Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Star Wars Legacy, and many, many others have suffered from what has been dubbed "Last Wave syndrome." Basically the last wave has arguably some of the best figures featured in the line and yet somehow does not get out as well as previous waves. When you have a line like Iron Man in which items never arrive on time to the stores and then suddenly get flooded, well you have this issue exasperated. So yet again I am forced to jump through hoops to get a wave of figures containing one of my "must have" characters. Thanks Hasbro.
So the question is are these figures (which first started getting shipped in December from Big Bad Toy Store, and looks to be one of the only sources for these figures) worth the aggravation? Are they that good? Is it worth ordering the set of figures and get them all or should you hold out and try to get that one or two figures you REALLY want?
Hard questions to answer with just a yes or a no. I WILL say that I am happy overall with these guys, but were they worth the (debatable scalping) price of $50. Well let's examine the figures individually before I try to answer that question, so without further ado....COMIC WAVE 4.
Iron Man's comic figures have been some of the figures that have fans sights locked. The comic looks are exactly what we all wanted in one way or another and at this point I have to say the only Iron Man armor I can think of that hasn't been put out yet is the Modular Armor from the 1990's animated series (Note: the Bleeding Edge armor is NOT the Modular armor even though it is named such).
First up is Whiplash who I will say up front is the weakest of the bunch.
I'm not trying to say it is a bad figure, but it has a ton of knocks against it. First the armor is only snapped on. I suppose some arguments could be that this makes the armor removable by Iron Man. I see that argument, but at the same time this feature makes the figure seem flimsy rather than sold, the armor constantly shifts and sometimes falls off of Whiplash.
Also, the legs on mine are VERY loose, worse than any figure I have just taken out of the box. I am wondering if it's this figure or something with the mold, just be aware.
Another disappointment is the whips themselves. The feel like those old ties from the Hefty bags, the ones with a hole in the end that you slid through. They have a similar textures as well as similar look (in a smaller scale). The camera doesn't pick it up too well but the way these were packed they caused damage to the whips. The whips were run through the plastic, which is weird but also they got stuck and the plastic was weakened. Its really from the way it was packed.
The head is kind of weird too. The green hair throws me off a bit because the pics I have seen it was blonde. The mask is true to the comic appearance but also it looks as if the design was trying to reference Blacklash (the old IM villain), not sure if the green hair is also a reference to that. Then again I have never read the comic appearance of Whiplash so maybe they are related.
This is a hard figure to recommend. He is ok, but much less than I expected. Sadly I kind of like the movie one much better. Still I would much rather have the armored movie appearance most of all. Let's hope that prototype on Ebay might be him in the near future.
Oh and first one that says concept Drone is Whiplash loses 1000 cool points (the heads are shaped completely different).
Now on to a figure that surprised me, but not in a good way: WAR MACHINE!
When I saw the pics of this figure at SDCC last year, I was excited. He was in a crowd but he looked to be the coolest War Machine to date. When I got him something was off, I couldn't place it at first.
He was kind of short for a War Machine. War machine is one of those things I view as being really bulky. I suppose the argument can be made for streamlining. Still that wasn't what was bothering me. It took me a few minutes to finally put my finger on it.
He's a retool. Which I can accept this to an extent, but I will also add I am just getting sick of it. We are told it is a cost saving measure, but of course we are never privy to exactly what the expenses of Hasbro or other toy companies are. I do think it's funny that with even this retool, the line that REALLY retools (Marvel Universe) is more expensive than Iron Man (oh wait that is "exposure" *eye roll*)
Anyway I am just going to be blunt and say that this time retooling doesn't work. War Machine looks like Iron Man trying to be War Machine. The Cyborg head is kind of cool, but still doesn't make up for the body.
