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!

Avengers: Iron Man Quarter-Scale Figure by NECA

Lest you thought that NECA’s impressive quarter-scale Captain America figure was a one-shot deal, I present to you the second in their quarter-scale Avengers series: Iron Man! Donning the Mark VII, my favorite armor in his wardrobe, Tony Stark arrived this week to keep my gigantic Steve Rogers company on the shelf. I don’t think this guy needs much more of an introduction, so let’s just get to it!

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Much like Cap, Iron Man comes packaged in a long window box, but this one has been completely redesigned to feature a red and gold motif to match the character. The window has some printed graphics, made to look like a HUD, that point out the LED effects. The back of the package features a little blurb about Stark in the Avengers and has a list of people who worked on the design of the figure.

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Slide the tray out and you’ve got some work to do. Iron Man is held in with tons of twisty-ties. By the time I was finished I had a ridiculous pile of twisty-ties and black plastic bars on the floor beside me. Apart from the pair of swappable fists, that’s all that’s in the box. I was surprised there wasn’t an instruction sheet about the electronics or battery changing or something. I think I may swallow all the batteries just because I wasn’t warned not to. As with Cap, the package is totally collector friendly and you can just put the figure back in the tray and slide him back into the box for storage or display.

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Ah, there’s a reason this armor is my favorite… it’s just gorgeous. I was a wee bit concerned that seeing it in this large scale might change my mind, but it’s only reinforced my love for the design. The mix of sweeping curves and angles scratches my itch right where it counts. The detail represented here doesn’t approach Hot Toys quality, but there’s plenty of fine touches to make it work. Some of the panel lines could have been cut a little deeper to be more convincing, but I’m only offering that up in an attempt to be critical of what is a quite marvelous sculpt. Iron Man stands at almost the exact same height as Cap. Some may point out that his legs are thinner, thus dispelling the illusion of a guy in a suit of armor. I can see that, but at this point, just about every Iron Man figure I’ve seen falls into this trap and I’m at the point where such things don’t bother me anymore.

The paint on the figure is excellent. The red is similar to that rich and beautiful stuff Hasbro used on their Iron Man 2 figures. It sports a  brilliant sheen and gives the Mark VII that great polished new car look. There are obviously different grades of plastic used here, some hard, some soft, but the red is consistent throughout the entire piece. The gold isn’t as brilliant as the red, but still works for me. The silver looks more like a brushed steel finish and it really ties the whole deco together nicely.

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One of the cool things about doing the Mark VII in this scale is the ability to do justice to his flight backpack. The figure has six hinged flaps, which can be deployed upward to give Stark a little extra flight power. Very cool!

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At this point, it’s worth mentioning that Iron Man feels like a far more delicate piece then Cap. Cap is a solid hunk of plastic, which I would have no problem swinging like a cudgel. Iron Man isn’t necessarily fragile, but there are more moving parts involved in the armor (particularly the shoulders and jet pack) and the smooth surfaces and metallic paint are probably more prone to scratches and dings. I have no doubt Cap would survive a shelf dive from the top of any bookcase and come away unscathed, Iron Man most certainly would not.

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Iron Man sports a decent amount of articulation. He’s definitely a giant action figure, although you don’t get the same range of motion from some of these joints as you would in your average Marvel Legends. There are ball joints in his neck, shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles. His arms feature bicep swivels and hinged elbows. The legs have swivels just below the hips, and double hinges in the knees, and his feet are hinged in the middle. His torso features what appear to be ball joints in the waist and torso, but apart from a little twisting in the torso, the movement here offers a lot of resistance, and quite frankly I don’t want to force it. As with Cap, the hip movement is probably the most restrictive, although you can still get a fairly wide stance. The foot hinges are useful because Iron Man is rather top heavy, so by bending the toes down a tiny bit, you can get him to stand quite solidly upright. His shoulder armor is hinged, and if you pop them out, you can clip them back on, but the clips are tiny, so I would not recommend stressing them. Ball jointed connecting arms might have worked better for the shoulders, allowing them to float, but what’s here still allows for an awful lot of arm movement. The bottom line: You won’t get this Iron Man into a punching the ground pose, but you can still get him to do some cool stuff.

Cap comes with two extra hands, both in fists. I’m not a big fan of swapping out hands unless it’s necessary for holding specific accessories. That’s especially the case here since the stock fists have the LEDs in them. Truth be told, I doubt I’ll ever swap the hands. Nonetheless, it is really impressive that NECA was able to deliver both lights in the hand repulsors AND allow for swappable hands.

