Figure Reviews

Iron Man 3 Shades figure review

I’m convinced toy companies are working hard to be the first to get all of the Iron Man 3 armors made. At this point some have got to be getting very close. Comicave Studios sent along Iron Man armor 23 aka Shades I really was pleasantly surprised by the Igor figure thanks to its depth of articulation, bulk and paint job.

Packaging: Making better use of the package space than Igor, Shades strikes a dynamic pose that showcases the light-up eyes and pending repulsor ray blast. I really like the drawing as opposed to a simple picture of the figure. It reminds me of the old GI Joe packaging and fits with a comic book style visual. And I’m a big fan of the gold and black foil accents throughout as well as it lends a touch of elegance to the presentation. Due to the accessories, the package is a little bottom heavy and was tricky to get to stand still.

Likeness: Regular Comicave collectors have seen this figure before with the Shotgun figure Order Iron Man 3 Mk XL Die-Cast Metal Light-Up Action Figure from Entertainment Earth! Considering the camouflage paintjob and the dark setting of the film’s final battle, it’s no surprise there’s no great reference pictures to compare the figure to, but it seems to match up with available source material. The shades with camo certainly make for a unique visual.

Comicave Studios Iron Man Shades figure review - profile close upThe sculpting on the armor reveals a tremendous attention to detail with all the armor panels, rivets and bolts sculpted to really give that walking tank look. There’s no skimped on details here.

Scale: Comicave set this line up on a 6″ scale, which means the regular armors — like Shades — work OK next to average sized Marvel Legends figures height-wise even if it’s a bit slight. Overall, based on the slender look to the armor, this would be one Tony Stark could only wear when he’s skipped the parties and champagne for a couple of weeks. The dainty feet also make the armor look too small for a regular human to fit into in addition to making standing somewhat frustrating. Ironically, Shades actually fits in better with the DC Collectibles Icons line since they use a slimmer build for their figures.

Comicave Studios Iron Man Shades figure review - with IgorPaint: Easily the strongest selling point of the figure is the paintjob. The camo pattern throughout the figure is sharp and looks exactly what you’d picture with a Stark military armor. There’s some subtle deviation in the camo pattern with heavier greens in the arms, torso and shin area while the thighs and rear feature more of a light brown.

Comicave Studios Iron Man Shades figure review - rear close upArticulation: Despite its size, Igor had great range of motion and there were few iconic Iron Man poses you couldn’t achieve. Oddly, Shades is more problematic thanks to restrictions in the major articulation points.

Shades has:

  • neck (ball-jointed)
  • shoulders (ball-jointed)
  • biceps
  • elbows (double-jointed)
  • wrist
  • abdomen
  • torso
  • hips
  • knees (double-jointed)
  • ankle

Comicave says the figure has over 20 articulation points although it seems more like 30+ even if four major points — the neck, elbows, arms and knees — lack enough range to get the best poses. Of the three, the elbows and the neck prove the most frustrating. That elbows restriction is due to the armor piece, but it appears that the light-up function is responsible for limiting the neck articulation.

The shoulder pads also restrict some of the range of the arms and shoulders. The pads pop up easier than I’d like as shortly after taking these pics, I managed to displace one while trying to pose him. The hip joints ‘detach’ somewhat from the main hip area, allowing for a bit more movement. The hip armor portions separate to help make for easier posing as well. Initially I missed this, but the shades also move and can slide up and down the forehead.

Comicave Studios Iron Man Shades figure review - jet exhaustsAccessories: Shades is stacked with accessories that help provide some extra value for the costs. There’s four extra pair of hands — fists, relaxed hands, semi-clenched hands, repulsor mode hands, repulsor mode hands with fire-power. Additionally, there’s two orange translucent repulsor effects and a jet exhaust. Each of these pieces easily fits into the figure, which is helpful.

Like Shotgun, Shades comes with two stands — a bendable, black stand,  a straight clear stand and a claw to keep the figure in place. Thanks to the weight of the figure with 75% die-cast metal, the bendable stand doesn’t do you much good, but the effort was appreciated.

Comicave Studios Iron Man Shades figure review - light-up featureLight-Up: Beyond the cool visual, the shade visor serve a dual purpose in revealing light up eyes in addition to the chest Arc reactor.  The lights are fairly strong and lit up well in daylight and are even better in low light. I can’t express how appreciative I am that Comicave actually included a mini-screwdriver to swap the batteries out. That was a very considerate and nice touch for folks who don’t have a smaller scale screwdriver readily available.

Worth it? There’s a lot to like here with Shades, but the articulation issues really hinder what folks have come to expect with their Iron Man figures. If you’re just posing it, you can find a great showcase pose, but if you’re into setting up intricate dioramas, this may not be the best option.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

With better articulation to match its great paint job and sculpting, this would be another knockout from Comicave, but its limited posing options hinder a promising figure.

Comicave Studios Iron Man Shades figure review - main picWhere to get it? Right now, Shades is a Japan exclusive meaning you’re probably going to have to shell out more than the standard $140 for a Comicave figure to track him down.

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Here’s some other Comicave Iron Man figures:
Order Iron Man 3 Mk XL Super Alloy Die-Cast Light-Up Action Figure from Entertainment Earth!

Order Iron Man 3 War Machine Mk II 1:12 Die-Cast Action Figure from Entertainment Earth!

Order Iron Man 3 Iron Patriot 1:12 Die-Cast Metal Action Figure from Entertainment Earth!