For articulation, I am actually going to do that thing I said earlier. I’m terrible. I’ll refer you back to the Iron Patriot review. The two are identical enough that they function the same and fantastic poses are capable with either one. The only concern for Machine is that the same thing I love – no battle damage. If I ding up Iron Patriot a bit, it kinda blends in. If I do it to War Machine, my heart will stop. This in mainly a concern on the areas where the sculpt interferes with the artic a bit: the shoulder pads most notably and the panels on the hips (while ingenious, I’m going to break one sooner or later, we need extras, HT!). While we’re referencing the other review, War Machine features the same four light-up areas as Iron Patriot: head, reactor, and repulsors. All work well once you install the tiny batteries with the tiny screwdriver.
Accessories differ slightly between the two and Iron Patriot comes out ahead sadly. The rear-mounted shoulder cannon is the same as is the right-arm panel with pop-up missile launcher too. The seven hands – articulated, fists, open, and the saluting hand, again, all the same.* But Iron Patriot, by virtue of being $30 more, got what I most wanted for War Machine. An alternate Rhodey head.
I’m not kidding. War Machine is numbered after Iron Patriot on a Hot Toys Checklist, but he did come out first and while I love Iron Patriot with the shield so much that I bought an extra shield to give him, if I’d gotten a Cheadle head with War Machine? I might not have bought Patriot. Patriot wasn’t a $300 impulse buy, but I wanted Cheadle’s likeness. Did I mention I love Don Cheadle? “So unless we intend to do this job in Reno, we’re in Barney. Barney Rubble. Trouble!”). In fact, even with Patriot, I’m still kinda sad I don’t have it for War Machine. Speaking of, I’d prolly still buy a Cheadle in his Air Force Dress Blues… it’d be a big, awesome G.I. Joe, really.
* – If Patriot was ordered through Sideshow, a small holographic replica of War Machine was available. I got hosed on that! When I bought War Machine the exclusive was waitlisted, and then after it shipped, the extra with the exclusive became available to order. I don’t need the little green guy, but I felt a little screwed!.
Even without the Cheadle head or that green freebie, I still love this guy. I’m still not completely accustomed to buying Hot Toys, particularly outright (no FlexPay here!), so $285 did seem like a lot. That’s because it is, but there was one added benefit that I forgot to mention: die-cast. I love my Midas Armor Iron Man, but I won’t lie – when I opened him and he was so… light. I dare say he felt cheap. I mean, he’s not, he meticulously well-done, but there was a disconnect between his cost and his weight, as dumb as that sounds. War Machine and I met oppositely. He was cheaper, as Midas was an exclusive, but when I pulled the inner tray from the box – he was delightfully heavy. I still get a kick out of picking him up now.
Overall, War Machine was, so far, my most wavering Hot Toys purchases. If I’d done the FlexPay, I probably wouldn’t even notice, but he was a lot of dough for a figure with not a lot of extras. I do love the die-cast. The heft when I opened him combined with the production finish and his great articulation on top of those die-cast pieces made him really sing to me. But as the price of Hot Toys slowly climbs and value is fleeting, I start to shy away. While it feels like we may be at a tipping point, I can still say that War Machine feels worth it. And I like being able to say that about an expensive figure.
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