Iron Man 2 has given us some great figures this year. There have been some duds as well, but those are fewer than the really awesome ones. One of the biggest duds still is distribution. Four months since the release of Wave 2 (Hulkbuster) the wave is just now slowly trickling into stores. While some places have these in good quantity, many more do not. Now we have seen Wave 3 hitting the shelves with a higher price point and it appears that the lingering figures will now linger worse.
Part of the reason the initial waves of Iron Man sold so well was the price. I have to admit I bought a few I was not expecting to buy just because they were a bit cheaper. With just a dollar increase I find myself reexamining the line and making decisions on which figures I think I can live without. This move by (what appears to be) Hasbro could have some bad effects on this line, a line plagued with issues.
However quality with these figures has not been a major issue in this line. A few figures (most notably the Mark IV) have a great many issues but that has not been reflective of the entire line. Although it is a valid point that there are too many Iron Mans on the shelf, Iron Man continues to be that one character that this can still work for as he is constantly upgrading the armor.
To start with is the major bad guy of the last film, Whiplash. Whiplash has been very hard to find which is something fans have been scratching their heads about. He is the major bad guy and yet he generally can only be found at CVS Pharmacies at $13. I ended up purchasing him form Hasbro Toy shop nearly 3 months after his release. The fact that the rest of the wave is repacks from the earlier movie wave has fueled complaints about this line.
Whiplash has a great many flaws about him. So let me get that out of the way now. First his face sculpt looks nothing like Mickey Rourk. His legs are hindered by his ďskirtĒ which while movie accurate for the scene is frustrating to have in his way when one is trying to pose him. This issue is even worse when you consider the hip articulation (ball joint that can be moved but it takes work, adding in a skirt really makes putting the joints forward a quite difficult task. Also itís brown which is very far from a movie accurate orange.
So does that mean the figure sucks, not totally. One of the great points of this figure is the whips which are flexible but yet very sturdy. They easily wrap around other figures and just look cool doing so.
Also, despite the terrible head sculpt, the overall sculpt is quite detailed with wires and braces all around. The sculpt is also a bit shorter than most of the Iron Man figures (but not terribly so). This makes the figure fit in well since Iron Man is a bit taller because he is wearing a suit of armor.
So what is the final verdict, he is just in that area of grab if you liked the movie. Defiantly avoid the scalpers on this though, itís not worth the higher price. But if you find it at retail (and from the looks of case assortments that should be easier soon) then defiantly grab this up.
Next up is Silver Centurion Iron Man. This is perhaps my favorite Iron Man armor in the comics mostly because it was such a radical departure from the traditional red and gold Iron Man that was the norm at the time. At the time many hated the departure (as evidenced in the comicís letter section) but it appears (from comments on message boards) that many have come around on this version of the Iron Man armor.
Last year a case assortment leaked and everyone assumed the ďSilver CenturionĒ Iron man on the list would be the version we are seeing now, instead it was a repaint of the Wave 1 Iron Man with silver instead of gold. From the looks of it the Iron Man didnít sell so well and is a constant pegwarmer today. I canít help but think that if this figure was named differently that it would have sold a bit better. But now we have Silver Centurion, how does he compare to his comic likeness?
Not terrible actually, he could use a bit more definition in the abdomen region though. I wonít say he is perfect but after some comments I read online I was concerned he would be horrible. He is not thankfully.
But he defiantly is not as good as the Marvel Legends version from a few years ago either. This is something the Iron Man line has been pretty solid on, meeting (or exceeding) the quality produced in the larger scale figures (Iron Monger, Iron Man himself), and while I didnít expect him to be up to ML standards, I did expect better. He isnít bad at all though and if you are a fan of Silver Centurion I would recommend him. However, if you are sick to death of Iron Man after so many renditions it would be safe to avoid this one as in comparison to the rest of the line he is not that super.
I saved the best for last, Comic Iron Monger. First this figure is HUGE, and I know that is tossed around a lot lately but he is larger than Juggernaught and Hulkbuster. In fact I have a hard time finding any figure in this scale that is the same size (Hulkbuster is closest though). Some are a bit taller and some are a bit wider but I havenít been able to find a single figure that is both. In fact he is almost the same size as a Transformer. I suppose a joke could be that the reason the IM2 movie figures went up was to cover all the plastic that went into him.
What is really cool is that his scale appears to be very close to his comic appearance, which is just awesome. While movie Iron Monger was a bit larger than this, in the comics Iron Monger was still a bit shorter than his movie rendition (see cover below) and thus this make Monger a bit hard to put into the proper scale.
He even makes the movie version from IM2 Wave 1 look anorexic, I canít help but giggle at that fact.
The other amazing feature is that the articulation does not rob the mold of its form. Microman has had great articulation but the form of the figures detract from that fact. The same can be said of the SHS version of Spider-Man. But this time Hasbro somehow stepped up and gave us a super-duper articulated Spidey that has a great form. I think Hasbro needs to step up to the plate and attempt this kind of quality with ALL of their figures. This would justify many things that fans complain about (Price, reuses of molds, ect).
Really I canít see a flaw here, he is dead on to his comic appearance in both size and detail. Unlike SOME big characters (Hulk, Thing) produced by Hasbro he actually does have articulation. He looks 100 times better than the IM 1 repaint that was meant to be reminiscent of the comic Monger. Really if you ever wanted an Iron Monger figure, this is it dead on.
Even if you only know Iron Monger from the movies I would suggest getting this figure, he is one of the big winners from this series.