Hyper Gokin Iron Man Mk. III
Review by Prometheum5
EZHobi Toys is a Taiwanese company that has been around for a few years, mostly making fixed pose PVC trading figure type toys. They seem pretty small and nobody would fault you for having never heard of them. Way back in 2009, however, EZhobi showed off design sketches for a 1/10 scale Iron Man Mk. III figure from the first Iron Man film. Few details were stated, but there were sketches of pretty much every gimmick the Mk. III suit has in the movie. The toy never came out, but once in a while a prototype sculpt would show up at Asian toy shows. After a while, the Hyper Gokin Iron Man Mk. III seemed like vaporware. Then one day earlier this year, a preorder popped up on Angolz. I did some searching around and found that EZHobi had a new website, albeit a completely broken ‘in progress’ site that had no info for the longest time. I could not fathom the toy would actually come out, but then the listing eventually changed to ‘In Stock’ on Angolz. As an Iron Man toy expert, I had to know, and Angolz was nice enough to send one along.
For a look at the box, contents, and some initial thoughts, check out my HD video review above! Now, onto the toy itself.
In 1/10 scale Iron Man stands just over eight inches tall, shown here with Wraith Pheydan for scale. Before we go any further we have to talk about the size. 1/10 scale is a stupid size for an action figure. It is a common scale for fixed pose PVC anime figures, but Iron Man’s going to have few posable playmates.
The figure is made from hard plastic with softer PVC hands, a softer material crotch armor, and a decent amount of internal diecast. Nothing on the outside of the figure feels like metal, but the figure has some proper heft. The paint work is phenomenal, with a beautiful metallic sheen to both the red and gold. The only problem is, the colors are not quite accurate. The Mk. III had a deeper, almost burgundy tone. The red EZHobi chose is closer to the color of the Iron Man 2 suits, Mks. IV-VI. Color aside, the sculpt is quite nice, loaded with fine detail and good proportions. The suit is bulky without looking fat, with good lines. Most Iron Man figures tend to be a bit lean looking, so a heftier sculpt is refreshing and more in line with the Marvel movie-verse.
That is, except for the helmet. EZHobi has joined the proud ranks of those companies that do not understand the shape of Iron Man’s noggin. EZ’s version is too flat in the front, too wide and long in the cheeks, and tapers to a jaw that is too narrow. It’s an awful helmet sculpt that really lets down how great the rest of the figure looks. An interesting detail to note here is that, instead of using clear or metallic bits for the eyes and arc reactor, EZ has opted to use a glow in the dark paint. In the light, the eyes and arc reactor look flat white and bland. In the dark, they do not glow enough to photograph. It’s a neat idea that falls short.
Also included is a Tony Stark headsculpt. Sort of. The head is molded in a doughy flesh colored plastic with a little bit of subtle shading and cleanly painted facial details. From some angles, it almost looks like it is meant to depict a human being. From other angles it is elongated and haunting. It certainly does not look like Robert Downey Jr. Suffice to say, the head is going back in the box forever.
The main draw of EZHobi’s rendition is all the gimmicks, so we’re going to start at the top and walk through them. First up are the shoulder-mounted pop out micromissile launchers. To deploy, the red shoulder panels slide forward, and the launchers pop up on springs. The launchers fold down into position and feature fine detail. The shoulder panels have a tendency to pop open when handling the figure, but in general they work pretty well. The only other movie Iron Man figures to date to have the shoulder launchers are the Hot Toys Iron Man Mk. VI and the Mk. III Battle Damaged version, which was an upgrade to their Mk. III sculpt and is impossible to find.
The chest plate is removable via two large and chunky tabs under the armpits. I hate it when Iron Man figures have removable chest plates that are then loose and come off easily, so good on EZ for making theirs nice and secure. The mechanical detail is decent and well painted. Oddly enough, there is nice arc reactor detail that is covered up by the opaque GID cover on the outer chest plate. The whole thing would look better if the outer plate just had an opening so this reactor detail was visible. Worth noting here is some paint chipping on the top of the abdomen after handling the figure for a bit. There was a piece of plastic wedged in there for shipping. With the outer chest plate on the chipping is not visible.
