Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet by Hasbro

It’s been a busy weekend for me, and I’m a little pressed for time on this Marvel Monday, so I thought I’d stick with something that would be a little quick and easy. Hasbro has been using the Marvel Legends moniker to release some toy versions of full-size MCU prop replicas, and while I’ve been able to resist a number of them, I’ve been snapping up most of the wearable helmets. I actually already reviewed the Ant-Man Helmet a little while back, but the one I’m looking at today was actually my first purchase in this line. Let’s check out the Iron Man helmet!

As with Ant-Man’s helmet, this one comes in a fully enclosed box with lots of pictures of the toy inside. The pictures on the box appear to be re-worked a bit, but I’m not going to complain too much because the look of the actual item isn’t too far from the pictures. The helmet comes fully wrapped in plastic to protect the finish, which is most welcome! While the helmet does not require any assembly, you will need a screwdriver to get into the battery compartment if you want to make use of the electronics.

Out of the box, this thing is pretty impressive for a toy! It is a fully enclosed piece and can be worn and removed just by slipping it on over the head. I’ll get to more on that when we open her up. On the outside, it seems like a pretty good recreation of the on-screen prop. One of the things I miss about the early Iron Man armors is the fact that the helmet was a physical object and not just something that magically appears thanks to the help of CG special effects. As with the real deal, this helmet is more about smooth curves than it is about hyper-detail. As a result, panel lines are used sparingly, there are a few faked out bolts, but not a lot more to distinguish the sculpt. And that’s fine by me!

But what impressed me the most at first sight was the quality of the paint. Let’s face it, mass produced toys are not usually known for their precision of paintwork. Hasbro has gotten a lot better, but when you consider something this big, there’s a lot more room for things to go wrong. Amazingly, the finish on this is damn near flawless. The gold used for the face plate is perhaps not quite as luxurious as it looks on the box photo, but it is very nice. It goes for more of a sumptuous satin finish, rather than something bright and reflective, and I dig it a lot. The red on the other hand, does manage to achieve that lovely new-car shine that Stark’s suits tend to flaunt. It’s similar to some of the better finishes they’ve used for the Legends MCU Iron Man figures. I have to scrutinize this thing pretty closely to find any imperfections. Mine has a slight blemish behind the left ear, which really only shows up under bright light, and I can’t be certain it wasn’t something that happened after it had been on display.

The electronics include the light up eyes, which are clearly visible even under the bright studio lights, offering a cool, blue hue when fired up. These will sometimes activate when I pick up the helmet, but always when I remove and replace the face plate.

Removing and attaching the face plate also sets off a litany of sound effects, like servos firing and clamps releasing. It’s very well done and sounds as if all sorts of stuff is going on inside the helmet. The face plate comes completely off and then can be attached in the up position, where it is held fast by magnets. No, it’s not actually sliding up there, and it’s recommended to remove all contact between the two pieces before putting it in that position so as to avoid scratching the finish. The face plate is extremely secure whether in the up or down position, and it makes me wish that Hasbro had used similar magnets to hold the back plate on their Ant-Man Helmet. That one uses a pair of weak friction hinges, which fail every time.

Inside, the helmet does have some finished details, but it also has some more practical stuff going on, like the straps that come in contact with your head. These are adjustable and the helmet, while snug, does fit fairly well on my adult-sized cranium. Still, I will admit that It does get a little claustrophobic in there after a while.

The face plate is also detailed with some interior sculpting on the back. I like the hexagonal patterns, the gears in the cheeks, and the vocalizer plate right where the wearer’s mouth is positioned. The eye slots are surprisingly large on the inside, and yet don’t seem out of scale on the outside.

This helmet set me back about $99 when I got it back in 2019, and if you hunt hard enough, you can probably still find some retailers selling it at that price, although others seem to be asking a good $30 more in some cases. Ultimately, I’m extremely pleased with how this came out, and I’d say that it’s easily the best quality of any of the Hasbro helmets I’ve picked up, and that includes both Marvel and Star Wars. Not only does it look pretty close to the real thing, but the engineering and use of magnets makes it feel a bit more like a premium collectible than a high priced toy. Sure, you can do a lot better, if you want to invest an additional $300-400, but this one suits me just fine! And yes, these chrome paper towel holders make excellent display stands!

