Iron Man 2 - Iron Man Mark VI and War Machine Busts
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
|Time for some more Iron Man goodness - Jeff is checking out their latest busts. Take it away, Jeff!
Thank you as always to the irrepressible and inimitable Mr. Crawford.
in a license for a movie franchise before the movie has been shown is a
little like playing Poker. So it’s all about balance and playing your
hand as wisely as you can. And luckily for Hot Toys they’ve shown
themselves to be nothing short of card sharks under the guidance of
Howard Chan, for every Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans, there
is an Iron Man and Bat Man to off set that balance, and lets face it,
what gambler remembers the losses… let the good times roll.
so with IMDB telling us that Iron Man 3 isn’t due till 2012 at the
earliest, that gives Hot Toys a chance to take their time over whatever
releases they still plan to give us from Iron Man 2… if any!
far as 1/6th goes, then a limited re-release of the MKII with a Rhodey
face sculpt would be an easy option, and I’m pretty sure a mech-suited
Whiplash would make a few fans very happy indeed. I myself have said
I’d love to see at least one variation of the Hammer Drone done as well.
before I get ahead of myself, we haven’t even been 100% promised a
version of my favourite suit from the movie yet, namely the portable suitcase MK V,
surely one is in the works, maybe even a DX with a Tony Stark racing
driver kit and an opening articulated briefcase… well I can wish!
We do however know that a bust is coming soon of the MK V suit, so we are guaranteed at least one version of it as a collectible. I reviewed the first Hot Toys Iron Man 2 bust of the MK IV here and now I have the War Machine and limited convention release of the MK VI to look over.
admit I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof waiting to get hold of my 1/6th
War Machine (jeez, those early in-hand pics do look impressive), but
till then I shall have to content myself with these, are they up to the
|Packaging - ***1/2
the lead of the first IM2 bust this comes in a good sturdy cardboard
box with die-cut windows on the front (that make me think of
Transformers) and 2 smaller ones on the sides so you can get a good
look at the contents, both also have a full colour photos of the busts
on the back, oh and the MK VI has metallic silver edging around all the
windows, it’s the only one to have this feature so far, so it seems to
be there to differentiate it as the con exclusive.
contents are securely held by a clear vac formed tray that is moulded
front and back to hold everything tight while it’s being shipped to
you. The whole shebang is collector friendly, so you can have them out
on display, then put them back and no one will be any the wiser… not
that I condone such activity of course… but you could!
the first busts packaging, these are a pair of nice boxes but they are
more about protecting the contents than about ground breaking design,
but the fact you get a good look at the contents is a nice bonus.
Sculpting - ****
I said in the previous bust review, Hot Toys really know how to treat
the Iron Man licence, they have made an art form out of translating the
complex hi-tech suits into complex hi-end collectibles. The MK VI is
virtually identical to the MK IV except for in the clavicle and chest
area. The most obvious change is in the shape of the window showing the
ARC reactor, as it is now triangular and has geometric lines engraved
into the chest panel around it. The detailing on the actual light up
area is very impressive and all the ‘implied’ engineering is there to
see, rather than just sticking a bulb in there like many other
companies might have been happy with. Apart from that though, they are
pretty much the same.
But for War Machine everything, and I
mean absolutely every surface, nut, bolt and screw head is absolutely
different and unique to this bust. The whole thing has a much more
bulked up, industrial and militaristic feel to it, as I guess it
should! The detailing all looks faultless to my eyes, with the layered
metal amour fitting together like a complex jig-saw around the deep set
ARC reactor on his chest. Then the wide bulky shoulder yokes pass over
to the back where they join to the rig that holds the integrated drum
that feeds the mini gun. It looks like this is intended to be a modular
system, as if the mini-gun is just one of any number of weapons systems
that could un-clip, lift off and be replaced with another. The
detailing on the back is fantastic as well, I know one of the reasons
the 1/6th figure was delayed was so they could perfect some of the
mechanical details, and one of these details was this back section, you
can see the revised version for the 1/6th version here,
which shows that this bigger ¼ scale already had the details rendered
near perfectly. The feed chute for the ammo chain is slotted into the
middle of the back and joins to the rear section of mini guns body,
from which the six tethered barrels protrude. This section at the back
also has a cut joint meaning it can turn to keep the chute untangled
when you position the arm. The arm that holds the gun has a universal
joint at the point that joins to the weapon, so it can spin on the
horizontal plane and also turn on the vertical. The other end of the
arm has a spinning joint so the arm can swing to fire over either the
left or right shoulder but it can also turn at 90 degrees to the back
so the gun can rest in an up-turned position. That probably all sounds
a lot more complicated than it is, but what it actually adds up to is a
lot of poseability. The detailing on all the tiny cogs and gears
covering the joints of the gun arm is fantastically detailed, as is
every aspect of this bust. I particularly love the design of the large
heavy-duty armoured epaulets that shield the shoulders and the bulked
up cladding on the biceps.
