rogers and he’s not your average guy. Then again, scale always has been an issue with this line and this Cap is definitely rather demure.

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It seems like a while since I came away from a Marvel Legends review and not been on a toy-loving high, but today’s installment of Marvel Monday turned out a little disappointing. Neither of these releases are bad figures, but neither excite me all that much either. Tony Stark obviously comes away as the fresh and new release, but even there I’m starting to feel the effects of iron fatigue. But hey… two BAF parts down!

Iron Man: Movie Masterpiece Diecast Mark III Armor (MMS 256 D07) 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

I’ve got more Hot Toys business to take care of before returning Marvel Mondays to its regularly scheduled parade of Marvel Legends figures. Actually, it might be a couple more weeks before I get back to Legends, which is fine because I’m at least a couple of waves behind and it’ll give me a chance to get caught up. Today, I’m looking at a figure that’s been on my shelf for a little while now, but I’ve only recently got the time to give its proper due. It’s Iron Man, a character that Hot Toys must thank god for every day because they’ve probably made enough money off of Tony Stark to buy themselves a small chain of islands.

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This is only my second figure in Hot Toys’ Diecast Series, the first being Robocop. The packaging here is very similar. You get a snazzy laminate top with line drawings of the armor. I really dig the art design on this package. In fact, I’d dare say it’s my favorite box out of any of my Hot Toys figures. The top three-quarters or so of the box lifts off to reveal the styrofoam cube that holds the goods quite securely. The sheer weight of the box is certainly impressive and this definitely feels like a package befitting of a $300 collectible. The original version of this figure came out in 2008 and was all plastic, so we can only assume that Hot Toys is going to be double dipping on as many of these armors as possible by upgrading them to diecast. After all, they couldn’t milk that House Party Protocol shit forever.

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Here it is, the armor that started it all. Well, sort of. The Mark I was the DIY monstrocity that Tony built in the cave, and the Mark II was the bare metal predecessor to this suit. But here’s the first armor worn by Tony Stark that bore the iconic red and gold in the MCU. While I was really partial to the Mark VII for a while, I always come back to this one as my favorite. I think it’s the lovely contours and less angular nature of the design that really does it for me. It’s not overly busy, it’s well proportioned, has clean lines, and the deco has just the right mix of red and gold in it for my liking. The base figure is stunning and it’s the paint that grabs my attention first. This is as close to a new car finish as one can imagine and the quality control here is stellar. There isn’t a blemish to be found on my figure’s paint to speak of and that in itself is rather impressive. In hand, the figure has a satisfying heft to it, even if most of what you’re touching when you handle the figure is plastic. About the only thing here to dispel the illusion that this is a shrunk down Mark III armor are the three screws visible on the back needed to access the battery compartments.

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There are plenty of little bells and whistles on the suit to enhance its display options. The chest piece and lower abdomen plate are removable to show off the beautiful detail under the armor. These are both held on by tabs and are pretty easy to remove and yet stay firmly in place when handling the figure. The flaps on the upper back are all articulated and can lift up. And the back of the lower legs are also hinged and can be opened to reveal all the mechanical intricacies of the suit’s inner workings. I can’t imagine actually displaying the figure with any of these opened, but it makes for a wonderful experience when handling the figure or showing it off to friends. Of course, these parts also demand extra care when playing around with the suit.

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The helmet looks outstanding and I really dig the exposed linkages around the “collar.” The faceplate is held on by magnets and can be removed to access the switch for the helmet lights. Of course, if you’d rather go with the Tony Stark open helmet look, this figure has you covered with an alternate head.

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It’s a simple ball joint pop-and-swap and very easy to do. The portrait here is excellent, but then again, Hot Toys has been doing enough Tony Starks at this point that their sculptors should be able to do his likeness in their sleep. This head also comes with a magnetic faceplate, which can be attached to the top so that it appears “flipped up.” While the visor is intended to sit on top of the helmet,  it can also be placed over the face for a closed helmet look, but it’s not a perfect fit and leaves a slight gap down near where the mouth is. Even with the tiny gap, though, I think it’s an acceptable option, particularly if you want to go from a closed to open look without bothering with the head swap. Of course, with the alternate head you won’t get the option for the eye lights.