Marvel Legends: The Infinity Gauntlet by Hasbro

Wow, this weekend was a beast. I don’t even want to think about how many hours I wound up working. And that means that I got seriously short changed on time for today’s Marvel Monday. I was going to check out some more figures from the Deadpool movies, but seeing as I’m under a time crunch, let’s check out this big goddamn Gauntlet that’s been sitting in the corner intimidating the cats for about a year.

It’s weird seeing the Marvel Legends moniker on something that isn’t an action figure, but Hasbro has been using the series to release some of their 1:1 prop-replica toys. I’ve only reviewed one here so far, and that was the Ant-Man Helmet, but they’ve also done Mjolnir and Captain America’s Shield just to name a few. The Infinity Gauntlet comes in a fully enclosed black box with some pictures depicting the item inside. It’s big and heavy and that gives you a great idea of the plastic behemoth that waits for you inside. It comes out of the box fully assembled, but you will need to install some batteries if you want to get the electronics up and running, and believe me, you are going to want to do that!

The reality bending glove is fashioned all in plastic and I’m pleased to say that Hasbro did not skimp on the size. It looks appropriately huge and awkward when worn by a mere human, but then again it’s meant to! But more on how it functions in a bit. Besides the impressive size, I thought the finish is pretty nice. The entire piece is cast in an antiqued bronze colored plastic, which thankfully looks rich and substantial rather than cheap. It even has a nice metallic sheen to it in some areas, particularly the fingers. I’m glad they went this route, because painting this thing would not only be expensive but also probably make it prone to chipping and wear. It looks like a weathered artifact rather than a shiny new construct, and while that doesn’t necessarily make sense, since it was newly forged in the movie, I dig it. There are some nice sculpted details in the Gauntlet, including scrollwork patterns, rivets, and some plates that are made to look like they are overlapping each other. You also get some sculpted chainmail around the thumb and what are meant to be segmented plates in the fingers.

As for operating the Gauntlet, because it is so big, your fingers don’t actually go into the fingers of the glove, but rather pass through rings that in turn manipulate the fingers when you pull on them. It’s a really clever piece of engineering that allows the glove to work on a much smaller hand than it was designed for. It works really well, allowing each finger to be manipulated on its own. On the downside, you really can’t make a convincing snapping motion with the fingers, but that would have been way to sophisticated with the kind of toy we’re dealing with here. There’s a switch on the Gauntlet right below the big yellow Mind Stone, which can be used to lock or unlock the fingers in the closed position. You’ll note there are some visible screw holes in the palm of the Gauntlet, and while they don’t ruin the toy for me, it would have been cool if Hasbro included some plugs to fill those in, especially at this price point.

Of course, the Infinity Stones are embedded in their proper sockets and they look great. Each one is a unique sculpt and cast in translucent plastic colored to match the respective stones. And here’s where the electronics come in! The battery compartment is concealed in the outer portion of the sleeve. It’s a pretty big door, and if you know what you’re looking for it’s pretty easy to recognize it for what it is. On the other hand, it doesn’t look terribly obvious either. And in case you are wondering, the stones are not removable.

The Stones illuminate whenever you are manipulating the fingers, and they will continue to stay lit for a little while after you put the Gauntlet down. The lights are extremely bright, so much so that I didn’t even have to dim the studio lights for them to show up in the pictures. Just realize that if you are donning this Gauntlet in a room with normal lighting, they are going to look all the more intense! In addition to the lights, you get some great sound effects, including the whirring of the finger joints and the hum of power coming from the Stones. I’m generally not a huge fan of the electronics on these types of prop-toys, but in this case, I think they really add to the overall display and value of the piece.

I hesitated on this piece when it first came out and I’m glad that I did, because I was able to get it at the deep discount of about $70. Nowadays it seems to be going for around $125 on Amazon, but I’m willing to bet that there are still deals to be had. It’s certainly a well constructed and well designed prop-toy. It’s extremely sturdy and I’ll bet it can withstand a good amount of punishment without breaking. The electronics effects are fantastic, and the engineering inside the glove is clever and functions just the way its intended. Granted, I don’t wear this thing a lot, but it does make for an impressive display piece in the corner, and when I happen to glance at it, it usually invokes a big smile and sometimes compels me to put it on for a bit. Of course, there are better replicas of the Infinity Gauntlet out there, but obviously at greater cost, and in most cases not wearable. Ultimately I was glad I picked this one up and I have been keeping an eye out for the Endgame Power Gauntlet that Hasbro also did. I think the two would look great displayed beside each other.

