Comicave Studios Iron Man Mark 43 figure is a knockout
When my Iron Man Mark 43 from Comicave Studios arrived in the mail, I was excited to check it out. Comicave has quietly been putting out some outstanding figures based on the numerous Iron Man armors. Barring a few shortcomings this is my favorite Comicave figure by a wide margin — a testament to this figure which is likely to be one of my top figures of the year.
Packaging – If you’ve picked up Igor or Shades, the Mark 43 package is going to surprise you. It’s less than half the size of the Igor figure’s box. The exterior isn’t all that flashy. It features a waist up picture of the figure and specifics on the back. But once I opened it up, I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not a big MOC collector, but this is a pretty snazzy packaging job. Offset by the white lining, the black padding holding the figure makes an excellent first impression.
The figure is neatly secured on the right side with the accessories snuggly plugged into the left side of the gateway package.
Likeness – It took Avengers: Age of Ultron for me to appreciate the Mark 43 armor design. The AOU version benefitted from a predominant red paint scheme. And this figure looks like it came right out of the movie. On the 6” scale, those initial good impressions turn even more favorable. This is a stunning looking figure. All of the fancy plating, wiring and panels are faithfully rendered wonderfully.
Paint – The paint job is outstanding. The paint Comicave uses on the die-cast metal shows up brilliantly and really makes the figure look like a gleaming suit of armor. The candy apple red pops and the gold shows up without a trace of bleeding. Three figures in with Comicave figures and I’m becoming confident one thing you don’t have to worry with is finding the one with the good paint job. They’re all exceptional.
Scale – Comicave didn’t intentionally set this line up to be in scale with Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line, but it’s a happy bonus. While Shades was a bit too slight to look like Stark could fit inside, the Mark 43 is much better. Remember the Mark 43 is a snap-on style armor, not bulky metal chambers of earlier suits.
Articulation – Here’s where things get a bit dicey. My figure had a springy right shoulder pad from the moment I opened him. There’s a smaller pin that attaches to the pad. But just like with Shades, it quickly became a nightmare hassle. Every random movement would send the pad flying off. Due to the pin’s small size, it quickly becomes a pain and a nuisance to get back on. I eventually caved and put some superglue to keep it in place, but I’d like to see Comicave abandon removable pads and install a lock mechanism to prevent slip offs.
Beyond that issue, the figure’s articulation is pretty solid. There’s some sneaky, extendable joints at the shoulder, torso and hips where you can pull the pieces up and out for some added movement. Besides the waist joint and the head not moving back and forth enough to accommodate the light-up feature, this is about what you’d find in a standard Marvel Legends figure. He’s a lot of fun to pose and the metal parts make him a bit more stable.
Accessories: Comicave loads figures up with accessories. That’s no different here. Iron Man comes with a slew of nifty parts. He’s got five interchangeable hands, blast effects for hands and feet, shoulder mounted missiles and a sidewinder wrist launcher.
And here’s where we arrive to the figure’s other big issue. Comicave previously included swappable hands that attached to a stationary post at the wrist. With the Mark 43, Comicave went with a ball joint. While that’s helpful for poses, it makes swapping the hands a quickly frustrating task since the wrist peg keeps spinning around. The figure is mostly metal, but putting so much pressure on the posts to continually swap hands didn’t seem like a great idea.
The shoulder missile pegs are a bit short to easily fit behind the shoulder pad. The pad proved so problematic I didn’t want to chance it for the left shoulder. The right missile peg wouldn’t fit on even without the pad in place.
Fortunately the sidewinder wrist launcher works as easily as intended. The blast effects for the hands and boots are welcome additions, but adding a stand would have been a nice touch.
Light-up Feature: I’m not a big light-up feature guy if it affects the articulation, but Comicave does an impressive job on that front. Even moreso when you consider the scale. As with Igor and Shades, the LED lights are strong. The light shines brightly even in regular light. In a darker setting it looks even cooler. The LED is part of the cost with the figure so it has to be done right. While other companies, including Hot Toys, have struggled on that front recently, Comicave continues to do a bang up job.
Where to Get It? You’re going to need to hit online for the figure. Entertainment Earth carries the Comicave figures and if you wait it out for it Amazon might have it for a decent price.
Worth It? Comicave figures aren’t cheap. This one figure is gonna run you the same as four Marvel Legends figures. Given the excellent paint job, easy to maneuver articulation and well-executed light-up feature, Comicave provides enough justification for the cost.
I never got around to getting the Hasbro Marvel Legends Mark 43 and I’m glad I didn’t. I know the movie armors are all the range, but given the quality work Comicave does on these figures I’d love to see their take on classic armors like the iconic red and gold 70s/80s version.
With a better hand swap mechanism and secure shoulder pads, this figure would be an easy Figure of the Year candidate. Even with the flaws this is an easy recommendation. I’m eager to see Comicave’s work with the Captain America: Civil War license where they expand beyond Iron Man.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Thanks to Comicave Studios for providing the figure for review.
I’ve also reviewed Comicave’s massive Igor and the camo-clad Shades from Iron Man 3.