Iron Man Mk VII
Review by Prometheum5
After what seems like an eternity, the next Hot Toys Iron Man figure is here. Solicited for preorder back in June of 2012, the Iron Man Mk VII from Marvel’s The Avengers did not start arriving in US customers’ hands until the beginning of August, 2013. The Mk VII is a masterwork of engineering and just might be worth the wait.
For a quick look at the features and gimmicks, check out my HD video review!
Iron Man Mk VII stands a bit over twelve inches tall in 1/6 scale, shown here next to a standard 1/6 dude and Wraith Pheyden for scale. The figure is made almost entirely from hard plastic, with soft vinyl parts for the pelvis armor and the elbow joint covers, plus some metal details in the air breaks.
As much as I love the Hot Toys Iron Man line, these reviews have started to feel a bit redundant. The line has been a showcase for iteration and refinement, and the Mk VII benefits from all those lessons learned on previous releases. The paint is flawless, all the joints are tight, the sculpt is accurate, etc. As a Hot Toys Iron Man, the Mk VII is an excellent Hot Toys Iron Man. There’s a lot of subtle tweaks and things that make this the best of the line, but I am more curious to see how much Hot Toys shakes things up when the Movie Masterpiece Series Diecast releases start coming out for Iron Man 3 later this year.
The articulation is good, but not nearly on the level of Bandai’s SH Figuarts Iron Man or a Revoltech. Now that Hot Toys has nailed down all the different gimmicks of the suits, I feel like actual articulation is an area that should be improved for the IM3 figures. On the Mk VII the elbows still only bend to a bit over 90 degrees, the hips are limited by the vinyl skirt, and the ankles do not bend nearly enough to sit flat on the ground in dynamic poses. The torso features the now-standard extending joint, but ends up being a bit less posable than on the Mk IV/VI body.
Hot Toys still has not conquered the Iron Man movie poster pose. I dream of a day when Hot Toys’ releases pass this test.
The posable hands continue to be excellent. This was one of the nicest pairs I’ve gotten, with every joint just the right tightness.
The Mk VII features noticeably different back air break flaps from the other suits. There are metal foil details under the flaps, but no fold out pieces. The Mk VII seems designed for increased durability and survivability, apparent even in the heavier-duty break flaps.
A cool little feature visible on the back is that the small flaps on the calf jet vanes are posable. No teensy-tiny flap detail goes overlooked!
A Hot Toys Iron Man would be incomplete without light-up features. The chest arc reactor light switch is hidden under the air break on the right shoulder blade.
The eye light switch has been moved from the back of the neck to under the magnetically-attached mask. The light is now directly behind the eyes, rather than piped up through a light in the neck, resulting in much brighter eyes.
The lights on the Mk VII seem to be significantly brighter than those on previous releases in general. The lights are super white LEDs, and you could use the toy as a flashlight in a pinch.
There are a ton of weapon gimmicks featured on the Mk VII, so let’s get into it. First up are the pop-up rocket pods on the forearms. Rather than being working parts, these are now swappable.
The deployed launchers tab in securely and look great. It looks like the parts conceivably could collapse and fit under the armor panel, but it would not be fun. Making these separate parts makes them much more durable and detailed than the forearm rockets on earlier figures.
The next feature is probably my favorite of the whole toy. The wrist guards are now removable and can be swapped with a tightly bent set.
The bent wrist guards are for use with the new fixed pose repulsor-firing hands. These feature a bent wrist pose with the socket at the back of the hand, allowing for the proper palm-out repulsor firing pose that previous HT Iron Mans could not do. Good repulsor hands have been a long time coming.
There is a little bit of light bleed through the repulsor hands, but it is a small price to pay for finally being able to pose Iron Man using his trademark weapons.
The next gimmick is a bit crazy. Iron Man’s arms are removable via large ball joints at the shoulders.
Two complete sets of arms are included. One features lights for the repulsors and swappable forearm rocket launchers. The other has no lights and has non-movable wrist guards featuring the wrist lasers deployed. These arms have the same ball joint at the wrist, so I just leave the fixed pose fists on them for using the wrist lasers.
