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Iron Man

Guardians of the Galaxy
by yo go re

Here's Tony Stark, wearing his fantastic new "Heavy-Packed Pegwarmer" Armor!

When Tony Stark teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, he built a new suit of modular armor designed for extended missions in the blackness of space!

Yes, Iron Man really was a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy for a while, and yes, there really was a logical reason behind it: to sell comics. But from a kayfabe perspective, the idea was that Tony, a futurist, wanted to get a look at extraterrestrial technology so he had some ideas about where Earth tech could go next (since he'd just gotten done eradicating all traces of the Extremis tech, which groups like AIM were selling on the black market). Also he wanted to go all Shatner and put his pink human man-business into some green alien lady-business, which, for Tony Stark, is about as fundamental a character motivation as you can get.

This armor, which is officially the "Space Armor Mk.III," is also called the "Godkiller" Armor by fans, even though that's a misnomer: "Godkiller" was the name of the storyarc where this armor debuted, and while there was a Godkiller Armor in the story, this wasn't it - that armor was 25,000 feet tall, and designed to fight Celestials (the big robot-looking Jack Kirby outer space guys that populate the Marvel Universe). This armor was just designed to go into space.

The bulk of this figure's mold is reused from the 6" Heroic Age Iron Man figure, which is a bit disappointing: it's close to Steve McNiven's design for the armor, but it could be closer. As it is, the toy is counting on paint to do a lot of the heavy lifting (so to speak) when it comes to making the existing mold match the comics. For instance, the gold lines around the repulsor beam are all meant to be below the surface of the armor, not just painted on. Thankfully, the arms are new, so we do get unique, identifiable details there that only exist on the Space Armor, like the grating on the sides of the forearms, or the tiny blaster ports on the back of the wrist. Of course, the most identifiable element of this armor is the weird shoulder flares - those are done as separate pieces that plug into the shoulder balls.

The head is also a new sculpt, but that's expected. It's a decided departure from the traditional Iron Man "faceplate" look, and instead seems to be a comingling of The Flash's cowl and Bumblebee's battle mask. It's mostly red, with gold circles over the ears, a recessed gold "mouth" area, and ridged lines that run back over the scalp from above the eyes.

Since this is a reused body, you already know what to expect in terms of articulation: balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees and swivel/hinge elbows. The shoulder flares swivel, too, so they don't block the shoulders too much. He's molded from the same swirly plastic as the Iron Man 3 toys, and it looks just as bad here. Perhaps worse, since his back is almost entirely unpainted. And the joints are rubbery, just like Star-Lord.

The one redeeming quality in this toy's favor (beyond adding a new entry to the Hall of Armor) is that it comes with a piece of BAF Groot. The giant leg, which is just as tall as Iron Man's chest beam.

Look, we know Iron Man is a popular character. If Hasbro can find a way to put him in a case, they're going to. But this is a six-figure line, sold in eight-figure cases - don't heavy-pack him! He's the only character in the assortment not in the movie! He should not be easier to find than Rocket Raccoon, the character Marvel is trying its damnedest to push. You can't even claim that they're doing it to get more use out of an expensive mold, because every other character in the line is a new sculpt, so the more they sell of those, the better. Basically, I'm just pissed that it's such a pain in the ass to find the second half of this series, when they should all be available in equal numbers.

-- 06/30/14

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