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Speaking of lights, the Mark III has four separate light points on the figure: The Repulsor Beams in the palms, the Arc Reactor in the chest, and the eyes in the head. Each of these have their own independent battery compartment and on/off switch. The switches for the helmet and chest are concealed behind plates, while the ones for the hands are fairly well hidden under the forearms. The lights are pretty bright and visible even in a well lit studio. I also appreciate the fact that they were able to make the Repulsor Beams light up and still keep the swappable hands. There are a total of three pairs of hands. You get one set of fists (non-lit), one set with individually articulated fingers, and one set of open palm angled up to simulate him firing his Repulsors.

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The articulation on the figure is quite good, but it requires a lot of care. There are plates on the shoulders and hips that are attached to hinged flaps to keep them from hindering the limb movement, but it’s pretty important to work these out of the way manually as you pose the limbs. The care is not only to prevent paint scrapes, but to protect the potentially fragile hinges on the plates themselves. The result is that as satisfying as the articulation can be, moving each point can sometimes feel like an event in itself. The engineering, however, is designed to help as much as possible. The arms will pull away from the shoulders to allow for some clearance and the legs will actually pop completely off of the hip ball joints to avoid breakage. Of course even with all these points of articulation, it would still be physically impossible to get the suit into the iconic ground-pound pose. But fear not, because Hot Toys went above and beyond to accommodate by providing an extra lower torso that’s bent in a way to allow for the ground-pound. I love that they did this, but it’s quite a lot to go through and my personal results were a little lacking.

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Hmmmm. It’s close… but not quite. Now I’ll concede I have seen plenty of pictures of this figure in a perfect ground-pound. It’s definitely capable of it, but I just wasn’t willing to risk my figure to try to get a pose for a couple of shots. Indeed, I doubt I’d ever go through the trouble to try again. The process involves removing both plates from the front torso, then pushing a release button to wiggle off the top of the torso, so you’re basically pulling the figure into two halves. The first time I did it, it was a nerve-racking experience, because I just didn’t know how much force I was supposed to be exerting to get the figure apart. Next another release button detaches the lower torso. Now you pop in the new lower torso, put the two halves of the figure together, replace the front torso plates, and do some very scary extreme posing of the left hip to bring the knee up as high as it will go. Now, everything goes back on really easy, and a subsequent attempt at the process was less stressful because I knew what was going to happen, but there’s still the fear of damaging something when grasping the figure tightly enough to do all this. There are just so many moving parts on the figure and so much potential for breakage. In the end, I appreciate the effort, but I’m content to leave it at that.

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The rest of the figure’s accessories include optional display pieces featuring his various deployed weapon systems. You get the shoulder missile packs, the countermeasure systems on the hips, and arm rockets. The shoulder packs look great and are hinged for elevated targeting. The hip pieces are a nice touch, but it’s a rather subtle change. The shoulder packs are super easy to swap out, whereas the hip pieces can be a little stubborn to remove.

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The arm rockets are my favorite of the three weapon systems. I love the way they make the plates look like they actually shifted and the paintwork on the little rockets is beautiful.

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The figure comes with a very impressive stand. It’s designed to look like one of the alcoves in the Hall of Armor, complete with sculpted areas where the feet go. You get a very strong post with a waist grip that is spring-loaded and features foam to gently grasp the figure. The base even lights up. As magnificent as the stand is, I’m rather torn on it. It works great for a totally stiff, museum style pose, but it’s very singular in its intended purpose. If you want to go for something more exciting, the placement of the feet on the stand comes off looking awkward.

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The Diecast Series figures run right around the $300 point. This figure was actually $309. When you consider that the average Hot Toy figure is hitting the $220-250 mark these days, I don’t think the increase in price is all that bad for what you’re getting. Granted, I only have this one and Robocop, but keep in mind the $300 range is about as high end as I get, and both figures have left me more than satisfied. Indeed, both figures are absolute works of art and I’d consider them the finest pieces in my collection. And if there was ever a perfect example of why my Hot Toys Marvel collection is a rather eclectic collection of appearances, the Mark III here is it. There’s no way I can afford every release of every character and so I try to curate my favorite versions and appearances. That’s why I have a First Avenger Cap over an Avengers Cap and that’s why this is the first Iron Man armor I bought. That doesn’t mean I won’t be looking at the Civil War suit in the upcoming year and depending what my financials look like at the time, I’d be open to getting a Diecast Mark VII if and when Hot Toys ever gets around to it.

