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Vault Guardsman

Iron Man Legends
by yo go re

The Marvel Universe version of The Green Mile is really different!

With power armor equipped with repulsor rays, high-carbon steel alloy mesh and radiation shielding, Vault Guardsman sets his sights on the complete destruction of Iron Man.

No, no, why do toy companies keep doing this? Every time there's a toy of a Vault Guardsman, they treat it like it's Kevin O'Brien, the guy in the test suit who got driven a little bit insane by the slightly faulty interface and had to be stopped, and never like the faceless enforcers they are. The Vault is Marvel's high-security prison for supervillains, so there are dozens, maybe hundreds of Vault Guardsmen who never flipped out and just do their jobs to the best of their ability. It would be like if every time anyone released a Hydra agent, they insisted it was Bob, rather than one of the countless unnamed ones. That'd be weird, right? So why are the Vault Guards always O'Brien?

The most distinctive thing about Guardsman armor is the helmet. It comes to a point in the front at the chin, and has a ridge running down the center of the face. This toy achieves that look in a weird way, making the darker green shell a separate piece from the light green face beneath. Was that really easier than just sculpting it normally? There's even a tiny gap between them.

Vault Guardsman armor may have been designed by Tony Stark, but it's not an Iron Man suit, and so this figure does not get to use the 80th Anniversary molds. Instead, it's the medium-large body with a few new pieces - the size and shapes are close enough that he still looks like her belongs in the lineup, though. The abs are the same seen on Modular Armor Iron Man, with the angled waistband, and the chest has a sculpted line between the light and dark areas of green.

The arms could have used the same thing. There's a band around the bicep that you can barely even make out, because the shades of green are so similar to one another. The comic art reprinted on the box shows the armor having a distinct contrast between the light and dark areas, while the toy's colors are nearly the same.

The armor does have its own weapons systems, but Vault Guards are often show carrying firearms, so it makes sense that the figure would come with a gun. Could have come with more, honestly. There's no holster or anything, to free the gun from his hands, so a better option to arm him might have been the Forge guns. As it is, all you can do is trade his hands for fists.

He does have a Build-A-Figure piece, though: the left arm of Ursa Major.

There's nothing saying this Vault Guardsman needs to be the single named Vault Guardsman once you've opened the toy and the box is in the recycling, but amassing enough of them to adequately guard prisoners would be tough. Maybe Hasbro will make him one of those budget army-builder releases someday. And maybe they'll do the arms better.

-- 09/05/21

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