I mentioned in my Comic Series I review that I wasn’t planning to pick up that many of the movie or concept figures. I’m still not looking to be a completist with this line, but there were some non-comic figures that I did want, specifically the War Machine and the Mark V armor. I almost skipped them because I have or will buy their 6″ versions, but I’m a sucker for things I like (War Machine) and things that look cool (Mark V armor). That and my slowly growing 1:18 collection is a ton of fun.
Movie Series # 11 – Mark V Armor
If you’re an Iron Man fan, you were probably like me and got ridiculously excited when you saw the briefcase armor in Iron Man 2’s second trailer. I might be alone in this, but I have a love/hate relationship with the briefcase. It’s a cool idea, but it was hard for the comics to implement; at least past my suspension of disbelief. The briefcase appears virtually right away in the comics, along with the gold version of his original armor. The form-fitting chestplate was worn at all times while the rest of the armor “flattened out” to fit in the briefcase. It just flattened out? Really? Think about that armor for a second. Later armors would fold up into their own briefcase, but not nearly as anything as cool as the Movie Mark V.
The figure’s sculpt captures the Mark V armor elegantly. Other than the boots, the figure is covered in intricate lines and is an overall slimmer armor befitting its origins. Stylistically, it’s everything that the War Machine armor isn’t and I think that’s one of the reasons I like the figure and this line so much. The sculptors have gone out of their way to make sure that the personality of the armors is conveyed by the figures. This armor is sculpted with an open right hand and a left fist, but a third, open left hand is included so that the figure can hold his briefcase accessory. Extra hands are always a plus.
As great as the sculpt is though, it’s working hard to shine through bad paint. After thumbing through countless figures, I can tell you that the paint problems aren’t unique to this figure, but rather the seemingly standard “rush” to get the first assortment out to retail. I’m not sure how many stores I looked through to snag a decent Mark V, but it took me a couple weeks to get him compared to the others. This one turned out relatively okay, but you can find a few spots where the red paint isn’t consistent, where the red shows through the silver, or where the silver has been misapplied altogether. There are good ones out there. I’m just advising that no one should blindly grab any of these figures off the shelf. Look first, buy second.
The Mark V has standard articulation for the line: balls at the ankles, hips, elbows, shoulders, torso, and head, double-hinged knees, and cuts at the wrists. The ball-joints on the head and shoulders are restricted though. The head is relegated to being a swivel cut while the top of the shoulders have been sculpted so that they’re almost flush with the torso. This Iron Man won’t be raising his arms over his head any time soon. I find that odd because figures like War Machine have bulky shoulders with extra articulation to keep their range, while a figure like this is purposefully limited.
Other than those two problem areas, I’m starting to get used to the hip articulation on these figures. The more I play around with them, I just start to get a feel for what I’m going to need to do to get them in the pose I want. They work well, and they’re sized correctly so they don’t stand out on the figure, particularly on a less bulky figure like the Mark V. The level and implementation of articulation lets you get into a variety of poses while retaining the overall aesthetic.
Finally, this Iron Man includes his briefcase. Technically, he’s carrying the armor and wearing it at the same time, but that’s okay, right? It’s a little big, but it’s pulling double duty as the requisite missile launcher. It opens on one side with some interior detailing similar to what was seen in the film. Pressing the blue triangle on the non-opening side fires both missiles simultaneously. Continue to War Machine…