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Review of Hulk, Iron Man MK43 - Avengers Age of Ultron
Action Heroes Vignettes statues

Dragon
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Introduction

While Age of Ultron might seem like a distant memory, we still have a LOT of product coming this year. Collectors will get crushed by the Marvel influx over the summer, and it won't all just be Ant-Man.

A few weeks ago, I checked out two statues from Dragon Models - Thor and Captain America - based on their costume designs from the new film.  Tonight I'm finishing up with a look at the other two in this release: Iron Man MK43, and the Hulk.

These are part of the Action Heroes Vignettes series, very similar to the Kotobukiya ArtFX line. They are a heavy, solid PVC that focuses on sculpt and paint (especially paint), and are in 1/9th scale. That means an average male should be around 8" tall, and of course, both these characters are over that.

The Iron Man is already available at a number of stores for around $130, while the Hulk is shipping soon, and retails for closer to $180.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Packaging - ****
I really like these boxes, and they give you the impression of 'high end' as soon as you pick them up. They have a wrap around lid, held in place with magnets, and the interior has trays in both the top (left) and bottom (right) half of the box. The graphics wrap around and are extremely attractive, and the materials used in the construction of the box are very thick, very heavy, and very sturdy.

It's all collector friendly too, of course, with no reason to damage anything removing the parts (remember, these are technically 'kits') and putting them back.  There's also a small instruction sheet, although the assembly is straight forward.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Sculpting - ***1/2
The detail and beauty of both sculpts is quite evident right out of the box, although I do think Dragon missed a huge opportunity overall.

The Hulk stands about 10.5" with the base to the top of his head. Since he's in a crouching stance, that makes him even bigger relative to the other statues, but he's still not quite to scale. It's a minor nit, but one that might cause you pause.

The detail work on his face, teeth, eyes and hair is exceptional, particularly for this medium. There's also a soft, subtle texture to the skin, a huge plus over statues done in more traditional resin products where the skin ends up smooth and ceramic in appearance.

He also has a very dynamic pose, the only one of the four I'm reviewing that does.  It makes sense, since dynamic is the only way we ever really see the Hulk, but I think that they should have worked towards a more active look for the entire series.

Iron Man is not dynamic. He's standing stock straight, and while there's actually some articulation (more on that in a minute), he's not going to take any extreme poses. The pose works with the base they've included, set up to look like he's back at Tony's lab.

The detail work on the armor is excellent, however, and he comes in at about 9" tall, with the base. While he might look much larger than the others in the group photo later in the review, that's mostly a matter of perspective (since he's standing closer to the camera). In person, he is slightly bigger than both Thor and Cap, but it seems about right considering a man would be inside the suit.

Both figures assemble easily, although you may have to use some force with the Hulk, especially at the waist.  It's a tight fit, but once he's together he'll stay that way.

My big nit with the series is around the design of the bases.  None of the four match up with any other, making them a hodge-podge on the shelf. Think how much cooler this would have been had they gone with interlocking bases, based on a battle scene from the movie! It's a missed opportunity, since fans who only wanted one or two characters would have been drawn to the others to complete the diorama.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Paint - ****
Clearly, getting the best possible paint job was the major thrust of this series.  It's clear from the marketing materials, and it's clear from the final product.

The Hulk paint work is excellent, and again, that slightly translucent depth they've given the skin sets these well above the standard polyresin style statue. The face is a little bit darker than the rest of the body, but it's only noticeable at the right angle and right light. The slightly mottling and veining to the skin looks great, and they've used just the right amount of wash to bring out the details.

Iron Man is the usual red, gold and silver, but the colors are all very bright, very vibrant, and very consistent.  The tricky gold sections show no inconsistencies in coverage or finish, and there's no bleed or over spray between any color. They market these as having high quality paint applications, and that's no lie.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Articulation - Hulk Bupkis; Iron Man *1/2
These are statues, which implies no articulation. If a statue should manage to get a score in this category, even a low one, it's a positive when it comes time to create the Overall.

