Tony Stark's new Extremis Iron Man armor utilizes
nanotechnology to allow direct interface between his brain and the armor.
The last time Hasbro released an Extremis armor, 11 years ago, we took the opportunity to complain about how brief the bios on the back of the packaging were. Oh, for those more innocent days! Now we don't even get a single word on the back of the box, and have to go scrounging through online product listings to find what little bit of marketing copy they did write. The Extremis armor is basically bone-hurting juice in robot form: the undersuit the "External Suit Devices" (aka, the "armor" part of the armor) actually connect to is stored inside Tony's bones, pouring out through his pores when he needs it. Then the ESDs use tiny built-in fans to fly to him and assemble themselves. Steve Jobs famously only owned one kind of outfit so he wouldn't have to think about what to wear, but only Tony Stark would invent an entire armor just so he wouldn't have to put on his own pants.
If you weren't collecting in 2012, then this is a chance for you to get the Extremis armor. If you were collecting in 2012, then you're going to need a reason to get this one. So let's do that first: the articulation. Things have progressed to the point where this figure is more able to do what Deadpool calls a "superhero landing pose" and what everybody else calls "the ground-punch." You could fake it from certain angles with the last Extremis, but this one almost does it for real. If the head were capable of looking forward without cheating, he'd have it all. This obviously isn't that shared body so many Iron Men use, but it still has swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs (hidden by the armor), balljointed hips, a balljointed chest, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, a hinged neck, and balljointed head.
The shoulder pads are attached to the shoulder ball, but they're attached at the bottom, so they can slide up over the torso
when you lift the arms to the side. Additionally, the pods on the hips have swivel joints so you can rotate them out of the way of the legs. It's interesting to compare this sculpt to the old one, to see how the shapes are interpretted differently. How far do the "shoulder blade" plates curve? How many segments are along the abdomen? How large are the clamps on the boots? It's a very good sculpt, making for a very good toy, all we're saying is that it's not identical to the old one. It is a bit surprising that the bottoms of the feet are smooth; you'd think there would be repulsor ports or something under there.
The red used for the toy is more muted than you might expect - Iron Man
armors usually favor "candy apple red" for that part of the suit, but this is more in line with the way the comics were being colored at the time that initial "Extremis" storyarc came out. Compare this to any of the covers and you'll instantly see the inspiration. His PentaBeam is bright white, while the eyes and the ports on the sides of his elbows are a pale yellow. I honestly can't tell if the dark lines over the eyes and inside the mouth are painted, or if it's just shadows cast by the sculpt.
This release gets one thing the original didn't,
and that's accessories. They're exactly what you'd expect - translucent yellow repulsor blasts and alternate open hands to plug them into - but that's more than the first Extremis toy managed. That must be why we don't any Puff Adder Build-A-Figure pieces.
It's been 11 years and 15 armors since Hasbro released an Extremis, so it's not like this is some burdonsome release we're being forced to contend with - it doesn't even have a BAF piece if you don't want to buy it! I do like this upgrade, but it does make me retroactively mad at myself for buying the normal ML1 Extremis and not the readily available blue stealth repaint. What were you thinking, me of more than a decade ago! How did you not see this coming!