He's not all bad though, don't get me wrong. It's just with the heavy retooling he doesn't seem as special. The only other mark I would give is the gattling gun, it is just oversized. Speaking of the gattling gun, another fact that should be spoken about is this War Machine goes off the track a bit by having a different kind of holders for the gun. In other words you can't trade them out with other versions of WM. That has been one cool point to War Machine until now. I think he would look fantastic with the original Comic versions gattling gun, but it just can't happen, well not without some customizing work. Something else that isn't necessarily a mark against, but is annoying, the shoulder pads are the kind that pop off if you put the arms at 90 degrees. I would have prefer the pop up and stay on kind like the other War Machine's myself, those things always pop off and are hard to find later. War Machine's head does look up like many of the latest IM figs. This does make switching the heads a bit difficult, but not terribly.
This one is about potential, and he does fall short. He has plenty of solid points to like new upper torso, gauntlet guns, head, ect. A War Machine fanatic would be pleased I think. Maybe if you don't have too many he might work too.
Now we go on to ULTIMATE Iron Man.
Up front there is one really great thing about this figure, it's probably the last Iron Man that I feel I would ever want to be made and the last on my "Must have" list of variations of the Armored Avenger. While there are more Iron Mans on the way, this one is the last one I feel compelled to have, I may grab some more, but I'm not going out of my way nor will I be heartbroken if I don't get them. I do think that this figure should have been out much sooner, maybe as early as Wave 2. Not only would he have been easier to find but also I think he would have sold well.
Then again I think the whole Iron Man 2 line should have slowed down, eliminated much of the redundancy, and it could have lasted all the way until the Avengers movie (probably with more villains as well).
My one knock on this figure is the coloration. While I wasn't expecting a stab at realistic, I do think the way it is painted is a bit cartoony especially beside of some of the other Iron Man comic series versions of Iron Man. Still I can tolerate it. Swapping the heads is much easier than with many of the others figures with swappable heads, however I am just not a huge fan of the drone head. I just think it looks goofy.
However the whole fig is comic accurate, even with the bright colors. The legs are a bit of a pain, even more so than usual in the Iron Man 2 line. Not enough to knock off on the figure but defiantly worth noting. His shoulder pads do move up and stay latched onto his shoulder, much like the older War Machines. Thus proving Hasbro still has the tech to do this.
I see this figure as being the last "must have" for many other collectors too. I can clearly see why some might want him even if they are casual buyers to the IM2 line. As such I think he will be hard to find, not due to lack of supply (IF they ever reach stores) but because of popularity. The figure is slightly bulkier than I first thought he would be, not a knock but something worth noting as well. He is nowhere near as big as Hulkbuster or Iron Monger.
I would have to say if you see him grab him. Even if you are not a fan of this look he is something that will probably have some high demand. He probably will be a good bargaining chip for trades for a while.
Up next, the figure I went through all this trouble for, The Mandarin.
At first I felt kind of letdown by this figure. I think my brain had built up finally getting him so much that nothing could reach my expectations. Luckily I had a long day and I left Mandarin alone and came back. It was then I looked him over again and saw a really awesome figure.
Mandarin is probably my #3 Marvel villain as far as must haves. Taskmaster is first and he is coming soon. Still this is about Mandarin.
My one dislike is the helmet. I am not sure why but I just think it looks dopey. The rest of the figure is just awesome. He has a great head sculpt that does invoke certain memories of Fu Manchu (Google it if you don't know who that is).
Also the armor he wears is very intricate. Dragons and lions adorn the armor. Of course he has the ten rings, I mean he wouldn't be the Mandarin without those. One really nice detail I liked was how the armor hangs off the shoulder much the way many forms of Eastern armor does. The armor is also a great looking scale mail and the mix yellowish gold and copper are perfect highlights to the green.
I thought I might have to knock him for the skirt limiting his articulation until I got a good look and noticed the armor has slits to allow movement. It's a simple design that I wish Hasbro would try to incorporate to more figures. He also has a great Katana that is translucent. Yeah he is a great figure.
Duh-GRAB IT. This seems to be the most popular figure from this wave and rightfully so. Hopefully he and his wave-mates will get out in a wider release soon. They deserve to be snagged by everyone who wants them, but so did Legacy EU Wave, Indy TOD Wave, ect, ect.
All for now until next time: DON'T GET ELIMINATED!!