Hulk doesn't have any articulation, just like you would expect. He might get a bupkis here, but that won't hurt him at all.

On the other hand, Iron Man actually has some mobility. The posts for his shoulders and legs (hips) are ball joints which allow forward and backward movement, and even a little side to side action.  The post for the neck is also a ball joint, and there's some nice tilt and lean action going on. To top it off, the shoulder pads are attached along a short 'rail', which means they can be adjusted up and down a bit, based on the position of the arm.

The hands also pop on to the wrists with a post, but these have a slight shape to them, making it tough to get any other hand pose.

What's all that mean? In the end, you can really just get a good, well balanced stance without a need for the base, and add a smidge of personality with the neck. It's not a lot, but it's something, and it will improve his Overall.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Accessories - Hulk Bupkis; Iron Man **1/2
Again, statues aren't supposed to have any extras, so getting any score in this category will have a positive effect on the Overall evaluation.

Hulk doesn't really have any, since he needs the base to properly stand. It won't hurt his Overall score, however.

Iron Man's base isn't necessary for him to stand, making it an accessory similar to Thor and Cap. On top of that, it lights up, always a big plus. It requires three AA batteries (the marketing materials say 2, but it's actually 3), but it also has a mini USB plug on the back.  I plugged it in my computer and voila! Lights right up. That's particularly handy, since I'm betting a lot of folks will display this near their computer workstation.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Light Feature - Hulk Bupkis; Iron Man ***
I don't know about you, but I don't expect my statues to have a light up feature either, so when they do, I give them extra love.  Hulk doesn't light up of course, but Iron Man has the base I just discussed.  It's quite bright, certainly bright enough to be obvious in a lit room, and the addition of the USB plug is a big plus.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Value - **
The one killer for these statues is the price.  Iron Man, like the previous Thor and Captain America, will run you around $130 depending on the retailer.  He does have the light up feature, which improves his value, but that's still a healthy chunk of change for a 1/9th scale statue.  Most statues on the market in the 1/9th to 1/6th scale range are running $100 - $120 - think DC Bombshells or Cover Girls, for example.

Hulk, with his extra size and bulk (he's solid through and through, and comes in at 10 1/2" with the base) runs even more, with prices in the $180 range.

The paint work on both of these is excellent, and clearly is a cost factor.  Other statues like those I mentioned have consistent issues when it comes to the paint work - there's almost zero here. Still, it feels like these are a little over priced, although not quite as much as the earlier two.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Things to Watch Out For -
Don't go trying to twist the wrists - they aren't made for it and you can damage the pegs. Otherwise you should be good, since the assembly is straight forward and once together, it all stays together well.

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Overall - ***
These are some very attractive statues, with an emphasis on the paint in particular.  While Thor and Cap were a bit weak in terms of likeness, the sculpt on these two is much stronger as well. Adding in the light up feature and basic articulation with Iron Man is also a win.

I do think they missed a major opportunity not developing bases that interlock to create a larger diorama.  With the right action poses, these could have looked terrific as a team.

But it's really in only one area that they are taking a serious hit - price. If the standard size statues, like Iron Man, were closer to the $120 that we're seeing with other companies, these would pick up extra stars. While Hulk is clearly larger, I think $150 is really his top price point, at least in terms of getting any real value.

Still, fans of the film looking for a lower cost alternative to the Hot Toys action figures should check these out.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - Hulk Bupkis; Iron Man *1/2
Accessories - Hulk Bupkis; Iron Man **1/2
Light Feature - Hulk Bupkis; Iron Man ***
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***

Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has the Hulk for $180, and Iron Man for $133 and both have free shipping!

- has the Hulk for $190 and Iron Man for $155.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just covered the Thor and Captain America from Dragon a few weeks ago. Check out Dragon's site to see the other statues available in this series.

Other Age of Ultron goodies I've reviewed so far include the new die cast War Machine from Hot Toys.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Avengers Action Heroes Vignettes Iron Man, Hulk statue by Dragon

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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