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Review of Iron Man "Bones" MK XLI
Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure

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

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Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

I'm a bit behind on Hot Toys reviews right now, and the majority of those are...you guessed it...Iron Man related. If you thought they were done with Iron Man 3, you'd be wrong.

One of the more unique suit designs from the film was called 'Bones', a suit that could break apart and come together in flight. The armor also had a very unusual texture, almost like an anatomy drawing of an Iron Man suit. It was a no brainer for Hot Toys to go after this one, considering how much it stands out from the pack.

He's currently shipping, and will run you around $275 - $285, depending on the retailer. There were no exclusive or special edition versions that I know of.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***1/2
All the usual goodness is here, with a completely collector friendly design and a pretty consistent look with the other Iron Man 3 boxes.  The interior slip card is a bit weak, graphic-wise, but the interior double plastic tray keeps everything safe and sound.

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
What sets this guy apart is the super detailed texture, with tons of pistons, circuits, grills, and other doo-dads fully exposed. It's a very, very cool look, and really makes him visually pop in hand. I don't know that it's a very practical real world design, but that's not what this is all about.

You should also keep in mind that this is not a suit designed to be worn, much like the majority of the IM3 band of bots. That means the torso and limbs are much smaller and narrower than most of the MK suit releases, and won't look as bulky as an MK42, for example. I'm good with that, but I know some collectors dislike any of the thinner designs.

One of the features that made this guy stand out on film was how he came apart to attack, mid-air. To accomplish that, Hot Toys had to get creative...and go a little nuts with magnets.

The figure dissembles far further than any previous suit.  Each leg comes off at the thigh (held in place with a magnet), each forearm pops off just below the elbow (held in place with a magnet), the upper arm pops out of the shoulder joint, the head pops off the neck (held in place with a magnet), and the upper shoulders pop off the torso. By removing these various pieces and putting the exhaust flames in place (more on that in the Articulation and Accessories section), you can re-create his film appearance.

On the downside, this overall design makes a less articulated figure, but that will be covered in depth in a later category. The sculpt itself is very, very cool, and will certainly stand out when on your shelf.

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ***1/2
It wouldn't do much good to have all those tiny sculpted details if they weren't properly painted to bring them out. The realism in the mechanics and circuitry is amazing, and gets even better the more magnification you apply. There is absolutely no slop here, and even the tiniest of details was shown the love.

So why the loss of a half star?  There are two spots where they want you to apply stickers.  Yes, stickers.  There are two stickers for inside the neck, and two stickers for inside the leg, at the top joint. This adds some detail for when you are displaying the pieces separated.  Stickers? At this price point, I don't expect stickers to be the answer, ever.

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***
The overall articulation takes a hit thanks to the design of the break apart function.  It's hard to pull off both, but they've done a reasonable job.

As I mentioned, the true ball neck is held together not with a post and ball, but with a magnet. It's strong enough to keep the head in place with normal handling, and allows for plenty of tilting and lean action.

The shoulder posts are a tight fit, but do allow for the arms to be removed. The shoulders also adjust down slightly to provide more room for movement, but it's not as extreme as some of the other recent suits. The elbow hinge works fine, but the close proximity of the forearm joint (where the forearm complete pops off), can make adjusting the elbow difficult.  The ball wrists work great, and the hands swap easily.

The torso is one of the best joints, along with the neck.  It pops up at two places, allowing more turn and tilt movement than I was expecting. Again, it's not quite as good as the newer diecast releases, but it's an improvement over many of the older plastic designs.

The hips drop down as well to allow more room, but working with them can be tricky. Because the legs detach so close to the hip itself, you don't have a lot of leg to work with. The knee hinge works great, and the ankles also drop down slightly to provide space between the foot and the armor. You won't be able to get much bend or rocker movement out of them, but there's a little.

There's some odds and ends articulation as well, including a half foot joint and joints on the pieces of shoulder armor. But while it might seem like everything you expect is here, there are unique restrictions.

For example, the legs don't turn inward or out nearly as far as you'd expect based on past designs. Because of the design of the joint high on the hip, the armor doesn't allow any side to side movement, and there's no other joint that provides it.  There are several spots like this where you'll find the articulation lacking, particularly for more extreme poses.

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - **1/2
He comes up pretty short in this category, especially when you consider the price point.

He has what is fast becoming the standard set of Iron Man hands - fists, open palms bent back, and one set with completely articulated fingers, designed to fill in for any other poses.  I really do love the articulated set - the fingers work great, and you can create some very natural looks. Extra wrist pegs are not required, because the ball at the wrist is part of the forearm, and it's a true ball, not a rotating hinge.