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So, how about them electronics? Iron Man features four (I’m counting the eyes as one) independent LED lights. By independent, I mean that there are four teeny-tiny switches: One on his back, one on the back of his helmet, and one on each of his forearms, near the wrists. Flip these on and the light show begins. The Arc Reactor light in the chest is ridiculously bright and the eye lights are not too shabby either. The palm repulsors are yellow and a lot dimmer, but still quite adequate. He certainly makes an impressive display when all lit up.

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Like Cap, this figure is “limited” to 7,500. That may sound like a lot, and while the quarter-scale Cap was easy to get (he’s still available at most e-tailers), Iron Man seems to have sold like wildfire. His pre-order was sold out at my usual supplier, but I was able to sneak in a pre-order with the fine folks at Entertainment Earth before he sold out there as well. At about $90, he feels like a pretty solid value. I’m not just saying that because he’s huge. The quality of the figure is excellent and the electronics are surprisingly well implemented. In terms of engineering and construction, he’s a very different figure from Cap, and yet the two display wonderfully together. NECA appears to still be moving forward with the next installment in the line, a quarter-scale Thor, and while no pictures have been seen, the rumor is he has already been sculpted. He’ll certainly be more like Cap, although I’m hoping they go for a soft goods cape. NECA also does’t seem to be backing away from the outrageous claim that hey are doing a Hulk in this line as well!

Marvel (Iron Man) Legends: Classic Iron Man by Hasbro

It’s Marvel Monday! I did ship my Pile of Loot from BBTS last week and there are a handful of Marvel Universe figures in it, so hopefully next Monday we’ll come round and start looking at MU stuff again. In the meantime, let’s finish off the first half of Hasbro’s Iron Man-themed Marvel Legends wave. As I’ve no doubt said in the past, I wasn’t terribly excited to get any of the figures in the first half of this wave, but once in hand the first two have been pleasant surprises. Let’s see if Hasbro can keep that ball rolling with… Classic Iron Man!

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Yep, that’s the packaging we’ve seen the last two times. Not much new to say here. The figure comes mounted on the tray beside one of Iron Monger’s legs, as well as a swappable variant helmet mounted on the other side. It’s worth noting here that Classic Iron Man is another repack, as he was originally released as a TRU Exclusive some time ago. That puts Heroic Iron Man as the only genuinely new figure out of the three. In this case, I don’t mind so much since I’ve never seen the TRU version of the figure, and I don’t have a 6-inch Iron Man on my shelf.

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Before we get to the rest of the figure, Iron Man is packaged with his “horned” helmet, which is a look that I’m not crazy about. It’s nice to have options, but I’m popping that baby off right now and forgetting it exists.

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Ah, that’s better. Over the decades, I’ve gone back and forth over my feelings for the classic armor aesthetic. I loved it as a kid, probably because that’s all there was. I turned on it at some point in the 90’s, and lately I guess nostalgia has kicked in because I’m back to digging it a lot. It’s those ribbed boots and gloves and the organic looking gold limbs that really drive home that memory of peddling my bike down to the Woolworths and leafing through comic books until I was thrown out for not buying anything. Part of what I dig most about it is that it looks appropriately primitive besides the various other armors and it’s cool to line them up “Hall of Armors” style to see the progression. But yeah, the rest is pure nostalgia. It’s that same clean and classic look that makes me love a lot of vintage sci-fi designs.

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There’s not a lot to say about the sculpt, other than it is fabulous. The muscles look great, particularly his abs and his back. That great ribbing, I mentioned earlier, is sculpted into the boots, gloves, and pelvic area. Unfortunately, the discs on his hips aren’t hinged so they will interfere with some wider stances, and I’m afraid to go too far lest I pop them off. As usual, Iron Man has one hand sculpted in mid repulsor blast and the other balled into a fist for punching fools. The soles of his boots are sculpted with repulsors and some panel lining too.

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Threre’s actually very little paint on this figure to speak of. Hasbro molded the bulk of him in red and gold plastics. The faceplate is painted gold, as are the little bit of forearms before the gloves. The paint matches the gold plastic fairly well. The red plastic looks more metallic than the gold, but all in all it’s a fairly attractive deco.

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Classic Iron Man features some very nice articulation. The neck is ball jointed, plus you get the extra hinge. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinged elbows, and swivels and hinges in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels and hinges in the ankles. The torso swivels at the waist and features an ab crunch hinge. My only complaint here is the awkward ball joints in the hips. Sure they’re poseable, but you really need to work to get them to do what you want. Hasbro… stop using these!!!

