Iron Man MKII
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."

The Marvel properties remain a big winner for Hot Toys, and Jeff Parker is checking out their latest version of the MKII suit tonight - tell us al about it, Jeff!

Way back in May of 2009 I reviewed the original incarnation of the MKII suit from the first movie, and as it was only briefly seen in the story I was pretty sure that it was most likely our only chance to get this particular version of the armour. However, due to its huge (and eye-wateringly high priced) popularity on the secondary market, and perhaps more importantly because it got another dose of screen time in the second movie, this particular knight in shining armour got a whole new lease of life!

After an altercation with a drunken Tony Stark in Iron Man 2, Rhodey ‘borrows’ the MKII armour and takes it to his comrades in the USAF where after a little reverse engineering and a complete suit autopsy, Justin Hammer reinvents the MKII as the War Machine… The rest as they say is history. This suit is designed to replicate not only Rhodey while wearing the armour, but is also made in such a way that numerous panels can be swapped over and removed to expose the advanced mechanical workings of the suit below… and they even threw in an autopsy table to display it on.

Now I like to wax lyrical about 1/6th figures, its more than a hobby, it’s a passion, but my skills behind the camera are it has to be said not quite as impressive… OK, OK, no where near as impressive as a few other talented collectors out there. So if you want to check out some stunning shots of this figure that really do it justice, go check out OMG’s selection here.

And if you want to see another comp shot of the two MKII figures side by side check out the image here as well.

Packaging - ***1/2
Do I like this box, yes!
Am I blown away by it, no!

The packaging for the Iron Man series has always been impressive, but the first few boxes with magnetic wrap around and the die cut ARC reactors set an unusually high benchmark. And although this is a great looking bit of packaging it doesn’t quite live up to those earlier pieces.

It’s in effect a silver/duotone slipcase with a head and shoulders shot of the figure on the front spilling around onto the back. The inner box slides out from the right hand side and has a large die cut window on the front with a full list of production credits on the reverse. Open the top flap and you can remove the inner vac formed trays that hold all the various parts in place, with the bonus autopsy table flat packed in a polly-bag at the back.

So, it’s a good looking box, well constructed and perfectly functional. But it just isn’t one of Hot Toys very finest!

Sculpting - ****
When it comes to the power suits, the devil is in the detail. We all have our own favourite designs, but regardless of which incarnation you like the best aesthetically, it’s a simple fact that each new release finds a way to make an improvement on what came before, both in terms of looks, but perhaps more notably in function.   

And the USP here is the multi layered removable armour, so it’s fair to say that sculpting, outfit and articulation are almost indistinguishable here. Why, well because each intrinsic part that makes up the whole is so immaculately engineered that they blend into one cohesive unit. However, for simplicities sake I shall review the head sculpt here, the armour sculpt in outfit and the movements it can achieve in articulation.  

The face is a reuse of the Don Cheadle portrait sculpted by KoJun for the War Machine figure that I reviewed here, and it’s fair to say I liked it there so I like it here. The detail is well observed and the actual likeness is very impressive. It fits seamlessly into the snug fitting MKII helmet and has a moveable chin guard and a magnetic faceplate (that is even sculpted on its reverse inner side). The whole of the faceplate fits perfectly into the aperture over the front of the mask and is held securely in position by small concealed magnets. So, not a whole lot of sculpting here, but I’m not marking it for quantity, what we care about is quality, and that is definitely at the top of its game!

Paint - ****
It shines, it sparkles it entices! There is something just very darned sexy about the MKII armour. It brings to mind the sleek polished engineering of a steel aviation jet engine with its exposed rivets and complex moving pieces . The entire surface of the armour is an even and dense metallic steel tone, and even though the many parts are made of different materials, the finish is consistent over the whole figure. Between some of the panels there are super fine matte black lines that help enhance and define the intersections, and on the exposed shin armour a few of electrical wires are picked out in red and yellow.

In short its all just about as good as it gets and is finished off perfectly with a stunning paint app on the exposed face of Rhodey. Showing the usual subtle use of colour that we expect from Hot Toys impresario of paint, Mr JC Hong.

Articulation - *** 1/2
With a figure this detailed and complex it is important to approach with realistic expectations, but as long as you do, I’m confident you will be bowled over. A lot of the engineering is borrowed from various earlier incarnations of the armour, but brought together in this new conglomerated form.

So, I shall work from the toes up and try to give an insight of all you can expect, both in terms of dynamic posing articulation and also in terms of the engineered panels with opening or moving elements. I plan on being pretty detailed for all the articulation junkies, but if you want a brief overview I’d just say awesome to look at, but with some limitations due to the complex detailing.

