Sunday, November 7, 2010

Iron Man 2 Comic Series Ultimate Iron Man!

*Hey all!  Sorry for the delay between posts--was out for my annual nation serving duties (read: army reservists) and was also in the middle of my move to the new place (read toy/gaming central. Lol wait till the wife sees this.)  We finally got the broadband set up today so here it is, the latest of my reviews.  Hopefully I'll be able to post more consistently now. :)

Cheers!
Ewan

*** 
You might be wondering, wait a tick, why I'm reviewing Iron Man 2 figures waaay after the movie that hit the theaters in May?  That's like six whole months ago.

Well, I'll tell you why:

1. This figure comes from a completely new wave of IM2 armors that contains many different new sculpts/re-use of later early wave sculpts that were fine-tuned to be better.

2. Because they're awesomely detailed toys!  And at 3.75" scale at that!

Still not convinced?  Well, I got three words and a picture for you:


Ultimate. Iron. Man.

Now all you Ultimates fans (me included) can roll up your tongues from the floor, put in back in yer mouths (removed scraps of dirt etc. first), then shut those jaws and swallow.  That's right, remember to breathe...

For those of you who are not Ultimates fans, you still gotta admit that it looks like a pretty darn good-looking toy.

Still not convinced?  Not a "looks" person, you say?  Well then this guy's personality will getcha!  Ultimate Iron Man might not talk to me (despite my attempts to strike up a conversation) or anyone else for that matter.  But his character's appeal, brought to life by the superb Mark Millar and the splendid Bryan Hitch in the Original Ultimates Comic Series, is so cool that he might as well have a personality.

What do I mean?  Well, click on to find out!
Like: The movie is long over, but here we are still getting new stuff!  I'd have to say I'm especially pleased because this version of Iron Man really has nothing to do with the movie, other than being Iron Man.  He's not a future design, he's not part of some schematic in the background, and he's definitely not going to appear in the movie anytime soon. (At least not that I know of...)

Yet here he is!  And while it may not be the first time that characters not in the movie appear in the Iron Man 2 toy line (any of the Concept or Comic Series Armors, like Hulkbuster Armor or Hypervelocity IM, and even they newly released Mandarin), it's the first time they released an Ultimates figure in the mass market.  Ultimate Captain America was in the very first wave of Marvel Universe and Ultimate WWII Cap also came ahead of our favorite armored hero, but the former was just called "Captain America" and the latter was a 2010 Comic Con Exclusive.

That Ultimate Iron Man is meant to be readily available for purchase at any good toy store soon, well, that just warms my heart.


Like: He may not be a plus-size figure like Iron Monger or Hulkbuster, but he surely is chunky!

His shoulders and chest have a very distinct plate armor feel to it but in modern design and colors, of course.

His forearms have extra armor, while his lower torso and crotch area have an armored-up bulk to it that makes sense, since I'd say protection there is a priority.  But my favorite bulky bits come in the lower legs and feet, which give this guy an added stability.
 
Just setting this guy next to any of the other armors, classic or modern, makes them look obsolete, naked, even.  The old dudes look more like they were wearing spandex in some areas with armor in the major areas, Ultimate Iron Man is completely Meched up.  As the wife likes to say, he looks more like a transformer than Iron Man.  I'll take that as a compliment on Tony Stark's behalf.

Like: His non-conventional colors.  Yes, there's still the classic red and yellow, but at the same time there are two different shades of gray that are used to highlight the layers of armor, especially around his abs, lower torso and upper legs area.  The effect is almost like shading and really gives what would be dull areas of gray some shine, depth and highlighted detail.

The double gray is characteristic of this particular incarnation of Iron Man, and makes him look less garish and more realistic, as is characteristic of Ultimates characters.  Yet he still maintains a stylishness that's inherent of any high-powered piece of machinery, like a Formula 1 racing car--simply slick!

Like: The flexible chest pivot.  It's a ball-joint that's stable at any angle.  So while it's easy to move around and has a great range of motion, it's not loose in the sense that either his chest is either fully puffed or he looks like he's hunching.

After reviewing tons of figures, I still feel the chest pivot is the most crucial joint because it really gives character to a figure's upper body poses.  Is he all coiled and ready to spring into action?  Or is he all wound up and about to unleash a knockout punch?  I think Hasbro have got the right idea here at this scale and definitely with Ultimate Iron Man:.  Forget the waist swivel, because the chest pivot can cover the same movement and then some. :)

Like: The ball-mounted hinge head joint that has come to replace the standard ball in these figures.  They give full up and down motion without sacrificing any of the side-to-side.   You also gain a better sideways head tilt so this is a sure winner!



Like: The extra interchangeable head, Ultimate Iron Man origins style.  It's the head of the original Ultimate armor before he formed the Ultimates with Nick Fury and gang.  Personally, I prefer the new head way better.  But I'm liking this "classic" head because it's an extra accessory, and it's one that is vital to the look of the young Tony Stark/IM in the past.


Like: Swivel/Hinge wrists!  Point the closed fist downward for a forearm, laser-firing pose or the open left hand upward for a repulsor blast!  Open swivel/hinge wrists also mean more realistic flying poses so there's no way I'll ever be truly happy with swivel-only wrists in this line again.  Ever!

Like: That the blast effects from other IM2 figures fit, due in large part to the swivel/hinge wrists. It's an unexpected bonus, and a pleasant surprise.  Sorta.  Because I try the blast effects on all my new 3.75: IM figures...

Dislike: The somewhat poor paint job on the extra head. Flat, with the yellow and white kinda sloppy.  Which is a waste because the white eyes actually photograph like they are lighted up!


Dislike: The poor paint on a lot of the figures that are initially released. Comic War Mack (this wave), Neo Classic IM, Movie Whiplash all started with very bad paint jobs.  Then they got them sorted out.  But it would still be nice to have them painted well right from the get go.  After all, those are the ones that get snapped up first.


I actually picked up two Ultimate Iron Man, one for the Rangerlord and one for myself.  The one I got had poor paint on the extra head and a slightly over-painted face mask.  The one I got for him had some paint spotting on the face and chipped-off paint on the edge of the arc-reactor.  So yeah, it would be nice to get a well-painted figure all in one package instead of taking two figures to get a decent paint-job for everything.

RATINGS


Aesthetics: 9/10 - The only reason it's not a 10 here is because of the paint issues.  But a brand new sculpt which is full of detail, especially in the lower arm and leg armor, a great choice of color, and character design accuracy far outweigh any paint problems this guy might have.  I'm happy with the way they applied the paint for the silvers and grays but the face leaves much to be desired with the spilling of yellow beyond the faceplate.

Poseability: 10/10 - What I like to call the central or core joints, meaning the head and chest pivot, are close to perfect.  The better these central joints are, the more power you can have in their poses because the arms and legs can always be flung out left and right, but it isn't every figure that can give you the required torque in the torso that give the poses true oomph.


Fun: 10/10 - Blast effects from other figures in the IM2 Line fit.  And there's finally someone who can pose alongside Ultimate Cap, who came out wat back in the first wave of the Marvel Universe line.  Now I can't wait for the Hulk and Thor to form the core team of the Ultimates. And those two guys, like Ultimate IM, have just got to be unique sculpts because simple repaints won't have a snowball's chance in hell as being passed off for the real deal Ultimates.
Value: 8/10 - I paid way over retail for this.  At S$22.40 (US$17), that's some S$6 (US$4.60) above retail.  But being a figure from a later wave of movie characters, this will be tough to get and only get tougher to find.  Even if they reach targets, Walmarts etc.,they'll get snapped up quick.  So Either you'll have to really be on the prowl a lot, or you've gotta be incredible lucky like me and be willing to pay slightly more for it after stumbling upon it at a specialty store.


And I'm happy, because instead of yet another BFG or another blast effect, I get an alternate head.  And that's on top of the standard figure stand and 3 holo armor cards.  Let's not forget that Ultimate Iron Man is a brand new sculpt, so there's definitely some value to be added there.


Overall: 9.5/10 - Bonus points for excellent execution on what can only be my favorite version of Iron Man bar none!  But is you're not a fan, this guy is different enough (and that's very different enough) to be some sort of heavy duty variant armor for that Stark Armory.  So get him, you won't regret it! :)

29 comments:

  1. u making me drool way too early in the morning. BTW u reading the latest ultimate mystery storyline? not bad, major twist as to who the big bad guy is.

    Melvin

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful.

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  3. reading ur posts has brought me into the world 3.75"

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  4. UHHHHHHH..... now I really am jealous. That has to be one of my biggest wants from the whole line. That and comic Iron Monger are the only ones I have left to get. There is also ZERO chance of them making it here as the toy line in the UK never made it regularly past Crimson Dynamo from what I can see. 800 different versions of Iron Man to fight poor old Crimson Dynamo makes for a very one sided fight. Anyway, great review and I am very jealous.

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  5. @Melvin - No, I haven't read the latest Ultimate Mystery so thanks for not spoiling it. :) But rest assured I'll get to it since it's in the Ultimate Universe, all the more so if Mark Millar is involved. :)

    And sorry to get your jucies flowing so early in the AM. Lol.

    @Prowl26 - I feel your pain. Hopefully you'll be repaid with whatever toy karma you might have accumulated and stumble upon Ultimate Iron Man and CS Iron Monger soon!

    If not, I can always try to find one for ya and ship it over?... :)

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  6. Managed to get the comic version of Iron Man's latest Advanced Armor (number 32) yesterday at $18.90, only $2 above retail so i'm ok with that. ;)

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  7. My only real beef with this figure is the yellow arc reactor and chest lights. To be truly comic accurate, they should be a light blue.

    But sculpt-wise, it is probably the best version of Ultimate Iron Man made so far. The Marvel Legends Ultimate IM was way too skinny and the Marvel Select IM was more statue than toy. We need an Ultimate Thor now!

    I think they'll probably have to ship them in greater numbers since the sculpt is so unique. Otherwise, they'd have lost a lot of money on the moulds for this figure - very few reused parts from anywhere as far as I can tell.

    Great review! Now I want to go home and pose 'im.

    Cheers
    Byron

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  8. @Cavalock - Nice going! Advanced Armor is also a nice sculpt. Will be doing a review of Arctic Armor soon, hopefully. That's a repaint of AA but cooler. Pun intended. :P

    @Rogue Leader - You're right! The arc reactor and chest lights should totally be blue to be comic accurate, though I can't imagine anything else other than a light up blue looking good on him. Aesthetic decision, perhaps?

    And yes, the toy is popular enough that they should ship more of him, just like they did Hulkbuster. Also, I think they'll be ale to re-use/re-tool some parts to make Ultimate War Machine!--I'm sure they've though of it. Now we'll just have to wait for the eecution... :)

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  9. wow! great review. now i got to get my wife to hunt one of these figures down before she leave to my station in germany. im deployed in afghanistan right now, but i still enjoy my figures. this one will be another one i would like for its more compact size, especially when it comes to sticking it in a tough box. thank for the review and awesome pics. also for your service to our country.

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  10. Thanks Rupert! Good to hear that you're able to find time to enjoy your toys amidst being outstationed. And despite not being American (I'm Singaporean), I'm still glad to be of service! Appreciate your reading and comments. :)

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  11. Metaphysical MenudoNovember 11, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Wow! Great review.

    I'm quite envious. That wave hasn't reach our shores yet (Philippines).

    I really wish they release that wave here. Been waiting for Ultimate IM and Modern WM for the longest time.

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  12. Thanks, Meta M!

    I'm sure the wave'll get there sooner or later--It seems like Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines in this Southeast Asia region get stuff, but then again not al at once or even the same thing.

    Though I managed to get Ultimate IM, I must say I lucked out at a specialty store and even managed to find another for my buddy the Rangerlord. But I haven't seen it since!

    Here's hoping you somehow find one. :)

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  13. Thanks man.

    I also heard that the Marvel universe Sentry & Spiderman comic pack was released there. Unfortunately, here in the Phil. it hasn't come out yet.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for both the IM and MU new wave to be released here.

    Thanks man.
    Again, Great review and keep it up.

    P.S.
    I hope the A.D. site goes online again soon.

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  14. Whew! Managed to find Iron Monger at retail BGH at Bugis just now!

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  15. @Meatphysical M - Yes, I've seen the Sentry/Spidey 2 pack around but am really reluctant to get another Spiderman.

    Thanks for the kind words. Yes, AD is very much missed!

    @Cavalock - Nicely done, Melvin! Enjoy! :)

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  16. I suppose an Ultimate War Machine is already a foregone conclusion now that this figure made it off the production line.

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  17. I've been eagerly awaiting this figure ever since I saw a picture of him from NYTF last year. I was starting to think that he was never going to be released, because all the stores around me are stocked with the same Mark IV and VI figures for the last six months.
    Hopefully I can find him retail. Great review, it appears that he is as awesome as I hoped he'd be. I wish they had put some black outlines around the eyes of his variant head to make them stand out more. That would have been my preferred look, but now I see it just doesn't look as good as the newer head.

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  18. @Wayward Knave - I certainly hpe so! I found this guy 6 months ago but since then I've not seen another of him. And if they did a repaint for War Mack I (and everyoe ese in Singapore) would be all over it! ;)

    @clark - Here's hoping you can find one, dude!

    Completely agreed that black outlines for the eyes would significantly improve that "older" head. But that look always reminds me of a bespectacled professor with mutton chop sideburns. Ha. ;)

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  19. Soooooo jelly! Great review.

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  20. after searching for so long i found this guy alone on the shelves for $4 at toysrus....needless to say a great start to christmas weekend

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  21. Very nice! Awesome price too, for sure. Good things come to those who wait! ;) Happy Holidays!

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  22. I saw someone selling this Iron Man variant online at a non-negotiable price equivalent to S$ 47.33, Sir Dragonbane. Would that be reasonable (given how hard it is to find) or is that too high?

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    1. I think that may be a little too high. I'd hang tight with Iron Man figure for now since IM3 is the next big Marvel movie. Judging by the way the IM2 toys were a massive hit, I'd wager that we might see this guy again in some form or other--why waste a perfectly awesome, sculpt, right? :)

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  23. Good point. It did seem rather steep but the seller kept emphasizing that Ultimate IM was never released in Manila with the other IM2 toys. That's why he was asking that much for it.

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    1. Actually, I did see one back for a rather reasonable price, something like S$25? But I passed because I really hate hoarding--it well, takes up too much space. Lol. If I ever see one again for a reasonable price I'll grab it this time since I know you want one. ;)

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    2. Why, thank you, Sir Dragonbane. That would be nice. At the very least, I do hope that they reuse that mold for IM 3 (along with the Arctic Armor Iron Man, with or without the hoverboard).

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    3. No problem. It would be a pleasure, especially if I find it!

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    4. Good news, Wayward! I've found you Ultimate Iron Man and snagged him for S$20! Drop me an email with your address and I'll let you know how much it costs with shipping? If you still want him, of course. ;)

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