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The Mandarin - Iron Man 3
Hot Toys

Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


There's been an awful lot of Iron Man figures from Hot Toys - way more than I'm betting anyone ever expected. But Iron Man and Tony Stark are not the only characters in the successful series of films.

We all know that some - perhaps many - Iron Man fans were unhappy with how the character of the Mandarin was handled in Iron Man 3. I liked the portrayal, but I've never been particularly tied to fitting a comic version to a film version perfectly.

Add up a ton of Iron Man figures with a visually interesting 'villain' in Iron Man 3, and the result is my being very excited about the announcement and now release of a figure based on Mandarin from Hot Toys. I know others reacted with less enthusiasm, but I was pretty stoked.

As I said, he's now shipping, and will cost you about $215.

Packaging - ***1/2
The box is pretty basic - shoe box style stuff, couple plastic trays, all collector friendly. Not a lot of text, but a great photo on the front cover. It might be basic stuff for Hot Toys, but even their basic stuff does the job better than most.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Sculpting - ****
I might have a few nits on this figure, but they aren't on the sculpt. This is an excellent, life like portrait, with beautiful detail work in the hair, skin textures and eyes.

The expression is neutral, which works both with the character and with the poses you'd expect with the chair.

While the likeness to the actor is dead on, it's the fantastic detail in the beard and hair that really takes this figure to the next level. The hair line and edges are particularly well done, almost good enough to pass for real in photos.

Each of the hands include the various rings, and they look terrific. Lots of attention to detail again, and all the sculpted hand designs work well with various poses.

Paint - ****
Hot Toys continues their amazing production paint, based on the original outstanding paint master.

A realistic sculpt can be ruined by a weak paint job, and even a mediocre sculpt can look amazing with the right paint application. Getting the production paint ops at this kind of quality is pretty amazing, even after all these years of consistent work.

While the skin tones and subtle variations are amazing, it's the work on the hair once again that sets it apart. There's a gradual variation in the color from the thinner to the thicker areas, just like with real hair - it's impressive work. That sort of subtle transition is rare, and very necessary for this particular character due to the hair style.

Articulation - ***1/2
The TrueType remains one of the very best sixth scale bodies for natural poses. It has a flow and feel to the joints that's practically unrivaled.

That body works terrific here as well, especially when it comes to posing the figure in the chair. He can sit all the way back, with plenty of articulation in the hips, waist and ab-crunch.

The only nit is that the long, thick beard negates most of the neck articulation, making it tough to tilt or lean the head, especially forward. I found it slightly restrictive when trying to get the best look in a sitting position.

The rest of the body worked great, however, and the hands all swap without worry or trouble.

Accessories - ***
Unfortunately, he doesn't get much in the extras department.

He does have the highly carved, heavy looking chair. He fits in it nicely, and it looks great, but I really think they needed to include a back drop as well, similar to what they did with the Godfather.

There's a pair of properly scaled sunglasses that fit nicely on his head, as well as 5 additional hands to go with the two he's wearing. There's a couple fists along with several different poses, all sculpted with the very cool rings on the fingers. There's lots of nice work here, with extreme detail on each ring.

Finally, he has the basic display stand that is usually included for consistency, as well as a couple extra wrist pegs just in case.

While the chair is nice, it's not enough to justify the $200+ price point on this guy.

Outfit - **1/2
The outfit consists of his combat boots, camo pants, black t-shirt, and fold over vest. Wrapped around the vest are a series of belts, knotted in back.

Over all this is his green cloak, with a hard, formed collar. The hood has a small magnet to keep it in just the right spot on his back, which is an unusual addition. I'm not sure it's really necessary, but I'm not complaining.

I'm not thrilled with the quality of the work on the cloak. The cardboard-y collar is a bit cumbersome, and the lining has some unfinished edges that are fraying at the sleeve holes.

I'm also not thrilled with the way the belts are knotted in back. It looks odd, and is fairly thick, not exhibiting the kind of attention to detail I'd expect.

You'll also notice that the edging on the vest has gaps. It doesn't look to me like it's supposed to be that way, and in fact, overall the costume doesn't seem to have the same level of exactness when it comes to being screen accurate. It seems odd to me that they'd have those gaps if they weren't really there, but I haven't seen a still that confirms it's correct. Even if it is, I've seen a ton of variation in how big the gap is, or exactly where it is, which seems odd as well.

The camo paints have the cool, intricate designs down the outside of the leg, and the tailoring is excellent all around. I'm just not sure this is the most screen accurate costume we've seen them produce.

Fun Factor - **1/2
He's not exactly the kind of figure you'll be posing and re-posing over time. You'll be able to find a great pose in the chair, and that's probably going to be the extent of your 'play'.

Value - *1/2
I have been discussing the overall rising costs of Hot Toys figures over the last few months, and I've heard various reasons. For example, the Jor-El figure was higher than usual because of some phantom likeness rights. And yet, here we have another very basic figure, light in the accessories department, running almost as much.

This figure is not worth $215. While I'm sure part of the cost is driven by a lower production size, there's just no way to compare this figure to others in this same price range as little as 6 - 9 months ago.

I'm worried about the high end sixth scale market, and just how much higher the prices can get before there is serious damage. And I'm hoping that things level out here pretty soon, before the number of collectors that can afford the product becomes too small to be able to sustain the production numbers necessary.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***
I'm happy I added this figure to my Iron Man display - he's very recognizable, with a beautiful sculpt and paint job. Even casual Iron Man fans will recognize him from the film, and he's a nice change of pace from the seemingly endless parade of suit variations.

I do have concerns with some of the outfit and its accuracy, as well as the price you're paying for what you're getting. There's no doubt that prices are continuing to rise, and I'm worried about the effect on the market. Only time will tell however, and it certainly doesn't look like it's slowing down the company from producing more characters.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Outfit - **1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- CornerStoreComics has a great price at just $198.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $207.

- Things From Another World comes in at $215.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $215 as well.

- Fanboy Collectibles is at, you guessed it, $215.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a ton of Iron Man figures from Hot Toys, including the new Power Pose Iron Man. Scroll through the list of reviews or use the search function to find the dozens of other reviews.

Discussion:
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Mandarin Iron Man 3 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


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

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