Marvel Legends (Hulkbuster Wave): Hulkbuster Build-A- Figure by Hasbro

Six figures and a whole lot of Marvel Mondays later and I’m finally ready to build my Hulkbuster. I always find the Build-A-Figures to be a nice slice of pie for desert after a hearty meal of regular Legends figures, but this time it’s different. I don’t think I’ve anticipated a BAF as much as this since way back to Terrax. Maybe Groot. Either way, I’m excited… so let’s see what we’ve got…

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Obviously there’s no packaged shot because this guy’s parts were spread out over seven releases, but there he is all laid out and ready for assembly. Most BAFs consist of six parts (four limbs, torso and head), but Hulkbuster is made up of two extra pieces. Instead of one torso you get a pelvis and front and back halves of the torso. Assembly may be a little more complex, but everything still goes together easy peasy.

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And what a beast he is! Now this is a BAF! It brings me back to the days of the truly giant DCUC Collect & Connect figures like Stel or STRIPE. The scaling on this guy feels really good, especially when standing next to the Age of Ultron armor, which was worn by Tony while wearing this armor. The proportions are appropriately chunky and he just looks like a powerhouse. A couple of my favorite points of interest include the contours of the lower leg armor, the giant slabs of armor on the forearms, and the curved plates that make up his shoulder armor. There isn’t an over abundance of panel lines, so it doesn’t quite give off that hyper-detailed movie look, but it works just fine for me.

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The bulk of the figure is cast in luscious red plastic, which sports a nice sheen, with minimal amounts of those swirly patterns that rear their ugly heads in Hasbro’s plastic sometimes. I hate those. Some of the gold, like the forearm pieces, are bare plastic, while other gold parts are painted. There’s a slight difference between these parts and overall I would have liked a more consistent metallic finish throughout, but then I feel guilty about complaining because so much about this guy is just magnificent. The deco is rounded out by some nice touches of gray.

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Articulation is pretty close to what we’re used to seeing in regular Legends figures. Obviously, the chunky sculpt of the armor is at odds with some of the articulation. Let’s face it, the Hulkbuster suit isn’t supposed to be an acrobat, so I’m pretty happy with the level of posability here. If there’s anything that nags at me, it’s the way the pelvis hooks to the upper torso. There’s a ball jointed post to make the connection, but the ball joint doesn’t swivel. The socket grabs it too tight and if you try to do the swivel it just twists the post. With that having been said, he is an amazingly fun figure to play with.

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Despite a few really minor and picky little issues, I think this figure is a total home-run. It’s exactly the kind of release that the BAF concept was created for. Take a figure that is too big or too complex for a regular release and get him to the collectors by parting him out. Hasbro has given us some real treats since the Legends line returned back in 2012, but it’s hard to think of too many that impressed me as much as having this beast on my shelf. He was worth the wait, and he’s probably going to spend a long time on my desk getting played around with before he finally migrates to my Legends display shelf.

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And that’s finally a wrap for this wave. I’m going to spend the next handful of Marvel Mondays going through the Age of Ultron Avengers boxed set and then we’ll start digging into the Rhino Wave!

Marvel Legends (Hulkbuster Wave): Marvel Now Iron Man by Hasbro

I was going to start today by saying something about how many damn Iron Man figures we’ve had in the Legends line, but looking back, I don’t think it’s really been all that bad. Or at least, knowing Hasbro, it could have been a lot worse. On the flipside, this Marvel Now Iron Man is another example of Hasbro taking an older Iron Man mold and trying to make it work for a figure that it isn’t. We last saw this with the Space Armor from the Guardians of the Galaxy wave, which was reworked from the Heroic Age armor. Now we get the Marvel Now armor as a straight repaint of one of the earlier releases from the 6-inch Iron Man 2 line.

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We all know what the packaging on these looks like by now. The only thing to take away from this picture is that there is a precious Hulkbuster part in there, and man is it big and heavy.

