It took no time to track down the Marvel Legends 80th Thor. Iron Man was a much tougher challenge, but the reward was well worth the endless back and forth trips to Target.
Packaging: I really like this Marvel 80 Years packaging as it kinda has that comic book feel to it. Marvel Comics uses a similar style with its figure carded covers so I like the synergy here.
This line is softly considered the Alex Ross series and you can definitely see the Ross style with this figure. The side and rear portraits feature a Ross take on Iron Man. I like the Thor one better since it had a cool collage of Thor’s universe while this is just Shellhead cracking open something.
The bio is pretty standard, but Iron Man is a character that doesn’t need a deep explanation at this point. Definitely couldn’t have said that back in April 2008, right?
Likeness: Ross has a hyper realistic style for his portraits on comic characters and Iron Man is no different. Fortunately, his baseline version of Iron Man is the same as the classic version so Hasbro didn’t have to choose over the exact Ross take for a definitive Iron Man figure. All of the important details are intact with the prominent energy outputs on the chest armor, the long gauntlets and shin guards with ridges along the wrist/hands and ankles.
We were all a little worried Iron Man was just going to feature the Ross inspired head. Thankfully, Hasbro included a classic head sculpt that looks like a Bob Layton drawing minus the visible eyes. Given the likelihood of bad paintwork, this might have been the better choice, but I got spoiled by artists like Layton, George Perez and John Byrne and wish they’d been included.
Some collectors have noticed an issue with the biceps and ankles. I rotated the boots, which seems to give more range for the ankles, but I honestly can’t see any issue with the biceps.
Paint: The one thing Ross did with his Iron Man is strongly convey the sense of a shiny metallic metal. It catches all kinds of light and is highly reflective. Hasbro can’t quite pull that off and instead went with a pearlescent gold and a flatter cherry red.
In regular comic art, Iron Man’s armor is colored red and yellow so the gold is very different. I like the gold though as it further helps him stand out — hopefully for the forthcoming Yellowjacket upgrade.
The only thing you’ll want to pay attention to is the paintwork on the two smaller circles on his chest. I’ve seen about 12 Iron Men figures and they’re painted all over the place. They’re small enough that it’s not a huge issue, but look closely if you’re able.
- Hot Toys Captain America Civil War Iron Man Mark 46 figure review
- Agents of SHIELD: The Sign, New Life review S6 E12
- Good Boys movie review – bad boys need not apply
- Marvel Legends Colossus and Juggernaut figure review
Scale: The most important aspect is this figure looks like he’s had a meal unlike the malnourished previous Hasbro take on this armor.
Iron Man has a good size to him and while that might now make some other characters like Vision, Hawkeye and Black Panther look undersized, that’s right for Iron Man. I would absolutely still buy a bigger Vision and a Ross-style Black Panther.
Articulation: Iron Man’s articulation is better than I expected. The circles on his hip, which have become incredibly challenging to find their exact purpose since the main focus on Iron Man armors are the movie versions, restrict some of the wider hip stances.
That’s about it in terms of limitations. And like everyone else, I’m puzzled that Hasbro didn’t include hinge articulation on the repulsor hand. You can kinda work around it thanks to the ease of rotation, but it’s a weird design choice.
Iron Man has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Iron Man set the standard for this line with accessories as he’s packed with a ton of useful goodies. First up is the matching alternate left fist and right wide open hand.
He’s got repulsor blasts and boot streams that plug into the hands and feet respectively. They’re made of a soft enough plastic that they plug in with no trouble or concern they’ll break.
Maybe my favorite accessory is the Tony Stark head sculpt. Ross tended to draw his Stark like Timothy Dalton, which I thought was amazingly inspired “casting.”
That likeness actually carried through with the figure — I guess the mustache was enough to add enough distinction. Now I’ve got a head sculpt for a Prince Baron custom!
Finally, he comes with the more Ross inspired helmet. Ross tends to create with a flair for realism so his Iron Man has a more angular mask giving him a sort of nose like that odd choice back in the day.
Hasbro didn’t really nail the Ross portrait as the eyes should be showing through the eye slots and there should be rivets along the edges of the helmet. On first glance, I thought Hasbro left out the grated look for the mouth, but it is actually included. Maybe it’s a little small, but I appreciate that extra effort. It’s not my favorite look, but it is a cool alternate portrait.
Worth it? Iron Man is $25. Factoring in the all-new sculpting and array of accessories, I can see the $5 upcharge even without a BAF piece. Like Thor, getting the right from the comic book take on a figure is worth a few more bucks for me.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Iron Man is going to be battling Thor in the Figure of the Year running. It’s a great figure and I won’t need another classic Iron Man again.