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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Iron Man Helmet Prop Replica
Marvel Legends

Hasbro
Date Published: 2016-09-30
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Introduction

Hasbro took a page from the Mattel playbook and went after the low end prop replica business for their licensed properties.  They've already been doing a bit of that with Star Wars of course, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a plethora of potential in this area. The key to success is producing great quality at a reasonable price.  They can't compete with the $500 props, at least not if they expect to sell them at the local Toys R Us, but they can't give you something worth displaying for $30 either.

Their first release was the Captain America shield, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. They've followed up that successful release with the Iron Man helmet.  Like the shield, the helmet will cost you around $100 at most retailers, and it is available at Toys R Us.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Packaging - ***1/2
One of the very few nits I had with the shield was several rub marks on the high gloss paint job. A big reason for that was the lack of any plastic wrap on the shield inside the box - it was just held in place by cardboard supports.  This time around, Hasbro realized the danger.  This helmet is wrapped in thick plastic before being placed in the cardboard supports, all laid to rest in the larger sturdy box.  This is a much better design, and is more likely to get the helmet to you in the condition it left the manufacturing line.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Sculpting/Design - Cosplay ***; Prop Replica ***1/2
I'm breaking this one up because there's two reasons you might buy this, and they can be quite distinct in their needs.  Cosplayers are always looking for reasonable alternatives, and then there are prop replica collectors, looking for something to hang on the wall.

The edges and lines are much sharper here than on something like the toys you see at your local store.  It's still plastic, but much heavier and denser than usual.  Details look great, and scale is just about right - I can wear it and I have a big head. The lens on the eyes are thick and cross hatched, and look great lit or unlit. They've even included some nice sculpting on the interior to make it appear a little more high tech.

If I had one nit on the general sculpt, it's with the 'screws' on the face plate. These aren't as deeply cut as you'd expect, making it look slightly less realistic. It's a minor nit though, and one most folks won't notice. As a prop replica it's extremely nice, particularly at this price point. Get one of those nicer wig stands to place it on, and you're good to go.

This isn't just a prop replica though - it is designed to be worn by just about anyone.  The helmet has an adjustable chin, with extenders on either side of the jaw line and a flap along the back edge that lifts up.  Inside the helmet is an adjustable strap for your head, so you can better position the entire helmet on your own noggin.

I'm not loving the back flap, however.  The hinge here seems cheaper and allows the lower area of the back of the head to only lift about 30 degrees. The fit of the lower adjustable piece is poor as well, and getting it closed tightly without a gap was difficult at best.

The adjustable jaw line works much better, and allows you to bring the chin out and down, perfect for when the face plate is up. And yes, the face plate CAN be worn up.

The plate is held in place with four sets of strong magnets.  They are designed to be very unobtrusive, and they are perfectly placed on the edge so that the plate can be attached in an upward or downward position.  It's a pretty smart design, although I'd be careful of the paint job when wearing the mask up.

As I said, with the mask up you can extend the chin and lower it, much like the look in the film.  You can also extend the chin while wearing the plate down - people with bigger heads may find this necessary.  It does leave a gap around the top of the plate however, and means the upper magnets won't be engaged.

Being able to adjust the jaw like this does allow the helmet to fit on just about anybody, but that gapping may be too annoying for you. Without you trying the mask on, I can't say whether it will work for you or not. I can say that I have a pretty big head - and a pretty big nose - and I was able to adjust the straps inside the mask to make it possible to have the plate on fully tight with the chin in its proper place.

If you can also do that, there is a bigger issue for the cosplayer. There's no way to breathe. The magnets hold the face plate tight, and the only air getting through is around the neck. You're not going to suffocate in 30 seconds, but walking around a con would get pretty uncomfortable, and you'll sound more like Darth Vader than Iron Man after about 5 minutes.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Paint - ****
As I mentioned in the packaging section, I had some issues with the shield in this category. There were (are) a few rub marks on the high gloss paint job with that release, detracting from the overall look.