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So, obviously the big departure for Tony Stark’s Marvel Now look is that he abandoned the familiar red and gold deco for a black and gold one. I can’t say as I have a strong opinion on this either way. Sometimes change is good, but things are called iconic for a reason. When it came to Kotobukiya’s ArtFX+ Avengers statues, I went with the iconic, but not accurate, red and gold deco, mainly to balance out the colors of the display more. As a result, I’m kind of glad to be getting this armor in its proper colors now. Unfortunately, it’s not really the proper armor. As mentioned above, this is just a repaint of Hasbro’s 6-inch Mark IV armor from Iron Man 2. It’s got the same basic contours, but it’s clearly not the same design. The original figure even came with a swap out head and hands, and this one doesn’t. Although in fairness, with the Hulkbuster leg in there, I don’t know that there would be room for any extras in the package.

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Now, with that all having been said, I think this is a pretty solid figure for what it is. The design looks great in these colors and the gold paint applications are clean and even. There aren’t many paint operations on the back of the figure, but that’s actually accurate to the design. In terms of the movie armors, my favorites tend to be the Mark III and Mark VII (in that order), but I’d say this is up there for a close third.

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The articulation is solid on paper, but runs into some limitations issue due to the sculpt. If you own a modern Legends Iron Man figure, than you’ll know what to expect. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and the extra shoulder armor pieces are hinged to help them move out of the way. The elbows are double hinged and have swivels in the biceps. The wrists have rotating hinges, but the plates on the backs of the hands really impede movement there. This is annoying, because it’s hard to get his repulsor blast pose right. The hand just won’t bend far enough back. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, and there are swivels at the tops of the thighs. The ankles appear to be ball jointed, but the sculpt there renders those points almost useless. I do really like the plastic they used on this guy and the joints are all solid.

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I should be a lot more cross with Hasbro for what they tried to pull here. You shouldn’t be able to repaint an old figure and call it whatever you want. On the other hand, since I don’t have the previous release of this mold, I’m happy to finally have it in my collection, even if it is in the Marvel Now colors. If I find it bothers me, I can always just call him the Mark IV-B Stealth Armor because that’s a thing that I just made up. In the end, I’d like to think Hasbro had to go the repaint route here to pay for the costs of the Hulkbuster, which is larger and more complex than previous BAFs. And if that’s the case, I’m fine with it.

Marvel Legends (Hulkbuster Wave): War Machine by Hasbro

With the craziness of one holiday behind us, we can now start the slow march to the next one. Decent Black Friday sales for action figures seemed few and far between in my neck of the woods, but I did manage to pick up a few Marvel Legends for cheap and today’s figure is one of them. Let’s check out Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes in the original version of his Marvel Cinematic Universe War Machine armor. He’s also the second rung on the ladder to me building the magnificent Hulkbuster BAF!

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There’s nothing new to say about the packaging. War Machine comes with the Hulkbuster head off to one side and a spare swappable portrait off to the other. It’s probably the lightest and least congested package of this entire wave, but hey… somebody had to come with the head!

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Does this guy look familiar? Yeah, it’s basically a repaint of the Iron Patriot that was part of the Iron Monger BAF assortment, a figure that I looked at back in the Summer of 2013. In fact the only difference in the sculpt here is the left hand, which has gone from the open palm repulsor attack to being a simple closed fist. The sculpt was pretty damn solid to begin with as it features plenty of panel lines and just an overall nice 6-inch scale version of the armor seen in the film.

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The paint is also beautifully executed. The black and silver deco looks sharp and reserved compared to the red white and silver of the Patriot deco. The black uses a subtle bit of glitter, which I really dig and all the paint lines are clean. This figure also features all the same tiny tampos as the original, which include Rhodes’ name stamped vertically on the left of the chest plate, the “FF 445” on the left shoulder and the Air Force emblem on the left forearm. These are all crisp and stand out nicely against the black paint. Considering the face plate paint on my Patriot was rather miffed, I’m much happier with what I got this time around.

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The alternate portrait features the open mask showing Rhodey’s face. Overall the sculpt is pretty good, but the eyes on mine are uneven and do their best to bring the whole thing down. How ironic is it that these factories seem to get people who can’t see properly to paint eyes? At least it’s probably marginally better than the Tony Stark face that I got with my Mark 42 armor. Either way, this extra noggin is about to go into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories with that Stark head.

