earlier versions came in some of the coolest boxes of the year, and
this one continues the same design style but with a cool new wrap. This
sleeve is designed and printed to look like a Stark Industries packing
crate. They’ve kept it simple and uncluttered using mimicked wood grain
effect and embossing to enhance the planks and joinery. Once it’s
slipped off we have the circular chest light, die cut with a magnetic
seal. The outer box is designed to look like the beat up metal panels
of the MK1 suit. This unwinds to reveal more pics of the figure, a
brief bio and a window displaying the fully assembled figure. Inside
the tray he’s held secure by 5 twisties with his stand, 2 spare hands
and face plate next to him.
These IRONMAN boxes are just
about as nice as I thought a 1/6th packaging could get… until I saw the
Godfather, but that’s kind of in a class of its own.
Sculpting - ***1/2 (this just covers the face!)
human face is a wonderful thing, they’re even more individual than our
finger prints… even identical twins are never truly identical. We are
all genetically hard wired to search them out where ever we look. It’s
the reason we see faces in clouds, trees, fires and even the moon… we
want to see faces. But we are also designed to search out different
characteristics in faces. It’s why we find different people attractive,
and why some times you might say to a friend ‘don’t you think ‘insert
name here’ really looks like ‘ insert another name here’, and while
some people will agree with you, others will say ‘what the hell are you
thinking’. It’s the same reason people get into such heated arguments
over the quality (or lack of it) on various sculpts from various
companies; we do actually see things differently!
Now, to me the
head sculpts with both the MK1 & 2 were more like RDJ than this
version, but to be fair this couldn’t be anyone other than him, it’s a
damn fine sculpt. However, whereas with the first two he was bright
eyed and bushy tailed, here he’s had rough night on the vodka shots and
a day from hell… which I suppose might very well be how you’d feel if
you’d been kept in a cave, with a car battery rigged up to an elector
magnet stopping your heart from being pierced by a piece of shrapnel
that’s still lodged in your body!
So although this shows
some solid work, and the detailing on the sweaty hair is some of the
finest hair sculpting I’ve seen, to me it just doesn’t shout ‘I AM IRON MAN’ as loudly as the previous ones.
think of RDJ as having quite a lean face, but the sweat plastered hair
coming low over the forehead gives the impression of his face being
rounder. The new head is permanently housed in the back part of the
helmet; the front part of the helmet is separately packaged and has to
be ‘snapped’ into place. There’s a small indent in the top of the head
with a slot to fix to front part to, you simply push this into
place…firm but gentle as always.
The funny thing is if you sit with
both faces side by side, I’m relatively convinced they took the earlier
(MK3) RDJ head and just reworked it with new hair and more beard
growth, they are that similar, and both have his distinctive nose
captured perfectly. The problem is they shouldn’t have given him more
beard, he simply didn’t have any growth up the sides of his face.
the scene when Yinsen dies, and Stark looks towards the cave opening
the heavy shadow looks beard like… but isn’t. Just moments before when
Yinsen is helping Tony suit up, you clearly see he still has the
trademark goatee… all be it a bit rougher around the edges… well he has
been living in a cave! The other big differences are in the paint apps,
and the most noticeable difference to my eyes is that the new head has
far smaller iris’s and pupils, therefore making his eyes appear
physically smaller… cheez, listen to me… lets get some perspective here
and round it up. What I’m saying is that HT have given us another great
head sculpt that is without a doubt RDJ, but to my eyes they have given
us better, even in the earlier Tony Stark sculpts.
He also comes
with four unique sculpted hands, two as relaxed/gesturing positions and
two fisted. It’s never really explained how Stark controls the suits
functions, but I always thought he would have controls in the gloves,
much like the Rocketeer. Now, the control boxes were visibly evident on
the Rocketeer, here they are not… but hey Tony is a very clever guy,
even when working in a dark cave with limited resources he can come up
with nano circuits integrated into the fabric of his gloves.
the right hands here are just gloved, whilst the left ones have gloves
plus a metal protective shields on the back. All the sculpting is
exceptional, enhanced even further by the amazing paint apps, but more
on that later.
Now, I could spend the next hour trying to wax
lyrical about the sculpting on the suit… but I think that deserves to
be covered in outfit!
Paint - ****
Like the two
suits that came before this, they have managed to make it look very
solid, and also very metallic. Where as the first two were the
concourse sleek Ferraris, this is the beaten up ol’station wagon with
rust and hub-caps missing, but it’s all the more fun and interesting to
look at because of its faults… if you can call them faults. The overall
suit/armour is a base steel/pewter colour, and to enhance all the
beaten panels, nuts, bolts and lines of solder we have some absolutely
sublime weathering and areas of dirt and grime. These are applied with
washes and airbrushing that is even finer than many, not all, but many
customisers could ever achieve.
On top of some of these
panels are areas of peeling paint, stencilled lettering and symbols,
these are all made to look like they are aged and weathered with
flaking and scuffed paint jobs. Quite frankly this is a remarkable
application to have come out of a factory, and its testament once again
to Hot Toys quality control that they can roll out multiple units, time
after time with this degree of excellence. It really is virtually
The face is also handled very well; the base plastic
has that waxy translucent look, over which the delicate paint apps are
applied. The skin has some subtle airbrushing and the beard and hair
are picked out with supreme accuracy between the division lines. The
singular strands of hair that sweep across his forehead are worthy of
particular note, as they are picked out so very well. The eyes here are
as always well painted and catch the light well, but it has to be said…
in fact I said it earlier, the iris’ do look a little small and the
hyper glossy nature that has been evident on many of Hot Toys finest
figures is somewhat lacking here. However the super fine work on his
eyelashes has to be seen with a looking glass to be fully appreciated,
so still definitely a top mark.
Articulation - ****
lets not beat around the bush, this guy has limited articulation, but
have you watched the extra features on the 2 disk IRON MAN DVD, yeah,
quel surprise, when you are kitted up in this outfit ‘YOUR’ ability to
move is severely hampered. So, why the full score?
put simply this is a 1/6th engineering work of freakin art! I’m sure
most companies would have looked at the MK1 and thought ‘Hmmmm, what
can we get away with here, lets make it a solid or roto-cast figure…
sure we’ll give it a little articulation at the hips and shoulders, but
that’ll have to be it.
Well, thank the maker for Hot Toys. They
took this on as a bona fide 1/6th project and dressed their standard
True-Type in a fully realised, working suit of armour. At this point
I’d like to propose a toast “to Hot Toys”... thank you!
had feared that even they would have to take at least some short cuts
with this figure, but they have delivered something that is actually
way beyond my expectations… yet again. Basically this figure just makes
me smile every time I pick it up.
So what can you
realistically expect from the articulation. Both the ankles move freely
in all directions, no problems there. Now we hit the armour, so you
have to expect things to get restrictive, but I’m pleased to say the
left knee can bend to a full 45 degrees. The right doesn’t fair quite
as well, but still manages a respectable 25 degrees. The hips are
pretty limited, as there is so much armour that ends up butting up to
other pieces. The two drive belts (which incidentally are solid, not
rubber) come quite high on the outside hips, so when you try to move
the thighs out from the body they knock into the ‘ring’ of the waist
armour. Apart from that, both legs can move forward by about 25 degrees
and back by about 10. The waist can turn, but make sure you observe all
the places it interacts with each other. There’s some good movement
there as long as you are careful and don’t force anything.
coverings for the arms have been very well thought through and
engineered in such a way that it looks hugely convincing and actually
manages some fine articulation.
The shoulder armour is very
securely attached to the upper arm, this hampers some movement, but not
greatly, you’ll still get a forward bend of about 85 degrees on both,
and back by about 20 to 25, with gentle positioning you’ll get
some very convincing ‘flame thrower’ and ‘rocket launcher’ positions.
The interesting thing is that these upper arm guards are not attached
to the lower arm pieces, so both lower portions can turn independently
making for a far larger range of movement. The left elbow can achieve a
full 90 degree bend, whilst the more heavily armoured left arm can only
achieve about 20. Both the wrists are on cut double pegged joints so
they have the usual True Type range apart from when they interact with
the armour surrounding them.
Lastly we have the head; this is on a
double neck post meaning we get great articulation where it joins the
body and where it joins the head, so it can tilt from side to side.
Forward and right back to look up for that singular flight it managed!
as I say, restrictive, but I was quite frankly knocked out by how well
this is all put together and you will easily get most of the iconic
hero poses seen in the movie.
Outfit - ****
before I get too entrenched in describing the armour, lets talk
undergarments. I was futzing with my figure attempting to tuck the rear
of his welders smock into the waist of the armour when I realised he
has the singlet on under there as well… It actually made me want to
attempt removing the armour… well, who knows, have Hot Toys included
the glowing heart as part of the base figure, OK, OK… Hot Toys …have
you (I jest… or do I?).
He wears an old pair of grey trousers on
his bottom half and an old pair or work boots on his feet. But as
wonderful as the attention to detail on his ‘clothing’ is, it pales
into virtual insignificance next to his outer shell.
armour is basically built from scraps Tony salvaged from his own
munitions. So it is made up of all kinds of bits and pieces with very
little of it having any kind of symmetry. The complexity of all the
separate elements brought together here are simply mind boggling, I
seem to find a new hinge, spring or cable every time I pick it up. And
the detail on the layering of the different panels, held together by
rivets and lines of perfectly observed solder is jaw dropping. His
chest light is beautifully realised, not only does it actually light up
with an intensely bright light it also shows an amazing degree of
detail… more even than some larger versions I’ve seen. There is also a
small bright red light on his inside left forearm. As far as I remember
this light only came on in the movie when Tony activated the gas
canisters’ for his explosive flight, but hey, it’s still a very cool
Some of the most impressive observations are actually on
this figures back, where you’ll find the generator that backs up his
miniature arc reactor,
this in effect helps power the suits functions. Although there are no
actual moving parts on the motor, it is just loaded with super fine
detail. There’s an electro magnetic hub to the left hand side, with
some kind of fuel or coolant canister on the right, between these two
elements are three small cogs interconnected by a rubber drive belt,
there’s also a multitude of real wires, cables and springs joining the
motor to all the various other parts of the suit, and to be fair just
about every other square inch is covered in just as much impressive
detailing. The leg armour is worthy of special note as there are so
many articulated elements, apart from the actual knee joint, both also
have other parts that can lift and move. It’s kind of hard to describe,
but in hand there is a lot of exploring to do. One little detail I
really liked, in a nod to the suits that followed is a small panel to
the extreme left of the chest, its pretty incongruous to look at, but
even this is spring loaded, so when the left arm comes in from the side
it gives way for more movement.
So, all in all you are looking at
a figure that is loaded to the gills with details and articulated
elements, it is nothing short of miraculous that HT have managed to
pull off a 1/6th figure with this amount of finely observed minutiae in
its sculpt, which is then enhanced even further by some astounding
Accessories - ***
figure this good has to have some weak points, but with the amount of
work lavished on the armour I can live with it… and at the end of the
day, what else could you give him?
So what we get is the
faceplate… this isn’t really an accessory, it’s more a necessity, he’d
look pretty crap without it. It just snaps into place as described
above. He also has two extra gloved hands in fisted positions and
finally the classic HT black figure stand, so nothing out of the
ordinary, but at least the alternate hands give you some different
Fun Factor - ****
most HT figures, this is a delicate, finely constructed and detailed
display item. However, don’t let that put you off, you don’t have to
wear kid gloves every time you handle it, just don’t let any kids near
it. As long as you familiarise yourself with its limitations and treat
it with respect and care, you can’t go far wrong!
This is a
very different beast from MK 2 and 3, but I can safely say it’s also my
favourite of the three, and I’ve had a ton of fun posing and playing
with this figure.
Value - ***3/4
This has a RRP of $169.99, that is really a serious amount of money for a 1/6th action-figure… so why so close to a full score?
to put it succinctly HT have pulled off yet another mini work of art
with this piece. I already said the head sculpt is not one of my
favourites from HT, but it is still a very solid job, and every other
aspect of this figure is just beautifully handled.
me, I seriously think 170 big ones is virtually on the money… sure I’d
like it to be cheaper, I’d also like Isabelle Adjani to serve me
breakfast dressed as a French maid, but sadly neither of these things
will happen. So while I come to terms with the fact it’ll be toast and
Marmite as usual tomorrow morning, I’ll just console myself by playing
with my MK1 (and no, that isn’t a euphemism!).Overall
I just love this figure; everything about it (especially with the faceplate down) is just perfection.
And, yes I’m still smiling every time I pick it up; I hope it has the same effect on you.
is one of the most impressive years I can remember in terms of 1/6th
scale, and the way things are going I’ll probably find myself saying
this again next year. I was blown away by the HT Godfather figure just
a few weeks ago, and in terms of face sculpt, tailoring, accessories
and packaging it’s gonna take a hellovalot of work to best it, could
Enterbay be the company to do it?
However, in terms of
engineering and just giving me a bit of personal joy, then this one is
the winner, I have to admit I doubt if in twenty years from now that
Favreau’s, IRON MAN trilogy (cause I’m sure that’s what it’ll be) will
be remembered quite as fondly as Coppola’s, Godfather trilogy (even if
the last one was a disappointment), but I’m here to talk pop culture,
and pop culture can be very ephemeral… and today this is my favourite
figure, who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow, and next year is another
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Outfit - ****
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***3/4
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
Sideshow have long sold out at $169.99, but the waitlist is always an option. The only one of Michael's sponsors I could find that still have him is:
Corner Store Comics
So your other avenue is to hope your local speciality store will get it in, or hit eBay where he seems to be going for between $180 and $200, and he is already very thin on the ground!