I started off my series of Marvel Legends Series 3 reviews yesterday with Mystique, a character who I love but whose figure had some unfortunate shortcomings. Today I’ve got a character I not only love less, but whose toy has far more flaws in it. If there’s one thing you can count on in every series of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, it’s the inclusion of at least one huge, super-headliner AAA character like Spider-Man, Wolverine, or Hasbro’s favorite cash-cow: Iron Man. So I wasn’t exactly startled to see Iron Man at all when the list of characters in 2012 Marvel Legends Wave 3 was leaked. What did blindside me was the armor permutation that Hasbro ended up selecting and the overall final quality of the Marvel Legends Series 3 Neo-Classic Iron Man action figure…
The Neo-Classic Iron Man armor is a look that Iron Man fans have been clamoring to have captured in Marvel Legends action figure form for years, and a version of the armor I never really expected to see done considering Hasbro’s penchant for selecting modern characters and costumes for the revived Marvel Legends line. So I am both surprised and pleased to see Marvel Legends Neo-Classic Iron Man chosen for this assortment, regardless of whatever job Hasbro was going to end up doing on him.
And when you first see him in the package, Neo-Classic Iron Man looks pretty tremendous. The shiny metallic paint on him looks great, and the new artwork done for the packaging is really cool. The sculpt seems to perfectly capture the comic book design of this Iron Man armor and his elephant-like appendages. Neo-Classic Iron Man has both a fist and a repulsor-blast hand. He even comes with a figure stand so you’ll be able to stand him up without worry. All seems to be well in Armorville.
For one of the bulkiest Iron Man armors (short of Hulkbuster), the ‘Encephalo Armor’ Iron Man figure is awfully tiny-looking. That is, in fact, because this figure is totally out of scale with the other Iron Man figures and all of the Marvel Legends figures period. The notion that the Punisher and Mystique figures would tower over the Neo-Classic Iron Man armor would be laughable if it wasn’t true. This armor is blatantly not large enough, and it really hurts the appearance of the figure when placed next to other Marvel Legends figures.
As much as I chastised poor Mystique for her poor lower-body articulation, this Iron Man figure’s articulation scheme is so much worse. He has ball-jointed shoulders, but to utilize them you have to elevate the shoulder-flaps of the armor and it looks pretty silly. Double-jointed elbows are present, but rendered useless by Iron Man’s forearm armor getting in the way and preventing the second joint from being able to bend. Unlike Mystique, Iron Man has ball-jointed hips that work wonderfully–but he also has a V-crotch that makes it look like Iron Man is wearing a giant diaper the more you move his hips around–it’s pretty ridiculous. He has swivel boots, but unless Tony’s leg is being ripped off when the armor rotates, it makes no sense whatsoever. And forget ankle rockers–I’d settle for any kind of halfway decent ankle articulation on this Marvel Legends Series 3 Iron Man, but it just was not to be.
Besides the figure stand, Neo-Classic Iron Man includes no true accessories. Hasbro could have easily given him a removable helmet, a repulsor blast energy attachment–anything. But instead, Tony is flying solo. Making matters worse, there’s not even a Build-A-Figure for Marvel Legends Wave 3, making this figure a pretty terrible value for the high price of ~$18.
Hasbro must have been out of their freaking minds to make any version of Iron Man the heavy-packed figure in Marvel Legends 3. I can walk into any store in my area and be virtually assured that the only Marvel Legends figure guaranteed to be there will be an Extremis Iron Man or Stealth Extremis Iron Man from Series 1. Not to mention the piles upon piles of movie Iron Man toys.
What would have been a better case assortment for Marvel Legends Wave 3 than making 25% of every case Neo-Classic Iron Man? Anything. A white and a green Dr. Doom in each case, including both Blade and Punisher in each case, and even a case with both Dani Moonstar and Mystique would have been better. When there’s already an armada of Iron Man figures rotting on the pegs and stores insisting on ordering Marvel Legends conservatively, releasing another excess of Iron Man figures onto the shelves cannot be a good idea.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
Neo-Classic Iron Man and all of Marvel Legends Series 3 just started to hit online specialty stores last week, and haven’t been sighted at retail yet at time of writing. However, BigBadToyStore and a variety of online sellers have Marvel Legends Series 3 available for sale right now for below retail price!
Overall: This is the first figure in the entire revived Marvel Legends 2012 line that I find really bad. From a paint perspective Neo-Classic Iron Man looks terrific, and in isolation the figure appears to be very well-done. But when you actually pick this Iron Man up and try to move him, you discover how illogical his articulation is and how absurb the giant case of diaper-crotch Tony Stark has going looks. And then you put him next to other Marvel Legends figures and realize that this Marvel Legends Wave 3 Iron Man is far too small. For $17-$20 you’re getting an Iron Man figure that’s too small, has limited flexibility, no true accessories, and no Build-A-Figure part. For the price Marvel Legends now cost, I expect a lot better, and Neo-Classic Iron Man is the first 2012 Marvel Legends figure to receive a below-average grade from me and and who I can give no recommendation to whatsoever.