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Hot Toys Iron Man Mark II Exclusive

Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

I checked out the regular release of the uber cool Iron Man Mark II figure from Hot Toys last week, but Jeff is back tonight with a look at the exclusive version of ths great figure. Take it away, Jeff!

Thanks as always to Michael. Now he recently reviewed the MK 3  as did I and though we had slightly differing views in certain areas, we were in total agreement on the fact it was a hands down four star, full score item, no questions. In fact, it’s fair to say that even though we are only in April it’s a very strong contender for 1/6th figure of the year. Until you have sat with it in your hands you can’t fully appreciate just how well thought through and engineered the figure is. That said, as excited as I was to get hold of it, it was the MK 1 that really got my pulse rate up, it’s just such a cool looking figure, so I’m sad to say, for me at least, the MK 2 was kind of stuck in a no-mans land, neither as iconic as the classic red and gold, nor as visually impressive as the cobbled together MK1… but then I got it in my hands…  WOW!

I can now say, hand on my heart I prefer it to the MK 3. Though I would still have to say if you could only have one on your shelf, then it’s obvious that the MK 3 is the most iconic, hell Stan Winston Studios designed an outfit that was very close to the comic book design, but with enough of a twist, that you’ll believe a man can be wrapped in jet fighter-plane crossed with a tank and kick all kinds of ass.
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys

Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot ToysIron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys

So I was surprised at how much I ’loved’ this figure, there’s no getting away from the fact it is in effect a ‘variant’ but as always, Hot toys (HT) add just enough extras to make it a virtually essential purchase… but just HOW essential!

Packaging - ****

When I reviewed the MK 3, I gave the packaging 3 … what was I thinking?  

Michael rightly gave it a full score, and I have to say ever since I first sent in my review I thought I should have given it more… well consider it rectified.

This was again designed by T.F.Wong along with Monster JR, and is virtually the same design as the MK 3’s but of course showing the MK 2 colour-way. 

We again have a complete wrap around double layer and the front is held in place by magnets and the overlap on the die-cut circular ‘power-source heart’, so like last time you simply lift the front panel and unwrap it panel by panel anti-clockwise. The outer design mimics the polished steel suit, and once the panels are unwrapped they show the mechanical inner workings of the armour. Once again the quality of the print and make-up is first rate with all the edges smooth and finished wonderfully.

Inside the internal black tray the figure is held in place by two clear ‘window’ over trays, the lower one is formed to hold him in place so no twisties are used at all and he can removed and replaced as good as new. This is one of the most attractive boxes to come out since… well, the MK 3. Now I am just itching to see what they give us for the MK 1, that guy will be hefty!

Sculpting - ****
Well, we are going to have a lot of repetition in this review, that’s inevitable, so I will take it as read that you are familiar with the first two reviews that the MK 3 received, linked to above, and I have to say that when a company has put as much R&D into a figure as HT did with this, then it deserves to be milked, and I hope they announce a battle damaged version soon. The basic construction of this figure is 85% identical to what came before, but the different elements are just enough to raise it’s standing even higher. When fresh out of the box, apart from the glaring difference, that this version is steel coloured, the only other real point of note is in the visible rivets that cover the figures chest, run down the arms and the indents on the helmet. But this is not the feature I love, oh no, the bit I love is the alternate head. 

Last time, with the MK 3 we got two heads as well. One was the armoured head, fully encased with light up eyes and the second was a full Tony Stark head, handy for sticking on the MK 3 body, but ultimately it was all about creating a separate Tony Stark bash. This time you again get the full armoured head with the light up eyes, but you also get a reveal helmet. It is so very well put together, and once again HT have tweaked with what we saw on the original proto-type to give us something even sweeter. 

I inquired when I first posted those pics if the faceplate would be moveable, and was told it would be fixed… fair enough I thought, but secretly I died a little bit inside.

However, things have changed!

When you unpack the alternate head you will see that it the faceplate is a separate piece, with two small strips of metal hidden on it’s underside that stick to a magnet within the head, coupled with this, the chin guard can also be slightly lowered, it’s just fantastic!

I love this feature, as the mask can now be worn completely covering the face or slide up to semi cover or reveal. For me this is the perfect option. I was lucky enough to secure the ‘exclusive’ display base, so my final display will be a Tony Stark bash (a separate suit is being released, the full MK 3, the MK 2 with revealed face, MK 2 bust and the MK 1 in all its junk yard glory… oh yeah, bring it on!

The reveal face is a new sculpt, like the last head it’s not the very best HT sculpt you will ever see, but it’s still a very strong one, and the over all package makes this whole category another winner in my eyes.

After re-visiting the scene in the movie when Tony is literally wrapped in the MK 2 suit for the first time and you get the 360 view of the suit as it comes alive, all the panels, flaps, servos and weapons systems come on line then 'BAM' we see the inaugural flight. This figure just brings that alive, the fine details are once again amazing, the paint job is sublime and actually manages to enhance the details even more than the classic MK 3.

