One problem that I often face in reviews is taking a look at repaints. A toy review is a only few hundred words, but when you’ve already reviewed the toy when it was blue… well, the tendency to just say “go read this, and substitute the word “red” for blue” is pretty high. I feel like I’ve even done that recently. I’ll probably give in and do it before we get to the end here. Oops.
That said, you want to review the repaints, particularly if they’re cool. And this one is. It doesn’t look like it anymore, but I try not to buy too many Hot Toys. One, cause they’re expensive and two, they take up *some* space. This year, I’ve failed miserably at not buying “too” many. My original intention to only buy figures from my all-time favorite movies crumbled under how much I enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One Iron Man armor led to another, to a Tony, to Cap, to Hulk. Doh. Yeah, it’s safe to say that my “Hot Toys Protocols” pretty much imploded.
This War Machine may be the greatest example of that. He’s technically not even in the movie! No real spoilers here, but surely you’ve seen Iron Patriot (both in last week’s review and all over the movie’s marketing). Iron Patriot is a Stark suit of armor given an upgrade and a spiffy new paint job by SPOILER. In theory then, is this period between the creation and the upgrade; what the suit must have looked like originally. That’s what this figure represents. This would be what Rhodey was wearing during the Avengers timeframe. If you bought the Iron Man 3 prequel comic, you saw Rhodey in this suit walking in on the Avengers shawarma scene. It also appears in a Lego set where they fight the film’s villain fleeing in a speedboat (which didn’t exactly happen).
So why buy this War Machine? A mostly-repaint that didn’t appear in the film for $285? No, I’m not crazy – I just really love War Machine.
As a geek and a toy collector, I have that weird propensity to like something unique. Well, actually I love a lot of things that are unique, but for some reason – I love black & white versions of iconic costumes. I tell you with no uncertainty, that Spidey’s Symbiote Costume is still the single greatest costume in all of comics. I think Batman looks best dressed in black. Captain America is a cooler character, but US Agent dresses cooler. Heck, here’s a blast from the past – there’s this random issue of Justice League from right before Doomsday first appeared – it takes place in an alternate world and the Flash wears a black version of his costume. It looked so awesome, that it’s stuck with me for twenty years and two reboots. I just love desaturated superhero costumes. So, seeing as War Machine is a black & white Iron Man? Yeah, bye, bye money.
It also helps that Rhodey is a kick ass character. He does get maligned a lot in the comics – supporting characters often do, but I love him. And I loved both Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle’s performances in the trilogy. Btw, I’m ready for a War Machine spin-off!).
So this Hot Toy was a no-brainer for me. I’m still kicking myself for not buying the first one from IM2, but I was safely under my wallet-saving protocols back then. And it’s simply too expensive to go back and get now. So I bought this one. Heck, I was going to buy this and skip Iron Patriot but then some jackwagon showed HT Iron Patriot holding the HT Cap’s shield and… I’m weak. Ok? At least it’s to my readers benefit.
While War Machine and Iron Patriot are very similar, this is still Hot Toys, so the figures do have the unique torsos as needed. There are also a few subtle differences like the button on the figure’s lower back, or lack thereof on War Machine. Iron Patriot’s hips swing out at the press of the button for deeper poses. War Machine can do the same, but no button. They swing out easily enough when needed, but I’m guessing that feature will last longer and be nicer on the Patriot over time due to the specific release trigger. The upper torsos are similar, but are different pieces so that War Machine could forego the star that’s sculpted into Iron Patriot’s chest.
My favorite thing about War Machine, as you’d expect, is the deco. But it’s more than just the colors. While Patriot is finished & glossy with light battle damage, War Machine is very much the opposite. His matte finish makes him seem more rugged & tougher than a publicity stunt (maybe I’m projecting here) and he’s also factory fresh – no battle damage or scuff marks to be found. He just looks amazing. I rarely can complement a figure’s finish, but here we are. Continue to Page 2…