After a brief recess to fight the mobs at New York Comic Con 2011 (you can check out my Hasbro Marvel Universe and Marvel Legends photos from the convention by clicking here), I’m back to finish off my Marvel Universe Wave 16 set of reviews! Over the last few weeks I’ve reviewed Iceman, Ultimate Magneto, The Absorbing Man (Metal Skin Variant), Astonishing X-Men Wolverine and the Guardians of the Galaxy team set. Tonight I’ve got the last figure in Wave 16 of Marvel Universe, who also happens to be the most-likely figure to pegwarm within this wave and the first-ever Marvel Universe Tony Stark Iron Man figure!
We haven’t gotten very many unmasked/secret identity figures in the Marvel Universe toy line (only Norman Osborn Iron Patriot and an unmasked Wolverine, as far as I can remember), and Tony Stark is among the most-important high-profile masked superheroes in the Marvel Universe. With the exception of an unmasked Peter Parker, Tony Stark is about the biggest name Hasbro could have picked for a secret identity figure.
This figure uses the excellent 2010 Extremis Iron Man mold with 20 points of articulation and a brand-new extra default head: that of Tony Stark (obviously). This was a well-designed, heavily-articulated figure to begin with, and the Tony Stark head only makes it better. The Stark head is well-painted and looks essentially exactly how you’d expect a 3 3/4″ Tony Stark head to look. The addition of the original Iron Man figure is definitely a great bonus, as people like me who skipped the original releases of Extremis Iron Man have one here now if we so choose.
Tony Stark Iron Man has two things going for him that a lot of Marvel Universe figures don’t: a strong paint-job and tight joints. There’s no paint slop of any kind anywhere on this figure–all of the paint is cleanly and expertly applied. In addition, his chest-triangle and palm-circle have been painted blue, further differentiating the figure from the original 2010 version where both were yellow. I don’t know if that will excite anybody, but at least it’s something different. Additionally, all of his joints are tight, and he can hold a pose without any problems–unless you’re trying to pose him with his accessory.
This is not an exciting figure. With the exception of the new Tony Stark head, this is piece-for-piece exactly the same figure mold that was released in several different ways last year. This is virtually as unexciting as you can get. Since Marvel Universe heads are largely universal, packing a Tony Stark head with a new version of the Iron Man armor–any other version of the Iron Man armor–would have been better and more interesting.
Tony Stark comes with the original Iron Man helmet and his figure stand as accessories–but wait! There’s more! He also comes with the king of Marvel Universe accessory reuse: the same clear energy funnel from the original 2009 Iron Man figure way back in Wave 1. It is sheer cheapness and laziness on Hasbro’s part to continuously pack the same nearly three-year-old unwieldy accessory with figures that it’s too large and heavy to be supported by. I bitched about this over in my Iceman review, and I’ll continue bitching about it each time Hasbro reuses this obsolete accessory. I understand that Hasbro is on a budget and there are tooling costs and blah blah blah, but we’re talking about a non-articulated piece of plastic that’s been used over and over and over. Hasbro has more than gotten their money out of this non-functional accessory mold, and it’s time for something new and improved.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
I’d expect this figure to be widely available in stores since he’s an Iron Man variant. But if you want him without the hunt, there are a couple options online.
BigBadToyStore has the best price on the Set of 5 for Wave 16 for just $49.99 (including Iceman, Ultimate Magneto, Absorbing Man, Astonishing Wolverine, and Tony Stark Iron Man) . That’s essentially the retail price, and I doubt any online stores will beat it. They also have Tony Stark Iron Man available individually for $10.99 right now.
The fine folks over at CMDStore just received their shipment of this wave, and they presently have Tony Stark Iron Man available for just $11.95, which is only slightly more than what you’d pay at Target or Toys R Us–and without wasting time and gas looking for him. You can also get the whole Wave 16 set of 5 there for just $54.95 (including Iceman, Ultimate Magneto, Absorbing Man, Astonishing Wolverine, and Tony Stark Iron Man).
Another option is that this figure is available at the time of writing for about $9 on Amazon, which is pretty much what you’re going to pay if you find him at retail.
Overall: Honestly, while this is a good action figure, it’s almost entirely a rehash of one that most Marvel Universe collectors already have one–or two–of. It’s novel to have the Tony Stark head, and it’s an improvement over the original Extremis Iron Man since it does have an additional head now, but otherwise there’s nothing to get excited about here. If you don’t already own this mold, then this is the version to get. If you do already own this figure once (or more) over, then you’ll really have to consider how much the new extra head is worth to you. Hasbro did not put a lot of effort into this figure, and I personally would not have spend another $8-$12 on him if I had already owned the original version of this mold. The paintjob, articulation, and stability of this figure are all very good here, but this figure ends up feeling much more rehashy and less interesting than any other figure in Wave 16 of Marvel Universe.