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Heroic Age Iron Man

Iron Man 3
by yo go re

Hasbro has a new scheme for its movie toys. Following Mattel's lead, they're selling small crappy figures and nice 6" figures in two separate lines. They're doing it now for Iron Man 3, and they'll be doing it again in a few months for Wolverine.

Full-body nano-tech integration. Self-repairing technology. Weapons formed with only a thought. This is beyond advanced. This... is the Bleeding Edge!

This armor is currently known as the Bleeding Edge Armor, which is a monumentally foolish name to give it. Why? Think for a second. Isn't every Iron Man armor built upon the bleeding edge of technology? Whether it's transistors or microscopic tiles built by bacteria, the suit is always made from the most advanced of the most advanced. Thus, "Bleeding Edge armor" is just about the most useless name ever. The only thing worse is calling something "Modern Armor" when that name is unavoidably going to become out of date in a small time - not that their solution of changing the name to "Advanced Armor" is any better, since it stops being advanced when it's supplanted. Unless they're building a pattern: Advanced Armor, Bleeding Edge Armor... Hypothetical Armor?

The figure is actually called "Heroic Age Iron Man," referring to the storyline where it debuted. Well, not "storyline," per se: it was more of a philosophy, a change in direction. The villains had been in charge, the heroes won, so it was a bright new day. And what better way for Tony Stark to celebrate a new day than by building himself a new armor?

The figure is a new sculpt - not just a scaled-up version the Marvel Universe figure, despite what a cursory glance might lead you to believe. At that scale, many of the details had to be more exaggerated in order to look right (for instance, the head and the feet), but on a 6⅜" figure, they can be more subtle. The red sections of the armor are raised higher than the yellow, but both color sections have further sculpted details. There's a bit of spinal detailing on his back, and a plate so we can't see his buttcrack. His right hand is a fist, while his left is open. The fingers are blocky, and there are more than a dozen repulsor ports spread around his body.

The repulsors, unfortunately, are just painted blue. Flat blue. Not even blue with white highlights to make them look like they're glowing. It's just blue, and so he looks like he has polka dots on him for no reason. The other colors are similarly disappointing, we're sad to say: well, the gold is fine, but the red is too far toward pink to really be pleasing. Plus, everything that's not painted is that semi-translucent, swirly plastic that adds nothing of value to the final presentation. We've said it before and we hope to never have to say it again, Hasbro: don't bother with this, because it never works; just paint the bloody thing. And at least they did a good job matching the color of the plastic and paint - it's hard to tell which color which pieces are molded in.

Iron Man has a 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. All the joints move well, and the layout is superb. The prototype photo on the back of the card shows that at one point they were considering swivels in the middle of his shins, but thankfully that got dropped somewhere along the line.

This is technically a series of Marvel Legends, not just 6" movie toys, so there's a Build-A-Figure to be collected and connected. The figure in question is Iron Monger, and Heroic Age Iron Man comes with his left leg. The plastic has the same kind of semi-translucent look as IM himself, so you better pray that stuff doesn't fall apart in a few years.

So far only the first half of Iron Man Legends has come out, and it features a re-release, a repaint, and one new sculpt - that's why we started with Heroic Age Iron Man instead of one of the others. This is a good mold, it's just the quality of the plastic that worries us.

-- 03/11/13

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