Packaging - ***1/2
Like the previous two Iron Man figures, this one comes in the cool
interior wrap around box with lots of interior panels.
The exterior sleeve is done up
like a shipping crate, complete with appropriate labeling.
packaging has the usual great graphics (including the embossed chest
light that sits inside the wrap around layer) and text, and is almost
completely collector friendly. There's some of those damn twisties
though, and you know how much I've come to despise them over the years.
Sculpt - ***1/2
Let's talk Tony Stark here, since Hot Toys has been working on
capturing his portrait with all three figures. With the first release,
the Mark III suit, they provided a completely separate head,
unencumbered by any helmet. Pop it on another TrueType body, throw on a
suit and voila! Your own Iron Man alter ego. But the head sculpt wasn't
quite Tony Stark...it was closer than any we'd gotten up to that point,
but it missed the mark slightly.
the MK II suit was released, again with a completely separate head.
This time though, it included a removable helmet, so it's intended to
be used with the armored figure. This portrait was an improvement on
the first, but it still wasn't the out of the ball park home run that
we've come to expect from Hot Toys.
And now we have the Mark I.
This time, there's no extra head. You get one, with a
plate. Underneath that face plate is a new portrait, and once again,
it's an improvement over the previous two versions. It has all the
realistic texturing and fine detail that we've come to anticipate, and
it is closer to the Downey Jr. Stark than the previous two. In fact, I
doubt we'll get one better...but it's still not quite perfect.
I'm probably being way to picky at this point, but there's still
something off in the eyes and eyebrows, at least for me.
hair is of particular note. Not only are the strands of hair over the
head sculpted with a very fine detail, but they've done something
rather unique with the loose hairs. Rather than try to space them out
from the forehead, they've sculpted them as part of the forehead, as
though the hair is sweat plastered right to his face. That might seem
to be the obvious way to do it, but the big problem with this approach
isn't the ability to sculpt it this way - it's the ability to paint it
cleanly. Because of the exceptional production paint work, which I'll
discuss more in the next section, Hot Toys has the option to use this
approach, and it worked extremely well.
There's a small groove sculpted
into the very top of Tony's head, which allows the face plate to move
up and down.
The regular hands are
sculpted in an open, gesturing pose, while the extra hands are fists.
Both look to be scaled pretty well, and work with most poses.
only counting the portrait head sculpt and hands for this category,
this time. I'm leaving the armor for the 'outfit' section, but I will
say that if the armor were part of my consideration for this category,
there'd be four big stars handed out.
Paint - ****
As with the Sculpting category, I'll be discussing the paint work on
the armor in greater detail in the Outfit section, so I'll focus on the
work on the head here.
mentioned that Hot Toys ability to paint the small loose strands of
hair on Tony's forehead cleanly is the reason they were able to sculpt
them that way in the first place. It's amazing how clean these edges
are, considering that this is a production paint job. Hell, it would be
amazing for a custom one!
The facial hair and eyebrows are
well done, but I have to say that the eyes seem a little more lifeless
this time than usual. This was also the case with Billy and Dutch in
the Predator series, and I'm hoping this doesn't become a trend.
it's not as bad as it was with Billy, and it's only on very close
examination that you notice the difference from something like their
Godfather figure. The minute work on the hair manages to override the
eye issue enough for me to still get them a full four star score.
Articulation - ****
I'm not giving this figure four stars in this category because it's
more articulated than other sixth scale figures. Obviously, the armor
is going to restrict the figure to some degree, and the underlying body
is still the standard TrueType. But I'm giving extra credit here in
recognition of the engineering and design work that was necessary to
make this figure as poseable as it is, given the bulky, thick armor.
You know that show "Modern Marvels"? Yea, they need to do a feature on
this figure. And that's coming from a guy who's an engineer by training.
important to realize that this is actual armor over a clothed TrueType
figure. While the armor isn't designed to be removed - it's far too
complicated for that - it does make it much more realistic in it's
It also means that there's a ton
of hidden articulation.
The armor on the right knee flips up, as does various pieces on the
right and lift shin. The protective pieces over the wrists move forward
to protect the hands, and various other smaller pieces that look like
the might be articulated usually are.