Paint - ****
The revealed face is once again painted very well, the base plastic is translucent, so the skin-tones, eyes, lips and hairline all showcase why HT are still very much at top of the heap when it comes to paint apps. Enterbay have recently been snapping at their heels, but for sheer volume and consistency HT have reinvented the quality we can expect in this field and continue to improve upon it with each new release. The head is inserted as a separate piece into the mask from behind, so the ‘steel’ shell looks even more authentic when viewed up close, next to the simulated flesh.

The rest of the figure is pretty much all steel coloured, and like the MK 3, even though the construction is made up of different types of plastic, the whole thing looks very uniform and the colouring is just perfect, I mean it actually looks like metal. This colour palette actually seems to enhance the details even more than the red and gold did on the MK 3.

While admiring it I was struck by how cool a medieval Knight would be if done by HT (can you imagine if they did Excalibur figures based on John Boorman’s classic movie… I can!!!)

Articulation - *** 9/10
Now this category is again virtually identical to the MK 3, so you’ll have to excuse my laziness, but for the complete low-down I’d read the ‘articulation’ category in this review again.

The only difference is the moving magnetic faceplate on the new head and the neck articulation on the extra bust (if you’re lucky enough to get the exclusive).

So I’ve upped my final score from last time by a gnat’s whisker. However, as wonderfully engineered as this figure is… and it is truly, breathtakingly well engineered, there’s still no getting away from the fact the articulation isn’t absolutely perfect, especially at the waist and elbows. But for a figure of this type, and this complex it’s closer than just about any other company could ever get it (or would ever even try), so I’m giving it as close to perfection as you can get… without actually being perfect… which I think is fair!

Accessories - regular**** exclusive ****+
To be honest what can you give this figure that he doesn’t have? He comes with a stand (blue logo this time), all the hands he had last time (2 relaxed/flight, 2 repulsor and 2 fists), the new reveal head (already been over this… very cool), a small replica of his original ‘power’ heart, the one made in captivity that he gives to Pepper and she puts in a display box. If I was gonna nit-pick… and I am, then the ‘IRONMAN’ logo shouldn’t really be there, but it will be easy to paint over it should it annoy you too much. This ‘spare’ heart also has a light up feature, you just flick a tiny switch on the rear of the base and it illuminates so bright you can use it as a torch, this means even during daylight hours it shines fiercely bright. Now for me, the new head and the heart were enough to elevate this category to a full score, but as I said I also managed to get the exclusive mini-bust. This is great for displaying whatever head you decide not to use on the main figure, the chest light doesn’t work on this, but it’s still a very useful ‘exclusive’, the only pity being that it wasn’t a standard accessory. But it’s quite a big item so I guess if you’re going to the bother of making an exclusive, you might as well make it something people actually want.

Outfit - ****
As I said in the MK 3 review, it’s not ‘really’ an outfit as it’s all sculpted as the actual body. But viewing it as the ‘power suit’, then it is a work of art.

Value - regular****, exclusive ****+
Like I said last time, this is a figure where you can see every penny you have spent has been invested in the R&D!

Hot Toys have made a product that is truly deserving of the name ‘art’, hell it’s a product that is more accurate and better put together than a lot of pieces that are twice its size, so for an outlay of $160 I actually think it’s nothing short of a bargain, and I can’t imagine these being around for too long… even in this god-awful economy!

Fun Factor - ****
The addition of the new head has made this an even better display piece than the MK 3 in my most humble of opinions, and the quality of the steel effect paint job makes this look like a very expensive specimen when on the shelf.

So once again, there is no way one should ever consider this a ‘plaything’ as all those moving and jointed elements make it just too delicate, however it’s still robust enough to be subjected to many, many hours of posing when handled with due care. And because of that impressive articulation, something tells me you’re gonna have a blast finding that ‘ideal’ pose… enjoy… I know I do!

Overall - regular****, exclusive ****+
As near to perfection as it is possible to get in this scale (at the moment… who knows what we’ll be seeing in a few years from now), and along with the Endo-Skeleton from a couple of years ago, it shows us why, at this moment, HT can not be touched when it comes to tackling subjects that would frankly ‘terrify’ their rivals.
If there is any justice in the world this figure will be regarded as something of a classic, underlining just what is achievable at this scale when a company truly puts its mind to it.

I honestly didn’t expect this to eclipse the MK 3, but as I said, for me at least, it really has!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - *** 9/10
Accessories - regular**** exclusive ****+
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - regular****, exclusive ****+
Overall - regular****, exclusive ****+

Where to Buy -
Sponsor options include:

- Sideshow has an exclusive version with an extra accessory, and just happens to be on second chance right now. They're $160.

- CornerStoreComics has him for $150.

- Alter Ego Comics has this guy at $152.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

- and if your tastes do tend toward the statue more than the figure, check out the Kotobukiya fine art statue at Showcase Collectibles.
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys

Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys
Iron Man Mark II action figure by Hot Toys


Figures from the collection of Jay Forkos and Jeff Parker

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