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I didn’t include a shot of the BAF progress when I looked at Heroic Age Iron Man, but now that I’ve got two legs and a torso, I thought I’d put together what I can. Holy hell, Hasbro, why is it so difficult to snap the legs on this goddamn thing? I seriously had to put the torso against a wall and lean on the leg to finally get it to pop on. Apart from that, Iron Monger is looking mighty damn cool.

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And so, I tried to resist this trio of figures, but they turned out to be a nice little set, and Classic Iron Man here is certainly a worthy addition to my Hall of Armors. It’s worth noting that these were a lot easier to find on the pegs than other Marvel Legends waves. All three figures were plentiful at both the Target and Walmart in my area, so I didn’t have to hunt for any of them. They were all pretty much just impulse buys. Hopefully that will be the case with the second half of the wave, because those are three figures that I’m really excited about getting. Alas, if these three don’t start selling down, the second half of the wave will likely rot in the backrooms, and I’ll wind up paying a premium for those online in order to complete my Iron Monger.

 

Marvel (Iron Man) Legends: Heroic Age Iron Man by Hasbro

It’s Monday. It’s Marvel. It’s Marvel Monday. I’m all out of Marvel Universe figures from my new receivings, but I do have some in my Pile of Loot at BBTS, so I’ll probably be shipping that soon. In the meantime, there’s still Marvel love to be had. I went out to Target to get coffee this morning and came home with another Iron Man Legends figure. Despite the fact that the grocery is in the front of the store and the toys are in the back, for some reason I always have to walk through the action figure aisle to get to the market area. I guess I was never all that good at geography.

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Hey, we’ve seen this before! It’s the same style packaging used for Iron Patriot. I dig it. It’s a little Marvel Legends, and a little Iron Man 3. It displays the figure well and you get to see that you’re also getting one of Iron Monger’s gams. Not a whole lot else to say here, so let’s shred it!

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I am quite a big fan of the Heroic Age aesthetic, so this figure is right up my alley. It appears to be a brand new sculpt, but considering I haven’t collected Hasbro’s other 6-inch Iron Man lines in the past, there could have been an earlier release that got past me. Either way, it’s the proportions of this figure that really impress me. He’s sleek, but with just enough bulk to convince me that it’s a guy wearing armor. The sculpt hits all the right points as well. This armor isn’t replete with all the little panel lines as the current stuff, but there’s enough detail here to drive home the art styling featured in the comics.

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The deco here is the familiar red and gold we see with most of Stark’s armors. The figure is cast in a pearlescent red plastic with the gold bits painted on and the overall effect is pretty nice. The red plastic looks good, but it is a little swirly in some areas and I don’t like it nearly as much as that glorious thick red glossy lacquer finish that appeared on the Iron Man 2 figures. The metallic gold finish is neatly applied and quite brilliant. The figure is rounded out with some little blue paint apps and white in the eyes. All in all, this guy’s coloring is decent enough and he really pops on the shelf.

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Iron Man’s articulation is fantastic. He has ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips, and his neck features an extra hinge. His elbows and his knees are both double-hinged. He has swivels in his biceps, waist, and thighs. His wrists have swivels and hinges, and his ankles feature hinges and rocker joints. You also get an ab crunch hinge in the torso. I should point out that the hip joints are traditional ball joints and not those funky ones that Hasbro has been using a lot lately. Bottom line is that the articulation here feels solid and useful, and he is loads of fun to fiddle about with and pose.

Iron Man doesn’t come with any accessories or even a stand. Truth be told, he doesn’t need a stand. He’s such a solid and sure-footed figure he does just fine on his own. He does come with Iron Monger’s left leg.

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I’ll admit that I’m as big a victim of Iron Man fatigue as anyone else. I expected to open this figure and say, “Yup, that’s another Iron Man!” and just relegate him to the shelf and forget about him. But that’s certainly not what happened here. Nope, this figure turned out to be a real homerun and a very pleasant surprise. He looks fantastic and I simply cannot put him down. In fact, he’s going to receive the ultimate in action figure honors… instead of going on the display shelves, he’s going on my desk so that I can play with him on my downtime. Sorry, Dogpound… you had a good run, but Heroic Age Iron Man is taking your place!