Both the busts are mounted onto the same
plinth, as was the MK IV, this also has an industrial looking theme and
has the movie logo on the front alongside the suits designated number
So I’m giving both busts a full score as the detailing
and actual sculpting is all top class, but I have to admit that the War
Machine one deserves an extra gold star for merit, just outstanding!
All the paint
here is just about as good as it gets, the MK VI once again shares a
lot of its details with that of the MK IV, so we get the deep red
covering most of the surfaces with a brushed golden colour serving as a
secondary tone, but we also have a third brushed steel colour
introduced, this is used to add accents to the biceps and the small
blade shaped flashes in the serratus anterior regions on either side of
the pectoral areas (I new all those long hours in biology classes would
be of use one day!). It also has all the engraved division lines picked
out in matte black and a few silver scratches painted in here and there
to add a little implied damage in a few key points over the red areas.
Machine is predominantly a deep grey gunmetal colour, it has a deep
iridescent quality, quite similar to last years con exclusive of the
Silly Thing Grey MK III suit, sort of a MK III.5, which I reviewed here.Various.
Other aspects of the sculpt are picked out in a brushed steel colour to
add definition to the differing sections, the metallic tones used here
are very convincing.
All the division lines are accurate and
crisp, adding up to a bust that does actually manage to look like a
hefty lump of cast metal. There are also three strategic places where
white lettering is stencilled directly onto the armoured panels and
this is also done faultlessly.
So, considering these are mere ¼
scale busts, they have had a lot of love and attention shown to them,
but did we really expect anything less?
- War Machine ****, MK VI N/A
I never truly expect any articulation from a bust. I expect it
to be a static representation of a character capturing a moment in time
or in the style of a maquette to work as an accurate reference piece,
these are of the later category. But, like on the first IM bust, both
the heads can turn a little, but that’s not really a big feature, more
just a bi-product of how they are constructed.
However, with War
Machine’s large back mounted mini-gun we get a few more display options
for him. The weapon is mounted on an arm with well engineered universal
joints that I described in detail above, so with a little work you can
get the gun into a good number of positions.
Accessories - N/A
guess one could argue that the gun is an accessory for the War Machine
bust, but I’m looking at it as more an intrinsic part of the design and
sculpt that needs to be clipped into place.
- War Machine ***1/2, MK VI ***
the RRP of $74.99 each these are a full $10 more than the MK IV that I
reviewed first. You can see that a lot more engineering work and
extra sculpting had to be done for War Machine, but the hike in price
is purely to cover the limited numbers that the MK VI is being made in.
So while the increase is bearable with War Machine it does make the MK
VI look a little like the poor relation. It’s still a beautiful piece
of work, but would seem even more attractive if it were $10 cheaper.
Fun Factor ***
I said last time, busts aren’t actually fun, they are display items, so
you can’t truly play with them. However as the ranks of the differing
designated suits are swelling, the combined light from them is know
almost enough to give your room a little ambient glow… it could get
very expensive in the battery department though, but it’ll be worth it!
if you are any kind of ‘Shell Head’ then I’m sure lining these up on
your desk is gonna bring a wry smile to your face every time you look
at them, and that’s gotta be worth quite a bit!
Overall- War Machine****, MK VI ***1/2
extra bulk, engineering and the fact its just such a damn cool looking
bit of hardware makes the War Machine bust come out the overall winner,
even though more expensive than the first bust you can see where all
the money has been spent, but I can’t say he same for the MK VI. Apart
from its triangular ARC reactor in its chest it is just too similar to
the MK IV to merit the price hike. I would guess a good few thousand
were made of the MK IV so it would have made it’s money back pretty
quickly, but with the MK VI being a convention exclusive, means the
numbers manufactured would have been far lower, so it’s easy to see
that HT had to make their outlay on R&D back from somewhere, but
the similarity in their aesthetic makes it hard to actually see why the
prices should be so different. Of course this has no baring on the
secondary market prices where the ‘exclusive’ nature of the MK VI has
pushed prices up on eBay to elevate this to a buy it now price of
between $95 to $200, so if it starts selling at the higher end of these
inflated prices it sure makes the RRP of $74.99 seem like a good deal,
which I hasten to add Sideshow still has it available for!
Where to buy
the MK VI was a con exclusive the only place it was officially
available in North America was through Sideshow, and as luck would have
it they still have it listed as in stock and available for the RRP of $74.99 where as the War Machine bust,
which wasn’t an exclusive, so I would believe was made in larger
numbers has long sold out, showing that I think most people agree with
my deductions that the bulked up tank that is the War Machine was the
one you just had to own!
You could still hit lucky thought and maybe save a few $’s as one of Michael’s sponsors still has it, namely Urban Collector - $70.99, but you might have to act fast!
Alternatively you can hit eBay.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.