No problems here.  The better packing helped of course, but the use of a matte finish face plate reduced the area where scuffs would be more likely.  The high gloss red has no issues either, sparkling brightly all the way around.  The coverage is very consistent and clean, and gives the impression of metal where there is none.

That being said, I suspect some people will not like the less glossy, flat finish on the face plate. This look is pretty common for the MK III when reproduced in collectibles however, including the life size bust that Sideshow produced. At this price point, I think going this route was the smart move. It's tremendously consistent and clean, which adds a lot of realism to the overall look.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Articulation - ***
As mentioned earlier, there's a couple areas of 'articulation'. Obviously, the face plate is removable, but you can also adjust the helmet with the interior straps inside, with the extenders at the jaw, and at the hinge at the back of the neck for a better fit.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Sound Feature - ***1/2
The helmet has both light and sound features, and they both run off a single set of three AAA batteries, not included. The battery compartment is at the chin, and it's easy to open and insert the cells. Once you do, any time you remove the face plate or reattach the face plate you will hear very loud mechanical assembly sounds, just like in the movie. The sounds are loud and clear, with no scratchy noise or tinny timbre.

Light Feature - ***1/2
There's also a light feature for the eyes.  Near the battery compartment, to the side of your chin, is a small button. Pressing it once lights up the eyes (with a sound), and then pressing it again, and again, and again, decreases the brightness down to dark. It works well, and allows for a different appearance in different room light. It's a little tricky to get to the button while you're wearing the helmet, but not impossible.

The eyes also light up when the face plate is put in place, corresponding to the sounds.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - **1/2
This is a better prop replica than a cosplayer tool due to the mentioned issues. Prop replicas aren't a lot of 'fun' - you set this guy on the table and occasionally turn on the lights to wow your friends. A cosplayer would have a lot more traditional fun wearing it, but alas, they'll also suffocate and die.

I've included two photos of myself wearing the helmet - the one below is without the face plate at all, but with the chin retracted fully.  And yes, this is a cautionary photo of what can become of you after 25 years of toy collecting.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Value - ***
One of the big things these have going for them is the price point. At just $100, this version is far below the $400, $500, and higher helmets that we've seen in the past. The quality of the materials, construction, and light feature are all well above what you might expect for this price, although that back neck flap still bugs me.

The photo below is another of me wearing the helmet, this time with the face plate up. Tony Stark got nothing on me.

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not much.  Be careful when adjusting the chin, at least in the beginning. I found that it moved smoother after being extended and retracted a few times.

Overall - Cosplay ***; Prop Replica ***1/2
If you're a cosplayer looking to wear this regularly, the design and articulation areas are critical.  It's going to be tough to breathe in this thing for any length of time, making it less useful and fun, and the fit can be a bit tricky for those with a larger head.  The price is right though, and the light feature works great.

That same price point and light feature are also critical for the replica collector, plus the amazing paint job and great sculpt create an excellent looking replica for the shelf. And you can pop it on your head for a few minutes to impress your friends or scare them away - depends on the friends.

Overall, I'm really happy with what we're getting from Hasbro in this line. Now where is my full size Mjolnir, complete with sound and magnetic action that means only I can lift it (cuz I know where the secret button is)?

The photo below is another of me, this time wearing the helmet with the face plate down and the lights on.  Recognize the t-shirt?

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting/Design - cosplay ***; prop ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Sound Feature - ***1/2
Light Feature - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Marvel Legends Iron Man Helmet prop replica by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
I picked this guy up at Toys R Us for $100. Online options include these site sponsors:

- has it for $100, although it's still on pre-order.

- comes in at $110.

- Entertainment Earth is also at $110.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Hasbro recently released their Captain America shield as part of this Marvel Legends prop replica line. And if you're looking at other metal Iron Man helms, check out the Museum Replicas version which was once seen on Big Bang Theory.

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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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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