Marvel (Iron Man) Legends: Iron Patriot by Hasbro

In honor of the forthcoming Iron Man 3 movie, Hasbro has hijacked a wave of Marvel Legends to produce six Iron Man themed figures. Actually, they’re coming out in two small waves of three figures each, but collecting all of them will give you the parts needed to construct a comic version Iron Monger BAF. I was quick to roll my eyes at the thought of more Iron Man figures in the Marvel Legends line, but then I saw the actual Iron Man 3 figures that Hasbro released. Yeah. Considering how unbelievably shitty they look, getting some Iron Man loving in Marvel Legends seems like a nice bone to throw to the collectors. I haven’t committed myself to buying all of these yet, but I couldn’t resist grabbing Iron Patriot when I saw him in the toy aisle the other day.

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The packaging is a hybrid of Marvel Legends and Iron Man 3. Although it still retains the “Legends” moniker on the bubble insert, the top of the cards read “Iron Man” and it features an illustration of that terrible new Mark 42 Armor. It also includes the “Avengers Initiative” emblem, which suggests a tie in to the movie-verse despite the comic book nature of this figure. The back of the card shows the figure in photo and in illustration and has shots of the other two figures from the first half of the wave with the final three blacked out. All in all, I think the presentation here is good, even if the BAF part overshadows the actual figure. Let’s bust him open and check him out…

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But wait? Haven’t we seen this figure before? Yes, he’s a repaint of Extremis Iron Man from the initial wave of the Marvel Legends relaunch with a slight resculpt to the chest. That was a figure that underwhelmed me enough to make my Biggest Disappointments of 2012 list. Why buy him again? Well, partly because I do love me some Norman Osborne and Dark Reign, and partly because… well, it’s amazing the difference that a nice paint job can make. The quality of the paintwork was one of my issues with the original figure, while the size and articulation were the others. At least this figure corrects one of those problems.

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I’m still underwhelmed by the lack of panel lines and detail in the sculpt. I like the overall contours of the figure, but it still seems rather bland for a 6-inch scale piece. Besides the resculpted star on the chest, Iron Patriot also features swapped hands from the Extremis figure, where the right hand is now opened to show the repulsor in the palm and the left hand is now partially closed into a fist.

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Obviously, the big difference here is the paint. I’m always a sucker for the Iron Patriot deco, and Hasbro has done a fairly good job with it here. The metallic blue used on this figure is gorgeous, and I’m also pretty fond of the pearlescent white. The red is a little inconsistent. It has a nice metallic finish on the lower legs and upper chest, while the effect on the forearms and shoulder armor isn’t quite as brilliant. Still, I’m nitpicking here, overall the paintwork is a solid effort and I’d say an overall improvement in quality over the original.

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Despite fresh paint and a little tweaking to the mold, Iron Patriot has the same articulation as Extremis Iron Man. It’s important because one of my major issues with this mold is the hip joints. I’m generally not a huge fan of Hasbro’s ball jointed hips, but they’d be welcome compared to what this guy’s packing. While you can still achieve a fairly wide stance, the forward and backward movement of the legs is inhibited by the sculpt. And the wide stance doesn’t help a lot with no ankle rockers. Granted everything else is pretty good. There are ball joints in the neck, shoulders, wrists, and chest. The elbows and knees are double hinged, there are swivels in the biceps, thighs, and ankles, and the neck has an extra hinge to look up. I would have added a waist swivel too, but nobody asked me.

Iron Patriot doesn’t come with any accessories, but you do get the big torso for Iron Monger. I wasn’t really chomping at the bit to build this guy, but I have to say I’m impressed with the paintwork and sculpt on the torso. Maybe just enough to change my mind.

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I picked up this guy for around $15 and it certainly beats the inflated priced I’ve had to pay when hunting down some of the other Marvel Legends figures. I still have issues with his articulation, and I still think he’s undersized. That having been said, I’m still happy to have him on my shelf. As mentioned earlier, I haven’t decided on whether or not I’m going for this whole wave in order to build Iron Monger. I guess that’s going to depend on how many I can find on the pegs or whether I would need to hunt them down. Either way, this is a solid, albeit not spectacular figure.

