Review by Prometheum5
Hot Toys' Iron Man Movie Masterpiece Series has been one of Hot Toys' flagship lines since the original Iron Man Mk.I and Iron Man Mk.III were released in 2009. Since then, Hot Toys has produced every version of the Iron Man suit shown in the films, plus a couple exclusive repaints, as well as key members of the cast including Black Widow and Whiplash. The line has set the standard for licensed movie figure excellence, but there was always a glaring omission in the lineup from the first movie.
That is, until now.
Inside the package was another package. Wraith Pheyden does not know what to make of this new monolith. The inner package has a carrying handle on the side. It needs it. Small print on the box reveals what treasure lies inside.
Hot Toys' Movie Masterpiece Series 1/6 scale Iron Monger comes in a bold but much less flashy package than the rest of the Iron Man line.
It does not feature all the holographic foil printing and colors of the Iron Man suits, but the massive 'IRON MONGER' is printed in shiny silver foil and triumphantly announces the contents of the box.
The back features the usual production credits. These heroes deserve such recognition for this massive undertaking.
Inside is a massive styrofoam tray with a plastic cover. The foam is dense and rugged and exudes luxury. There is no way a Monger is arriving damaged during shipping.
Aside from the figure, the contents of the box are pretty sparse. Included are two jet booster parts, a Jeff Bridges as Obidiah Stane headsculpt, a fine necklace for Obi, and the instructions. Iron Monger did not have any accessories in the movie, but the spoiled brat in me wishes two Obi headsculpts were included so I could whip up a custom Obidiah unarmored figure.
In 1/6 scale, Iron Monger stands around eighteen inches tall. Comparing Hot Toys' rendering to previous Hasbro Iron Mongers reveals how undersized Hasbro's offerings were. Setting everybody up like this also shows how TERRRRIBLE those six inch Iron Man figures from the first movie were.
Iron Monger is massive and imposing, but surprisingly light. The figure's weight is not insignificant, but holding the toy with one hand is not uncomfortable. All of the joints are just the right tightness and support the toy's weight no problem. That's a good thing, because there are a LOT of moving parts. You can get a quick look at some of the toy's gimmicks in my first ever CollectionDX video!
All of those pistons move. All of them. As in, every single one.
The figure is fully painted and looks incredible. The convincing beaten metal finish makes the light weight of the toy even more surprising. It looks like it's made of metal and should weigh at least fifty pounds.
Iron Monger features posable hands that are tight and solid feeling. They are tight enough to grip all kinds of things and not feel fragile.
The Iron Monger suit was an attempt by people less smart than Tony Stark to make a copy of the Iron Man armor working from the original suit that Tony built in cave. With a box of scraps. As such, the Monger is much less refined than the Man and requires large pistons to move its heavy, cumbersome limbs. Where the smaller Iron Monger toys have cheated with most of these pistons, Hot Toys' version does not.
The motion of the pistons is smooth. I was worried the toy would be fragile because of all the fine moving parts, but everything feels great and I have no qualms about handling him.
The back is where a lot of the magic happens with two sets of pistons to drive the shoulder movement.
Even with the bulky armor and all those pistons, the range of motion on Iron Monger is great. The figure is probably more mobile in many ways than its on-screen counterpart.
All those little pistons at the hips movie and slide with the joint.
The knee and ankle pistons look awesome and move as designed.
Iron Monger has a number of light-up features for added realism. There are lights in the eyes, the chest arc reactor, both palms, and on the sights of both forearm-mounted guns.
The lights are super bright white with a slight bluish tint and do a great job of matching the look from the film. There were all these striking scenes at the end of the film with the lights from both the Iron Man and Iron Monger suits shining against dark backgrounds, and Hot Toys' figure captures that perfectly.
The most exciting feature on Hot Toys' Iron Monger is the opening cockpit. At the end of the film, Iron Man manages to damage Iron Monger's sensors, so Obidiah has to open the cockpit to see. We get a nice view of the interior of the cockpit, and Hot Toys used that reference material to great effect.
The first step to opening the cockpit is to slide down the two chest armor panels. These panels are on spring-loaded slides, so they pull out to slide past the arm reactor and then snug back up against the chest.
The arc reactor slides down and the top of the torso hinges up, revealing Obidiah Stane. The headsculpt is packaged separately to avoid getting damaged, and easily snaps on to a ball joint at the neck.