The unclad exposed boots have a bend mid foot, they can be slipped off and the metal clips at the side can be unfastened to open up further. The design of the shin where it joins the knee means you can get about a 90 degree bend. The alternate fully armoured lower legs also have a hinge mid foot and a reasonable range on the ball joint at the ankle. There are also hinged panels over the fore-foot and the heel. The back of the shin can be lifted at the top of the calf and the rear lower leg to expose the mechanics beneath and the joint at the knee can afford a fraction more of a bend than the other lower leg.

The upper thighs have front panels that can be unclipped to show mechanics beneath and the hip has a pegged joint into the thigh with a small degree of turning motion where it joins the hip section proper, while the hip itself is a ball and cup joint with a fair degree of mobility where it joins the pelvis. Just make sure you lift the softer vinyl that the trunks are made of when you want to lift the thigh into a stepping or squatting position.

The waist can turn to a small degree but can’t lean back or bend forward for an abs crunch in the way the MK IV, V or VI could. There is no actual articulation in the upper chest, but the chest panel can be removed to show the working mechanics around the ARC reactor, and the air breaks on the shoulder blades have numerous hinges to deploy the various panels in a variety of ways. The shoulder guards are spring loaded with a free moving hinge at the mid section so it falls well over the upper arm regardless of the pose and the shoulder itself is a hinged universal ball joint that can pretty much move freely in all directions. The upper arm is a pegged joint that can turn 180 degrees and the front section of the bicep is also removable to show the inner workings. The elbow is a double hinged joint, but because of the wiring that is required to light up the palm repulsors it can only bend to about 90 degrees. The lower right arm has two panels that open up to the sides, a rocket launcher that flips up at the top and a secondary hinged flap that opens up further to the right. The lower left arm has two panels that flip out to the sides and another rocket launcher that flips up at the top. He comes with four hands, two simple fists and two articulated hands that have joints pretty much everywhere that real hands do, and the range of articulation here is a marvel in itself, rendering all the previous and numerous hand sculpts moot!

The neck on all three heads has a useful but limited degree of motion, and is the one area I feel a little more work could be done, but to be fair there is a reasonable range and the head can freely turn to look in any direction. I just wish it could tilt and look acutely up and down a little more for take off, flying and landing poses. But regardless of the fine-tuning it’s still a fun figure to play with and pose. I did notice that when posing the original version of the MKII next to it, that this new one is definitely more restricted in the poses it could achieve, with the older one managing slightly more fluid movements and natural stances. However, with a little work you’ll have no problem getting it into some great key poses, but be patient and careful.

Of course the irony is that all that great engineering will be wasted in my display anyway, as I certainly plan on displaying mine disassembled on the table.

Accessories - Exclusive ***3/4, Regular ***1/2
This comes with multiple bits and pieces, the basic list is-

2 extra lower legs, fully armoured (the exposed legs come fitted)
2 hands with fully articulated fingers
2 fists
3 helmets, light-up, Rhodey reveal and empty ‘shell head’
1 chest panel
2 air-breaks for upper back (these need to be slotted into place)
1 autopsy table
1 ‘holographic’ palm repulsor, arm brace and a lower arm (exclusive only)
1 light up display base with ‘flying’ support bar
1 classic oval figure stand with movie logo

Most of the pieces are extra appendages that simply attach and slot on to the figure to achieve different looks, with my particular favourite being the new empty helmet. Like the face reveal version it has a moving faceplate that slides easily on the magnets that hold it secure. All three heads swapped over with ease, the Rhodey head pops onto the light up heads neck-post, whilst the empty helmet comes with an extra neck attached. This of course means some elements can be swapped over to the first MKII if you already have it. The inclusion of the light-up display base with the ‘hall of armour’ design is a nice bonus and will be of great benefit for those that plan on making a display of Tony’s lab/workshop, and it also has a long pole and waist grip for take off or landing poses. But of course for the hardcore collectors are still waiting for the fully enclosed ‘Hall of Armour’ display units which should be following any time soon).

The autopsy display table is also a big added extra as it wasn’t even in the original spec. Admittedly its not quite the highest of build quality, as it’s basically made out of heavy duty hardboard covered in printed laminated paper. But after fixing the two sections of the base together which are held by magnets, then simply placing the table top on to it, you have a perfectly serviceable display piece for your disassembled armour.

The exclusive version also comes with a ‘holographic’ projection of the lower arm brace/exoskeleton and the palm repulsor. This was seen in the first movie when Tony is designing the first ‘hi-tech’ version of the suit, so makes a cool extra to go with the MECH test figure or just a general Tony Stark bash. It even comes with an extra un-gloved hand and slim lower arm to fit comfortably within its design, and coupled with the right light source behind it, it can actually look pretty darned effective.

