One toy line that I’ve always thought should have succeeded was Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs. The line combined the popular designer urban vinyl genre with beloved characters from Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Transformers, and more. And, I mean, with a tagline like “Made of 100% Recycled Awesome”, how could you lose? Even so, the Mighty Muggs line died a pretty horrible death with lots of shown products unceremoniously cancelled from every theme and including tons of characters I wanted like Iceman and Serpentor (and some I absolutely didn’t, like Satipo from Indiana Jones). The line has lived on as occasional convention and store exclusives, and after Mini Muggs debuted with Star Wars in late 2010, we got some Marvel Mini Muggs for SDCC and NYCC 2011. But finally–finally!–the super-deformed designer goodness has returned to mass retail thanks to The Avengers movie marketing push! Today I’m reviewing Iron Man, and I’m excited to say the 100% Recycled Awesome is back and better than ever…
Hasbro first unleashed Mighty Muggs upon the world toward the end of 2007 with their Star Wars line. I wasn’t immediately smitten with the Muggs, but they won me over with Lando in 2008. The Star Wars Mighty Muggs tended to be very hit or miss (Hoth Han–UGH), but when the Marvel Mighty Muggs were released Hasbro had struck creative gold.
As cute as the figures were, though, they were expensive at $10-$12 each at retail, and with their large width tended to take up a lot of shelf-space. My wife always said the line would be perfect if it was half the size. They’d be cheaper and you could fit many more together on the shelf. It turns out my wife was right (as usual), because the Mini Muggs are the absolute perfect size and price-point. They’re half the size and half the price of the old Mighty Muggs, and even the boxes are tiny enough that you can store a bunch of them in a handful of the space. With plastic costs rising and space a consideration for many collectors, Hasbro made the precise right choice with launching these Mini Muggs.
Iron Man is a tough character to make cute, seeing as how on the outside he’s an inorganic suit of armor. Hasbro came close to making Iron Man cute in its past attempts in the Mighty Muggs line, but I think this time they finally hit the mark. With his ambiguous mouth, illuminated eyes, and most of all his chubby little body and stumpy arms, this Avengers movie-version Iron Man is a real winner. Reducing the size of this Iron Man to itty-bitty adds an extra cute factor that was impossible at the full Mighty Muggs size.
Along with the design itself, the paintwork on any designer toy like this is absolutely crucial. No matter how good the artist’s design is, it can be ruined if the paint job isn’t top-notch. I’m pleased to report that the quality of the paint on this figure is absolutely impeccable. There are no stray or uneven lines, no missed spots, no paint glop, no nothing. Hasbro obviously understands the importance of precise paint on designer figures of this nature, and made certain the factories made the paint on these figures ideal. The design is probably applied by a machine somewhere in China and never touched by human hands, but regardless of that, the decoration on this figure is pristine.
Like all Mighty Muggs and Mini Muggs, Iron Man has the standard 3 points of articulation: head and arms. You can’t do a whole lot with them, but the little bit of flexibility goes a long way in providing more personality for these little figures. Also, Iron Man still has a “Mighty Muggs” logo stamp on the bottom of his foot, so there’s still hope of seeing some full-sized Mighty Muggs in the future from time to time.
I also wanted to take a moment to praise the packaging itself for this line. Hasbro could have taken the cheap way out and stuck all The Avengers Mini Muggs in a generic box, but they went the extra mile and designed unique packaging for each character with the featured character illustrated on the front, side, top and back of the box. The wee lil’ boxes themselves are adorable, and a perfect complement to the figures contained within. These are some of the few designer figures I think may look just as good in their packaging as they do out of it, and that’s quite a feat. Major props, Hasbro.
As you might be able to tell, I’m very pleased with this Iron Man figure. It’s as perfect as we’re likely to ever get in a movie-styled designer Iron Man. (Although if he’d ever allow it, I think Hasbro could be a devilishly cute unhelmeted Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark figure.)
What I’m not content with is the fact that Hasbro saw fit to make nearly the whole movie Avengers team as Mini Muggs, but solely excluded Black Widow, the token female on the Avengers roster. Really, Hasbro? Really…? It’s 2012–female figures sell. Deal with it.
“Where Can I Buy It!?”
Iron Man and the rest of The Avengers Mini Muggs lineup should be readily available at mass retail right now, where the figures retail for $6-$8 each. You can also easily find any of the figures online for right about the same price:
Ebay is always a great option for looking for deals on new-release action figures, as ebay tends to have listings for figures literally the day they turn up in any store and long after the figures are totally sold-out at retail. Click here to check out the current ebay listings for Iron Man Mini Muggs Figure!
Amazon has Mini-Muggs Iron Man right now from various sellers for retail price and with free shipping, which is always makes it a popular choice.
BigBadToyStore stocks virtually every Marvel product Hasbro releases each year, and have Mini Muggs Iron Man available for $8.99, as well as every other Mini Muggs figure available individually.
Overall: I wasn’t positive that Hasbro was going to be able to pull off a cute realistic, movie-style designer Iron Man (and the Iron Man 2 Mighty Muggs version corroborated that), but I was sorely mistaken. This is a great Iron Man figure that’s small enough to stick a bunch on your shelf at home or to place next to your computer at work. The design itself is adorable despite all logic saying a super-deformed figure of a suit of armor shouldn’t be, and the paint work is flawless. At a fairly low price and with the size making space a non-issue, I love this Iron Man and I love this Mini Muggs line. Iron Man isn’t the cutest figure in the set–that’s probably Hulk–but he’ll make a great foil and counterpart for the less-serious figures in the collection. If you like Marvel-inspired designer figures, then these small, affordable, and well-executed Avengers Mini Muggs are definitely recommended for you.