Ghostbusters: Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand by Hasbro

Today’s review comes with a bit of a disclaimer. I jumped on buying this Neutrona Wand as soon as I watched a few videos on it and saw it in action. The build looked good, the electronics looked good, and most of all, it came with an adapter to allow a hose to go into the handle. People speculated that this was to allow it to hook up to DIY Proton Packs, but I saw it as concrete fact that Hasbro would be releasing an official pack to go with it. Will they? Who knows? But it seemed like a worthy gamble. Anyway, the disclaimer in front of this review comes in the fact that my Wand does not work, so I’m really just going to be taking a quick look at this thing before shipping it back to the retailer. I was going to skip it altogether, but then I suppose pointing out the fact that it doesn’t work is an important part of a review. So, let’s do it!

The Wand comes in a fully enclosed box made to look like an old equipment locker. It has a cardboard band around it with the branding, and interestingly enough it’s just branded for Ghostbusters and not the new movie, while the Wand itself is most definitely depicted as it will appear in the new movie. Indeed, I’m assuming the box is supposed to be the Wand’s housing when they find it in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. It’s a nice presentation even if it is just a cardboard box. The Wand is held inside by corrugate filler and comes out of the box all assembled and ready for display. There is a display stand that requires assembly, and I won’t be showcasing that here, as I unfortunately never got that far with this piece. Instead, I’m using just an generic acrylic display stand to showcase it for the review.

Opening the box, the first thing I noticed was how cool the Wand looks. But upon actually taking it out, it struck me how light it was. And maybe that’s a testament to the great job they did on the aesthetics. It may not look like plastic, but it sure feels like it. I’m not saying that the build quality is cheap or insubstantial, but it feels even a bit lighter than a plastic Wand of this size with electronics in it should feel. If I was Hasbro making this, I probably would have put a couple of metal slugs in it to give it some heft. But maybe once the initial shock of the weight wore off quickly, and I began to appreciate how good it looks. I can honestly say that without picking it up or taking a really close look, I could believe that this is an actual prop. There are a few giveaways, but most of it really does look that good. It’s big, but it doesn’t feel oversized, and it definitely feels comfortable in the hand. The pictures depict the wand extended, but the front piece does telescope into the cylinder. I’m not sure if that’s something new seen in the new movie, but it does feel a tad gimmicky. It’s also kind of cheap that it extends with a push of a lever, but has to be retracted manually. I probably wouldn’t mind it so much if mine actually worked and I could see some of the light show on display in that part of the Wand.

The details on display here make this a real work of art. It does indeed look like it’s been cobbled together from old pieces of lab equipment. There are abrasions on the black paint, and some parts even have traces of the original manufacturers etched into them. In some areas the black paint looks like it’s bubbled up in from overheating, the edges are all rubbed down to what is supposed to be the bare metal, the knobs are textured for grip, intentionally sloppy weld marks can be seen where other pieces were joined together. The tubes and wires look convincing, there are warning labels, and best of all, the toggle switches feel great and feature a satisfying snap when you flick them. They feel as authentic as everything else looks. I can imagine it’s pretty damn satisfying to flick them and have this thing come alive as a result, but right now I can only dream.

Even the bottom of the Wand, which I expected to see littered with Hasbro’s licensing shit and legalese and an obvious battery cover, doesn’t break the fourth wall of this prop-toy. On the contrary, it has a metal guide for sliding it onto the Proton Pack, and a hook to hang it on the belt with a carabiner clip. The battery pack is actually a rod that slides into the handle and is completely hidden thanks to some clever design.

The fake gaffer tape that’s wrapped around the barrel is probably the biggest drawback to the piece, as it’s clearly molded plastic, although it does a fair job of trying to look convincing. I suppose if you wanted to you could wrap it in real tape. The forearm grip, on the other hand, is also plastic rather than real wood, but between the excellent sculpt, paint, and weathering, it sure looks real wood that has maybe been coated in lacquer. A couple of the orange buttons look a little cheap and out of place, but I’m really reaching for things to complain about.

And that’s as far as I can take this review. I tried two sets of brand new batteries and got absolutely nothing out of the toy either time. No lights, no sounds, it was just dead. I even watched some videos to see if I was doing something wrong, because the one small folded sheet of multi-lingual instructions that came with it are pretty piss-poor for such a pricey collectible. But nope. This thing was sadly dead on arrival. I was hoping to exchange it with the retailer, but they promptly informed me that they sold out. After a lot of bother, I was finally given the option of keeping it for a $30 credit (It cost $110) or returning it for a refund. I opted to return it. If it shows up again for sale at the same price, I may very well try my luck again. Hell, if they had offered me half off I might have kept it. It really does look that nice. But I feel like every time I looked at it, I would be annoyed at the fact that it doesn’t work. Hopefully, my problems were isolated ones. It would be a shame if Hasbro went through all the trouble to make this look so nice only to have widespread problems with the electronics.

