I went through a short-lived period of comics fandom during my adolescence. At first I was into Batman, due to the Tim Burton movie, but by and large the Batman comics I read (such as The Dark Knight Returns, Son of the Demon, and A Death in the Family) were a bit more mature-oriented than I was interested in (or could fathom) at the time. But later I got into Marvel, where I came to love a number of different characters - particularly the X-Men, but also Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor, and so forth.
I bought a number of ToyBiz's early Marvel efforts, and one of my favorites was Iron Man. I never read his comics or knew much about the character,
but I did like that figure. Like that figure, Hasbro's 6" figure line based on the Iron Man film are so cool that I've been drawn to them despite not having much of a historic interest in the character. While I have several of them, the first one I knew I wanted was Iron Monger.
Iron Monger's appeal is simple - he looks like a giant robot, but one of those awkward, 1950s-looking robots rather than the sleek sexy design of Iron Man. With his blocky shape and slitted helmet, he looks like something out of the imagination of Mike Mignola. The Iron Monger of the comics had a rather sleek design; Iron Man director John Favreau said he was inspired by Cain from Robocop 2 in creating Iron Monger, and the look of the character definitely reflects that.
All the power of the Iron Monger is focused on the destruction of Iron Man. As the two mighty, armored figures struggle, the pavement cracks around them. Buildings shudder, and glass for miles around shatters from the shockwaves of their blows.
The packaging description pointedly avoids giving away the identity
of Iron Monger, but since this figure's big feature is an opening cockpit, I don't really know why they're bothering (particularly since anyone with the ability to process information in their brain can figure out who Iron Monger is from the trailers - and the cockpit is open in the package). What's amusing, though, is that the human pilot shown on the back of the package is mostly definitely not the one on the toy; it looks more like Lorne Greene from his Battlestar Galactica days.
I had foolishly bought Hasbro's first Iron Monger figure, which featured red eyes and a red power cell rather than the movie-accurate blue, as well as an immobile right hip joint and a near-immobile left hip.
It was also molded in a much darker silver than that of the movie. The new Iron Monger (v2, as it's known among collectors) is superior in every way to the first version except for one thing: his head doesn't move. However, on a figure as bulky as the Iron Monger, this isn't really a big deal.
The sculpt is great, particularly because it's nice and big, although he's not quite as large as he is in the film when compared to a regular Iron Man figure. Still, he towers over the other figures in the line. While the sculpt is not as detailed as it might have been had, say, McFarlane Toys made the figure, it's still very well done, particularly for a mass market figure.
Pop his cockpit open, though, and oh... the ugliness. The sculpt is so bad, it's almost not a spoiler linking you to this photo of it (but don't click on it if you don't want to know who the Monger is). What's worse is that the head isn't just too small for the 6" scale - I'm pretty sure it would be too small on a 3 ¾" figure. Seriously, Hasbro, why bother? I doubt any kids really wanted the human part of Iron Monger. I sure didn't. The results are an immobile helmet and a torso that tends to pop open when the arms are raised too high.
The only thing resembling paint applications on the figure are the blue-and-white eyes, blue power cell on his chest, two smaller blue dots on his lower torso and a bit of a dark wash over a few spots. The painted (or stickered?)
power cell looks much, much better than the clear plastic used for the first Monger, and even manages a decent impression of a glowing power source.
Monger features balljoints at the shoulders and hips, balljoint-style movement at the wrists, double-hinges at the elbows, single hinges at the knees and ankles, and swivels at the biceps and waist. The hip articulation makes a huge difference in the types of poses you can get the figure into when compared to the first version.
If you enjoyed the movie and have a hankering for an Iron Monger figure - or if you just want a giant robot to figure your other superheroes - nab the Iron Monger. If you can find him, that is.