Compare Hot Toy' effort to the Hasbro six inch scale opening cockpit Monger... Yikes.
The Jeff Bridges likeness is one of Hot Toys' best. There is not a whole human figure inside the suit, just a rubber torso attached somewhere inside there, with some kind of inner skeleton for the neck. Obi can lean side to side a bit, and look all about.
The Dude looks accurate, but also looks more intense than the usual bland licensed likeness. This is Obidiah staring down his former friend as their armored duel draws to a close.
The inside of the helmet is hollow, so the headsculpt can be left in the toy once installed. There is a soft material liner around the inside of the neck hollow to prevent scratching or rubbing on the headsculpt.
The Iron Monger is big, mean, and scary, but it also comes loaded for war. On the left forearm is a missile launcher. The missiles are sharply painted but do not move or come out.
The right arm features a rotating machinegun. The gun is made from multiple barrels with an outer cooling jacket surrounding them for maximum detail.
The gun extends for firing and does rotate, but not freely. A motorized gimmick could have been neat but not if it compromised the look of the toy.
There are three opening panels on the back. On the right is the panel that opens to reveal the battery compartment and switch for the chest and head lights. The two panels on the left open to reveal the fold-out missile launcher seen during the fight on the freeway.
The missile launcher slides up and then the firing rail folds down. There is a little side to side swivel to the firing rail for aiming. These parts are delicately made, but feel solid enough for repeated handling.
The missile comes packed separately to avoid damage but sits securely in the launcher.
The last gimmick is easily the weakest. The leg boosters are separate parts that that peg on to the back of the legs. First, the rear panels of the claves flip up and the flight flaps pull out. The front calf armor panels also slide down.
Then, these big chunky booster parts peg on. The boosters do not move and the paint does not seem quite up to Hot Toys' usual standard.
Attached, the leg boosters look passable but are a bit bland. The heat discoloration could have been done nicer, and it would have been neat if the boosters moved a bit. I am not sure if they could move in the film, but they just seem boring like this.
See? The silver parts stick out compared to the wonderful finish of the armor panels.
Iron Monger is a milestone in toy engineering and manufacturing, but more importantly he is fun! Iron Monger belongs locked in combat with his rival.
Iron Man is too fast! I think my favorite moment from the fight in the first film was when Stark delivered that boot-jet assisted punch right to Monger's big stupid face. In the movies Iron Man relies very much on technology and ranged weaponry to defeat his foes. In the comics, Iron Man has always been a much more physical fighter, relying on hi-tech goodie to disable his foes before landing a series of punishing armored blows. When I think of classic Iron Man, I think of him knocking all of the teeth and bones out of an A.I.M. goon's hazmat-suited face after some armored fisticuffs.
Now, we're had some fun but it's time to get serious for a minute. Hot Toys' Iron Monger costs around $500 no matter where you get it from. That's a lot of money for a toy, no two ways about it. For that kind of cash, however, Iron Monger is the most impressive toy I have ever gotten. He towers over other large format toys and has so much more going on than other oversized 1/6 scale figures. There are a few toys out there larger than the Monger, including Transformers Fortress Maximus and some 3A robots, but Iron Monger is far more impressive to me. Fort Max is a great toy with a ton of play value, but it's mostly a brick and pretty limited as an actual figure. The largest of 3A bots are gorgeous and posable figures, but they don't really have to be accurate to anything more than a few wishy-washy paintings and sketches. Iron Monger is THE Iron Monger from the film. What you saw on screen is painstakingly reproduced on the toy. All of the moving parts look incredible, but Iron Monger also manages to be a really great feeling TOY, not a statue or a 'collectible'.
The whole Hot Toys Iron Man line has shown that movie toys and cool robot toys can be both nice looking and nicely made, not just one or the other. Iron Monger is the culmination of that idea, and a real landmark piece of plastic.
Plus, now you can pit Iron Monger against an entire Iron Legion of incredible figures. What's not to love?
For a premium price, you are getting a true premium experience. Fans of Iron Man, movie toys, or just cool robot toys should give serious thought to picking one up. I am sure the Monger will be available for a while at retailers, but once it is gone I think it will be a very long time before we see another toy as impressive.
|Posted 1 January, 2013 - 10:29 by Prometheum5|