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The articulation here is solid, but has some issues. The arms feature rotating hinges at the shoulders, and thankfully the shoulder armor is hinged so as not to inhibit movement. There are swivels in the biceps and nice double hinges in the elbows. The wrists have rotating hinges, but the sculpt there really limts some of the movement. The legs have ball joints in the hips, and again the armor sculpt interrupts some of the movement here. The knees are double hinged, there are swivels up at the hips, and while there appear to be hinges in the ankles, the sculpt allows no movement at all. There’s a ball joint in the torso and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Honestly, the poseability here is probably totally accurate to someone wearing a suit like this in real life, but in the films, the wearers were a lot more limber.

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While not really an accessory, War Machine comes with the same shoulder cannon as Iron Patriot. It is removable and can be pegged in two different positions, but it’s clearly intended to be worn to the left. It’s hinged so that it can be positioned in a prone position and then angled up over the shoulder when ready to fire.

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Despite some limits to the articulation and some rough paint on the spare head, I dig this figure a lot. The armor sculpt definitely carries it and I find myself liking the more utilitarian deco a lot better than the flashier Patriot paint scheme. Most importantly, I’m just happy to be able to represent Rhodes on my Legends shelf because he is definitely one of my favorite supporting characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love the fact that he was teased as being one of the core Avengers in a future Phase and I really hope to see Cheadle take the center stage at least once in the MCU.

Marvel Infinite Series: Captain America and Iron Man by Hasbro

I try to work something Marvel into each week, but last week it just didn’t happen. As a result, I’m double dipping today and giving you two figures for the price of one feature. Ok, it’s not really about a sense of value and fairplay, it’s more because these are two pegwarmers from the first wave of Marvel Infinite and I’m not sure each is really worthy of his own feature. Today we’ll check out Captain America and Iron Man…

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Wave 1 consisted of some really solid figures like Wasp, Hulk, Executioner, and then you had these guys. I can understand the need to keep main characters on the pegs, and this is an Avengers based series after all, but Cap and Iron Man figure fatigue was in full swing by the time these figures hit the pegs. This pair was quickly turning into the Bumblebee of the Hasbro Marvel line. Everywhere I went these were the only two I ever saw. Yeah, I still hate this packaging, so I’ll pass on ripping it apart figuratively and jump right it into doing so literally. Let’s start with Cap…

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So, straight away I’m a little confused as to the context here. Logically I would have expected this one to be either a Marvel NOW! or Heroic Age Cap, but he’s clearly neither. Instead what we have seems to be fairly general “use him for whatever you want Cap.” The belt, boot cuffs and raised wings all make him feel like a more traditional appearance of the costume, but he lacks the texturing to the upper body that I usually associate with a Secret Wars era Cap. It’s also worth noting that he’s strapped into that tray so tight that my figure came out a little warped.

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Now that’s not to say he’s a bad figure. In fact, the only thing I’m not terribly keen on are the protruding wings on his mask. They look more like tiny horns than wings. It’s like Rogers borrowed one of Daredevil’s masks and customized it. The coloring on the figure is particularly bright and the paintwork is clean. He also has all the great articulation of the more modern 3 3/4” Marvel bucks, which includes the swivels in the biceps as well as both at the thighs and the boots and the added hinge in the ball jointed neck. He even has lateral rockers in the ankles. Yup, Cap has got loads of poseability and he is damn fun to play with.

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The shield is of the clip-on variety although I haven’t seen this particular one before. It’s dated 2011, but it has four sculpted squares inside the back of it. There’s no peg on it to secure to Cap’s back and no peghole there either, which is a disappointment. On the other hand, the paint on the front of the shield is immaculate.

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Moving on to Iron Man, there’s no mistaking this version, as he’s donning the Heroic Age armor. I’m a big fan of this suit and I absolutely loved the Marvel Legends version from a little while back, so getting to add it to my 3 3/4” collection was a big deal for me. The figure feels like it should be a little bulkier, but otherwise it’s a really nice recreation of this suit in the smaller scale. The red and gold deco is gorgeous and he has the white and blue power points on his legs and hips as well as the Arc Reactor on his chest. You even get painted repulsors on the soles of his boots! He’s not quite as good as a scaled down version of the 6-inch figure, but he still looks great.

