#1329: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (TOY BIZ)

“To the public, Tony Stark is a handsome, jet-setting industrialist and inventor. What they don’t know is that he leads a second life as Iron Man. The armored Avenger gets his fantastic powers from his suit of micro-mesh armor. It gives him superhuman strength, the ability to fly via his jet boots, and a variety of built-in weapons, foremost among these being his devastating repulsor rays! Iron Man is dedicated to defeating those forces that would threaten the security of the nation and the entire world.”

Iron Man is easily one of Marvel’s best known characters these days, but that wasn’t always the case.  Aside from a brief cartoon runs in the ‘60s and ‘90s, he was largely out of the public eye until his 2008 film.  So, in 2002, when Toy Biz launched Marvel Legends as a follow-up to their successful Spider-Man: Classics line, and had Iron Man as one of the headliners of Series 1’s four figure assortment, it was a pretty big deal.  It’s hard to believe now, but when Marvel Legends debuted, the most demanded figure by far was the Iron Man.  Can you even imagine a time when the fanbase didn’t let out a collective groan at the inclusion of an Iron Man figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As noted in the intro, Iron Man was released in the first series of Toy Biz’s Marvel Legends line.  There were actually two Iron Men in the assortment; the regular release reviewed here, and the one-per-case horned-mask variant.  Even later, there was also a Walmart-exclusive release, which decked this guy out in his stealth colors.  This guy is based on Tony’s classic armor from the 60s and 70s, which at this point hadn’t been released in plastic form for almost two decades.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 38 points of articulation.  Some of the articulation (particularly the neck movement and the mid-torso joint) is a bit antiquated, but it’s mostly pretty workable.  Amusingly, some of the articulation the was more quickly deemed out of date within the line itself has actually become the more standard way of doing things, so in some ways he fits in better with the more recent Hasbro offerings than he does the later TB offerings.  Iron Man sported what was, at the time, an all-new sculpt, which would later be used for the Silver Centurion armor, as well as War Machine and Magneto.  The build is a little bulkier than the usual depictions of the classic Iron Man armor, but it actually makes sense, since it’s supposed to be wrapped around a normal-sized guy; it’d have to be a little heftier in real life.  The proportions are actually pretty solid for a figure of this era.  Compare this guy to his Series-mate Captain America, and you’ll note that he’s got a much more balanced anatomy.  He even avoids the dreaded duck feet!  The articulation is also pretty well worked-in for a Toy Biz offering; sure, there are still some spots where compromise has been made (the waist really sticks out), but it’s generally a good middle-ground.  In terms of detail work, this guy goes a bit more simplistic than later TB fare (another reason he fits in a bit better with the Hasbro stuff), but that’s definitely a plus.  All of the important details are there, they’re all very sharply defined.  The figure has a removable faceplate, which reveals Tony Stark beneath the mask.  I’ve always felt he bore a resemblance to Timothy Dalton, which is a neat little “what-if” casting idea.  The face has some of the best work on the whole figure, which shows real commitment on the sculptor’s part, since it’s largely going un-seen.  The faceplate is molded to fit into the contours of the face, and it actually stays in place really well.  In terms of paint, Iron Man’s handled really well. He’s got the base red and yellow, which are nice and vibrant, and then on top of that, there’s a hint of silver lightly applied to all the armored portions of the figure, which makes him look suitably metallic, while avoiding the issues of blending that plague the Iron Men that use gold in place of the yellow. Iron Man was packed with a display stand designed to look like a Stark Industries satellite and a reprint of Iron Man #149 (which contains “Doomquest,” one of my favorite Iron Man stories).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy came from my Nana.  Every year, she’d take me and my cousin to Toys R Us at the end of school and let us each pick out one or two things.   Of course, I went through the usual back and forth, having to reassure her that yes I really did want this Iron Man fellow instead of a handful of Attack of the Clones figures like my cousin was getting.  At the time, this guy was still pretty hard to get, so finding him so quickly was pretty sweet.  He was my very first Marvel Legend, and I gotta say, dragging him out for the purpose of this review has reminded me that he’s still very definitely one of my favorites.  As far as classic Iron Men go, this guy really hasn’t been topped.

#1322: Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, & Hammer Drones

PEPPER POTTS, HAPPY HOGAN, & HAMMER DRONES

MARVEL MINIMATES

I haven’t reviewed Minimates in over a month.  That seems slightly odd.  To be fair, I haven’t actually picked up any new sets since the Doctor Strange assortment, so that probably contributed somewhat.  Since I’m leaning pretty heavily on the back catalog at the moment, it’s only fair that I look back at a small sampling of my rather large Minimate collection.  Today, I’ll be going way back to 2010’s Iron Man 2, with Pepper, Happy, and a pair of Hammer Drones!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Pepper, Happy, and the Hammer Drones were released in Series 35 of the main Marvel Minimates line, which tied-in with the previously mentioned Iron Man 2.  They were the two specialty exclusive sets; Pepper and Happy were each packed with a Hammer Drone, with Pepper being the more heavily packed and Happy as the one-per-case “chase” figure.