Avengers: Stark Tech Assault Armor by Hasbro

Yeah, we’re well into January, but I had other overdue business to get to last week and that left me with one last Christmas present to feature. Although technically, TFC F-4 Phantom and the forthcoming F-15 Eagle were both Christmas presents, as my parents have stopped trying to track what I have in my collection and have resorted to giving me monies to buy my own toys. Anyway, today’s item was given to me as part of one of these nefarious Secret Santa exchanges. I hate these things, mostly because I never know what to get the person and in return I have to act delighted while opening something from someone who had the exact same problem. In this case, I did pretty alright toward the forced focus of my compulsory Christmas spirit and in return I wound up with Iron Man’s giant ass mech suit. I have to give my Secret Santa credit not only for trying but for actually getting me something I didn’t already have. I’ll also grant her (yes, it didn’t remain secret for long) the good taste of not getting me the rather silly Captain America one.


The set comes in an attractive window box with the usual Avengers logo and artwork featuring all the Avengers, or at least the ones that got their own movies. Hawkeye and Black Widow clearly need to get new PR agents. The back panel of the box shows a close up of the armor and points out some of the play features. The idea here is that Stark built a bigger, more powerful mech-style armored suit that he can climb inside while wearing his regular suit. Fair enough, I can get behind that. The other Stark Tech toys are pictured on the bottom edge of the box. Let’s open her up and see what we’ve got…

There are no twisty-ties or anything holding the toys in the tray, which is why I was rather surprised when I took the armor out and it fell to pieces. How this thing stayed together in the package, I have no idea. But virtually all the weapon modules and the left leg fell off instantly. No worries, though, as almost everything on the armor is designed to come off and go right back on again.


Let’s start with the Iron Man Mark VI figure. I was expecting a crappy, limited articulation version like we got bundled with the Quinjet, but I was pleasantly surprised.  What we have here is actually a good figure with solid articulation! Granted, the figure actually requires this level of articulation to work with the armor, but that doesn’t make it any less welcome. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders and elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips and hinged knees, the torso is ball jointed under the chest, and the head swivels. The lack of ankle articulation is a shame and the paintwork doesn’t have that glorious new-car glossy finish like the Iron Man 2 releases did, but those are the only gripes I can bring against this guy. For a bundled figure, he’s not bad at all. In fact, he’s better than most of the single-carded Avengers figures.


The Assault Armor itself is pure bad ass, as it looks like Hulkbuster Armor meets War Machine. The sculpt is packed with detail making it a lot for the eye to take in all at once and it retains the gold and red deco that Tony Stark loves so much. To load the figure inside, the hatch on the torso hinges up and the upper legs hinge down. Once inside, Iron Man uses the triangle cutout where the Arc Reactor would be to look outside. Ok, that’s the one glaring dumb thing about the design. The two translucent blue pods on either side are control ports for Iron Man’s arms. While I’m not usually a proponent of electronics in toys, this thing is screaming for some LEDs or sound. The price range is right, but sadly Hasbro seemed dedicated to cheaping out on a lot of the Avengers toys.

The armor is decently articulated. The arms feature ball joints at the shoulders and hinges at the elbows. The legs rotate at the hips and have ball joints in the ankles. The head can rotate from side to side. Moving the legs is a little tricky with the figure inside as the hatches want to pop open when manipulated. Thankfully, the design doesn’t have Iron Man’s arms going into the mech’s arms, so you can get a wide range of uninhibited arm movement.

Weapons? You want weapons??? Well, they don’t call this thing the Assault Armor for nothing. The legs each feature a missile pod holding three sculpted, non-firing missiles. The right shoulder has a larger missile pod with seven more points of explosive persuasion. The left shoulder has a giant firing missile launcher sculpted to look like a huge gatling gun. Lastly, there’s an arm-mounted firing missile launcher. That’s a lot of firepower for something that could probably just grab Loki by each arm and tear him apart.

What’s better than a lot of weapons? Interchangeable weapons ala MechWarrior, and that’s where the Assault Armor design stumbles. All the weapons are designed to detach and they all use the same sized socket. The potential here was for a fully customizable payload. I mean, hell, even the ankles have weapon ports! Unfortunately, each weapon is more or less designed to go where it is and nowhere else. For example, you can’t swap the right and left shoulder weapons, because they don’t fit right when changed. You could put the missile pods from the legs on the arms, or the gatling gun on the arm, but they don’t look that great. The only thing really designed to be moved is the arm-mounted missile launcher, and that is just designed to go on one arm or the other.                                            

Purists may scoff at this thing and I’ll admit I initially wrote it off as another goofy cash grab like Hasbro trying to sell a Spider-Man helicopter.  But, in the end, I have to say it totally won me over. While Hasbro may have gone overboard doing a Captain America version, which is essentially just a repaint and slight remold, this one sort of makes sense. It’s fun to play around with, but more importantly it looks absolutely fantastic displayed on my Avengers shelf.

