Iron Man Mark VI Excluxive Edition
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
|Jeff is back tonight with a
look at a seriously prinked out Iron Man - tell us all about him, Jeff!
Thank you as always to the MK I of toy reviewers… Mr Mike Crawford!
I think I’ve used the analogy before, but what the heck, it’s a well
known fact that the more you do a thing, the better and more adept you
tend to become at doing that thing. Which is why it’s always been
something of a mystery to me as to how Hollywood can get it so
spectacularly wrong… time after time.
Meaning that in the law of diminishing movie land returns, it would
seem that the abandonment of the Iron Man 3 movie by Jon Favreau
doesn’t exactly bode well (but I’ll keep an open mind, as I loved Kiss
Kiss, Bang Bang by Shane Black, and he’s now at the helm).
However, even if the movie turns out to be an absolute stinker, you can
bet that the evolution of the power suit will be reproduced faithfully
and indeed spectacularly by Hot Toys!
Yep, in a rather elegant fashion, with just a hint of swagger, Hot Toys
have convincingly bucked the trend of diminishing returns, perhaps most
notably with the incredible detail and engineering they are lavishing
on the Iron Man series. Each new incarnation of the iconic suit brings
with it its own new USP and special features. So here with the MK VI
not only do we get the obvious aesthetic difference of the new and
improved triangular ARC reactor, but we also get many interchangeable
‘battle damaged’ features. However, it does have to be said, that to
the uninitiated there are now quite a few versions of the armour out
there already. We now either have or will soon, the MK I, two versions
of the MK II, two versions of the MK III and then there’s the MK IV, V
and this the MK VI (and of course we also had the convention exclusive
grey version). Bringing our total to nine, and that’s before we get to
the supporting cast and the mech test version. This means we now have a
very impressive shelf presence and a huge financial commitment from the
dedicated shell heads. But what a collection!
I have to say, that my favourite design for the suit has always
incorporated the circular ARC reactor on the chest, and as far as the
movies go, then the MK V briefcase suit has kind of stolen my heart.
But in terms of engineering and design features this new version even
manages to slightly trump the MK IV with the inclusion of that
interchangeable damaged left arm. But is that enough to make this an
indispensable item… I’ll try and help you decide!
As I have said in my reviews for all of the Iron Man 2, I like these
boxes, there’s nothing wrong with them at all, but there is also no
getting away from the fact that the packaging for the figures from
movie 1 was so well designed and lavishly constructed that these always
had a lot to live up to!
So for me this gets the same score as all the IM2 boxes that came
before, it has the same slide on metallic sleeve (which this time has a
stand-alone design, not intended to link to the others like the first 4
releases did). On the inside the figure can be seen through a large
die-cut window alongside his accessories and extras while the back has
a full production credits list. Inside the figure, accessories and
environment base are all spread over two levels. The figure
(constructed in undamaged mode) is on the top layer (no twisties
needed) with various parts of the damaged armour panels arranged next
to him, then the second level has the two stands and the extra missile
launching sections that can fit onto the forearms.
So, a nice box, and indeed a cool box that has been well thought
through in terms of how it holds all the multiple extras, but it’s
still not up there with their very best work in my most humbliest of
Sculpting - ****
It’s almost impossible to look at this category without taking into
account the engineering involved for the articulation, as these
sections kind of go hand in hand. Lets face it you can model
the armour as accurately as you like, but if you end up with a
glorified statue what is the point. Likewise you can make a base figure
that poses better than Spiderman after an intensive bout of tantric
yoga, but if the detailing of the suit isn’t there, what have you got?
So who do you appease, the articulation junkies or the accuracy
pedants… well Hot Toys have gone for trying to keep both camps happy,
and by Darwin they have pulled it off. Although some parts are hand
tooled here, bits like the human head sculpt and elements of the battle
damage. It would appear that the rest is designed and engineered
digitally in 3D. It means that before they even get to a physical
prototype, they can test the full potential of the joints, the range of
mobility and the degree to which they will be able to mask and
integrate the engineering for the articulation and light up features.
So if you are an accuracy freak you will still be hard pressed to find
much to complain about, and likewise the articulation is good enough to
get into a hugely impressive degree of poses.
But back to the matter in hand, just what makes this figure stand out
from the others? Well I said in my review for the MK IV… I believed
that was the one that needed to be displayed in helmet ‘off’ mode so
you could appreciate the awesome KoJun sculpt (albeit at it’s most
awesomeness with the shades on). Well this is the one that NEEDS to
displayed in battle damaged mode (OK, I admit the MK V might do so as
well, but it’s not in hand yet!).