PEPPER POTTS

“Tasked with running all of Stark Industries as their new CEO, Pepper Potts must balance her personal friendship with Tony Stark against mounting evidence that the armor-clad hero may be unable to control his own demons.”

Definitely the heaviest-hitteriest-character featured here.  This was Pepper’s second time as a Minimate (her first ‘mate came from the first film).  The figure is a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  She’s built on the basic ‘mate body, with add-ons for her hair, skirt, and bracelets.  The skirt was a re-use from the Series 18 Gwen Stacy, and the rest of the add-ons were new to this figure.  I’m not sure exactly which part of the movie she’s from, but her general look is captured.  The end result is decent enough.  Not the most thrilling ‘mate of all time, but she gets the job done, I suppose.  As far as paint goes, she’s fairly bland again, but the colors seem appropriate to the movie, the application is pretty clean, and the Gwenyth Paltrow likeness is decent (certainly better then the first Pepper).  Since this series predates the standard inclusion of display stands, Pepper includes no accessories.  I suppose they could have given here, like, a phone or something, but it’s not a huge deal.

HAPPY HOGAN

“Not only Tony Stark’s bodyguard and chauffeur, Happy Hogan is also one of his closest advisors. As events unfold, however, Happy finds himself torn between his friendship with Tony and his feelings for another…”

Holy abandoned plot-lines Batman!  So, in the initial cut of Iron Man 2, Tony’s driver Harold “Happy” Hogan was supposed to at one point confess his romantic feelings towards Pepper, hinting at their pairing up in the comics.  It was ultimately cut for time, which is, honestly, for the best.  Happy got a greatly increased role in the second film (he doesn’t even get named in the first movie), and so he naturally got a Minimate.  This is, to date, the only action figure of Happy Hogan out there, which is pretty nifty.  Like Pepper, he’s built on the standard base body, plus he’s got add-ons for his hair and jacket.  The hair was new (and a decent enough match for Jon Favreau’s), and the jacket was re-used from Back to the Future’s George McFly.  The end result makes for a decent match-up to Happy’s on-sceen appearance.  The paint is pretty solid, but once again, not anything amazing.  He’s mostly molded in black, with some minor detailing for his shirt/tie, and his face.  The face doesn’t look a ton like Favreau to me, but he *does* look like Happy from the comics, so I don’t mind so much.  On his own, Happy’s another figure that’s not super thrilling.  Fortunately for him, he includes some pretty sweet extras.  He has a pair of boxing gloves (calling back to the boxing scene he has with Tony in the movie), as well as the Mark V in its un-deployed briefcase form, and a pair of handcuffs to hook the briefcase to his wrist.  You’ll need to do some very slight modding if you want one of the cuffs to actually go on the handle of the case, but that’s really the only issue.  Otherwise, it’s a really fun little set-up.

HAMMER DRONES

“Created using a fusion of technologies from Stark Industries, Hammer’s own company and Whiplash’s improvisations – the Hammer Drones are immensely powerful and potentially lethal in the wrong hands.”

That’s a great description…of the other Hammer Drones.  You know, the ones that were actually drones and that played a part in the film’s climax.  These guys?  Not those Hammer Drones.  No, these would be the prototype suits that Vanko scraps early into the film, that get no actual fight time, and aren’t even really drones.  I would guess these guys being in the main assortment instead of the ones that actually featured prominently is yet another example of plans changing in a movie after the reference materials have gone out to the licensees.  Worse things have happened.  At least it’s a decent design, right?  The figure uses the base ‘mate body as a starting point, but gets a non-standard head and thighs, as well as add-ons for the chest piece, gloves, belt, and boots.  The pieces actually make for a pretty cool little toy, though it’s rather far removed from the usual ‘mate aesthetic.  In terms of paint, it’s a lot of grey, but there’s nice work, especially on the little caution sections.  There’s a bit of slop and bleed over here, but nothing too terrible.  Like Pepper, the Hammer Drones include no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cosmic Comix got gipped on his Series 35 orders, which meant that I missed out on my usual way of getting the specialty exclusives.  I was able to get Pepper from Midtown Comics during a trip to New York that year, but they had already sold Happy by that point.  It took a year or so, but my parents eventually got me one as a Christmas present.  Pepper’s kind of bland and generic, and the Hammer Droids are ultimately rather inconsequential, but Happy is actually a pretty sweet figure!