Value? Well, the Secret Santa exchange had a ten dollar limit. I’m pretty sure this thing sold for a lot more than ten dollars originally (subsequent research suggests the original MSRP was around $20), but as I can barely make out from the scratched out price sticker it probably came from Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, or Ross, so I’m guessing it was discounted to within the rules of the reindeer games. It’s also one of the few Avengers toys that aren’t still haunting the shelves of regular toy stores, so I don’t know where else she would have found it but at one of those Toy Graveyards. I generally define a “good gift” as something I wouldn’t have bought for myself, but still enjoy, and the Assault Armor certainly fits that bill. It’s a very cool surprise.

FigureFan’s Disappointments of 2012, Part 1

Ok, we’ve seen my favorites, and now it’s time to check out the turds floating in last year’s punchbowl. Again, this was tough, because I try to avoid buying things that look like they will be crap. So maybe the word turd is a little harsh in some cases. Almost nothing on this list is total crap, but everything here definitely disappointed me in some way.

TMNT Classics: Donatello by Playmates… The Classic Turtles are great figures, but they got upstaged on my “Favorites List” by the smaller modern guys in a major way. Nonetheless, Donatello represents here for one reason and one reason only, because of his mad eyes. Ok, I suppose that’s two reasons. The point is that by giving him wonky eyes, Playmates not only ruined the figure, but seriously marred the entire set. How can anyone appreciate their team of turtles on the shelf when Donny is standing there in the back looking like he got kicked in the head one too many times. It’s a crazy example of how one brush stroke can mar an otherwise excellent toy.

DC Universe All Stars: Superboy Prime… Besides turning out as a terrible looking figure, Superboy Prime earns Mattel a Disappointment Award for doing the bait-and-switch. The final product saw major changes from the pre-release images, and while that is bound to happen from time to time, the changes here made a great looking promo figure turn into a terrible release. Even worse, with hardly any brick-and-mortar stores actually carrying the DCU All Stars, I had to buy the figure online, so my disappointment wasn’t realized until I got the thing in hand and it was too late. It’s not often that I can say I regret buying a DCUC figure, but I certainly regret picking up Superboy Prime.

Marvel Legends: Extremis Iron Man… Because I only allowed each toyline to appear once in each list, this slot was a tight race between Extremis Iron Man and Future Foundation Spider-Man. In fairness, on its own this Iron Man is a fairly competent figure, but as soon as you put him up against some of the other figures in Hasbro’s new Marvel Legends line he comes up wanting. He’s too small, not terribly well articulated, and overall underwhelming. I kind of get the feeling that he was just here to fill a slot in a quick and dirty manner (that’s what she said?). And to keep the comparisons rolling, his paint and sculpting don’t even live up to many of the older, smaller and cheaper 3 ¾” Iron Man 2 figures. At least Hasbro released him in two versions, so that the crappy Stealth variant would make the regular one look better.

Duke Nukem by NECA… You’ve got to hand it to NECA, in an effort to be as accurate to the game as possible; they obviously wanted to capture the disappointment of Duke Nukem Forever in action figure form. And they did! NECA’s Duke features a solid enough sculpt, but the articulation is downright weird and the paintwork, particularly on the flesh tones, leaves a lot to be desired. And then there are the accessories. Sure, kudos for the cigar, which I promptly lost, but how can Duke come with just a handgun? Where’s his arsenal? And, no, the fact that he has feet doesn’t count as a “Mighty Boot” accessory. Duke should have come with a cool assortment of weapons, instead all he came with was disappointment.

Avengers: “Sword Spike” Thor… While most of Hasbro’s 3 ¾” Avengers figures were disappointments, this version of Thor earns a place on this list because he represented the ultimate in toy company hubris and laziness. Hasbro took what was essentially the exact same figure from the previous year, cut out most of its articulation, gave him a new shitty weapon and put him on an Avengers card. They even kept the same name, which in the new context made no sense because he now came with a halberd and not a sword. To add insult to injury, a lot of stores had this figure hanging just a few pegs away from the better articulated Thor-branded figure… on clearance! It’s the retail equivalent of Hasbro unzipping their pants, pulling out their Mjolnir and slapping us in the face with it.
Ok, that’s enough disappointment for one day. I’m going to take some Topamax and gin to level out my mood and I’ll be back tomorrow with the final five.

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.