He also has eight 'flames' of various size. Each pair is designed to attach to a specific body part - a pair for the bottom of the feet, a pair for the shoulders, a pair for the arms, and a pair for the hips.  Attach these and you can use the enclosed stand to recreate the disassembled look from the film. You can also use the foot flames with a fully assembled figure.

Speaking of that stand, it is made up of several pieces.  There's the usual heavy duty bendable post, which you've gotten with other flying bases. There is a second, smaller, thinner post that attaches to the top, specifically included to hold the shoulders and head above the rest. And then there is the octopus-like center with a waist clamp and four bendable metal arms, each with their own clamp at the end.  Put all this on the large, round base, and you can suspend the limbs and torso in all kinds of creative ways.

It is also possible to unscrew the four arms from the waist clamp, and use it in a more traditionally manner, which is what I did in the very first photo. While I like the idea of using the various pieces in the air, I think I'll be looking at creatively using fishing line, rather than this bulky stand.

The very base of the stand is also the same one you've seen before, but as with several other recent releases, they skimped and left the light up feature out. It's not so much that they left out the light up feature - I have no problem with that. It's that rather than design a new base without the feature, they merely left out the lights and re-used the same one. At this price point, I expect a little more effort than that.

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Light Feature - ***
While they might have skipped the feature in the base (and reminded everyone that they did by re-using a base that previously lit up), the other standard lights are all here: chest, eyes, palms.

They've included the 12 small batteries necessary, and you get to insert them. That's good for collectors who are fearful that the batteries might leak over time - if you don't want them in, you don't have to remove them right out of the package, and you if you're a purist MIBer, you don't have to remove the figure from the package to safeguard it.

Putting the batteries in was simple this time around, with all four locations in easy to reach locations. Flipping the switch was fairly easy to do as well, particularly with the palms, but you still have to open the top of the head to get at the switch for the eyes.

The eyes and chest were quite bright and remained that way through the shoot, but the palms were much dimmer. Not sure why that was, but it may have simply been an issue with the batteries. If you plan on using the lights repeatedly, I'd always suggest picking up new batteries, since the ones they provide are going to be on the cheap side.

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***
You won't get a ton of standing poses out of this guy, but you can have a lot of fun coming up with a way to display him in the air, with all his various pieces flying around. I'm thinking about making it like a mobile, with a motor - turn it on and watch the legs and arms spin around!

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - *
Iron Man suit variations are getting expensive, with or without the diecast feature.  Here you have a standard plastic rendition, although he does have one heck of a cool sculpt and paint job. He's pushing $300, which is on the high end, for any Iron Man suit variation. I suppose that with the diecast figures now well over $300 each, it should be no surprise that a non-diecast Iron Man is hitting $285, but it's still painful.

A couple other things harm the value as well. First, there's the stickers, a cost cutting measure I don't expect at this price point. Second, there's the re-use of the display stand base. Since they've used this base without the lights now several times, there really is no excuse for not having a re-designed version.

Shop around at get him for $270 or less, and you can add another half star here. It's still not a great value, but it's getting closer to it.

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
When popping the arms back into the torso, don't put too much pressure on the thin, articulated shoulder armor. Move it out of the way and press on the joint itself.

Overall - ***
There are a lot of Iron Man suit variations that Hot Toys has produced. Some, like Igor, really stand out on the shelf. Others, not so much. Fortunately, Bones falls into the former category, and thanks to a very detailed sculpt and paint job, is a really unique variation. Add in the ability to display this guy in pieces, and it would seem like a no brainer.

There are a couple negatives though that may end up being deal breakers for you. Because of the very features mentioned above, the articulation isn't up to the level of some of the other recent releases, especially the newer diecast figures. There aren't a ton of extras here. And you really can't ignore that price point, which is pushing it for any Iron Man variation.

Diehard collectors looking for a complete House Party Protocol aren't going to care about those issues, and casual fans aren't going to find enough appeal to make the cost justifiable. No matter which camp you're in, the decision will be pretty straight forward.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - **1/2
Light Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - *
Overall - ***

Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow is at $285.

- comes in at just $270.

- is at $275.

- has him in stock for $285.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Most recent Hot Toys Iron Man reviews included the diecast Whiplash, as well as the diecast AoU War Machine.

Other diecast Iron Men variations include the Iron Man 3 War Machine, the Iron Patriot, and the newer MK42.  And don't forget that Hot Toys also did an all plastic War Machine from his first appearance.

Other Iron Man related releases include the Mandarin, the Power Pose MKXLII, the Iron Monger, the Mark V, the Secret Project version, the MKVI, the very cool War Machine, the hot chick Black WidowWhiplash, the Mark III figure, Mark II figure, Mark I figure, and additional Tony Stark men's suit. There are also guest reviews of the Battle Damaged Iron Man and Mech Suit Tony Stark.

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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Iron Man Bones 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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

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