#1230: Hulkbuster Iron Man

HULKBUSTER IRON MAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

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One of the cool things about Iron Man (and one of the most toyline-friendly things about Iron Man, as well) is the ability for creators to come up with story or mission-specific armors to suit whatever needs they had.  In the ‘90s, this came to a head with the Modular Armor (probably my personal favorite Iron Man armor), which was by design meant to allow for customization via armor add-ons.  While many of the derivations of the Modular Armor were rather short-lived, the Hulkbuster armor (first debuting in Iron Man #304) was a favorite of just about everyone.  Since it’s introduction in the ‘90s, there have been  no less than three updates to the design, and it’s made its way into just about every Iron Man toyline, and most forms of media.  So far, it’s made four appearances as a Minimate, and today I’ll be taking a look at the first of those.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

hulkbusterimmate2Hulkbuster Iron Man was released in the seventh TRU-exclusive series of Marvel Minimates, as part of a two-pack with Gamma Hulk.  The set was timed to coincide with the release of Series 36 of the specialty line, which was a comic-based assortment, itself designed to tie-in with the release of Iron Man 2 that summer.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, but with the add-ons, he comes close to 3 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  The armor is based on the second iteration of the Hulkbuster, from around the time of the “Extremis” arc, which is a popular choice for Hulbuster figures (and it was the one DST chose for their Marvel Select Hulkbuster as well).  It’s not my favorite Hulkbuster design, but it’s far from a bad one, and it was still more or less current at the time of the ‘mate’s release.  The figure uses add-ons for the helmet/torso, pelvis, hands, thighs, and boots.  All of these pieces were new to this particular figure, but they’ve been privy to reuse in subsequent years.  The best work is definitely in the hands and feet, which are pitch-perfect recreations of the comic design, and exhibit some really great mechanical detailing.  The rest of the pieces are pretty decent too, and I quite like the flip-up helmet piece on the torso.  Of course, it’s at the cost of some of the detail on the faceplate, but it’s not an awful amount of loss.  The paintwork on the figure is passable; it’s from just after the move to make most Iron Man ‘mates all metallic, which means there were still some lessons to be learned.  Namely, the gold is the sort of paint that doesn’t hold up very well to the test of time, which is why my figure looks really worn down.  Still, the red’s pretty nice, and the finish is really clean (also, while the boots look like a different color in the photos, they don’t look that way in person).  Under the torso armor, ther’s a fully detailed torso and head, made up to look like the Extremis armor, which is a pretty cool touch. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Hulkbuster (and his pack ‘mate) was the last set of Minimates I ever bought from what was my local Toys R Us growing up.  I happened to stop in on my way home from work, and found the set.  It was only upon the cashier ringing the set up and applying a discount and sharpie-ing an “x” across the UPC that I realized the store was in the midst of closing down. It was kind of a sobering concept.  Of course, a month after they closed, another TRU opened right across the street, so it was something of an exercise in futility, so whatever.  I ended up giving the Gamma Hulk to my brother (since he’s a big Hulk fan), and keeping this guy for myself.  He hasn’t perhaps aged the best, but he was a pretty cool ‘mate for the time, and is still a solid ‘mate overall.

#1153: Black Widow & Dark Avengers Iron Man

BLACK WIDOW & DARK AVENGERS IRON MAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Hey ho, it’s another Minimate review. They kind of come in clusters, I guess. Of course, where yesterday’s focus figure came from way back at the beginning, today’s is a more recent addition to the line. So, without further ado, here’s Black Widow and Dark Avengers Iron Man!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair is part of Series 2 of the Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Minimates. As with all the Walgreens ‘mates, these two are animated series-based, specifically Avengers Assemble.

BLACK WIDOW

widowdaim2Black Widow is one of the main members of the team in Avengers Assemble, so her appearance here isn’t a huge shock, especially since they’ve been steadily working through the animated incarnation of the team. The figure is a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation. Widow is based on her second costume from the show, which is a bit more distinct when compared to the same basic Widow we’ve gotten a few times, so definitely a good choice. Her only add-on piece is her hair, which she shares with the previously reviewed Gamora ‘mate. It’s a nice enough piece, and I guess it matches well enough with her animated design. The rest of her design is rendered via paint work, which is pretty solid. As I’ve noted a few times before, the animated designs really do translate pretty well to the ‘mate form, and Widow definitely fits that trend. The colors are nice, bright, and bold, and all of the line work is nice and crisp. The figure is packed with a pair of batons and a clear display stand.

