The penultimate entry in my series of Avengers Movie Series 6″ action figures (you can find the reviews of Loki, Hulk, and all the rest in the Toy Reviews Index) is all about a new version of an old toy: the Iron Man Studio Series figure.
This Avengers toy will look familiar to astute collectors, as Hasbro has already released it once before. Yes, it’s Iron Man wearing his Mark VI armor, straight out of the Iron Man 2 6″ line of action figures. That figure was also a Walmart exclusive, but there have been some changes this time out–and only one could be considered a positive one. If you’re a big Iron Man fan, you probably already have the original release of this figure. Do you need this one as well? I sure don’t, but read on to see if this updated Avengers Iron Man Mark VI figure is for you…
The only difference between this Iron Man figure and the one released in the Iron Man 2 line isn’t exactly world-shattering: the Avengers Iron Man Studio Series figure is “battle-damaged”. To be specific, four pieces of the Iron Man action figure have blast damage on them: the upper torso, left hand, right forearm, and left lower-leg.
I’m ordinarily not into battle-damaged variations of figures, but this is one where I feel like the battle-damage has been executed smashingly. The blast damage consists of glossy slate grey paint with dashes of silver in it, indicating places where the paint on Iron Man’s armor has been completely eroded off. In short, the battle-damage on Iron Man looks cool, and I really enjoy staring at it more than any other aspect of this action figure. The blast damage looks so good, I wish there was more of it on this figure.
Though not as complex as the paint of the battle-damage, the remainder of Iron Man’s paint deco is also extremely well-done. The glossy red and silver paints of this figure are vibrant and colorful, and really draw your eye to Iron Man instead of the more drably-colored (yet authentic) Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America figure. The shiny gold paint chosen for this figure is vastly better looking than the “gold” Hasbro used on Loki, and that figure could have been much-improved if its paint colors had been as wisely chosen.
Besides the blast damage, my favorite part of this Iron Man figure’s appearance is the joints. No, really. The joints on this Iron Man’s elbows and the backs of his knees look like tank treads, which really drives home that this is a toy of a suit of armor and not an organic being. We sometimes get joints with this appearance in various Transformers toys, but it looks somehow cooler on a robotic superhero.
As far as the sculpting of Iron Man’s armor goes, well–it’s incredible, plain and simple. The Mark VI armor is a hi-tech feat of engineering, and this is a highly-accurate portrayal of that design. All of the intricate grooves and rivets and lines of detail you’d expect from a $17 action figure are there, and this is as faithful a representation of the Mark VI Iron Man as we’re ever likely to get in an action figure cheaper than a high-end Hot Toys figure.
Though we don’t get any alternate hands with this Avengers movie Iron Man action figure (more on that later), Hasbro made sage decisions with the ones they did choose to include. Iron Man’s left hand is open and preparing a powerful repulsor blast, while his right hand is curled into a fist and ready to deliver a knockout blow. I especially like that you can see the partial hand repulsor peeking out next to Iron Man’s closed right fist.
Knights from the medieval times would kill to have had armor even a quarter as flexible as what the Avengers Iron Man movie figure has. Iron Man has a pretty crazy 33 points of articulation: a double-jointed ball-joint head, swivel shoulder pads, double-jointed ball-joint shoulders, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, double-jointed wrists, a ball-jointed upper torso, double-jointed ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, and double-jointed ankles (no ankle rockers). Iron Man’s shoulder pads have articulation so that they can be moved out of the way in order to avoid restricting the articulation of the figure in any way–pure genius. This figure was engineered in 2010 so it lacks ankle rockers and thus is not the perfection that figures like Hulk and Loki are, but I grew up with a Secret Wars Iron Man with 5 points of articulation, so this figure is like futuristic alien technology next to that.
Iron Man includes one and only one accessory: one of the interlocking display bases that come with every figure in the Avengers 6″ Movie Studio Series line. Iron Man hardly requires the stand, but it’s better than including absolutely nothing with him, and it’s kind of cool the way that you can combine all the stands together.
Back in 2010 this Iron Man 2 Iron Man Mark VI Armor figure was all-new and retailed for $13. Some considered that price steep, but at least you can an attachable missile-firing blast and two extra sets of alternate hands with the figure for your money. In 2012, this repainted action figure comes with a figure stand and no other accessories for $17.
The Arc Reactor in the middle of Iron Man’s chest-piece looks a little out of place among the beautifully-molded and painted parts of the figure. That’s because it’s a sticker. It looks really cheap and tacky to me that the best way Hasbro could concoct to portray the Arc Reactor was in the form of a sticker. This really stands out to me and bothers me quite a bit about the figure. I just don’t believe that this was the best way to execute the Arc Reactor, which is so vital to Iron Man’s appearance.
Finally, the paint applications on the helmet of my Iron Man Studio Series figure are just, well, not that good. The gold paint on the figure peters off before coming to the end of the faceplate, the black paint has been sort of glopped on unevenly, and there’s gold paint bleeding into areas where it shouldn’t be. It’s not a train wreck or anything, but it does look less than exceptional and certainly worse than the perfect paint on figures like Hawkeye.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
Want an Iron Man Studio Series 6″ action figure for your very own? Most Wal-Marts are stocking these Avengers 6″ figures right now. Online, various sellers are selling 6″ movie Iron Man at a multitude of prices, or you can try your luck looking for a deal by checking out the ebay listings for Avengers Studio Series Iron Man directly by clicking here!
Overall: If you already own the Iron Man 2 6″ version of the Mark VI Iron Man Armor, then there’s really no reason to buy this figure unless you are a true completist. If you don’t, I’d recommend hunting down that figure instead of this one unless you really dig the battle-damage. The blast damage on the figure is nicely-done, but it doesn’t warrant another $17 figure purchase, especially when all of the original figure’s accessories are no longer included for that price. Other complaints I have about the figure are that his helmet was sloppily painted on mine, and the Arc Reactor sticker plum in the middle of Iron Man looks really cheesy. The 6″ Avengers Iron Man Studio Series figure itself is actually quite nice, with a beautiful sculpt and on-the-spot paint deco choices, but at such a high cost for a simple repaint that’s missing accessories and has some questionable execution, he falls short of my expectations.