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Iron Man Mark XLII

Iron Man 3
by yo go re

When the first wave of this Iron Man-themed Marvel Legends series shipped, the back of the package proclaimed that the second wave would be out in "Fall of 2013." That seemed like an awfully long time to wait, but thankfully, the figures are starting to appear right now! Gotta feed the addiction!

Wearing the Mark 42, Tony Stark summons the power and might of any unit inside his legendary armor vault!

Uh, what? You know it's not actually the suit that gives him that ability, right? He has it even when he's not wearing the Mark 42. That's kind of the point: why would he need to summon the armor when he's already wearing it? It'd be like saying "these shoes give you the ability to put on shoes." Let's see what we can learn from the "Inside the Armor Vault" paper that's tucked into the blister.

The Mark 42 is the triumph of the Iron Man legacy, the most advanced components from previous builds and fusing them into one incredible creation. With unmatched power and unrivaled technology, Iron Man stands as the ultimate weapon against evil!

Well, it doesn't really say anything, but at least it's wordy (and doesn't contain any incorrect information), so that's something. On with the review!

The Mark 42 armor is an entirely new design, so the Mark 42 figure is an entirely new sculpt, head to toe. While the previous suit were rounded yet blocky, this one just goes with "blocky." It doesn't look like he's wearing a giant cube though, because while the panels may be flat, they're also smaller. It's like polygon count in a videogame: the only difference between Master Chief in Halo and Master Chief in... whatever the most recent Halo game is is the number of flat surfaces used. So Tony still looks human, not like a Transformer, but the level of detail has gone up. Even if it was unpainted black and white, you'd still be able to tell this apart from the nigh-identical Mark 2, Mark 3, Mark 4, Mark 6, and Mark 7.

Ah, but it isn't unpainted black and white - it's painted red and gold. Or more accurately, gold and red. A lot of fans were wary when the "Mark 8" (as we assumed it would be called) was first shown off, because it appeared to reverse IM's traditional colorscheme. Rather than being mainly red with a few yellow or gold elements, it's mainly gold outlined in red, but when it's in action in the film, you don't really notice. There are a few silver accents on the front of the suit, and the eyes are blue. The colors are darker and more desaturated on the mark 42 than previous movie suits.

Iron Man has swivel feet, hinged ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged neck and balljointed head. The shoulder pads aren't hinged, like the various Iron Man 2 toys were, but the plastic is flexible enough to allow you to raise his arms about as far as you'd expect. The plates on the back of his hands are similarly flexible, but it's still not enough to really get a full-on "repulsor blast" pose, so heads up if that's going to bother you.

The figure doesn't come with any accessories, of course. What would they be if he did? A giant stuffed rabbit? Pieces of armor? That wouldn't work. All he has is the right arm of the series' Build-A-Figure, Iron Monger. It doesn't seem particularly larger than Iron Man's arm - well, longer: it's definitely bigger around.

Iron Man 3 was an excellent movie, and as you might expect, it made us want toys of the characters. But since the only options were those crappy 4"ers, it was a want that would have to go unfulfilled. Thankfully this guy showed up not too long after, letting us scratch that itch again. The Mark 42 is an unusual design (redeemed by being in a cool movie), and the toy represents it well.

-- 05/27/13

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