Shoulder pads are an important part of Iron Man movie-suit toy design. EZ has opted for a sort of hybrid between the Hot Toys solution and the pads on the first Iron Man line from Hasbro. The pads peg on to the shoulder joint, but feature two sliding components and a decent range of motion so they do move well with the arms. In extreme poses they can pop off, but they are designed to go right back on.
The elbows feature a moving armor piece, but only a 90º range of motion.
The wrists are weird. There is a detailed wrist part on a ball joint with great motion that has a rectangular peg at the end for the three sets of hands to attach. Out of the box, the fit was so loose that the hands slid right off. After a couple layers of super glue to bulk up the rectangular peg the hands fit much more securely. The resulting assembly looks a bit unnatural in extreme poses but affords a great deal of mobility, so EZ’s Iron Man can do excellent palm-out repulsor firing poses.
The wrist guards are hinged but do not rotate around the forearm at all. It’s sort of a refinement of the Kotobukiya solution on their Mk. II/III Revoltechs and is perfectly serviceable. The guards are securely attached at the hinge and made from hard plastic.
The forearms are home to not one, but two gimmicks. First up are the pop out micromissile launchers.
The two side panels slide out and the launcher pops up. The detail is outstanding, but the assembly is extremely fiddly. The side panels slide out on rails that can actually come all the way off by design, and do not click into place securely either for deployed or stowed position. Out of all the gimmicks on the figure, these are my least favorite because the side panels are constantly in peril of falling off and getting lost.
Both forearms also feature the slide out shields. The inner panel flips out while the outer panel slides, and there is some nice mechanical detail in there. The assembly is not as accurate as that on the Hot Toys Iron Man Mk. II Armor Unleashed ver., but it’s nice enough. Unfortunately, I could not get the slide out panel on the right arm to stay in place.
The air brake panels on the back are well represented. Three hinged panels deploy with nice detail. The stubby little tip flaps are accurate to the Mk. III. The air brake panels got much larger and more complex starting with the Mk. IV.
The hips have the pop out countermeasure units on both sides. These are spring loaded and deploy by twisting. They generally stay in place, but will occasionally attack you while posing the figure.
The hips feature a second gimmick that is actually pretty neat. The red panel on the front of the thigh is spring loaded, allowing the legs to move further forward without interfering with the skirt armor.
Unfortunately, the range of motion at the hips is pretty pitiful, so not much is gained by an otherwise nicely done feature.
Moving down to the legs, we’ve got a few more problems to contend with, first at foremost being the ankles. Simply put, the ankles have a very limited range of motion and are a bit loose, making it very difficult to pose the figure stably. This guy tips forwards and backwards quite easily, which is worrisome considering the myriad gimmicks make the figure a bit fragile and fiddly.
The knees feature nice clicky joints, but only bend about 70°.
There is a toe joint in the feet, and all the ankle guards are hinged. I did have trouble with the pin coming out of one of the front ankle guard hinges, but some careful tweezer work and a dot of glue sorted that out.
The back of the legs are a problem. EZHobi decided to built the most complex and accurate rendition of Iron Man’s leg air brake assembly yet. They did so with mixed success.
The round panels at the top of the calves slide up and hinge out, the main flaps hinge out, and secondary perforated brake flaps hinge out from there. Everything here is teensy-tiny and feels fragile.
So fragile that multiple parts broke from regular handling. On one side, one of the secondary flaps came unglued. Reattaching it without getting glue in the hinge was a harrowing experience.
On the other side, the hinge for the larger panel came unglued. Due to limited access, this was actually the more difficult repair even though the parts are larger. With the panel off, however, we get a decent view of the mechanical detail in there, which is serviceable but not amazing.
