So it looks great, but what really sells me on these Iron Man armors is how well they move. The neck is on a triple ball-joint (base of neck, top of neck, & base of skull) and works fantastically. The arms have double-ball joints at the shoulder, bicep swivels, double hinge joints at the elbow and one-piece ball wrists. The legs have ball-hips, thigh swivels, double knees, and ball ankles. There’s a high ab crunch too, but then there are some fun added features that really help the figure to move well. Pulling up on the torso reveals a second, lower ab crunch for deeper poses. Similarly you can pull down on the feet for more range of motion and perhaps the strangest one is a button on the figures lower back that lets the entire hip assembly swing down and forward for heavy crouches. That’s amazing!
That said, the sculpt does block the articulation somewhat. The shoulders can be tricky as they need to have those big honking shoulder pads (which screw up every movie IM figure ever, I think) need to be coaxed out of the way for most poses. The hips and ankles fare better with flip-up panels that are there to get keep the sculpt accurate but to also let it get the hell out of the way. And they work great too. Iron Patriot can kneel down and take a convincing ground punching pose. How often do we see that?
Accessorywise, Iron Patriot felt a little light. The main accessory is really part of the armor, the shoulder-mounted gun. It’s a great piece with tons of detail and little warning decals. Even in its compact-size, it features four swivel joints and a huge meaning that it can be aimed in just about any direction you want. There are also several options on how it can slide into the figure’s back for added range.
In addition to the Cheadle head and the extra two face plates, the figure also came with five alternate hands and one left-arm panel with a deployed weapon. All the extra hands are nice, but we don’t really need all of them. The hands set to “repulsor position” are a must. The saluting hand is a great touch too! But with the standard hands coming articulated (add 28 more points the figure) things like the fist aren’t really necessary anymore. I won’t balk at extra goodies ever, but I’m always cool with getting more stuff than we do.
I also had one QC spotlight on the accessories. This isn’t a big deal, but the extra left arm panel had its own red panel pop off during the photo shoot. It’s not a dealbreaker – I can glue it back on myself, but I wanted to point it out because we sometimes think the more expensive toy the more it should be flawless. I’d like that to be true, but a few little things that will keep it from being perfect. For the price, I think my Patriot is relatively free of concerns and I’m glad the one bigger problem, this panel popping off, is something I can fix easily instead of a bigger problem (which, no doubt Sideshow would’ve helped me to resolve).
Also included was the traditional light-up base. It’s nice and good-sized the little engraved nameplate. It’s a bit hard to display due to its size, but I like having it – the usual pole that functions as the figure stand is made of metal for this release. It does a good job holding the extra weight added by the die-cast. The base does light-up, but I haven’t tried out any batteries in it just yet.
Finally, there is also the light-up feature. This is a fun extra to the armors. The head, chest, and hands light-up. They’re strangely bright (and my camera interpreted them as blue for some reason?), but I love having them in there as they really “complete” the figure. The only thing I didn’t like terribly was that HT has switched installing the batteries to the consumer and a small screw driver is included. I don’t mind doing this myself one bit, but I wish the button covers and switches were a little easier to get too instead of having to hide under something to be accurate. I worry I’m going to break a clip on the helmet every time I have to get out the little included spatula and pop it off.
Overall, I love this figure. The die-cast parts (chest, elbows/knees, lower legs) add some great heft to a sharp looking figure. The Cheadle head sculpt is, as expected, amazing and the innovations that HT has put into articulating prior armors have really shined through on the Iron Patriot release. It’s just a blast to have, particularly when I partner him with an old, paint-flaking Cap shield (it matches his armor!) for a classic look.
The only real drawback was the price: $310. I picked this up using pre-order and flexpay which is a godsend on HT releases, but that’s still a lot of funds for one figure. Now, I’m lucky enough that I wasn’t buying HTs when they were “Cheaper” a few yers ago, but I’m reminded often of how they’ve gotten more expensive. For $300+, I do at least appreciate the die cast and the heft included there, but a few more accessories would be nice. Still though, I can’t deny I’m addicted to HT Marvel now. The handful I’ve bought have all been amazing so far and Iron Patriot is no exception! Too bad Cap is gonna want his shield back…
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