Iron Man - Secret Project
Toy Fairs Limited Edition 2011 - Hot Toys
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's back with a look at another of Hot Toys 'exclusives' for 2011 - tell us all about him, Jeff!
A big thank you as always to the CEO of Crawford Industries, for his tireless work in keeping us all so well informed!
the hardcoriest of shell heads can have collected the entire line
released by Hot Toys so far. After all, there will be ten versions of
the power-suit when they have finished covering the first two movies
alone, and that doesn’t even count the Mech-Test, Whiplash, Black
Widow, suit-up gantry or Iron Monger, let alone the 4 mini busts and
So if the third movie brings its own unique take on
the suit, and lets face it Tony is bound to get a slight makeover for
the Avengers as well, we can almost guarantee another two or three
suits… maybe more!
But here we have an exclusive item, codenamed
the ‘Secret Project’ it looks like a variation intended for another
black-ops military sortie behind enemy lines. It’s not movie accurate
in terms of colour scheme, but is just pure toy cool instead! A couple
of years ago Hot Toys did a similar version as a Toy and Comic
Convention Exclusive, it too was grey and was known as the ‘Silly
Thing’ version because it was also used to promote the Honk Kong
‘lifestyle store’ and record label of the same name. It was a straight
re-use of the MK III suit that I reviewed here and back then I was impressed by the build quality and the snazzy new paint app.
However this version is based on the even more impressive MK IV that I also covered here.
if this is just another re-use of an earlier figure, do you really need
it in your collection? Well, I guess that decision can be yours and
yours alone, but let me try and help make that decision a little easier.
cool and understated, yes it’s all these things, but it’s also just a
little dull. It looks kind of like a box that should contain some
hi-tech anti-virus software.
The construction is the same as all the
other Marvel characters so far, so it’s a lift off lid, the top being a
dark gun metal grey and the bottom section being a matte brushed steel
effect. Inside there is a card overlay with a stylised vectored
illustration of the helmet and a full list of the production credits.
Under this is the figure and his accessories sandwiched between layers
of vac formed plastic. Its all sturdy and holds everything secure
whilst also being 100% collector friendly.
So, a well
constructed and serviceable container, however when compared to the
très chic ‘Silly Thing’ version with its sculptural outer box and full
foam surround inside, it’s just not packing that ‘wow’ factor. But at
the end of the day, this is just the cardboard can; lets get to the
Sculpting - ****
Light up feature ****
Again see below*
*OK, this is
one of those occasions where I’m going to be lazy… well, not so much
lazy, as just not seeing the point of writing the same stuff twice. You
see apart from the paint app, this is identical to the MK IV which I
already reviewed fully here. So for all the categories listed above you can read the low down linked to there. However, the paint is an all-new job, so….
Yep, all new, but still totally bad ass and just as impressive!
are the classic gold’s and red’s replaced with differing tones of deep
matte grey. It makes for a very striking look, as the quality of
application and the depth of finish are all beautifully applied. The
division lines are crisp and there is no slop whatsoever. The colour as
I said is similar to both the first exclusive grey version (though that
was pretty much the same dark grey all over) and also the War Machine
version that I covered here, and like
the War Machine this has contrasting lighter panels, notably the
faceplate, biceps and thighs, but it’s also covered in a lots of nicely
observed scratches and scrapes where the steel beneath is mimicked to
be showing through.
They even repainted Tony’s tiny pair of Von
Zipper- Fulton style chequered sunglasses from red to grey… a cute
touch I think you’ll agree.
So, the colour change will either
float your boat or leave you cold, but there is absolutely no denying
the quality is as perfect as it’s possible to get in 1/6th these days.
he doesn’t have the donut or box, but I can live without those,
everything else seems to be the same and at least he does come with the
light up stand plus the extra Tony Stark head!
Factor - ***1/2
terms, this offers no more or less fun than the ‘straight’ classic red
and gold MK IV, after all in terms of what could be considered ‘play
value’ it has exactly the same spec. The thing that makes this
different is that grey paint app, which you will either dig or not dig!
So I award the same score as I did the MK IV. This is a fun item to
display and pose for adult collectors, just don’t let the kids get hold
of it, as leys face it; it isn’t childproof by a long mark!
for money - ***1/4
the conventions this had a ticket price of $210.00, so it’s not going
to be carrying off the award for bargain of the year. However for that
price you are getting an amazingly engineered figure, one that poses
fantastically (well, as long as you approach with realistic
expectations) and has a rather unique paint job. Of course, that very
paint job will be the thing that divides many collectors. You may
decide that the fact this is officially ‘non-canon’ means it has no
place in your ‘movie’ collection. Or, you may be one of those (and I’ve
spoken to a few) who have decided it will be the only Iron Man figure
in your collection because it just looks so damned cool. Or
alternatively you may be like me and fall into the camp that enjoyed
both the movies (well, 1 more than 2, but even 2 was good solid popcorn
fodder) and have decided it’s exclusive nature and rarity is just too
cool to pass up on. And lets face it, a good quality repaint variant
has always got us collector fan-boys excited… just look at all those 3A
So, once you take the edition size and nice
selection of accessories into account the price seems a lot more
reasonable… as I said above, not a bargain, but it’s certainly not a
rip off either.
And with eBay prices all being well north of
$350, (and some over the $500 mark) that RRP might seem like more of a
bargain as the days go by… but only time will tell!
In real terms this gets ½ a star less than I awarded the red and gold MK IV, and the reason for that is twofold.
and most importantly this has a price tag that asks for a whole extra
$30. Of course I know the reasons for that price hike (small edition
size and hefty license) but it still doesn’t detract from the fact its
$30 more. The other reason, (and it’s far less important to me) is that
at the end of the day this is an ‘expanded universe’ kind of leftfield
item. OK, it’s not up there with soccer playing Spiderman or Darth
Vader on his motorbike, but it’s still a flight of fancy.
Where to buy
this sold out pretty fast at Sideshow, as most exclusives tend to do.
You may strike it lucky with the wait-list or you can chance your arm
on eBay if you have the cash to splurge, but be ready to pay between $350 to $600.
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This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.