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Review of Iron Patriot - Iron Man die-cast action figure

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 4 out of 4

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

Not too long ago, I reviewed the first in the Die Cast series of sixth scale action figures from Hot Toys - War Machine.  It seems fitting to follow that up with his costume cousin, Iron Patriot, the second in the line. And before you ask, technically War Machine was number 3 and Iron Patriot was number 1, but that's not how the shipping to the U.S. has worked out.

When James Rhodes gets an update to the War Machine outfit, he goes all patriotic. If you've seen Iron Man 3, you'll understand, but if not, trust me - it all makes sense.

When you say Hot Toys, you know you're saying expensive, but when it comes to the die cast series it's a whole new ball game. This guy will run you at least $300, and take a major chunk of your toy buying budget.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ****
Packaging is one of those areas where there's always the potential for something new, something unique, something artistic. With the die cast series, Hot Toys has proved that point once again.

The exterior box comes in two pieces, but instead of a top and bottom that opens shoe box style or five panel flap style, they've changed it up. The upper two thirds of the box lifts off the lower third, right where you'd expect based on the exterior design.

On top of that, the upper 'lid' has a cool wrap around plastic cover with a beautiful graphic design. Obviously it's all collector friendly (inside is a sturdy Styrofoam 'box' that holds the plastic trays), but it's the overall design that takes this to the next level.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
One of the complaints I had with War Machine was that he didn't have a Don Cheadle portrait. We already had a terrific sixth scale plastic War Machine that did, making the die cast version a bit moot.

Here we get a Rhodes head, and it's a beauty. Even with the helmet blocking some of the view, you can see it's clearly the character and the actor, and it has all the subtle details that mark the most realistic Hot Toys work.

Of course, this category also covers the Iron Patriot armor, and it's just as outstanding as the previous billion Iron Man releases. The added die cast metal brings heft and substance to him as well, giving the suit that 'real deal feel'. It's hard to estimate just how much metal is here, but I'd guess about 40% of the total if you include all the underlying structure and electronics.

While the sharply defined edges and clean lines of the suit are what make him look fantastic, it's the way the sculpt has been integrated with the articulation that makes him such an overall standout. It's not possible to impress on the reader enough how amazing this engineering is, and the amount of thought and creativity that has gone into designing a figure that can pose like this in what should be a highly restrictive suit. Any other company would have thrown up their hands and said it was impossible - Hot Toys merely accepted the challenge.

He has several additional hands, sculpted for specific poses. While they all look good and the fingers are done in a softer rubbery material to avoid damage) the hands he cones wearing are highly articulated and very posable, making the others only important for very specific reasons. More on that in the Accessories section.

One of my worries was that this would simply be a repaint of the die cast War Machine. Not to worry - there are differences, although they are subtle. Rather than go the cheap route and simply do a repaint, they've remained as true to the film as possible, making the changes necessary.

He's a sixth scale figure, and as such he stands just a hair over 12". Of course he fits in great with the rest of the current crop of sixth scale figures out there from companies like Enterbay or Sideshow.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
We are talking Hot Toys here, after all. When it comes to production paint quality, they've set the standard, and they continue to raise the bar.

It's not good enough to have an amazing sculpt - you have to back it up with realistic paint. Look at the eyes on Rhodes, or his skin tone, and drink it all in. That's how you do real.

The suit has a bright metallic finish of course, and it's beautiful, but it's the small areas where they've added rub marks and slight damage that once again gives it that life-like quality. It's not overdone or excessive - this isn't a battle damaged character. But it does look like it's been used, with just the right amount of wear. Sometimes less is more, and that's a lesson Hot Toys has clearly learned.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ****
When I was discussing the sculpt, I raved about how well it worked with the exceptional articulation. It's so good, it's worth saying again.

This figure has all the articulation you expect plus some. The hands he comes wearing have all the fingers and thumbs articulated with multiple joints, so they can mimic just about any finger pose. All the joints have a tremendous range of movement considering the heavy armor, and you can get natural, life-like poses that will stay put over the long haul.

And if the armor gets in the way? Find a way to get the joint to move further out! Hot Toys has made the shoulders, hips and feet capable of moving downward, giving the joint more room. They did this with War Machine too, but here they've upped the game by improving on the design. For example, pulling down the leg on War Machine always seemed dicey, and it took a fair amount of pull. They've added a small button on the lower back of the armor -press in while pulling or pushing the leg, and it moves much more easily.

Even the waist, with its double extension, seems to respond and flow better this time around. This body really is an impressive feat of engineering and production execution.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***
He doesn't have a ton of extras, but he does better than the earlier War Machine because he has that extra head sculpt.