The overall look is of sublime attention to detail, the basic
construction and engineering is the same as on the MK IV, but this time
we get the triangular ARC reactor and a whole host of interchangeable
sections of armour in various states of damage. The best bits are the
extra arm that ‘clicks’ out at the shoulder. I found this to be an easy
swap over, certainly easier than both the recent Terminator T800’s that
swapped at the elbow, as both of them had me in a mild state of panic.
The ripped open bicep on the damaged arm shows some great detailing on
the exposed pistons and engineering beneath as does the damaged chest
panel with its carefully cut out sections mimicking distressed holes
made in the armour, through which we can see the working parts
surrounding the ARC. The two magnetic face panels can now be used on
both the heads, meaning the light up feature can be utilised with the
battle damaged look as well. The gouging and scratching on the
distressed helmet is now sculpted in relief, whereas on the previous
battle damaged MK III it was done using paint and transfer effects, so
this version is much more convincing when viewed up close. The ‘Stark’
face reveal beneath looks to be a re-use of the sculpt we got on the MK
IV but reconfigured to squeeze inside the helmet. It’s a strong sculpt
as I said before, but its not the very best work KoJun has done, in
fact it’s not even his best work on Stark (that title belongs to the
mech test version). However to be fair to Hot Toys, it would seem that
they have spent a lot of time keeping Mr Downy Jnr’s ‘people’ content,
going to great lengths to make sure they are happy with the portrayal
of their ‘product’!
There is also a good selection of hands, which I’ll go over in the
Ultimately there is little or nothing that I could find to fault here.
The fine observation of the original suit from the movie is deftly
translated to this supremely detailed and articulated representation…
You could actually reread my review for the MK IV here as once again
Hot toys deliver a stunning paint app, but on this version we also get
a lot more battle damage as well, on all those swappable panels and
extra arm. The colours are again all accurate, deep and rich in tone
whilst staying supremely accurate in the way they are applied. The
division lines are crisp and the panels that can swap over are
virtually seamless even when viewed up close.
The work on the exposed Stark face is as solid as we now routinely
expect, and even though not much flesh is flashed, what we do see is
natural and supremely well executed. A number of the armour panels are
a different paint finish to the MK IV, like the gold thighs and the
steel areas on the knees and biceps, these steel area help add amore
balanced look to the over all armour for me.
I don’t actually remember the last time I gave Hot Toys anything but a
full score in the painting category, almost certainly not since JC has
been the MC.
Everything here is sculpted!
The basic construction of
the body and suit is essentially the same as on the MK IV which I reviewed here, so I’m
gonna commit the cardinal sin, and be a right royal lazy bastard to
boot, and say go read that review if you feel the need for a detailed
break-down of the full range of mobility. The only real difference I
will point out is that the mid torso articulation freed up a lot easier
on this version with no damage to the paintwork at all. And the
movement at this point was generally smoother all round. We also get
the extra arm, but apart from the fact it can swap over with the
regular arm, the actual articulation and light up features are
identical. They have also added the shoulder mounted rocket launchers
that we got on the BD MK III, and as you would expect the engineering
and functionality has been improved on once again.
So, to put it succinctly and keeping it brief, the full range of
movement isn’t anywhere near as good as a base naked True-Type, but
considering all the amazing detail they have crammed in, it’s still
hugely impressive, and highly deserves the full score I’m awarding it
in recognition of just how much work has been lavished on the
Hot Toys are very very far from stupid, they realised early on that to
keep the punters sweet with the multiple power suits they would need to
give each release something unique to keep it vital and essential. It’s
arguable that the differences between the Mk IV and VI are slight apart
from shape of the ARC on the chest, and indeed they do share a lot of
common elements, so to make this guy all the more desirable he comes a
load of extra goodies.
We get a human Stark/Downy Jnr face reveal head (as described above),
and because of the ingenious new design on the light up head we can now
use both the clean and damaged face plate on both these heads. Next up
is a set of alternate battle damaged panels, there is chest plate,
thigh panels, parts for the bicep and shoulder pauldron on the right
arm, and the whole of the left arm can de swapped over (note you will
have to use the panels on the forearm of the undamaged arm or the
alternate missile launching sections to make it look complete).
