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Iron Man Mark V

Iron Man 2
by yo go re

Cutting together a film trailer is a delicate balance. You want to show off some of the cool moments, but you run the risk of spoiling too much. For instance, the trailer for Iron Man 2.

The one drawback to the Iron Man armor is that it isn't very portable, so it's only available when Tony Stark is home. That's why he invented the Suitcase Armor. Though not as powerful as other suits, it's light and compact enough to take almost anywhere, concealed in a simple suitcase.

As others have said, "wouldn't it have been even more exciting going in without knowing that the briefcase armor was in the film at all? Wouldn't we nerds appreciate it more when we were hit in the face with surprise awesome like that? ... But nope, they had to show us that bit of greatness in order to make us want to see the film which we all wanted to see already anyway." Word.

Still, if not for that trailer, I probably wouldn't have bought this figure. The Mark V armor, as it's known, is a very piecemeal, unfinished piece, looking more like a giant zipper than a finished suit of armor. It's visually reminiscent of the Silver Centurion armor, but comprised from hundreds of thin strips instead of large, shaped plates. Thanks to the trailer, we know why, but without that knowledge, it just looks odd. The suit still has the circular blue ARC Reactor, rather than the triangular version we'll see eventually. [Because that's the Mark VI. Math is your friend. --ed.] His right hand is open, possibly to fire a repulsor blast, while his left is curled into a fist.

The figure stands 4¼" tall, and moves like most of Hasbro's Marvel Universe figures (for that matter, most of their 4" figures, period): balljointed head, shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, balljointed torso and hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees and balljointed ankles. The "exposed" parts of his suit are silver, of course, but the rest of the suit is a nice dark crimson. The blue-white eyes have black outlines to help them stand out against the silver.

Iron Man Mark V comes with his suitcase, as he should. Of course, as Transformers proved, there's no way to turn digital cheats into a 100%-accurate toy, so the suitcase doesn't disassemble and wrap around a naked Tony Stark figure. The front cover is hinged, so it'll fold down and reveal the technology compacted inside, but this is still just a glorified missile launcher, with holes on one side to put the amusingly huge missiles in. The blue triangle is the launching mechanism, and the figure includes an extra left hand so he can hold the handle and carry the suitcase around.

The Iron Man 2 toys all come with "Armor Cards," three 2x3 cards that display info about the armor. The back card is solid, while the other two are clear - overlay them, and you get a complete picture of the armor in question. The torso is on one card, the legs on another, and the head and arms on the third. Buy multiple toys, and you can "design" your own armors. There's a URL printed on the side, but it just redirects to Marvel's site. Eventually there may be some game or something attached to the cards, but right now they're just a display element. The cards fit into slots at the back of the included display base, which actually makes for a rather nice showcase for the figure.

The Mark V armor doesn't look like a repaint of every other Iron Man, and that's to its credit. I admit it was entirely the strength of the trailer that sold me this toy, but look at it this way: you can either admit that scene's really cool and buy the figure now, or you can wait until the movie opens and you have to fight everybody else to get one then.

-- 04/12/10

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