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Iron Man MK XLII - Power Pose Series
Hot Toys

Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys


Hot Toys dominates the sixth scale licensed action figure market with their exceptional sculpts, amazing paints, and detailed accessories and outfits. But that's never been enough for them.

Over the last few years they've expanded into other areas, including busts, mini-figures, and quarter scale figures. And they've upped the ante even with their sixth scale line, creating a deluxe series that includes the PERS eyes and and an even greater number of extras.

But the prices for their figures have continued to rise, and some collectors - myself included - have wondered if this will become an issue. Rather than leave behind the lower cost market, they have introduced another new sixth scale concept, called the Power Pose series.

These aren't quite figures, and they aren't quite statues. They are posable, but not in the same way as a normal action figure. Their design allows for a couple major poses, with some minor articulation to add your own touches to the final look.

They lack all the extras as well, but this reduction in accessories and articulation allows them to give us a break on the price. This first release - the MK XLII suit from Iron Man 3 - will run around $160 depending on the retailer.

They've already started pre-orders for the big Red Snapper version, but because of his bulk, he'll run you quite a bit more even with less articulation.

Packaging - ***1/2
Nothing fancy here - an outer sleeve over a basic box with a couple layers of plastic trays. It's all collector friendly, and pretty light weight, since there's not a ton of extras here.

The outer sleeve is pretty basic too, with just an overlay photo of the figure, no embossing, no die cut, no extra text. Cost cutting clearly covers the entire concept for this guy.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys
Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys
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Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys
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Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys
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Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys
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Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys
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Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt has a ton of detail work, because this suit is much more advanced than what we saw in the original movie. This extra detailing in the shoulders, hips, back and sides looks amazing, and really pops on the shelf.

But the statue is quite light, and the plastic used for the armor feels much more like something from Kotobukiya than Hot Toys. For folks that have been unable to buy the higher priced figures, this is probably just fine, but for those that are accustomed to the feel and overall quality of the MM figures , this is likely to be more of an issue.

Kotobukiya did an ArtFX version of the MK IV, and it was awfully nice for the time (2010) and the price ($100). It wasn't as detailed as this one, but the suit design itself was not nearly as impressive, making that comparison a bit unfair. Just in terms of general build quality, it's very similar.

This is a slightly bigger figure though, coming in at a full 12" standing, and about 15 1/2" in the flying pose.

Paint - ****
While the feel of the figure itself is very similar to the Koto style, the paint work is where this one really stands out. That's certainly not a surprise, but it's nice to see that this category is not one where they skimped.

The small details look great, and the metallic colors are bright and very consistent. While the plastic armor itself might feel a bit lighter than what we get with most of the MM figures, the realism of the paint job is very similar.

Articulation - **1/2
The concept here is to make an articulated statue at a price point that collectors can manage.

They've went with ball joints at the neck, shoulders and hips. There's also ball joints at the wrists, and the ankles. Finally, there's a half foot joint with limited movement. I read someplace there was also a waist joint, but that's not the case.

These joints allow you to move the full arms and legs around a bit, but nothing too crazy. You can tilt the hands and feet, as well as the head and torso, and get just the right pose for your shelf. It's not a true action figure, but it's quite a bit more than a standard statue.

Accessories - **1/2
If you're expecting anything like one of their MM figures in this category, think again. These are not intended as true action figures, and as such, there's only a few additional pieces.

There is a second left hand with an open palm, an easy swap with the fist he comes wearing. It lights up as well.

There's the additional right thigh, which is sculpted in a standing pose. You pop off the lower leg, pop off the bent thigh, pop on the straight thigh, and finally put the only lower leg back on again. It works well enough, and allows for two dynamic poses.

There's also the round base, which can be used with either leg pose. To support the flying pose, there's a clear rod that attachs at the crotch. It works well, and looks great.

When you swap to the other thigh, you can attach two supports to the feet, and then attach these to the carved ring in the base. This gives the standing pose additional support.

That's it - it boils down to an extra hand, an extra thigh, and the base. There's a reason the price is lower.

Light Feature - ***1/2
It doesn't matter what version of the Iron Man suit they're doing - it better light up. As usual, his eyes, chest and both palms are illuminated with bright LED's.

A chunk of the armor in back pops off, and the battery pack and switch are inside. It's a bit of a pain in the butt to remove the armor every time you want to flip the switch - it should have been available somewhere on the surface.

Value - **
Remember when an average Hot Toys sixth scale figure cost around $150 - $175? Shouldn't be too hard to remember, since it was only a year ago. Now you're paying that for what amounts to a slightly posable statue. While the paint work is superior to the average Kotobukiya job, the overall quality just doesn't feel like it justifies the additional $50 - $60.

Things to Watch Out For -
When you're swapping the right leg, take some care with the soft rubber armor that hangs down slightly over the hip. It can get trapped in the joint and damaged if you don't slip the leg up under it before snapping it tight.

Overall - ***
This is an interesting idea - produce a lower end product to try to capture that market as well. 

I like this figure - I really do. It's particularly good looking in the flying pose, which sets it apart from other releases. But it doesn't *feel* like a Hot Toys figure...and I think that may end up hurting it.

I'm not sure if the market is really there for something quite like this. The price isn't that low, or the quality that high. Instead, they are both good, but not great, leaving it in a weird limbo.

It's certainly an improvement over a standard Kotobukiya statue, both because of the simple articulattion and the exceptional paint quality. But is it worth another $60?

On the flip side, armored Iron Man versions are running around $80 more than this guy these days - there's not a lot of collectors that can afford that. But are they willing to go for this much more basic version at a mid-range price?

I think this series is best suited for characters like the Red Snapper, where creating one in the MM series is going to be so expensive that it becomes almost prohibitive. If the Power Pose version is the only way to get a particular suit in sixth scale, collectors will be more likely to go for it.

We'll be spending some time on the next Hot Toys Cast on this very subject, but I'd love to hear your thoughts - is the Power Pose series something that works for you?

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Light Up Feature - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store is at just $155.

- Sideshow is at $165.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $165.

- Things From Another World is also at $165.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The obvious comparison here - that I made more than once - is going to be with Kotobukiya's Iron Man from a few years ago. 

Hot Toys has done plenty of Iron Man items, that's for sure, but one of my favorites is still the original MKII.

And if you're looking for something a bit different, check out the recent 1/4 scale version from NECA.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Power Pose Iron Man MK XLII figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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