Sculpting - ***1/2
With the masks in place, both figures
look like their on screen counterparts. The armor looks terrific, with
lots of fine detail and sharp cuts. The slightly larger scale - these
stand slightly over 7" tall - make them slightly more appropriate for
the 7" scale figures, and also allows for a bit more detail work to
show through. These suits are the better sculpt - no doubt about it.
The faces under the masks are
but not outstanding. The Don Cheadle likeness is much better than the
Robert Downy Jr. (who looks slightly Asian again - not sure why
sculptors have that problem with him), but even Don has a very blank,
zombie like stare. I'm not sure that the removable mask is really the
big selling point here, especially with RDJ.
of the underlying portraits, the
'flip up' visors work quite well. There are two small posts on the top
sides of the masks, and these can be fitted into two small holes on
either the sides of the forehead (down) or on top of the helmet (up).
careful with the posts though, because a mis-alignment could result in
bending or breaking one.
character likenesses might be
amusing, but neither one is really strong enough to cause me to want to
have these displayed with the masks up, and the RDJ sculpt is the
weaker of the two. In fact, if I were judging these on the face sculpt
alone, I'd drop another full star on the RDJ version. If I were trying
to decide between these or the
Walmart exclusives, the character likeness would not be a deciding
While the suit sculpts look
amazing, they aren't as well
designed to work with the articulation as the Walmart set. This is
particularly true of the hips,
where there is far less mobility and range of movement.
Both do stand great on their own
however, especially in a few key stances.
Paint - War Machine ***1/2; Iron
Again, it's really the portraits under the masks that bring these
scores down a bit.
the masks over the faces, the paint work looks excellent. The various
colors on the suits are bright and sharply defined, with nice cuts at
the edges. Just as with the Walmart set, I'm not thrilled with the
silly stickers used for the power supplies, but it's a minor complaint.
bright red and gold metallic paint on the Iron Man suit is a big
improvement over the Walmart version, where the flat paint gives him
that toy-ish look.
bigger issue with the paint is on Iron Man's joints, where the red
tends to rub
off, particularly around the hips. This gets back to the issue of the
sculpt and articulation not working together as well as they should,
and the bright red paint is the loser.
Pull the masks off, and
you get varying degrees of quality. The skin tends to ride up on the
interior edges of the helmet, and the bland paint work adds to the
zombie appearance, especially on Cheadle. Or perhaps Don just figured
out what happens when nature calls inside the suit.
Articulation - ***
There's more articulation than you might expect with a suit like this,
but not as much as the Walmart exclusive versions from Hasbro.
The ball jointed neck works
well, and I already discussed the cool flip up face mask.
shoulder armor on Iron Man is articulated, so he can raise his arms
high above the plane of the shoulders, but this is not the case with
War Machine. His bulky pads are part of the arm sculpt itself, and
greatly limit the movement in the shoulders, even with a cut joint
below them. In fact, my WM had a stuck left shoulder that ended up
breaking - you'll notice that the left arm is in the same pose in all
the shots. I'll have to try to return him at Borders, and hopefully
they'll swap me for a new one.
The elbows are single joints,
double, and the wrists on WM are also unarticulated. I can't even get
them to turn, let alone move forward and back. However, the wrists on
IM are ball joints (that allow the hands to turn with some very slight
tilt action), and he comes with a second set that swap pretty easily.
Both figures have the ab-crunch,
and it allows both to turn left and right. There's not much tilt
hips on War Machine work slightly better than IM's and he can take
fairly deep stances. IM's are very restricted by the design, and while
you can futz the ball around to allow something a bit deeper, you'll
probably end up scratching the red paint, as I mentioned earlier.
knees are single pin, as are the ankles. You can get some key poses
with this articulation, but it isn't as natural or as versatile as what
you'll see on the Hasbro set.
Although both figures tend to
less articulation than the Hasbro counterpart, there's one very
noticeable addition. Iron Man includes articulated 'wings' on his back,
at the shoulder blades. The fact that they flip up isn't obvious at
first, but it works well and gives him another cool look for the shelf.
the end though, I had to fight with the joints much more to get the
poses I wanted, and nothing was qutie as natural as I would have liked.
Accessories - ***1/2
When it comes to accessories, these two are a little lighter in number,
but do include one that's much larger.
Man comes with one extra set of hands, and these swap on the large,
sturdy ball jointed wrist pegs quite easily. While you aren't getting a
ton of hand poses, you get the couple most critical ones.
Machine has his larger gun that fits on his back, which isn't *quite*
as articulated as the Hasbro version, but still allows for tilting
forward and back as well as turning side to side. It pops into a slot
on the right shoulder, and can't be moved across the back to the other
side. It's a bit sturdier than the Hasbro version, however.
figures include a display base, which includes a chunk of floor and
wall. These are color matched to their outfits, so that the interior
designers will be happy as well. They have a good high tech mechanical
appearance, so they could be used for other lines as well.
Fun Factor - ***
Because of the slightly more limited articulation and slightly less
cool play accessories, I'm docking the set slightly here. These are
really more for the fanboy than the boy.
Value - **1/2
While these figures are a couple bucks more than the Walmart figures,
they include the very large display stands. Considering that these are
specialty market, not major major mass market Walmart items, that makes
them at least as good of a deal as their cousins.
Things to Watch Out For -
I snapped a shoulder joint on my War Machine, and it was very firmly
painted stuck. No amount of freezing or hot water was going to fix this
baby, so take care.
You'll also want to be gentle
when working with the removable helmets. The small plastic posts can be
Overall - Iron Man ***;
War Machine ***1/2
I'm not particularly thrilled with the breaking arm on War Machine, but
I gave him the benefit of the doubt this time. I'm assuming the next
one I get from Borders will not have this issue - if he does, I'll have
to come back here and deduct another half star.
assuming I ended up with an aberration, he's a solid figure. I don't
like him quite as much as the Hasbro version, but he is slightly
bigger, has the Cheadle portrait, and includes the display base.
Iron Man Mark IV is also less appealing to me than the Walmart Mark VI.
This is a bigger gap, since the articulation on this IM is inferior,
and has other issues like the chipping paint.
To wrap up - I
prefer the Hasbro Walmart versions in general. However, there are a
couple things the DST versions have that may create a different result
for you. They are slightly bigger, so you may feel the scale match up
is better with other 6 - 7" lines. They have the portraits, albeit not
perfect renditions. And they have the included display bases, which can
even be used for other figures. If these three things are critical to
you, then you'll be happier with the DST results.
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - War Machine ***1/2; Iron Man ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - War Machine ***1/2; Iron Man ***
Where to Buy -
The unmasked variant Iron Man is a Borders Exclusive (or at least
that's what the package says), but you can
find the regular versions (as well as the unmasked IM) at some places
Collector is soliciting
him for a June release for $16.
-Things From Another World has
War Machine available for $16.
-Big Bad Toy Store has them
both at $18.
Earth has War
Machine and Iron
Man for $18 each as well.
Planet has them at 15 GBP each.
I've reviewed lots of Iron Man goodies over the years -
- most recently though, I looked
at the 6" counterparts to these figures that are Walmart exclusives.
- the only other IM2 review so
far is the Kotobukiya ArtFX
- and if you're looking for even
better Iron Man figures and money is no object, check out the Hot Toys Mark I, Mark II and Mark III. They'll be
doing a whole host of figures based on the new movie as well!
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review? Try out one of these terrific
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