DARK AVENGERS IRON MAN

widowdaim3The second season of Avengers Assemble introduced frequent Marvel fixture the Squadron Supreme, who are the Marvel equivalent of the Justice League. They took advantage of the Squadron’s alternate universe to also introduce the Dark Avengers, evil counterparts to the main heroes. DST decided to take advantage of these new designs to offer some slightly more unique designs for the characters we’ve all seen so many times before. The first one was Iron Man, whose design swaps out the red portions of his armor for black, because everyone knows black = evil, I guess. Construction-wise, he’s got add-ons for his helmet, gloves, and belt, as well as special upper arm pieces. Everything is reused, which is generally okay. The Mark 42 arms still aren’t among my favorites, mostly due to serious limitations they place on the shoulder movement. Aside from that, though, he does a decent enough job of capturing the look of the armor on the show. The paintwork on this guy is passable, but nowhere near as nice as some of the others in this subset. He’s rather drab, being a dark blue and a rather cold yellow. Ultimately, he ends up looking like a slightly blander version of the Marvel Now Iron Man from a few years ago. Under the helmet, there’s a Tony Stark face, which is a bit angrier than the usual Tony. The flesh tone on the face is kind of thin, so he ends up looking rather bluish. Also, the figure’s paint just seems rather sloppy in general. The figure is packed with a flight stand and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two were given to me by my Super Awesome Girlfriend, who bought them from a Walgreens during a trip back home over the summer. Apparently, she likes to buy things for me when she’s stressed. Widow’s a pretty solid ‘mate. Dark Avengers Iron Man is…well he doesn’t feel like the most inspired choice. Of all the Dark Avengers designs, his is really one of the less interesting, and to top it off, his paint work is noticeably lower in quality than others in the series. Overall, I think Widow’s enough to save the pack, but it would have been nice if her pack mate had been more exciting.

#1015: Iron Man Mark 46

IRON MAN MARK 46

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

IMMk461

Giant-Man week continues! Yesterday was a slightly more obscure character. Today’s review goes the other direction, with a character that everyone and their mother knows. Yes, it’s Iron Man! You can’t go too many series of Marvel Legends without another Iron Man! There might be, like, riots or something. This figure in particular is based on his turn as an antagonist (but NOT a villain, because there’s a difference) in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IMMk462Iron Man Mark 46 is figure 2 in the Giant-Man series of Marvel Legends. He’s the second of the three Civil War-based figures in this set, which is pretty sensible. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Iron Man has an all-new sculpt, which makes this the first Iron Man since the switch-over to Infinite Series to get one. It’s quite nicely handled. All the details seem to match up pretty well to the armor from the movie. What I really like about it is the bulk to it, which makes him pretty convincingly a guy in a suit in armor. That’s nice, because a lot of Iron Man figures don’t quite manage that. The only slight downside to the size is that it makes the already small Captain America look even smaller. But, that’s hardly this figure’s fault. All-in-all a solid sculpt, though. The paintwork on the Mark 46 is actually quite nice. Recently, Hasbro’s Iron Men have been missing some of the painted details on their backs, which is a little frustrating. However, this guy isn’t plagued by this same issue, as he has all of the proper detailing he should. The application could be a little cleaner, but it’s above the usual quality we see from Hasbro. Yay Hasbro! Iron Man was packed with two pairs of hands in both open and closed poses. The open hands also include a pair of removable repulsor blasts (which can also be plugged into the feet, which quite cool) which are a very welcome addition to Hasbro’s Iron Man arsenal. Lastly, he includes the right arm of Giant-Man, which I’ll cover with the rest of figure later this week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I found this guy twice before actually buying him. The reason for skipping those two was NOT because I didn’t want the figure. Nope, it was because both of those figures had their build-a-figure piece stolen out of the package by some scumbag. Bleh. Fortunately, my Dad came across this guy at the Walmart right outside of the town where my family vacations. Despite having quite a few Iron Men already, I was actually quite looking forward to this guy. The new sculpt and the extra repulsor pieces make him a definite win. He’s easily Hasbro’s best movie Iron Man.

IMMk463

#0992: Space Armor Iron Man

IRON MAN – SPACE ARMOR

IRON MAN (TOYBIZ)

