#46 - Gauntlet Tony Stark/Stealth Iron Man
Brief confession: remember last year when I told you about my Minimate drawer and said the point of these mini-reviews was to eventually empty it out? Here we are, 44 reviews later, and this is the first set to come out of the drawer. Seriously, go look at the picture, you can see this box in there. Alongside a bunch of other stuff I haven't reviewed yet.
This figure clearly represents Tony's first tests with the repulsor systems that would eventually become the Iron Man suit's main armament. Of course, that was just a glove, not a full gauntlet, but the intention is obvious. He's wearing a grey tank top that has been painted with a few wrinkles on his chest and stomach, and the blue lights of his arc reactor are shining through the fabric. The fact that the blue panels are outlined in black makes it look like the shirt has been cut away - it would be a year and a half before they worked that out. The scene in the film had Tony pointing his palm forward, but the toy can't do that. So really, he ends up looking more like "Sieg heil Tony Stark." Which would have been appropriate during Civil War. He does include a bare hand if you want to take the glove off.
The second figure in the set is Stealth Iron Man, and let us just say "wow!" He uses the same mold as Mark III Iron Man, including the sculpted legs and the removable faceplate. But things don't stop there! In addition to the normal gloves, he gets a pair with pointed hands, blue versions of the gauntlet the other figure is wearing (they first appeared in this set, for the record). And the strange holes in the back of the chest cap we mentioned in that last review? They get put to use here, with add-on pieces designed to simulate the suit's flaps in the "open" position.
It's really rather surprising that they would create all these pieces for a store-exclusive, rather than including them with the regular release. As with the normal figure, you can take off all the "armor" bits to reveal the metal pajamas he wears beneath. The paint masks are still ridiculously complex, so Tony looks good even when he's stripped down. The set includes hair for him, and two more bare hands. We also get one of the IMTTA flight stands, cast in pale translucent blue. Man, Tony Stark is so dedicated to the whole "stealth" thing that he even found a way to disguise his exhaust path? The guy is a genius!
This set was in the first series of TRU-exclusive Minimates, a series made all the more surprising by the fact that no one knew it was coming. There was no press release in advance, the figures just showed up in stores one day in late 2008. It seemed like Gauntlet Tony Stark would be the real "get" of this pair, but all the unexpected extras included with Stealth Iron Man make him a terrific figure.