It's easy to swap between them, and there are two face plates to go with the Rhodes head. While the instructions imply that one is slightly different than the other, I can't see it. Both fit over the face tightly, and both have the magnets in them so they can be posed opened up on his head. I worked with both of them to see if one worked better than the other in some way, but couldn't find any difference. It's possible I ended up with two of the same - packing mistakes happen.

As I mentioned earlier, he has multiple hands. He comes wearing a pair that have very poseable fingers, but they can't quite make a tight fist, or come together flat against each other. There's a pair of fists that you'll find useful, plus an extra right open hand with the fingers tight together. There final two hands are splayed. The hands swap easily, and all but the fists light up.

He has two weapons as well, just like his War Machine counterpart. There's the large gun for his back, which can be attached in multiple spots around his back and posed over either shoulder, as well as the small gun for his right forearm.

His final extra is another of the light up bases, this time with his name on the plate of course. The light up feature works well, but it requires three AAA batteries that are not included. This base isn't one of the flying stands with the bendable rods, but it does have a solid steel rod designed to manage the greater weight of the die cast figure.

Another nifty feature of these bases is where the feet rest. The sides of these pads can move in and out, fitting tight against the feet.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Light Feature - ***1/2
As you'd expect with any Iron Man suit variation, there are four lights on the costume. Each has a separate battery compartment and switch.

The solid head - not the Cheadle head sculpt - has light up eyes, and the center of the top cap pops off to allow you access to the switch and battery compartment. This one is pretty easy to work with, although I do worry that popping the center of the cap off and on too many times will result in damage.

The chest lights up, and the battery compartment is in back, covered by the armor on the very center below the neck. This cover is metal, so it's less likely to damage over time. Again, the switch and compartment are fairly easy to reach.

The arms have the easiest to reach battery compartments - right on the back of the upper arms. However, they also have the most difficult switches, hidden on the forearms by differing pieces of armor. Pay close attention to the instructions to be sure you're pulling on the right piece on the right arm!

There are sufficient batteries included for all these lights. There's also a screwdriver to open the compartments.  However, they skipped the AAA batteries for the stand. While I'm slightly annoyed by this (for this kind of green I expect some batteries), I suspect it has to do with tightened rules over shipping and/or importing larger batteries.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ****
If you give this figure to an eight year old kid, they'll love you forever. You're insane, but you'll be loved. This is the perfect example of an adult oriented collectible action figure that really, really, really still is an action figure and toy first, collectible second. 

Too many action figures aren't action figures any more. Instead, they're like those collectible plates that you can't actually eat off of without poisoning yourself. They call themselves action figures, but they can only stand awkwardly in grandma's hutch in one of those silly little brass holders.

This is a real action figure, first and foremost. The idea of fun and play are woven into its DNA, and will make the nerd inside us all ooh and aah with delight when we pick it up.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - **1/2
I dinged the War Machine a bit more in this category, but that was for a very specific reason. We already had a War Machine from Hot Toys that included a great actor portrait. We weren't really getting a whole lot new with the metal based release except, well, metal.

Here we're getting another great Rhodes sculpt, and it's a character we didn't have in sixth scale from Hot Toys. He's not cheap at $300; hell, he's not even reasonable. But considering the price on other Hot Toys figures, he's getting an average value score from me.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ****
When I reviewed War Machine, I mentioned that he wasn't really a necessary add to your collection. Hot Toys already produced a version that included the Cheadle head sculpt, and at a much cheaper price.

I was concerned that while Iron Patriot was a new character, there still wouldn't be enough here to justify the price point. My concerns were misplaced.  The exceptional quality of the paint and sculpt, combined with the amazing articulation, makes this a must have variant alongside the various Iron Man suits.

I will say though that I'd only pony up for the metal version of any future Iron Man suit variation if it was the only way I could get it.  The cost is just too prohibitive to pick one up regularly, especially if there is a cheaper alternative.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***
Light Feature - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has this guy for $310.

- is at $310 as well.

- is also at $310.

Related Links -
I've covered a lot of the Hot Toys Iron Man series, including the recent die cast War Machine. Others include the Mandarin, the Power Pose MKXLII, the Iron Monger, the Mark V, the Secret Project version, the MKVI, the very cool War Machine, the hot chick Black WidowWhiplash, the Mark III figure, Mark II figure, Mark I figure, and additional Tony Stark men's suit. There are also guest reviews of the Battle Damaged Iron Man and Mech Suit Tony Stark.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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Iron Man Iron Patriot die-cast action figure by Hot Toys

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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