SpaceIM1

Just like Captain America, my first exposure to Iron Man was via his cartoon from the ‘60s. However, unlike poor Cap, Iron Man wasn’t quite as obscure in the mid-90s. While Marvel’s big cartoons in the 90s were Spider-Man and X-Men, both Iron Man and the Fantastic Four received their own cartoons as part of the Marvel Action Hour. By extension, Iron Man (and the FF) got his own line of toys from Toy Biz, right as I was getting into super heroes and action figures. That was really quite convenient, wasn’t it? I’ve looked at a handful of figures from this line, but I’ve yet to look at the main man himself. That changes today, with my review of Space Armor Iron Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SpaceIM2Space Armor Iron Man was released in the second series of the Iron Man line. He was one of three versions of Iron Man in this particular series, all of which were at least somewhat comics-based. The Space Armor has the notoriety of being one of the earliest specialty armors that Tony created. There have been a few different versions of the armor over the years (and a lot of the differences are really just based on inconsistencies between artists interpretations). This particular version was lifted directly from the cartoon’s design, which isn’t a direct translation of any particular look from the comics, but looks somewhat like a cross between the Model 05 and Model 10 armors (aka Marks I and II of the Space armor). The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. Now, the interesting thing to note about Toy Biz’s 90s Iron Men is that each one was a basic figure, with a number of vac metalized armor pieces, which could be clipped on to complete that particular armor’s look. Exactly how close the figures were to their intended design without these pieces greatly varied from figure to figure. Space Armor Iron Man isn’t far off from the intended design, but he’s noticeably a lot sleeker, which results in him bearing more than a passing resemblance to the classic Iron Man design from the 60s/70s. Of course, the Space Armor was really just a slight tweaking of that design anyway, so that’s about right. The base sculpt is quite nicely done, with balanced proportions and some cool little armor details here and there. To facilitate the removable armor, the figure has holes on either side of the torso, the waist, the shoulders, the forearms, and the shins. These can be a bit distracting, but they aren’t terribly so, and the figure doesn’t look horrid without the extra armor. Space Armor Iron Man included eight armor pieces: a chest plate, back pack, two shoulder pads, two wrist guards, and a pair of boots. My figure is missing the shoulder and chest pieces, but you can get a pretty good idea of what the armor looked like. The backpack had a set of handholds that were attached to a hook at the top of the pack. When the handholds were moved a certain direction, the hook would retract. As far as paint goes, Space Armor Iron Man was rather simple, with various reds and yellows, the majority of which are molded plastic. What paint there is has been applied cleanly, and the flat red of the figure and metallic red of the armor work well together. In addition to the armor pieces, this figure also included a missile launcher, though, curiously enough, no actual missile to launch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This Iron Man is a very special Iron Man. And no, not in a “keep your kids of drugs” sort of way. This is my very first Iron Man action figure. You remember waaaaaaaaay back in my review of Night Hunter Batman, when I mentioned my dad finding an Iron Man figure at the Service Merchandise that netted me my second Batman? Well, after he got an Iron Man, I wanted one too. On her way to work one day, my Mom took me to the KB Toys at the mall specifically to get me an Iron Man. I remember we got there before the store opened and I could actually see the display of Iron Men through the store’s window while we waited. After looking at the available options, this was the one I chose, mostly due to him being the closest to the classic Iron Man design, which was the one I was most familiar with. To this day, he remains my favorite Iron Man I own, and I think he really holds up!

#0952: Black Panther & Iron Man

BLACK PANTHER & IRON MAN – MARK 46

MARVEL MINIMATES

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It’s not really news to the regular followers of this site, but I really, really enjoyed Captain America: Civil War. While it was still undeniably Cap’s movie, the supporting players really stood out. One of the best parts of the movie was Black Panther, who was introduced into the MCU with a standout performance from Chadwick Boseman. I can’t wait to see more of this guy! Until his solo Black Panther movie hits, I’ll just have to hold myself over with some of his toys. Though I haven’t yet found his awesome looking Marvel Legends figure, I did manage to snag his Minimate, which I’ll be looking at today, along with his pack-mate Iron Man.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Panther and Iron Man were released in Series 66 of the Marvel Minimates line. The whole series is based on Captain America: Civil War. These two are also one of the shared sets between the specialty and TRU assortments.*

BLACK PANTHER

PantherIM2Amazingly enough, is is only Black Panther’s third appearance as a Minimate. He hasn’t shown up since Series 29! This one is, unsurprisingly, based on his movie appearance. Admittedly, it’s not very far off from his basic comics appearance, so he could really work as either version in a pinch. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. Panther’s only add-on is his mask, which is the same piece used by the last two Panther ‘mates. It’s a well-sculpted, simplistic piece, which suits the character very well. It’s too bad he didn’t get a set of clawed hands as well, but that’s a fairly minor nit. The rest of Panther’s detailing is done via paintwork, and it’s some pretty exceptional work at that. There’s a ton of small detail work to make up the unique texturing of Panther’s costume in the movie, and I love how much depth the variations of finish give him. Under the mask, there’s a fully detailed head, with painted on hair and ears. It’s not a perfect likeness of Boseman as T’Challa; for some reason he’s missing his facial hair (which appears to be the case with the Legends figure as well), and his expression is also a bit bland. But, it’s still a nice touch, and adds an extra bit of coolness to the figure. Panther’s only accessory is a clear display stand. It seems a bit light, but I’m not really sure what else they could have given him.