Including two complete sets of arms for a single weapon gimmick seems incredibly inefficient, but the resulting parts do look good. The deployable wrist lasers on the Mk VI are pretty fiddly, and the weapons are more complex on the Mk VII. Still, it seems like swappable forearms and armor panels or something would have been cheaper. Both sets of arms have rubber covers for the elbow joints and are compatible with the two sets of shoulder pads that we’ll get to in a second.
Still, the wrist lasers look great.
Battle damaged parts are included for the chest, mask, and shoulders. Popping off the chest panel reveals some nice techy detail. The chest plate is much more secure than on the Mk IV/VI mold.
The battle damage looks good, but with just these few parts it does not do much for me. There was a full battle damage Mk VII released as a very limited exclusive earlier this year, and that seems like the one to get if dinged up Iron Mans are your thing.
Next up is all those glorious missile pods. The Mk VII features what amount to a set of FAST Packs, with use-and-discard missile pods at the shoulders and on the thighs. These are depicted using more swappable parts.
Switching all the parts around is straight forward and everything fits securely. Getting the shoulder pods on can be a bit fiddly because of how the missile bay doors and the shoulder pads sit. The fully assembled Iron Man Itano Circus is fantastic.
The detail and extra weathering on the missile pods is impeccable.
Fully geared up the Mk VII can dish out some proper ordinance.
A minor thing worth noting is the new neck joint, which features an additional joint under the head that finally allows Iron Man to look up! Now Skrulls can’t sneak up on him from above.
The last display mode for the Mk VII depicts the suit after all the extra weapons and armor have been discarded. A ‘naked’ set of thigh covers and shoulder armor for under where the FAST Packs sit are included, and the extra armor panels on the torso drop off. For all the cool features of the Mk VII fully loaded up, I love how the suit looks like this. The FAST Packs give the suit a bit of a high collar that this mode does not suffer from, and I like the extra splash of gold on the body. I almost wish I had picked up two Mk VIIs because I would love to display one like this on my shelf in addition to one with all the weapons.
Also included is a new Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark head sculpt, and it is Hot Toys’ best yet. The new head sculpt is so expressive and detailed and lifelike.
I could get lost in those dreamy eyes.
There has been an impossible amount of debate and arguing about which of Hot Toys’ Stark sculpts is the best. I did not bother digging out the sculpt from the original Mk III because that head looks like a Ken doll by comparison.
Some people seem still to prefer the head from the Mk IV over the Mk VII. They complain about the smirky face and somehow prefer the wall-eyed dead stare of the Mk IV sculpt. They are bad people and are not to be trusted. The Mech Test Tony’s head still holds up in terms of detail and finish, but the likeness is much better on either of the armored sculpts.
In the pantheon of Hot Toys Iron Men, the Mk VII is the line’s strongest entry yet, but there are still a few points that previous releases pull ahead on. For one, the ab joint has a much better range of motion on the Mk IV and Mk VI, which are pretty bendy suits in general. Still, the Mk VII is much better on the little things. Everything is much more secure on the Mk VII, compared to the Mk IV’s loose chest plate and the Mk VI’s magnetic battle damage panels.
The Mk VII looks great lined up with the rest of its family. I stuck to just the red ‘proper’ suit models for sanity’s sake. I love how they look grouped together like this. All the subtle design differences between the different models are much easier to pick out from a lineup.
Hot Toys Iron Man Mk VII retailed for around $230 when it was first up for preorder, but all those preorders sold out long before the figure shipped. The only way to get one now is second hand, and the eBay prices have already gotten out of hand. This is a definitive Iron Man release, but the thought of paying $400+ for it is still a tough sell. If you missed this guy, I would look to the Iron Man 3 releases instead, which can still be preordered for retail prices. If you are worried about the diecast future of the line or are not a fan of the myriad suits shown in IM3, then the Mk VII is the one to get.
|Posted 19 August, 2013 - 06:43 by Prometheum5|