Although there is no full Stark head sculpt they have still included
the collar so you can use one of the previously released heads with
this body. He also has a good selection of hands, 2 fists, 2 relaxed
and two splayed, however like I said on the War Machine and MK IV
reviews, the inclusion of the articulated hands with each and every
joint movable, it almost renders the static hands redundant. The
articulated air breaks with their laser cut metal wings and plastic
panels are packed separately needing to be pushed into place on the
upper shoulder blade areas. These are hard to consider as accessories,
but do need to be attached for the figure to look complete.
On this exclusive version you also get a section of the forearm armour
to fit onto your ‘bashed’ Tony Stark figure, it even has a couple of
extra wrist pegs so it will fit various models of the base True Type.
It’s a nice little addition, not a deal breaker, but it does add to the
impressive array of cool little bits and pieces we have gotten from
Lastly we get two stands, one is the classic black oval design whilst
the other is an environment base showing a felled Hammer drone on a
patch of wasteland. It has a long clear plastic rod that inserts into a
hole near the rear of the base and an adjustable pincer grip to hold
the figure. The design of this means you can display the figure either
standing on the base or hovering above it in a mid landing/takeoff pose.
up feature - ****
Just like all the other power suits thus far, this guy has the light up
repulsor palms on all but the fisted hands, ARC reactor on his chest
and the eyes on the helmet. All the batteries are fitted within the
figure, so need to get your screwdriver out just yet. Simply pull out
the small clear plastic dividers that stick out from the relevant
sections. Then flick on the tiny switches that are hidden in the upper
inside arm for the palms, under the rear right side air break for the
ARC and the back of the neck for the eyes. Once turned on they all
Definitely the icing on the cake for these figures, and a beautifully
well-executed feature that doesn’t impact negatively in any way!
Factor - ****
We all know by now that the price-point and fragile nature of these
hi-end figures means that they are in no way, shape, manner or form
intended to get into the hands of kids, so I won’t even bother saying
it again… although I just did!
However, for those collectors that are used to the kind of strain on
their wallets that being a dedicated collector of the Iron Man power
suits brings with it, then this is another solid entry in the line up
for us. He poses well after familiarising yourself with the complex
machinations of all his joints… it may seem like they are plotting
against you at first, but once you get everything aligned it works very
well indeed, and the added bonus of all those interchangeable damaged
sections make this a lot of fun assembling and posing. I’ve found all
the power suits to be exciting to un-box, and supremely rewarding in
setting up to find that perfect pose… And they freakin light up!
for money - ***
The cool extra features they keep adding to these suits don’t come
cheap; in fact they come at quite a price. This exclusive version has
an RRP of $214.99 (the regular is $209.99) meaning that the price for
Hot Toys premium figures have solidly punched through the $200 glass
ceiling with a metal clad fist.
Of course what you get for your money is the at the very pinnacle of
what hi-end companies are putting out at this time, and even when
viewed up close and scrutinised, this is nothing short of a miniature
work of art.
But even for those lovers and devotees of this scale, the $200+ price
tag does keep this in a rather exclusive place… is that a bad thing?
Well I guess you could take that up with Aston Martin or Ferrari, but
the cold fact of life is that the best and most desired thing available
in any field, from automobiles and jewellery right though to property
and collectibles, demands the heftiest price tag… and sometimes, just
sometimes it can prove to be quite the investment.
That said, if you were canny and moved early, you could well have
secured one of these bad boys for as little as $185 to $190, and if so
I’d be tempted to push the score up by another ½ star.
Well I just explained in detail that this thing is not cheap. If you
are looking for a bargain move along (or nip down to your local toy
store for a smaller scale fix). This means the only thing counting
against this release is the price; every other aspect has been hit
clean out of the ballpark.
once you reconcile your self with the cost, and lets face it you’ll
have to if you want one, because prices generally only keep heading
North, then you can really start to appreciate how amazing this figure
is. The whole package is well thought through, designed and beautifully
executed, and the only figures likely to best it are… you guessed it,
the soon to be released MK V (my personal favourite in terms of design)
and the newly announced reboot of the MK II ‘unleashed’.
Well no one ever said being a shell head was meant to be cheap, so
Where to buy
Sideshow have long sold out of both the regular and exclusive versions
and I couldn’t find it with a any of the sites sponsors. There are
however still plenty of the regular versions out there on eBay with
prices already elevated to between $ 270 to $440, and I did find one
seller doing the exclusive armour item for $99 on its own… cheeeez!
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.