IRON MAN – MARK 46

PantherIM3Tony Stark really likes tweaking his armor. The Mark 46 serves as his only armor during the course of Civil War (I believe this is the first time he’s only had one). It’s not too far removed from the Mark 45, which he wore at the end of Age of Ultron. However, there are a few minor differences, most of which seem to be there to help bulk Tony up so he doesn’t look too overpowered by Cap. As a Minimate, the Mark 46 is built from the same pieces as the Marks 42 and 43, minus the chest piece. That means he’s got add-ons for his helmet, gloves, pelvis, and boots, as well as a non-standard set of upper arms. It’s not my favorite set of pieces, and the selection isn’t a spot-on recreation of what’s seen in the film (there are way too many join lines), but the end result isn’t too bad. The upper arms are still very limiting in terms of articulation, but the effect is at least somewhat lessened by the omission of the chest plate. The paint does a lot to really sell this figure. The colors of red and gold chosen work pretty nicely together, and the detail lines all do a good job of recreating the on-screen armor. There’s a bit of slop on the arms, but it’s all minor and fairly unnoticeable. Under the helmet, there’s a very angry Tony Stark face. I like the change of expression, though I do wonder why he’s lacking the black eye that Tony was sporting during all of his armored scenes. Iron Man is packed with a spare hair piece, a flying stand, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked these two up from Cosmic Comix the week they were released. Amusingly enough, it was actually on the way to take Super Awesome Girlfriend to see the movie. Panther’s definitely the selling point of this set. He’s a new addition to the MCU subset of ‘mates, and the first shot a lot of newer collectors have had at a Black Panther Minimate. He’s also just a pretty solid ‘mate all around. Iron Man’s certainly not a bad addition, but there’s so many Iron Men out there that this one blends in with the crowd a bit. He’s really not bad, and he may well be my favorite MCU Iron Man. He’s just not super thrilling is all. Still, this is definitely a fun set!

*Amusingly enough, in a similar fashion to the Hawkeye/Vision set, the first Black Panther ‘mate was packed with an Iron Man variant.  History repeats!

 

#0949: Iron Man Now! & Indestructible Hulk

IRON MAN NOW! & INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK

MARVEL MINIMATES

IM&HulkNow1

Okay, today’s another Minimates review. It’s also another Marvel review, another Iron Man review, and another Hulk review. None of those are particularly rare things for this site, so I’ll admit that I’m running out of things to say about them. So, umm, here’s a review of some Iron Man and Hulk Minimates?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were part of the 16th series of Toys R Us exclusive Marvel Minimates. The series was complementary to Series 51 of the main line, and both series were based on the “ Marvel Now!” relaunch from 2013.

IRON MAN NOW!

IM&HulkNow3Though he didn’t get his first ‘mate until Series 6, Iron Man’s become one of the most frequently produced characters in Marvel Minimates. Fortunately, Iron Man’s had lots of diverse looks over the years, which keeps his ‘mates from getting too redundant. This figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and gas 12 points of articulation. He’s based on his Now! look, which was also the inspiration of the Iron Man in the Hulkbuster Series of Marvel Legends. While that figure used Greg Land’s (traced) interiors for its reference (allowing for the figure to be a simple repaint), this figure seems to draw a bit more from the initial (and far more interesting) design for the armor. Iron Man has six add-on pieces for his helmet, chest plate, gloves, and boots, as well as non-standard pieces for his upper arms. The boots are re-used from Series 45’s Mark VII Iron Man, but the rest of the pieces were new to this figure. He’s a little on the bulky side, but the figure does a pretty nice job of capturing the look from the initial design sheets. Also, the shoulders limit movement a bit, but at least they’re better than the Mark 42/43/45 shoulders. The paint on this Iron Man is pretty standard. He’s got the appropriate black and gold for this design, with a few spots of red thrown in. The red is a bit sloppy in some areas, but not terrible. Under the helmet, there’s a Tony Stark face, which for some reason has random patches of black on it. I think that’s a story specific thing, but I didn’t read Iron Man’s Now! series, so I honestly can’t say. The Tony face is consistent with the other modern Tony’s we’ve gotten, so that’s good. Marvel Now Iron Man includes both a normal display stand and a rocket blast stand.

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK

IM&HulkNow2This isn’t the first time I’ve reviewed an Indestructible Hulk Minimate, however, this is chronologically the first of the two produced. This figure presents Hulk in his less armored up appearance, which isn’t quite as exciting a design, but I guess it’s a bit more conventional Hulk. The figure has add-ons for the hair, torso, upper arms, hands, pelvis, upper legs, and feet, and he also has an extra riser piece to make him a little taller. The torso, pelvis, and upper legs are new parts, designed to replicate Hulk’s armored shorts. They’re pretty nicely sculpted, which is good. The rest of the parts are reused, which is alright for the most part. The feet don’t have any toes, which is rather odd looking. Of course, the first 15 Hulks didn’t have toes either, but that was before the move to bulked up Hulks. Hulk’s paintwork is decently handled. The linework seems a little thicker than usual, but it doesn’t look bad. The face is a little odd looking; I’m not sure exactly what his expression is supposed to be. It’s not terrible, but it’s not the greatest. Hulk includes R.O.B. (the Recording Observation Bot), a flight stand (for R.O.B.), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this pair from TRU’s online store, along with two other sets from Series 16. It was kind of an impulse buy. I can’t say this is one of my favorite sets. Iron Man’s a decent enough variant, but the armor wasn’t super long-lived, and isn’t very memorable. Ultimately, he’s a solidly done figure of a rather drab design. Hulk’s okay, but he suffers from being the lesser of the two Indestructible Hulks, and that toe thing is just weird. Not a bad set, but nothing to write home about.

#0936: Silver Centurion Iron Man & Crimson Dynamo

IRON MAN – SILVER CENTURION & CRIMSON DYNAMO

MARVEL MINIMATES

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Hey, how ‘bout another Minimates review? Yeah, that’d be nice, wouldn’t it? And it’s even a Marvel review! I certainly haven’t had many of those recently! Riiiiiiight

Iron Man is undoubtedly one of the biggest name characters in Marvel’s pantheon now, but that wasn’t always the case. Prior to his first movie, there were only five Iron Men in the whole Minimates line, and absolutely none of his foes were represented. Even with the success of Iron Man, Tony wouldn’t get his own comic-themed series until the release of Iron Man 2, which brought us not only some important armor updates, but also some of Tony’s most prominent foes. Today, I’ll be looking at Silver Centurion Iron Man and longtime foe Crimson Dynamo.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in Series 36 of Marvel Minimates. As noted above, the series was released in the summer of 2010 to coincide with Iron Man 2’s release.

IRON MAN – SILVER CENTURION

IMSilvCentDyna2After sticking with more or less the same look for about 20 years, (and then giving said look to James Rhodes after Tony developed a bit of a drinking problem) Tony decided to mix it up and go silver in 1985. While the armor wasn’t incredibly long-lived (lasting about three years real-world time), its rather unique design, and its place in the “Armor Wars” storyline have helped to make it rather memorable. This is actually the second incarnation of this design in the Minimates form. The first was a Previews exclusive, and was from much earlier in the line, so the update was certainly warranted. The figure stands about 2 ¼ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. He’s built on the usual body, with add-on pieces for his helmet, gloves, belt, and boots. All of these are new pieces, and they do a pretty great job of translating the design from the comics. The helmet is slightly too short for the head, but not terribly so. What’s weird is that the prior Silver Centurion had the same issue, despite they two using two different helmet pieces. Aside from that, he’s pretty great, though. The paint on this guy’s pretty strong. The metallic are in full play, and they make him look really sleek. He’s got a bit of detailing on the faceplate and torso, which look nice. Under the helmet is a full Tony Stark face, which has more than a passing resemblance to Timothy Dalton. To aid in showing off the Tony face, the figure includes a spare hair piece, which has been re-used from Series 31’s Captain Marvel. It’s a pretty pitch-perfect match for Tony’s look from the time, so that’s good.

CRIMSON DYNAMO

IMSilvCentDyna3Dynamo gets my vote for best Iron Man villain, if I’m being honest. That’s probably part of why I wasn’t super wowed by Iron Man 2, since it kind of smashed him together with Whiplash and gave us that weird Mickey Rourke character that graced the screen. I’m kinda still hoping to see a proper Dynamo at some point. At least I got a Minimate out of the deal! This figure’s based on Dmitri Bukharin, the fifth incarnation of Dynamo, who’s probably the most definitive of the possible choices, since he was Dynamo during both “Demon in a Bottle” and “Armor Wars,” and his armor is considered the classic Dynamo armor. The figure has add-ons for the helmet, chest armor, gauntlets, and boots. He’s a bit chunky, but that’s pretty appropriate for this incarnation (and most other incarnations) of the character. There’s some pretty cool details in those parts, and the re-use of the Widow’s Stingers from the Champions version of Black Widow is pretty clever. His paint’s mostly just metallic red up and down (as it should be), but he also has some nice detailing on the chest armor and the visor, as well as a full detailing on the underlying head and torso. The head is what makes it clear that it’s Dmitri; there’s no mistaking that mustache! He also includes an extra hairpiece, re-used from Egon Spengler. Dmitri was often shown bald, but it’s a nice inclusion nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most Marvel Minimates, I got these guys from Cosmic Comix when they were first released. Series 36 was a series I had been looking forward to for quite some time, and this pair was part of why I was so invested in it. There are a few minor flaws here and there, but I remain very happy with this particular pair, and they’re two of my favorite Iron Man-themed ‘mates.