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The articulation on Iron Man is a bit more limited than what we saw on Cap. There’s no waist swivel and no swivels in the lower legs. You do, however, still get the ankle rockers, which is always impressive to me when offered in this small scale. His left hand is sculpted flat as if firing off a repulsor blast, but because the wrists have only swivels and no hinges, it’s tough to get him into the firing position, at least not with his arm held straight out. His other hand is balled into a fist.

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Iron Man comes with that ridiculous cone of energy effect part that we’ve seen time and time again. I can’t put into words how much I hate this thing and wish it would go away. It’s supposed to clip onto his wrist, but it doesn’t look like anything. I used to save these, now I just throw them away with the packaging.

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If you’re new to collecting the Marvel 3 3/4” figures this pair can fill a couple of important slots and can be found clearanced at many online retailers for about $5 each. It’s a cheap and easy way to get the characters. They’re both certainly good figures, but long time collectors may find the Cap a little generic and redundant, whereas the Iron Man is certainly worth hunting down and picking up if you want a wide variety of Stark Tech armors in this scale. I picked these up as part of the entire wave a while back and I only now got around to opening them, so that should tell you something.

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends: Iron Man (Space Armor) by Hasbro

I’ve already completed my look at the core Guardians team and that leaves just two figures left in this wave. Today we’re looking at what I expect to be the stinker of the wave: It’s Iron Man in his space armor. Maybe it’s just a case of Iron Man fatigue, but if it weren’t for the fact that I needed the BAF part for Groot, I probably would have skipped this one entirely. But wait, I bought a case, and that meant that I wound up with two of these. Grrrr!

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The front of the package doesn’t actually tie in with the Guardians of the Galaxy at all and only the BAF Groot part serves to anchor this figure to the wave. If you flip the package over you do get the tie-in stated in the short blurb. If you haven’t guessed, this is a comic-based figure as Tony Stark appears wearing this Deep Space suit in the current run of Guardians of the Galaxy. I wouldn’t say it’s to the detriment of the story, but he definitely feels like a third wheel. Or in this case, I guess a sixth wheel. Unless Marvel-Disney has some huge surprise waiting for us, I doubt we’ll see Iron Man make an appearance in the movie, and that’s fine with me. The Guardians deserve their own debut without everyone else glomming on to it.

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So, I was not really a fan of this armor design in the comic and while I’d say it works a little better in action figure form, I’m still not crazy about it. Yeah, it could be that pesky Iron Man fatigue, but I can still admire the design of a lot of the suits from the Iron Man 3 “House Party Protocol” scene, and yet this one still just isn’t doing anything for me. The figure borrows heavily from the Heroic Age Iron Man released a few waves back, which is a figure I actually like a lot, but the changes here don’t do it any favors. The flared shoulders strike me as bizarre and the loss of a lot of the gold highlights doesn’t help either. On the plus side, because he borrows from the Heroic Age figure, he’s one of the chunkier Iron Man figures out there, and I like that because, this is a guy in armor… he should at least look a little bulky.

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The helmet is a huge departure from traditional Iron Man suits and that’s off-putting because we all know that different is unsettling and wrong. There was something else about this helmet that struck me as odd even back when I was reading the comics. I couldn’t put my finger on it until just now… It bears a bizarre resemblance to Optimus Prime from Robots in Disguise. Wow!

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The figure’s deco relies mostly on the red swirly plastic that it’s molded from. While I hated this type of plastic when it was grey and used for Ultron, I actually think the red looks pretty good. The rest of the deco consists of some sharp, glossy gold applications and a rather strange bit of paintwork for the Arc Reactor in his chest. It kind of looks like a sugar cookie.

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Since this Iron Man borrows so heavily from the Heroic Age figure, the articulation is identical. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, hips and wrists. There are double-hinges in the elbows and knees. Swivels are included in the biceps, waist, and thighs. The ankles are hinged and have rockers and the neck features an additional hinge which is very welcome for putting him into flying poses. You also get a nice ratcheting ab-crunch hinge in the torso. The shoulder pieces clip on to the shoulders, which allow them to swivel and accommodate articulation. You can also take them off if you want, but it does leave the little holes in the shoulders exposed. All in all, this is a fun figure to pose and play with.