The best part is that the
armor doesn't restrict the underlying body nearly as much as you'd
assume. I mentioned this with the earlier Mark III and Mark II suits,
but it bears repeating - unlike other companies that
figure with armor is going to be unarticulated and then proceed to
fulfill that destiny, Hot Toys assumes nothing going in, and makes the
figure far more articulated than you ever expected.
like the neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists and ankles, have quite
a good range of movement. The figure can take fairly deep stances, can
pose in as natural way possible, given the outfit, and can take key
poses right out of the film. For example, this figure has to be able to
raise both arms high enough to allow for firing poses. But the shoulder
armor is clearly too restrictive to allow the shoulder to raise that
high. So how do they accomplish it? Simple - the shoulder armor and
bicep armor are not connected, and in fact, the bicep armor is designed
with a grooved section to allow it to turn underneath the shoulder
plate. That means that you can turn the shoulder itself backwards,
getting the shoulder plate out of the way and allowing the shoulder to
rise to the proper level, then turn the bicep back forward to bring the
arm properly in line! Had they simply gone the cheaper route, and made
the shoulder and bicep armor all one connected piece (or sculpted them
in such a way that they couldn't turn against each other), this key
pose would have been lost.
The left arm opens up as well,
revealing a small, red rocket. Getting this open is a bit tricky (push
down on the larger piece that is to the outside of the arm before
pulling it open) but once you manage it, you can also remove the rocket.
time I pick this figure up, I find a new point of articulation. The
figure seems even more poseable to me than the Mark II and III suits
(in fact, the head can lean back further, making a better 'in flight'
pose), something I didn't think possible with the thicker, more
cumbersome armor. It's rare that a figure has better articulation and
posability than the actual human wearing the costume, but I suspect
that this is one of those times.
Accessories - **1/2
Unlike his cousins, this is one area where the Mark I doesn't quite
live up. This is probably due to the extreme amount of detail work that
was done on the armor, but the lack of accessories is still quite
does have an extra set of hands, both in fist poses. They swap easily
enough, and look about the right scale in the large, massive armor.
While you'd think the fists would be better for the 'firing' poses, I
found that it varied, at least to my taste. I liked the open right hand
when I posed him with an outstretched right arm, but I preferred the
fist when he had the outstretched left arm. Your mileage will vary.
also the liftable face plate. The mask looks great, but it is very
difficult to attach. I don't know about you, but wearing the mask is
going to look on my shelf, so keeping it attached is a top priority,
and once you do manage to get it snapped into place, it stays. In some
of the photos, I shot it without the face plate to show the option.
With the face plate raised, it seemed to me that he appeared to have a
bit of a pin head, but with the mask down, he looked great.
suppose the removable rocket is also an accessory, but I'll be leaving
mine right where it is. One less thing for the cat to play with.
also has the basic black display stand, complete with logo and name
plate. He stands great on his own, but the nervous collectors might be
too afraid that he'll fall over time. If you do decide to use the
stand, be careful hooking it on, since you could easily damage or bend
one of the many wires or hoses.
Outfit - ****
Okay, let's be honest - this is where it's really at. The number one
feature with this figure is the armor, and it's a true work of art.
there's the sculpting. The armor pieces include the texturing that
gives it the hammered, hand forged appearance of wrought iron, with
realistically harsh and thick weld lines. This looks like a suit built
in a middle eastern cave, from whatever spare parts were available.
also an excellent use of multiple materials. Small wires are real wire,
while larger hoses are springs that replicate the appearance of the
real deal extremely well. Smaller belts are actual rubber, and there's
even itty bitty electrical tape used to hold wires, tubes and pieces
The sculpt also matches the
source material extremely well, although if
you look for movie stills, it will be tough to find too many clear
shots. The sequence in which this suit was featured was dark for much
of the time, and involved lots of action and explosions for the rest of
amazing sculpt wouldn't be much though without amazing paint to back it
up. Here, we see some of the most realistic looking plastic-as-metal
paint work I've ever seen. They've also included the logos and colors
that would have been present on the bomb husks used for plating, and
the weathering and basic damage is perfectly represented.
Small paint details are every
where, and when something should be clean, it's clean, when it should
be dirty, it's dirty.
have commented that the small tank on his right arm seems to yellow,
but from the few photos I could find, it looks pretty accurate to me. I
suspect they were working off the actual suit prop rather than movie
stills, because the colors seem to match better there. Remember that
the coloration of items in the film itself are often changed post
production, and subject to conditions of lighting.
over the underlying TrueType body perfect, and yet, is clearly a
separate entity. Underneath the suit, Tony is wearing his desert boots,
gray pants, and fuzzy brown shirt/sweater. EDIT: an astute reader
pointed out that it's his welder's shirt under there. Yep, sure is!
Looks great too, but I don't remember him wearing it in the cave. Of
course, it's close enough in appearance to the brown sweater he wore
that he could have had it on when dressing in the armor, and I wouldn't
have registered the difference.
There are a few minor
quibbles with the clothing underneath (the pants could have a bit more
of a pin stripe), but they
are so minor as to be irrelevant.
The costume is truly an
impressive feet of design and execution in sixth scale, and the
greatest weight is going to go to this category when I consider my
Light Feature - ****
The original suit lacked the light up eyes, but Hot Toys makes up for
it by adding a little something something extra.
chest lights up of course, as his power source brightly illuminates
when you press a button on his back. The batteries are ingeniously
housed in one of the cannisters on his back, and there's no screwdriver
necessary this time. Instead, the bottom of the canister simply turns
to open and close.
before, the LED is nice and bright, so bright that it's practically
blinding if you look at it straight on. I've included a photo to the
left to specifically try to give you some idea just how hot this thing
didn't have any problems with the light bleeding out in places it isn't
supposed to, but because it's so bright, there are blue reflections on
other pieces of armor at times.
The something something I
mentioned is the small red
LED light on the inside of his left arm, below the rocket launcher.
Including it was a nice touch, since this figure lacked the light up
eyes or palms that his cousins sport.
Fun Factor - *
Hey, I had plenty of fun shooting this guy, but that's not really what
I'm talking about here. If you're looking for a toy for the boy, you're
better off sticking with the Hasbro line. This guy is much too fragile
for kids to play with, and even adult collectors need to take extra
me, this score has no effect on the overall, since I know going in that
this isn't the kind of action figure you drag out to the sand box. But
if you're looking for something for Johnny (or Jane) to play with, it's
worth pointing out that this isn't it.
Value - **1/2
He's a bit more expensive than the 'average' Hot Toys, Enterbay or
Medicom figure, running about $165. But the level of detail work on the
armor is just amazing, surpassing even the Mark II and III in it's
engineering creativity. You're getting what you're paying for here, no
doubt about it.
Had they been able to throw in a
couple more accessories, and you would have been getting a real value!
Things To Watch Out For
This figure has DOZENS of small exposed wires, springs, belts, and
other mechanical doo-dads. There isn't any one thing you really have to
watch out for - just watch out for them all!
I mentioned earlier, I found that the fire guards that slide out over
the palms of the hands are very, very tight on mine. Take lots of
caution with yours if that's the case.
Overall - ****
I have my quibbles with this figure. I have quibbles with almost every
figure. Except for Scarlett Johannson's. And Jennifer Aniston's.
And...you get the point.
it's true that the helmet doesn't attach as well as I'd like (and
certainly not as well as the Mark II version). And it's true that the
accessories are a tad lacking. And it's true that Hot Toys is yet to
absolutely nail the Robert Downey Jr. portrait.
complexity of the armor on this outfit is just so mind blowing, that
it's hard to knock it for the minor issues. Every time I picked it up I
found new little details I hadn't noticed before, and the number of
manual assembly operations on this thing had to be ridiculous. How they
managed to get this out for a price similar to say, their Predator
Dutch figure, is beyond me. I think they have some sort of alien race
they've enslaved and are using for cheap labor. Or Oompa-Loompas.
Toys has reached an apogee in sixth scale, and it's hard to imagine how
they can climb higher. But with companies like Enterbay breathing down
their neck, I have no doubt they're looking for ways to do it.
Godfather figure is still my top pick in the single figure sixth scale
category for Best Of for this year, but at this point their Iron Man
line can't be beat in the Best Line category. MOTUC is still in the
running, and you can't count out Hot Toys own Dark Knight series, what
the Cop Joker and Tumbler still coming. But it's not going to be easy
for any line to pull a coup and topple the Hot Toys' Iron Man series.
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
Not many folks have this guy still available to order:
- You can get on the wait list at
Sideshow (which works much better than you might think), where the Mark
I is $170.
- Corner Store Comics
has him listed on pre-order for $165.
- you can always hit
Other reviews of interest:
- Hot Toys has certainly done a stellar job with their Iron Man series,
including the Mark III
figure, Mark II
figure, and additional Tony
Stark men's suit.
- I got a great Sideshow 1:1
Iron Man bust, but lots of other folks got ones with serious
- if you're looking for
something on the cheaper and smaller side, check out the 3 3/4" Marvel Universe Iron Man,
the 6" movie figures,
or the 12" Repulsor Iron Man.
- Marvel Legends has had it's
share of Iron Man version, including the Silver Centurion in
series 7, vs. Mandarin
in the Face Offs, the classic
version in series 1 (Toybiz), and the series 1 (Hasbro) Ultimate Iron Man.
- in the Marvel Select line,
there's the Ultimate Iron Man.
- and if you're looking for
funky, there's always the Hot
Toys Iron Man cosbabies.