Compared to other existing renditions of the Mk. III suit, the Hyper Gokin actually does fill a nice mid-range spot. It’s larger and more detailed than any of Hasbro’s offering but smaller and more affordable than the Hot Toys figure. EZ’s figure actually has far more detail and gimmicks than HT’s, too. I’ll still take the Hot Toys figure for its better headsculpt, but I really do like the proportions and paint job on the Hyper Gokin. The Hasbro figures from the first film were just godawful with anorexic and rubbery sculpts and those miserable easy to lose shoulder pads.
Unfortunately, at 1/10 scale the Hyper Gokin Iron Man really doesn’t have anyone to display next to. It’s too big to display with Diamond Select or NECA seven inch type figures.
In motion, the Hyper Gokin Iron Man looks quite nice. The proportions give the suit a durable and aggressive look. The figure is not terribly dynamic due to the limited leg articulation and poor balance, but that almost works in its favor. Instead of the crazy splits something like Bandai’s SH Figuarts Iron Man can pull off, EZHobi’s rendition ends up with a more purposeful and deliberate feel.
Despite its many flaws, I really do like what EZHobi has done. It’s a weird and ambitious toy that probably should not exist, but it has charm. More than anything the Hyper Gokin reminds me of a High Complete Model. It is chock full of detail and gimmicks with a very fine finish, but falls short as a toy designed to be handled by human beings.
Still, Iron Man looks great taking a repulsor shot, and really, that’s all that matters.
Almost 2000 words in and we’ve only covered about a third of the contents of the massive box. Also included is a Hall of Armor display that comes in flat panels.
Assembly is quick. Everything fits together with small pegs that the instructions warn will not hold up to multiple assembly/disassemblies. I put the base together once for the review and disassembled it to put it away without breaking anything, but I would not expect it to come apart as nicely again.
The base is made from hard plastic that has a decent weight to it. There is sharp mechanical detail, but not much paint. A black crotch stand is included that mounts to one of the slates in the back.
I did have a little trouble, though. The bottom panel of the base part came unglued and will have to be reattached.
Rather than include any complex or expensive light up features, EZHobi has extended their glow in the dark experiment to the base. Along the back and bottom of the base are slots for these milky plastic panels that slide in and are visible through small details from the front. These panels glow, but very little is visible from the front all assembled.
EZHobi’s Iron Man in the Hall of Armor base makes for an attractive display. It’s less space and money than a Hot Toys, with comparable detail, at least until Hot Toys beautiful IM3 Hall of Armor display comes out.
One final bonus is included with purchase of the Hyper Gokin Iron Man Mk. III, an Egg Man Iron Man Mk. III. This little guy comes in a vacuum formed package with nice artwork on the card back.
Egg Man Iron Man stands a little over an inch tall and is made from nicely painted PVC. It is not posable. This kind of toy is much more in line with the bulk of EZHobi’s releases and makes a nice forgettable bonus.
This toy has a ton of issues, but like I said above, it also has charm. The Hyper Gokin Iron Man Mk. III is a wildly ambitious toy, especially as the first large posable figure from a small company. EZHobi deserves a lot of credit even if the end result is far from perfect. I think comparing this guy to Bandai’s old HCM line really says it all. What I can only hope is that EZHobi learned from making this guy and will double down and improve on further releases. They have already teased a Battle Damaged Mk. III and Iron Monger, both of which could be phenomenal toys if EZ puts in the work to learn from this first effort. If EZHobi could make a similar leap to what Bandai did moving from the HCM line to the Soul of Chogokin line, then Hyper Gokin could turn into something really special. EZHobi’s Hyper Gokin Iron Man Mk. III has a list price of $166 on Angolz, marked down to a special price of $140. I don’t think most people should run out and grab this guy, but I hope it does well enough that EZHobi gets to take another stab at Iron Man because I like what they are going for.
If you’re willing to take a chance on an underdog, you can pick up a Hyper Gokin Iron Man Mk. III from Angolz here.
|Posted 17 July, 2013 - 06:34 by Prometheum5|