So a cool selection of bits and bobs made even stronger by the inclusion of that table, but the fact the holographic repulsor is only available with the exclusive is a shame, and would have helped drive up the overall final score had it been a standard inclusion.

Outfit - ****
It’s arguable that this section is not applicable to this particular figure, however I decided to describe its basic overall look here. So even though this is the second outing for the MKII the actual suit-sculpt has received a complete overhaul and a whole extra dose of detailing. The most obvious improvements are the indented rivets that cover many panels over the body, most notably the chest panel. On the previous version they were incorrectly raised. Then we have new exposed mechanical details on the biceps and thighs with panels that can fit in place over them. There is also improved detailing on the opening sections on lower arms (borrowing elements from the battle damaged MK III) and the opening flaps on both the back of the calves and the airbrakes on the upper back are far superior to the first MKII and utilise the improved engineering of the latter figures, featuring the delicate laser cut metal wings that can be opened up on miniature hinges.

Apart from the ‘regular’ lower legs we also get the fully exposed mechanical lower legs and feet which are a re-use of the boots that were used on the MECH test Tony Stark reviewed here. These can be swapped over by removing the whole lower section at the knee. However the exposed boots can also be slipped off of the skinny shins that they fit over, so as to be used as separate boot props if wanted, a nice detail.

The set also comes with three complete heads, one is the ‘Rhodey’ reveal helmet described above, the second is the version with the light up lenses and lastly we get an all new empty helmet with detailing on its interior. Ideal for when the suit is on that autopsy slab or displayed ‘hall of armour’ stylee!

Like all the power suits it would be possible to write another five pages just describing those finely observed details, but I’m hoping a mixture of my pics and those linked to above by OMG will make it evident just how well put together this baby is.

Action feature ****
One of the cool things about the power suits has been their ability to light up the eyes, chest and palms, but here (as on the MECH test Tony version) we can light up the foot repulsors also. Well, on the exposed boots anyway.

All illuminate brightly with the simple flick of a well-concealed switch. I know they are well concealed because of the amount of people who contact me on Face Book and ask how to switch the lights on… but guys (n’gals) there is a small instruction sheet included with all the power suited figures that also details how to remove the tiny battery separators and how to swap batteries as well. Just take your time when unpacking and read EVERYTHING!

Value - ***
This exclusive version with the extra holographic palm repulsor has a hefty RRP of $209.99… strewth!

Now it’s plainly obvious where all that money is going, but it still a hell of an outlay for a single non DX figure. In its favour it does come with the extra autopsy table (that wasn’t in the original spec) but 210 notes is never something to me sniffed at.

Add into the equation that this is essentially a reboot of a previous figure, dressed up and improved admittedly, but still a ver 2 rather than an all-new ‘essential’ figure.

However, if you are a big fan of the movie (and if you’ve read this far I guess it’s reasonably safe to assume you are), then this is a far superior version in virtually all terms and represents the armour far more accurately as to how it appeared in the second movie. I’ll let you decide whether you feel you are getting enough bang for your buck, but I personally see it as fair’ish price rather than bargain.

Fun Factor - ****
If this figure was ever intended to be a play thing then it would undoubtedly make a great toy, but the simple fact of the matter is it’s an adult collectible. The thing that makes this most obvious is the price tag, but is reinforced by its delicate nature… this is not an item to be investigated and fiddled with by tiny fingers.

And lets face it there are plenty of more affordable and more robust Iron Man toys available out there. This is for the more discerning and it has to be said ‘financially secure’ individual. So if you are amongst those ranks, and you fancy pulling the armour to pieces, go for your life. I certainly had a ton of fun dismantling this guy and arranging him on the table, and I have a feeling you will too. The only slight negative in this category is its slight limited range of articulation on deeper poses, but even that is mostly excused by the visual ‘near perfection’ it has achieved.

Overall- *** 1/2
This will obviously be far more indispensible to some than others. But if you want the most detailed, and it has to be reiterated ‘accurate’ version of the MK II armour in your collection, then this is it!

It really is a double whammy of a figure, and I’m tempted to display it in the Rhodey reveal mode, but that would almost be a travesty when this ‘deconstructed’ figure is just crying out to be shown in its disassembled glory.

And so I’m awarding this a ‘near perfect’ mark, one that is just kept short of the full pointage by price and articulation. But it’s still an outstanding looking figure.

Where to Buy -
He is available at Sideshow where it is available for the RRP of $209.99.

However you could potentially save over $20 by placing your order with one of Mike’s sponsors at one of the sites listed below-

Alter Ego $188.99

BBTS $194.99

Fan Boy $199.99 

Urban Collector $209.99 

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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