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Obviously, I’m not enamored with this figure, but it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I guess the best thing I can say about it is that I’m not actually angry that I had to buy him to get the BAF part, but maybe just a little miffed I had to wind up with two. It’s cool that Hasbro released him, since he is in the comic, but let’s face it, this slot in the wave would have been much better spent on a character like Nebula or Ronan. There’s no indication that Hasbro is doing another GotG Wave of Legends so right now it seems unlikely that we will ever see figures of either, and that’s seriously pissing me off.

Iron Man 3: Mark VII Armor ArtFX Statue by Kotobukiya

It’s no secret that Kotobukiya has been sucking down a whole lot of my money lately. It started with the Bishoujo line and then spread to their ArtFX+ statues. Now the epidemic has spread once again with my acquisition of one of their ArtFX statue kits. Not to be confused with the smaller 1/10 scale ArtFX+ the regular FX line consists of the full Sixth-Scale mamma-jamma’s. In my defense, I didn’t wander into this line by mistake, but rather with a single purpose in mind. I desperately wanted a Sixth Scale Mark VII Iron Man to display with my Hot Toys Avengers without having to blow the ridiculous amount of money that the Mark VII figure is going for these days. At least once a week I punch myself in the balls for not picking up that Hot Toys figure when I had the chance. Anyway, after a little searching around, this beauty seemed like a pretty good fit.

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The statue comes in a large and wide package that dwarfs most Sixth-Scale figure boxes. Because this statue is a kit by nature, there’s no window or anything to show you the goods inside, but it does feature some nice artwork and some photos of the assembled statue. It’s worth noting that while this box was re-branded to take advantage of the hype behind Iron Man 3, the statue is the exact same piece that was previously released under The Avengers moniker. Believe me I know, because through a comedy of errors I wound up getting two of these in the same week (one from IM3 and one from Avengers) and in the end due to seller mix-ups and terrible customer service, I didn’t have to pay for either one of them. Freebies! Gotta love em. Branding this statue as part of the third movie doesn’t make a lot of sense, seeing as how little the Mark VII armor was featured in the Iron Man 3, but I’m sure it was just to cash in on the marketing juggernaut.

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Avengers Assemble! Yup, as the box says this is a “pre-painted model kit” and as you can see assembly is required. The statue comes in four pieces (lower half, torso, arms) plus the base and the box for the electronics. You also get three button batteries. But not to worry, you don’t need to be Tony Stark to cobble this baby together. It’s a quick and easy job that just takes a few minutes. You pop the batteries into the box that sticks out of the bottom half of the figure, attach the arms to the torso and put the two halves together, lastly you plug the feet into the base and you’re good to go. Everything fits together very snugly and it is possible to disassemble it again without stressing any of the parts. Being a kit I was worried that this statue would be flimsy, but in hand that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The figure itself is solid and has a nice, satisfying heft to it. The base is made of lighter plastic and it is hollow underneath, but it still supports the figure beautifully. Once together you’d never know it was a kit.

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I really like the composition of this statue, mainly because it isn’t the now cliched “stop in the name of love” pose that has Iron Man firing off one of his palm repulsors. Hey, I dig that pose as much as the next guy, but it’s been done to death and it’s nice to see something a little fresh for this piece. In this case we see Tony in the process of channeling his repulsor power through his Arc Reactor. His elbows are bent and his hands are clenched into fists while the sheer power of the blast causes his feet to dig trenches into the ground. Awesome! In a sea of Iron Man collectibles, I think this one stands out primarily because of this pose. It works well and it really conveys a sense of sheer energy and excitement that makes for a great looking display piece.

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The Mark VII armor is hands down my favorite of any of the movieverse suits and I own enough 3D representations of it that I feel I know it intimately. I doubt anyone will ever do it as well as Hot Toys, but Koto took a swing here and I think they nailed it as best they can in statue form. Granted, the Mark VII is a fairly complex suit and it really does need a lot of individual and articulated pieces to make it stand up to close scrutiny. The sculpt here isn’t up to Hot Toys quality, it can’t be because it’s sculpted from solid plastic, but what’s here is still plenty detailed and I love it. The panel lines are all present and you even get some opened flaps on his legs. I also really dig the bulky stature of the upper body. One thing so many Iron Man figures get wrong is the scale. There’s supposed to be a guy in there and the proportions of this statue makes me believe it.