Star Wars Black: Stormtrooper Voice Changer Helmet by Hasbro

Just a quick note: If you’re here for Anime Saturday, I’m sorry to say it’s been bumped this week for an impromptu marathon of Star Wars toy reviews, but things will return to normal next week, I promise! And now, on with the feature…

The action figure aisles are full of Marvel and Star Wars roleplay toys from Hasbro. There’s everything from cheap plastic masks that turn you into your favorite Avenger on the playground to Blaster-style Nerf guns cast in bright plastic to keep you from robbing liquor stores with them. Wait, what? But what’s missing are quality reproductions of some of those movie props. Not roleplay toys, not really prop replicas, but something in between. Well, Hasbro has stepped up with a new line of items to fill that void and today I’m checking out their Stormtrooper Voice Changer Helmet.

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The helmet comes in a box branded to match the Star Wars Black action figure line. It’s a fully enclosed black box with a little red, and some pictures and line drawings of the helmet on each panel. It’s a big box, but the helmet still comes in three pieces and requires some quick assembly.┬áInside the box, each of the pieces are wrapped in plastic and you get a very simple illustrated instruction booklet, which doesn’t really tell me anything I couldn’t have figured out already. The quality of plastic used on the helmet is very solid, but it’s still a toy. It makes for a very sturdy helmet, but it probably doesn’t have the heft of one of the true replicas on the market.

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All assembled, this thing is pretty damn big. Having never held an actual 1:1 scale Stormy helmet, I thought it might be a little too big, but that thought was dispelled when I put it on. More on that in a bit. The sculpt on this thing looks pretty good to me. I’m not one of those people who can pick out all the inaccuracies in things like this, so the die-hard experts can probably poke all sorts of holes in it. I’ll just say it looks close enough for me. I think the sculpting on the induction filters and the vocader look particularly good.

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The finish here is simple plastic. It’s nice and glossy, but it doesn’t quite have that new car finish look to it. There are a few very minor marks from the molding process, but nothing too obvious. The paint is all very clean, but certain parts, like the blue on the exhaust filters, do look a little more toyish than others. On the other hand, I think the paint on the mouth vent and the heat dispersal vents on the cheeks looks really nice. The eye lenses are tinted green and in a lot of conditions they look fine, but sometimes, when displayed under bright lights, the tint doesn’t look quite dark enough. Depending on where I wind up displaying this thing, I may put cards behind the eyes to darken those up. The rubber guard strip that runs above the eyes is indeed rubber and adds to the build quality. The auditory sensor on the right ear presses in to activate the voice changing gimmick, which is a good segue to talk about the electronics.

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The electronics gimmick unfortunately reveals itself on the back of the helmet, both through a speaker and the seams of the battery compartment. It’s easily the biggest defining factor that pushes this into the toy category. It’s not terribly unsightly, but it will forever remind me when I look at it from behind that this is an expensive toy and not a proper replica. It’s a shame because when you get down to it, the voice changing element is not very good at all and I would have much rather they left it out entirely or just maybe put some dialogue clips in it from the films. As it is, I’ve already taken the batteries out and have no plans on using the feature.

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Here’s a peek inside the helmet. Even as a 44 year old dude, this thing fits pretty well, but it’s still close quarters in there. The straps on the top are adjustable to fit your dome, but I have them expanded all the way out. It does have a habit of resting right on my nose, which could get a little uncomfortable after a while. That’s OK for me, since I didn’t buy this to wear, but I think it would be perfectly serviceable for a cosplayer. Of course, that begs the question, if you’re a cosplayer with a full set of Stormtrooper armor, do you really need this helmet.

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To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when I opened this thing, but it turned out to be a really nice surprise. The helmet retails at about $80 and I’m OK with that price. I would have rather they left out the electronics and knocked the price down a bit, but I’m still happy with what I got and very glad I bought it. It’s going to be interesting to see how these sell, but I’m hoping Hasbro has a lot of success with them. I’d love to see them produce some more, particularly a Tie-Pilot helmet and a First Order Stormtrooper.