#0896: Machine Man & Iron Man

MACHINE MAN & SUPERIOR IRON MAN – MECHANICAL MASTERS

MARVEL LEGENDS (3.75)

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As much as I love what Hasbro’s been doing with the Marvel and Star Wars lines, I do have to admit to being baffled by their recurring choice to give multiple lines of figures the exact same title. When they first started doing Marvel figures in both 6 inch and 3 ¾ inch scales, the larger figures were Marvel Legends and the smaller were Marvel Universe. They also offered some 12 inch figures, under the heading Icons. Well, by the end of this year, all three of those scales will be titled Marvel Legends. I’m sure that won’t be at all confusing. The 3 ¾ inch line has officially switched its title over, and the first product to hit is a series of two-packs. Today, I’ll be looking Machine Man and Iron Man from that particular series.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in the first series of two-packs in the new 3 ¾ inch Marvel Legends line, under the name “Mechanical Masters.” When these figures were shown off at last year, the assumption was that they would be single figures with a shared name, since that’s a pretty common practice for Hasbro. Then they just kind of showed up in two packs, which certainly caught me off guard. In addition to the figures, the set is also packed with a reprint of Superior Iron Man #1, which makes sense for one of the two figures, but not the other.

MACHINE MAN

MechanicalMasters2If you had told me five years ago that I would own two figures of Machine Man, I would have had a long hard laugh. Seems pretty out there to think that such a minor, low-tier character would warrant multiple figures, within a year of each other, but hey, here we are. The figure stands roughly 4 inches tall and has 19 points of articulation. This Machine Man is decidedly more modern take on the character than the larger figure. He’s based on his Tron-styled post-Nextwave design, which I believe is still his current look. More specifically, the character-unique parts (his head and forearms) are directly based on Daniel Acuna’s Avengers 50th Anniversary poster. The real tell here is the forearm configuration; he’s got a buzzsaw and a Sci-fi blaster sort of thing, which are lifted right from the poster. The sculpts are all pretty solid work; the technical stuff on the arms is particularly sharp. The head’s details are a little soft, but they stand out well enough for the scale. All in all, the parts look good, and match up with the mid-sized body that the figure is built on. Machine Man’s paintwork is passable; the general application is pretty clean, though the face is a bit sloppy. The metallic purple is pretty cool, but it probably would have looked a bit better if it were a little brighter, so as to stand out more from the black base color. Machine Man includes no accessories, not even an extra set of normal forearms, which ends up being a little bit limiting.

SUPERIOR IRON MAN

MechanicalMasters3This figure is the required heavy hitter of the set, and…yeah, that’s really all I got. I can’t really figure why this guy got packed with Aaron, since the two don’t really have any history. Retailers just like Iron Man, I guess. The figure is a little over 4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. This figure is based on the “Superior Iron Man” design, from the comic of the same name, after Tony became more of a jerk than usual. This figure gets a new head sculpt and uni-beam and re-uses the body of the Marvel Universe line’s Extremis Iron Man (which was also used for Iron Patriot). That was a decent Iron Man, but it wasn’t even the strongest of Hasbro’s Iron Man sculpt when it was new, and it feels really dated now, especially in terms of poseability. It was also pretty under-sized, and that’s made even worse by the fact that the new head is larger than the original. What’s more, the Extremis armor had a number of major deviations in design from the Superior armor, so it’s not even a particularly clever re-use. The paint is really what the figure hinges on to sell it as Superior Iron Man. Unfortunately, even that’s not really great. In the comics, the suit is bright white and sleek (it’s kind of similar to something produced by Apple), but here it’s mostly a dull silver. Also, while the design in the comics has the black sections, they seem to stand out way more here. With the base colors being darker, the light blue details also tend to be easily lost, which is a shame, because they could have helped to sell the differences in the armor a bit more.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was obviously planning on getting this set as soon as they showed it, though I didn’t initially realize I’d be getting both figures. I got the set from my Dad, who found them while running an errand at Target. Machine Man is definitely the selling point; he’s got some really cool new parts and he’s a really fun version of the character. I do still hold out hope that we might see a Nextwave version down the road, but this one is definitely a welcome addition. Iron Man is kind of a waste of space, if I’m honest. His body is inaccurate and out of date, and I wasn’t much of a fan of the concept to begin with. But who cares? I got another Machine Man!