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I expect nearly flawless paintwork from my Koto statues, and the Mark VII here doesn’t disappoint. The metallic red luster on this figure has that supple new car shine that makes the armor appear as if it just rolled off the assembly line. The high gloss red contrasts nicely with the slightly duller silver and gold to create this iconic ensemble that has become so familiar to both movie and comic book fans alike.

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Of course, bases can sometimes make or break the composition of a statue and in this case, it definitely enhances and elevates the presentation. The way his feet are tearing into the ground adds excitement and intensity. What’s surprising is that the base is a simple hollow piece of plastic, but when viewed from above it looks like something far more substantial. Beyond just looking great, it serves the ultimate purpose of giving the figure a solid foundation to stand on.

The electronics consist of powerful LEDs in the chest and eyes. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but it’s nice and bright and makes for a striking effect. The concealed switch is easily accessible simply by removing his left shoulder plate. In addition to the regular on and off settings, there’s also a sensor setting that will light him up when it detects movement or changes in room lighting.

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Even though I wound up getting this piece for free, I went into the deal paying $120 for it. I was a little leery about spending that kind of money on something like this when I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Koto has never let me down in the past and they certainly haven’t now. The sculpt, paint, and sheer heft of the piece make it well worth the price. The pose is pure killer stuff and best of all this piece displays beautifully on my Hot Toys shelf, which is why I got it in the first place. But the best endorsement I can give this piece is that I’ll be hunting down some of Koto’s other statues in this ArtFX line. Because they just aren’t getting enough of my money as it is.

Marvel (Iron Man) Legends: Iron Monger Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

So, I was originally planning on doing Iron Monger next Monday and making that the last Marvel Monday, but I got an unexpected invite to The Pub tonight and I needed a feature that wouldn’t require a whole lot of time. Iron Monger is just that figure, so that’s why I decided to bump him up to today. Iron Monger’s pieces were spread throughout the Iron Man Legends wave, so to build him, you needed to buy Classic Iron Man, Heroic Age Iron Man, Mark 42 Iron Man, both versions of Iron Patriot and Ultron. We’ve got all the parts, so let’s pop him together! And by “pop him together,” I mean, almost break all the bones in my hand trying to get his legs attached to his torso. Holy hell, this guy ain’t coming apart again anytime soon!

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Sweet Christmas, I love this figure! He’s not all that much taller than your average Marvel Legends, but what he lacks in length, he makes up for with girth. Giggity! Let’s start out with the plastic. I’ve given Hasbro some grief over their quality of plastics lately, particularly the crap they used for Ultron in this very wave. This stuff is glorious. It’s a deep, midnight blue with a subtle metallic sheen. Yes, it has that swirly pattern that I generally don’t like, but on the darker plastic, I think it looks phenomenal. Like Ultron, this figure has almost zero paint apps. You get a little red for his chest and visor, and some black on his arm cables. The look of the plastic was crucial, and the result is glorious.

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As a comic based figure, Iron Monger is a great mix of minimalism and hyper-detail. You get large smooth surfaces like his shoulder armor, his chest and even his head. But then you also get some wonderfully sculpted detail on his lower abdomen and the access port on his back. The sculpting for the segmented fists are crazy detailed and even the soles of his feet have detail and thrusters. The particulars of the sculpt are all wrapped up in a figure that is superbly proportioned. You needn’t bother with any crazy poses, because he looks amazing, just standing right there on the shelf.

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What’s that? You do want to bother with crazy poses? Well, that’s Ok, because Iron Monger brings some solid articulation to the table. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, and ankles. The arms have swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs feature swivels in the thighs and double hinges in the knees. Lastly, you get a very versatile ball joint in the torso. No doubt, this is a fun figure to play around with.

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As far as I’m concerned, the whole point of BAFs and C&Cs is to deliver figures that are too big to fit in a regular carded figure’s package and price point. I’m looking at you Hit Monkey… You should have been a pack-in!!! Iron Monger was a good choice, because he’s certainly a big bulky slab of a figure. He’s a fantastic looking piece that will find a prominent place on my Iron Man shelf and while not every figure in this wave was a hit, even the weaker ones were worth buying to piece together this bad boy!