Marvel Select Ultimate Iron Man

I've reviewed a number of the Marvel Select figures produced by Diamond Select so far - Black Cat, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Punisher...and I have to honestly admit that the figures are improving with each release.

The very latest is Ultimate Iron Man.  This figure is based on the Ultimate comic, so he might not be immediately recognizable to everyone.  But that's part of the purpose of the Marvel Select line - to bring the lesser known versions of certain characters into the plastic world.

The Marvel Select figures can be found at comic shops and specialty retailers like Media Play or Electronics Boutique.  I've included some on-line options at the end - remember to support the site through the sponsors when you can, since they help pay for the server costs.

You can expect to pay around $18-$20 for this figure, consistent with the past releases.

Packaging - ***
The packages for the Marvel Select are somewhat unique.  Designed like a book to fit right on your shelf with the others, it is attractive.  But to open it requires destroying it, and it is fairly large and wasteful.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The figure's sculpt is solid, with lots or robotic detail.  This version of the suit is more manga mecha than the one you might be used to, but they've captured the look and feel of the Ultimate version.

I do wish the mask was removable, but that's a fairly minor gripe.  The forearm armor is removable, to allow him to be hooked up to his base.  Whenever he needs a jolt of juice, he plugs into the base with three wires in each forearm that then attach to the back of the base.

None of the other armor is removable.  The pegs on the forearm armor work nicely, and you can remove it and replace it with little trouble or fear of breakage.

Paint - ***1/2
There's a lot more paint detail on this set than some of the recent characters, and it involves two of the more troublesome colors for bleed and inconsistency - red and yellow.  However, they do a great job in the paint application, with plenty of clean detail and very few issues.

Not that it's issue-free.  The yellow on his mask was a bit inconsistent on mine, and the silver on some areas of the armor was more sloppy than I'd like.  But the issues were fairly minor, and certainly not a serious problem.

Articulation - ***
The articulation here is good, certainly better than most of what we've seen with the DC Direct line.  It's still not top notch, but most people will be satisfied.

He has neck, shoulders, wrists, ball jointed chest, hips, cut knees and ankles.  Pin joints at the knees would have been better, and a joint at the elbows would have greatly improved the possibilities.

This line isn't known for it's articulation though, being more statue than action figure, and it's nice to see with this release we're getting more posing possibilities.  He also stands great on his own, with no trouble balancing on those huge feet.

Accessories - ***1/2
There's only one accessory, but it's a big one.  It's his armor charging machine, with six wires that can be connected to the base and to his exposed forearms.  The base looks good, with decent sculpting and paint ops.  It doesn't move at all though, and I had expected at least the top to pivot.

Value - **1/2
If these were DC Direct price - $15 - they'd really be great.  With much better accessories, and comparable sculpting and detail, they'd be the better value.  Unfortunately, they are at least $3 - $5 more, and at that price, the value drops.

Overall - ***
This figure was *this* close to that extra half star.  If these were available for $15, it would be a shoe-in, but considering the excellent playsets out this month from McToys for $25 (Matrix Reloaded Chataeu and the Alien Queen), I can't go that far with something only $5 or $6 cheaper, and with far less detail and size.

Still, the quality of the line seems to improve with every release, and if you're a big Iron Man fan you do not want to pass this one up.  Every time I look at him I think how great it would be if I could get a version of Superman or Batman at this scale with this kind of detail and accessory!

Where to Buy - 
I haven't seen this particular figure at a store yet, but they should be showing up this week or next at the latest.  Comic shops should get them, and the Sam Goody family of stores have carried the others.  On-line options include:

- Boise River Collectibles doesn't have this guy listed yet, but since they've carried the rest of the series, I'd bet they will.  Give them a call if it's not on the website.  The price is likely to be $18.99.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour