Monday, May 17, 2010

Iron Man 2 Movie Series 3.75" Mark V

By now you've probably read dozens of reviews about this suit of armor, the Mark V, otherwise also referred to as the "Suit-case."  Get it?  Suit.  Case.  Suit-in-a-case....Ok never mind.  (You can find one of those excellent reviews here at Articulated Discussion.)

What's important is that this particular suit has the coolest concept behind it but didn't have an instant "like" factor to it--at least that's what I gather from most netizens and people who watched the trailer when it was first released.  I was of the same mind.  Something about the armor bugged me.  I mean, it's awesome that a suit can fold into a suitcase but something that I'd seen about it so far was off.  It didn't help when this toy hit the pegs because of one or two things like the paint and the fact I didn't instantly take a liking to the armor at first.

By now, most of us have probably seen the movie.  I've seen it twice already and will watch it once more at least when the DVD hits the shelves. (Yeah right, probably more like another two or three times when I first get my hands on it...heheh.)

And the more I watch the movie, the more I love it.  Why?  Well, the devil is in the details.  The dialogue, Nick Fury, Caps' Shield, Black Widow, Justin Hammer, Mickey Rourke's bord (I mean his bird.  Parrot.  Really.)

The same goes for this 3.75 scale of the Suitcase Armor.  When I first saw it, I was put off by the silver to red ratio and by the sloppy red paint in general.  Lots of the sculpt's detail gets hidden because of the poor application.  But after a few weeks and the pegs being swamped by this figure, I managed to snag one with good paint.  And just like in the movie, after I had a closer look, I was suitably impressed.

Like: The Sculpt. This thing is chock full of detail but it's hard to see because of the thick, shiny red paint. He migt turn out to be a good choice for a custom repaint though.  Redo his silver and replace that red with something less waxy-looking and more shiny. Yeah.

Like: That tilver is the right tone and shiny-ness.  It's done well but again, it's let down by the red, which dominates most of the Mark V.

Like: The concept/idea behind it.  A suitcase that transforms into a suit of armor?  Sign me up!  We're suckers for things that appear to be something else rather than what they are.  Things that are more than meets the eye.  Robots in dis....Wait a tick, I was talking Iron Man here.  Man, gott awatch out for those evil alien robots.  They'll take over your mind I tell you!

Dislike: That the sculpt's design hinders articulation.  This is especially noticeable in the front of the upper thighs--they block the forward bending of his leg, preventing him from getting a 90 degree bend out front.

The swive/hinge hip ball joint works fine and you can swivel the thigh so it works.  But what you get is a Mark V looking like he's a contortionist trying to place his leg over his head.  And I just want him to bend the knee!!!

He's also got shoulders that are really tight when trying to raise 'em straight out to the side.  The glued-on shoulder pads get in the way and have to fit into his torso arm cavities for him to raise his shoulders.  It works nicely for now, but in the long run could chip the paint at the shoulders.

Like: That he comes with a decent amount of ccessories, including an extra hand. But the extra hand can't grip the suitcase snugly, but'll prob hold a BFG or any weapon of the scale well.  The gripping ahnd is also great for grabbing on to oh, let's say, a whip!

Dislike: That he armor is not movie accurate or at least that they seemed to take creative lisence with certain portions of the armor.  I guess some details were a little too intricate to be made in this scale.  His chest needs to be more silver and the silver areas need an extra tinier layer of plating.  His shoulders are also not that armored up in the movie.  Here, it looks like he's packing some heavy armor around the neck that goes down toward his back, which has even more red than the front and is definitely not movie accurate at all.  But again, lots of libes and detail, so lots of repaint potential!

Dislike: Suitcase shoots missiles?  'Nuff said.

Like: That the suitcase opens up and offers more options to pose the figure.  There's lots of tiny details sculpted, but not painted.  But I'm glad that they did this, because the 6" version of the suitcase doesn't do anything.  It just hunks in a corner looking like it could maybe transform...


Aesthetics: 6/10 - As the army personnel in Singapore like to say about how certain people look good  from a distance but poor up close: "Good from far but far from good."  Mark V here is quite the opposite.  He looks terrible from far and is actually pretty darn splendid up close.  The downside is that you have to have him up close and in hand.  It's a pity the poor paint really hides the great detail of the sculpt.

Poseability: 7/10 - I really do wish he was more poseable than the rest of the line.  He didn't need to be super poseable, just the "average" for this line.  But he's just slightly hindered on the wrong side of average.  A ball-turned-swivel head, difficult, tight fitting shoulders, and a restricted forward bend of the thighs just add up to make him rather stiff.

At least he does have the great chest pivot of this line and the "Hasbro joints" in the hips.  Double jointed knees are always a plus.

Fun: 8/10 - Just imagine this guy with any villain that uses whips or has a whip-like power.  Whiplash, of course, Catwoman, Whiplash (from MOTU fame), and of course, everyone's favourite...

Value: 8/10 - An extra hand and an opening suitcase that fires not one, but 2 missiles!  Wow!  But I wished they'd given the suitcase more play value with like holes for him to put his hands in or having it unfold just a little but more rather than fire 2 missiles, whihc he does come with. Maybe they could've given him one more open hand or maybe an alternate unmasked Tony Stark head?
But for what he comes with, he's still quite a steal.  Completely new parts except for his head and probably feet make him worth getting.

Overall: 7.3 - He's decent, and not because I don't like the design of the armor--I rather like it actually.  I like it the more I look at it.  Poor pooled paint, slops and spills kinda ruin the Mark a little bit.  It also doesn't help that he's not as poseable as some of the bulkier suits.  He is, after all, the lightweight portable armor and should be more flexible, not less.


  1. Hahahaha a great review and always love your comics! Really well done! I'm going to have to pick up some more IM2 toys before it's all over with, definitely..

  2. Yeah me too, even if it's just to try my hand at repainting some of it. :P I'll wait for clearance on some of those just so I can do that.

    Love your blog btw, like TAO says, you can sure pump the reviews out fast! Lol.

  3. Didn't see this until now, but thanks very much! It's important to me that I do a review a day. I'm taking a bit of a toy break at the moment, but I'll be back into them again soon enough! Heh

  4. Yeah, no worries. I was real ambitious when I started out a year or so ago. Now I'm real happy if I can squeeze out a couple during the week. I'm overjoyed if I get 3 of em out, lol. ;)

  5. Haha, I definitely understand. One benefit is that I have ashley and novelty who throw a review onto my site every now and then, buying me a day off here or there. It's a definite plus! I'm working on getting me some sweet, sweet retro plastic right now. We'll see if I can come to a deal with the site I'm negotiating with. =)

  6. Oh, sounds good! Keep us all updated! ;)

  7. Two things came to mind after reading this review:

    1) This particular Iron Man armor reminds me of Gary Oldman's armor from his Dracula movie.

    2) I wonder if they fixed the design flaws in the Stealth Armor variant?

  8. 1) Indeed in does. Except not so bloody and

    2) I don't think they did. I love the funky gold and black combo for the stealth variant but almost all of them have bad paint jobs!

  9. 1) There's an idea for a custom figure...if someone can find a Gary Oldman action figure head that can fit on this particular body. Maybe Whiplash's head is close enough. Then paint the whole thing red and you have...Dracula Armor Whiplash! Heh-heh.

    2) That's too bad. I saw a Stealth Armor variant at the neighborhood mall. The colors look nice but if the paint's not so well-done, I'll just wait until I see it going for a discount somewhere else.

  10. Haha, that made me laugh out loud in my head...

    And yeah, ALL the 6" Stealth Armor figures I have seen have bad paint jobs. :(

  11. I can just hear Dracula Armor Whiplash telling Iron Man and War Machine: "I am Viplash...I beed you velcome...thevs...bootchers..."

    At the six-inch scale, it's practically inexcusable to mess up the paint on an action figure. With a figure that size, you can already use paint brushes with different tips if the paint machine can't get the finer details done. The higher price point means that our expectations are higher.

  12. I saw the ARMORED AVENGER version of this armor yesterday. The suitcase is thinner and can't be opened but I don't know if the articulation and paint problems were fixed. So even though it was on sale for SGD 5.86 (equivalent), I didn't buy it but I am tempted to give it a chance.

  13. Hmm, might be the exact same sculpt in different package. Still, at 5.86 it's not so bad! ;)

  14. Indeed, Sir Dragonbane. All the 3.75-inch IRON MAN 2, THOR, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER figures (except for the deluxe) are going for that price here in Metro Manila at one of the big mall chains. That's a little over half the original price of each figure so it's tempting to go get the ones I want one at a time or maybe two at once.

    Between this armor and the Exosphere armor, though, I'm leaning more towards the Exosphere armor after re-reading your review of the Mark VI on Articulated Discussion.

    1. That's a nice one! I'm gunning for the gold armour from that wave...the name (and the Google searches) elude me right now...but yeah, gunning insofar as I'll get it if I see it on clearance! :)

  15. Would you be referring to the Shield Breaker Armor Iron Man, Sir Dragonbane?

    If you are, I saw one that was also going for SGD 5.86 in Metro Manila.

    1. Yes, that's it. But I'm in no rush--there are still a few here and there in the speciality which I will pounce when it goes on discount. Lol. Thanks though! ;)

    2. If the Sonic Storm armor wasn't made of transparent plastic, that would take precedence over the Exosphere armor. Truth be told, though, the Storm Surge armor looks good too (although that's because it's a repaint of the Deep Dive armor and I've always been partial to the Deep Dive armor) since it has the appearance of the Deep Dive and Ultimate IM armors welded together and repainted in a Stark workshop by a curious engineer. Admittedly, though, the articulation could stand some improvement (forearm swivel joints would do nicely since the hands can't move).

      Now if for some reason I spot an Ultimate IM hanging on a shelf somewhere that's also the same price as the other IM 2 figures, well, then all bets are off, as the say. Heh-heh.


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