3 3/4" Iron Man 2 Concept Series Advanced Tactical Armor
Tony Stark unveils three variant armors for Kmart...
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With Iron Man 2 on movie screens now and toys from the film everywhere, it came as no surprise that Hasbro would further capitalize on the enormous success by releasing "variant armors" (read: repaints) to the fans. Going one step beyond the already cool 3 3/4 inch Concept Series of Iron Man 2 figures, the latest release is a Kmart exclusive three pack containing new versions of existing figures called Advanced Tactical Armor with Omega Factor Armor War Machine, Vibranium Armor Iron Man Mark VI, and Bio-Metal Armor Iron Man Mark V. Are the "Concepts" better than the originals? Is this set worth tracking down? Let's take a look!
The first (and only?) three pack in the Iron Man 2 line, the Advanced Tactical Armor set comes in a pretty standard window box. It's got the now familiar red and yellow backgrounds and highlights, with the film's logo at the top left corner and the names of the figures and the set at the bottom of the front panel. Behind the figures and their accessories is a huge cardboard insert of a brightly charged blue and white arc reactor.
The back of the box has a brief explanation of these armors as further tinkerings by Stark, along with photographs of each one. There's also the expected upsells, in this case Iron Man Collection 1 Figures, Iron Man Helmet, and Iron Man Mark VI Red Vortex car toy.
First up is the only non-Iron Man in the set, Omega Factor Armor War Machine. This is a straight repaint of the War Machine figure from the Movie Series (you can see my review of that figure, and others, HERE).
I won't go over every detail again, but instead focus on what's new. Instead of Rhodes' standard black and silver paint scheme, the Omega Factor looks army-ready in drab green, black, and silver (the latter colors reversed from War Machine). While the previous figure had only blue accents on the eyes, the new one has quite a bit of painted details with orange on the eyes, chest, and upper legs along with yellow and black warning patches on the forearm machine guns. Overall the paint is much more "clean" and new looking than on the regular War Machine, which would make this a great candidate for army builder status.
The Omega Factor Armor has the same great articulation as the original, and this one had much better joints than my War Machine including functional hips. It also has the same awesome accessories including standard and oversized shoulder cannons and ammo belt. Instead of two launching projectiles for the larger gun, Omega has just one, a yellow fireball.
The most visually striking figure in the new set is the Vibranium Armor Iron Man Mark VI representing Stark's use of the incredibly rare and powerful Marvel Universe metal. A repaint of the original Mark VI, the new version is painted in patriotic red, silver, and blue. Let's get this out of the way now: this figure does NOT represent Norman Osborn's Iron Patriot armor. That suit is patterned after Captain America, while this one just has the colors.
The Vibranium suit is painted blue on the chest, upper legs, and helmet, and red on the arms and legs with silver filling in the rest and accenting the limbs. The faceplate is silver with white and blue eyes, the same colors that appear in the triangular chest-mounted unibeam.
The Mark VI armor is sleek with a more natural looking physique. The suit has lots of overlapping armor plates, with heavier sections on the chest, shoulders, elbows, and lower legs. The sculpt is good with lots of definition on the armor and plenty of tech details. Iron Man's torso and abdomen are especially detailed and really stand out. Articulation on this figure is very good allowing for a wide range of poses, with joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed elbows, wrists, ball-jointed torso, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed knees, and ball-jointed ankles.
Vibranium Iron Man trades in his heavy weaponry (the original figure came with an oversized projectile-firing missile launcher) for something a bit different. Taking his cue from Captain America, Stark has duplicated the patriot's shield. In fact, the accessory is the same one that came with the Marvel Universe Cap figure, repainted in darker colors to match Iron Man. It even has the forearm clip and dual elastic straps so Iron Man can carry it on his arm or his back. It's a great accessory, and for older collectors it's much preferred compared to those silly missile launchers.
The final figure in the three pack didn't excite me so much on first glance. Bio-Metal Armor is a redeco of the Iron Man Mark V figure. The "Suitcase Armor" is very slim and small, representing the basic armor suit Stark can carry around with him for emergencies, and the original's bright red and silver didn't do it for me. But, I have to admit that Bio-Metal has changed my mind. The figure is made up of dark red translucent plastic, with significant painted details on top of that. There are black panels and segments on the figure's torso and limbs, with toned down silver decorations. Pale blue shows up on the armor's arc reactor and the eyes of his faceplate. In person, this color scheme looks really good, especially with just a hint of light filtering through the dark translucent plastic.
With a smaller profile, the Mark V figure is the most "natural" of the armors when it comes to the physique. As such, there is good definition with regards to the chest, upper/lower arms, and upper/lower legs. On top of that is a very detailed suit of segmented armor with a fantastic texture. The figure also has top notch articulation with joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed elbows, wrists, torso, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed knees, and ball-jointed ankles. Even better, with no bulky armor to get in the way (with the slight exception of the shin flares), there’s very little to get in the way of poseability.
Hasbro did something strange with the accessories for Bio-Metal Iron Man. He comes packaged with the gripping left hand, left over from the original figure to hold his suitcase. However, Bio-Metal doesn't have a suitcase. He does come with the alternate left hand so you can swap out the grip for an open hand/repulsor blast. Bio-Metal also comes with the huge projectile-firing launcher originally packaged with the Concept Series Hypervelocity Armor. Mainly for the kids it's easily forgettable, but at least it was re-done in translucent plastic and colors matching the Bio-Metal armor.
The Advanced Tactical Armor set is a slam dunk for fans of Iron Man and the toy line. All three figures were good on their own, and their repaints/redecos here are actually worthwhile. This holds especially true for collectors who might enjoy the Mark V and VI but have had enough of the bright red armors. The only thing that’s really lacking in this set are the display bases and cards included with the single-carded figures, but that didn't really bother me.
For even more images of this set, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin