Iron Man 2 Whiplash
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 checks in tonight with a
look at Whiplash! I checked this guy out
just last week, and have to say it's sweet - tell
us all about it, Jeff!
A quick thank you to Michael, not only for running this great site but
also for the solid coverage he gave SDCC again this year, to those of
us unable to attend it’s the next best thing to being there!
Well Iron Man 2 came and went, but it is very far from forgotten.
Though it didn’t quite match the rollercoaster ride that was part 1,
which was turned up to a full Spinal Tap 11, part 2 still managed a
very respectable 9.5 on the ‘Marvel movies’ Richter scale, which is to
So what did part 2 actually give us?
Well, it gave us Scarlett Johansson with red hair and a skintight
combat suit, and quite frankly that would have been enough to justify
the movies existence… period!
But it also managed to expand on the character of Tony Stark and to
give us a little more of his complex history. In fact the motif, much
loved of ‘hero quest’ stories was used, that of ‘the sins of the
|In this case it
revolved around a long standing feud between Tony’s
father Howard and his old engineering/scientific sparing partner Anton
Vanko. Fast forward to the present and Anton dies in a squalid flat in
downtown Moscow, leaving his son Ivan champing at the bit for revenge
against the son of the man he sees responsible for his fathers
disrespected and empty life, a tragic existence that lead to his
ultimate sad demise. Of course there’s a lot more that comes into play,
giving us a pretty dynamic second act to Favreau’s planned trilogy, but
in a nutshell that kind of brings you up to speed.
was played by the man on the rise, Mr Mickey Rourke. He’s an actor I
used to really like, with early offerings like Angel Heart, Barfly and
Homeboy he was shaping up to be a real contender, maybe a new Brando
for his generation… but sadly it didn’t pan out. Instead of honing his
craft he decided that acting wasn’t quite macho enough for him and so
(indirectly because of his experiences making Homeboy) went off to
become a professional boxer.
The rest is history!
have to admit, even though he looks like he’s been through the mill,
and even though he has committed the most heinous of narcissistic
crimes (well to me anyway) of becoming surgically altered in the name
of his own vanity, I’m still glad to see him back. And after the
childhood and life he has lived, there are few actors out there more
deserving of a second chance.
But enough about Mr Rourke’s
history, we’re here to look at Hot Toys latest Iron Man offering, their
1/6th version of Whiplash, the main big bad from the second movie. At
times he was played off as a bit of a pawn to the dastardly plans of
Justin Hammer, but he soon proved his worth and showed his mettle (pun
So if your shelves are already groaning under the
weight of Hot Toys Iron Man figures, do you need yet another… well I
hope so, because Hot Toys are very far from finished with the license
yet, in fact you could say it’s just beginning!
The whole Iron Man range has had some of the most visually stunning
packaging from the company to date, and whilst I like this pack, it
ain’t quite up there with best of the line.
So, no thick card board, magnetic clasps or foil blocking, but it still
has the classic old skool Hot Toys feel, meaning we have the faithful
metallic slip over sleeve baring images of the figure and Rourke in
character on the front, it even has a tantalising glimpse of Black
Widow on the side panel. This slides off to reveal a predominantly
black inner case with a die-cut window showing the fully constructed
figure within. Once this is opened you get the figure lying in the
usual black vac-formed tray, held in place by one twisty-tie against a
foam insert (excusable bearing in mind the delicate nature of his
armoured body rig).
So, to sum up, it’s a nicely designed box that will protect the
contents well in their potentially long journey to you, but when you
inevitably hold it up next to the others in the series, well, it’s just
not quite the jewel in the crown.
In the strange twilight world of hi-end 1/6th collecting KoJun has been
a much respected sculptor for many years now, but unless you were a
real hard core collector, willing to hunt down his elusive work (and
probably sell a kidney along the way to afford it) it was something to
be admired in pictures rather than owned.
But now Hot Toys are bringing his works to the masses, and he is
turning in ever more impressive work for them of late. Recently he has
been making the Iron Man 2 license very much his own, well, when it
comes to the human likenesses anyway. His recent Mech Test Tony was just
beautiful, but his work on Mickey Rourke here manages to best it yet
Rourke has what can best be described as a ‘lived in’ face,
but all that living, (most of it ‘hard’) has created facial features
that are a god send to any sculptor who wants a challenge. And the
portrait created here by KoJun is just sublime. His expression is
pretty intense, the lips are slightly parted, the brow is furrowed and
the eyes are in a slight concentrated squint, but it all comes together
to create a near perfect likeness. I’ve praised KoJun's work on
moulding and sculpting hair before, and here he has done a sterling job
of capturing the look of Vanko’s greasy lank locks,
sections are glued onto the head using zigzag seams to disguise where
any joins are, it works well in creating an illusion of depth and
layers. He also comes with four hands, two designed to hold the whips
and a pair of fists, all are up to the usual very high standard.
There is also a lot of AMAZING sculpt work on his armoured appendages,
but I’ll cover that in outfit.
So, to sum up I think this is way up there with the very best sculpts
Hot Toys have ever given us, just an amazing piece of work that
deserves to take his place in as many Iron Man displays as possible.
OK, prepare to just read another sycophantic tirade of me extolling the
masterful skills of Mr JC Hong… but what can I say… he just is the god
of 1/6th paint applications… period!
However, on this occasion not only has he created another masterpiece
on the skin tones with its implied grime and subtle scars. The hair
line and facial hair are all as gently applied as we have come to
expect with no hard transition between it and the flesh, I have to
admit the grey streaks in the hair are the only possible weak point,
but even they are handled in a way that will make many other
manufacturers weep. The eyes are half closed, but still show enough of
the glossy iris and pupil to really bring him to life and if you look
closely enough you will see individual eyelashes painted in.
But the paint doesn’t stop with the head; it carries on all over his
torso, which is of a similar design to the bodies we got with Wolverine
and The Comedian. So it has variations in the tone plus freckles and
moles, but it’s the myriad of complex tattoos covering his
body that really set this figure apart. I’ve looked closely
at any pics I could find, and from what I can see these look pretty
spot on, they are too numerous and complex to try and describe
individually here, but I will say my favourite is the Posada like
Mexican skeleton on his left flank and the row of medals on his right
pec, if you get him you will spend a lot of time just taking it all in,
it’s pretty amazing.
Trust me, a big part of the fun with this figure is sitting down and
drinking in all the amazing details, and the tatts make up a great part
OK, I just said the tatts are a very ‘visually’ appealing aspect to
this figure, and indeed they are. However, the most amazing part of
this guys look is the incredibly complex rig he wears over his arms, chest
and back. For me it easily rivals the boots and arm braces of
the Mech-Test Tony Stark.
Well it’s the mixed media of implied metal, leather, cables, light up
tubes and indeed his ARC reactor strapped to his front that make him
look like a total bad ass. In fact I just have to mention the guys
credited on the box for bringing this to life, I often mention the
sculptors by name and JC Hong comes in for praise in virtually every
review. However on this occasion it’s Jason Woo, Dickson Yip and Eddy
Lau that deserve to take a bow on centre stage, as without their
amazing work in fully realising Whiplash’s armour this figure might
never have worked. The development and engineering they have replicated
here at 1/6th scale is nothing short of AMAZING!
Both the calipers covering his arms have double hinges, allowing for
about a 90 degree bend, and the shoulders are linked to the back
section by means of the light up flexible tubes that join them, these
also have hinges where they link at the top to aid in keeping all the
articulation as good as possible. The ‘shoulder blade’ sections are
also hinged allowing them to swing out. The rest of the rig is held in
place by leather straps and buckles. Now obviously a costume this
intricate means it’s fragile and we lose some articulation. But I was
still hugely impressed that I could get more poses than I originally
thought I would be able to. And though delicate, it still stands up
well to handling, I always say you should never really treat a Hot Toys
figure like a mere play thing, it’s best to think of it as somewhere
between a Faberge egg, a fine Swiss watch and a GI Joe, if that makes
From the waist down he wears the tattered remains of his boiler suit,
and once again the attention to detail on the charred edges, ripped
seams and exposed zips is breathtaking. In the movie he wore a brighter
orange suit but for some licensing reason Marvel instructed Hot Toys
they couldn’t use that colour. I don’t really think anyone knows why at
this point, but the darker tan colour they have used does a good job
and replicating the overall look of the character in the Monte Carlo
The trouser part has holes in the knees through which you can see the
metallic hexagonal knee braces, you may need to fiddle a bit to get
them fully showing, but it’s another well observed detail. Lastly there
are the boots, these are so well carried out, and even though they are
sculpted they look hugely convincing, much like the ones that came with
Raine these are however much more ‘freestyle’ in their
appearance with the large flexible tongue lolling over the front of the
boot. They have twin buckles at the side and a loop at the back, but
all the details on stitched seams, buckles and even the ridges in the
heel are all perfectly captured.
So, at first glance, with all the flesh on show it might make you think
this is a pretty minimalist outfit, but it is in fact one of the most
complex you will ever see and fully deserves a top score.
As I said above, this base body appears to have essentially the same
articulation as Wolverine and The Comedian, meaning it has a great
range, but it’s not up there with the classic True Type. However,
because of the nature of the armoured ARC rig, the poseability is
relatively limited anyway. The elbows can bend to just under 90
degrees, but with care the shoulders can turn a full 180 to reach above
the head, they can also lift up away from the body by about 80 degrees,
but I wouldn’t want to do it too many times for fear of rubbing the
tatts off. The lower half of the body is pretty much unencumbered,
keeping the score at a more than reasonable level for what is a hugely
This is Whiplash, he has his whips… but oh what whips!
They are formed to look like heavy duty electrical cables interspersed
with ten metal vertebrae along their length; these sections also have a
finer copper coloured wire running through them as well. At the end is
the handle or grip. These look a little like minimalist lightsabres,
but the detailing on things like the hexagonal patterned finger grip is
just faultless, the bottom of the handle has a circular hole into which
the cables running down his arms slot, therefore linking them all up to
his power supply.
Now, depending on your preference these can be displayed in the powered
down mode or with sculpted bolts of crackling electricity. The
‘mimicked’ power just slides over the length of the whips, you have to
thread it in and out and wrap some of the yellow tendrils around the
wires. It does a fair job of approximating the look, but it’s a shame
there is no way of capturing the raw energy they had on screen. As when
they coiled around Iron Man, the spitting angry arcs of energy poured
off of them, practically smelting the power suit.
I guess HT did think of wiring him up to the mains, but health and
safety wouldn’t allow it!
He also comes with an extra set of fists, that come complete with all
the tattoos as well… but as nice as they are, why would you want to
display him in anything other than full ‘whip’ mode. Lastly
there is the obligatory black stand, complete with name plate and movie
logo. As I always say I don’t tend to use the stands, but it could come
in handy for long-term display, especially if you use a more extreme
So, not a big haul, but an essential one, and it’s carried out very,
This is not a cheap figure, and even by recent standards he has a price
tag that makes most sane folks wince. His full RRP is $179.99 from
Sideshow, where at the time of writing he was still listed as available
on pre-order. But I have a strong suspicion it might not be around for
too long. Especially once the word of mouth starts filtering through. I
have to say, I don’t feel able to give him a full score, but you can
still see where every single penny has been spent. The work on the
paint and his tattooed body is fantastic, but the intricate nature of
the mechanised ‘ARC’ powered rig that covers his body is just jaw
dropingly AMAZING, meaning that from a visual angle this isn’t just one
of the coolest Iron Man figures, it’s one of the coolest 1/6th figures
ever, end of story.
Factor - ****
I have had a ton of fun posing this guy, but you do have to take care,
as the ARC rig is potentially fragile (in the wrong hands) and it does
limit some of the more extreme poses. However when Hot Toys get round
to giving us the MK 5 suit with battle damaged elements, then it’s
gonna make for some very interesting displays. Plus the cool light up
feature gives the figure even more visual impact… not something it was
lacking anyway. The small battery compartment that slots on the back of
his belt houses a small switch, just flick it on and the chest ARC
glows brightly and the clear tubes that run up the back of the rig glow
an eerie blue, full instructions for inserting the batteries are
Basically he’s just very cool figure to pose, and he’s very eye
catching on the shelf!
Even though this figure is a hefty $180, I still feel compelled to give
him a full score. There is just SO much to look at, and SO much to be
impressed by. Every aspect is top notch, the KoJun sculpt is in my
opinion his best to date for Hot Toys, JC Hong has delivered the goods
yet again and the outfit is a marvel of 1/6th tailoring and
engineering. So, if you bite the bullet on this figure, that $180 price
tag is made all the more acceptable by the levels of detail that are
lavished on this release.
to Buy -
still has it available for pre-order at the RRP of $179. Or you can try
Michael’s sponsor below listed in order of price-
Ego - $161.99
Bad Toy Store- $169.99
Collector - $179.99
Goods has him listed at 270 AUS
eBay where I’ve seen BIN prices of $160 to $225.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.