Sunday, November 28, 2010

Iron Man 2 Comic Series 3.75" Silver Centurion Armor

If you're in your late 20s to late 30s and got into comics when you were a kid, Silver Centurion Iron Man would probably be the first IM armor you were introduced to.

For me, I can't remember what Tony Stark was wearing when I first read a comic with him in it, but the distinct look of the helmet was what caught my eye--it wasn't the color for me, it was Iron Man's "face."  Then there were also his unique powers and weaknesses.

The suit had a Force Field, which he could polarize to generate magnetic attraction. He also was able to use the armor's sensors to create a "chameleon field" around himself; the armor's computer would analyze its surroundings and generate a hologram to make the armor blend in with the surroundings, making him effectively invisible.

His weaknesses were the interesting bit: Silver Centurion was mostly solar powered.  He'd constantly run out of power at a crucial juncture and would need to recharge from electrical sources like a simple power point.  But if he couldn't find a power plug somewhere he'd be able to convert heat and cold to power the suit.

That was the Iron Man I remembered, not his colors, but his powers and his unique weaknesses.

It's also interesting to note that a copy of the Silver Centurion armor was used by Tony Stark to defeat the Mandarin, when his Extremis abilities were temporarily deactivated due to concerns with his mental health.

With all that going on, it would be hard to not recognize Iron Man no matter what armor he wore--the Iron Man visage had been burned into my mind's eye because of this armor.  And I didn't even like Iron Man back then!

After having seen so many versions of Iron Man armor in the comics, and now the movies, looking back at the Silver Centurion suit really brings back a sense of a simpler time, when a more powerful suit of armor came with drawbacks that were just as powerful, and where some triangular shoulder guards meant a more kick ass modern look.

Placed side by side with the newer armors, the Silver Centurion probably looks out of style.  But as a toy, it shapes up like the classic it's meant to be.  More after the jump!

Like: The head sculpt really does it for me. It's just the right blend of robot/man.  Fits well into the whole early super hero theme of secret identities.

Like: The paint.  It's the right shade of red and silver.  And unlike the red on the early suits of this line, this red is done nicely.  No bleeding, no pooling, no looking like wax. It's something they've really gotten right for the later figures of the line, especially the Comic Series figures.

Like: That Silver Centurion has full head articulation.  The ball joint is situated perfectly and there no obstruction to the motion of the helmet.  He's got a slightly pencil neck look, but only in upright position.  I especially love that he can look down!

Dislike: That his silver paint flakes of at the hinge joints.  But it's not unexpected, because those joints are nice and tight and need to move.  I'd rather have a tight joint than a pretty one that is stuck fast with paint.  Also, it's nice that they even bothered with shiny silver paint at all because they could've just tried to mold his parts in silver.  We all know that wouldn't be as pretty as sparkly silver paint.

Like: The face mask frown! Even the eye slits kinda come togeher like he's faced with a problem than needs some solving.

Dislike: Inconsistent face paint.  I've seen some figures with really off centre silver paint, blurred lines, and silver splashes.  But it was still way easier to find one with good face paint than it was to find a Neo Classic Armor with undamaged ribs!

Like: Great simple torso sculpt, with a good chest pivot.  The booster pack array on the back of his armor is cool too, if not accurately rendered. Allows him to fly some 1,200km/h and works nder water too.  But at the much slower pace of 300 km/h, of course. ;) 

Like: The clean leg articulaton.  Yeah, the suit's design makes him look like he's wearing a one-piece swim suit, but the nice bikini bottom allows some really free ball-hinge movement. :)

Dislike: That the awesome triangular shoulder guards get in the way of his arms movement.  Yes, they may be hinged, but not fully so--they can come up to about 30 degrees and that's about it.

RATINGS

Aesthetics: 8/10 - Plain for modern times, but he wasn't made for modern times.  He was made in the 80s, that's almost a whole 30 years ago!  OMG I feel old...Age doesn't seem to affect this armor, though.  It's timeless and this sculpt captures it perfectly.

Poseability: 8.5/10 - The bigger buck really makes you think he's less flexible than the more modern counterparts but he really is just as good, if not better.  The key here is the great head movement and the excellent chest pivot, which I feel are always key for really convincing poses.  The free moving legs also add to the dynamic stances he can achieve.  The only negative is probably the triagular shoulder gaurds getting in the way of the shoulder joints, even if the guards are hinged.

Fun: 8/10 - In terms of backstory, powers and weaknesss, the silver Centurion has got to be one of the most interesting incarnations of Iron Man.   I mean if the bad guys get him against ropes on low power, he can turn the tide if you throw him a couple of Double 'A's.

He could suck the power right out of a broken street lamp, or stick his fingers into a power socket and turn the tide in battle. Not something you'd want your kids to do.  But it does make for a very interesting character, which makes the toy based on it interesting too.  Now to look for some 3.75 inc scale power plugs, street lamps, and Double A batteries...

Value: 9/10 - At retail of S$16.90 he's already a good deal.  But of course, it's near Christmas time and large department stores want to clear their stock, so you might find him for buy 2 get 1 free. Now that's a great deal-if you can find him.  I couldn't, so I got him from a local specialty toy store for retail.  Throw in the highly playable/posable yellow repulsor blast, the standard figure stand and Armor Cards and you get a great bargain.

Overall: Silver Centurion is a classic character and his toy is no different, combining many of the great attributes of the second wave of the Iron Man 2 toys into an old armor design.  I'm glad they did this because this suit of armor is iconic.  It's really no wonder that it has at least matched the sales of the likes of more modern sculpts in the same wave like the Advanced and Arctic Armors in my area.  It's a real must-have for those of us who grew up in the 80s!

18 comments:

  1. i have this guy and i am amazed at how u can get him into those poses! my poses look crabby. ;)

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  2. Lol, to use an old Hollywood term, it's all about the "camera tricks"!

    Nah, seriously though, sometimes what I imagine and what comes out in a pose is very different (crabby, as you say). But then I fiddle around with them a little bit; tweak a knee here, adjust a hand there and suddenly it all clicks and looks great! :)

    Then I look through the lens of the camera and it can look all different again, so getting a good angle is also important for a pose. That's the extent of the "camera tricks." ;D

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  3. sometimes i look at your figures and then i realize that u can actually twist a certain limb this way or that. i didn't dare do it cos i was afraid that i would break it (happened more times than i want it to). after seeing u do it, then i dare it. hah. Iron Monger is a good example.

    i built my own tiny little light box once. followed online instructions, using an A4 paper box and regular paper. was ok for single figures, fell apart after a year i think.

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  4. I saw this guy the other day, but resisted. I'm beginning to feel the urge to return to Wal-Mart after reading this review, though. the fact that they're all 5 bucks doesn't hurt either.

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  5. @Lemonjuice - Dude, you so gotta get it at $5!!! retail here is right around two and a half time that! Gotta love America. Lol. ;P

    @Cavalock - Glad to help you out on finding those "hidden" joints. ;) I didn't know you were also into photographing figures!

    Yeah, my light box is also barely hanging in there, but only because I think I cut some of the edges too thin to begin with. It sags. Haha. It is huge, though, because I wanted to make sure I could get some group shots/vehicle shots in there. Only Fin Fang Foom has ever threatened to bust through it. Har!

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  6. I've been meaning to build a photo box myself. Seems like every time I'm photographing a toy, I remember to do it, then the thought leaves my brain until the next time I'm taking pics. Stupid lack of attention span!

    I was gonna buy some extremely small PVC pipe and fittings to make the frame. What did you use for yours?

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  7. Lol, your outdoor pics are awesome, though. But I suppose when you don't have a roof over your head as a hobo, the direct sunlight can cause some memory loss. :P

    Sounds like a great foundation for a solid frame! Me, I just used a big ol' cardboard box. But don't go cutting up your home now, LJ. I don't think a cardboard lightbox will keep the wind out the same on those cold nights...

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  8. I DO prefer taking the outdoor pics. Sometimes though, after a day of panhandling, the sun has already set so I gotsta take 'em on the inside... of the nearest brothel.

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  9. Lol LJ, I never know what your punchline is gonna be, but I always do know it's hilarious. Please don't kill any cops while you're in the process of setting up that light box...

    @Anyone else - Just so everyone who reads this knows and has a context to frame this strange exchange, LJ is a self-processed hobo with skillz (he's hobotastic) and a penchant for unexpected violence. ;)

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  10. Self-processed? Don't you mean self-professed. No, wait, I DID self-process a few times today, come to think of it. It stung a little at first; but as I kept processing, it eventually felt quite nice. The key is to not tense up. :)

    ...and THAT was the last of that! Where's your next review so we can start this whole shebang over again?!

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  11. Haha, how about self-possesed? I don't even know how that would apply in this situation...You're right, enough self-processing. I better get back to reviewing stuff. I'm working on a few reviews, so hopefully soon? Lol.

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  12. this is easily my favorite iron man armor and favorite iron man toy. the silver centurion was one of the only marvel legends i kept. i think the 4" one is even cooler though.

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  13. Great to hear, DV! Sometimes the classic armors get overlooked for the more modern/movie armors simply because they are older. This figure is the perfect example! :)

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  14. it would really be nice if hasbro made these figures in 6" scale. the smaller versions are nice, and you reviewed it on spot. it makes me yearn for the bigger scaled version.

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  15. @Rupert - Yeah, I guess there's a whole bunch of people who are holding out for the 6" versions. Marvel Legends was a huge hit with a lot of people--I'm still really fond of their Hulks.

    Having said that, they have made the Mk VI, Mk V, and one or two others in 6" scale. But they're Walmart or Target exclusive most of the time.

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  16. "I'm glad they did this because this suit of armor is iconic. It's really no wonder that it has at least matched the sales of the likes of more modern sculpts in the same wave like the Advanced and Arctic Armors in my area. It's a real must-have for those of us who grew up in the 80s!"

    All of a sudden, this quote made me imagine an ACE Hardware-style warehouse center with real, working human-scale Stark armors for sale with a Toys R' Us-style wing for hardware & accesories and an Apple Store-style wing for software & apps.

    "I'll take this Armored Avenger Hulkbuster Armor with the Heavy Artillery Armor weapons pack and the software package of the Advanced Armor...oh, and would you please throw in a current copy of Angry Birds & Plants Vs. Zombies in the program package so I can kill time while on Guardsman duty?"

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  17. have him and comic iron monger battle it out like in iron man #200

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