Movie Masterpiece War Machine
Hot Toys' latest Iron Man armor comes ready for war...
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The 2008 Iron Man film undoubtedly became Marvel’s answer to DC’s uber successful Batman franchise, going toe-to-toe with the now classic The Dark Knight. Iron Man also became a big turnaround for Robert Downey Jr.’s then-sagging career, which is now full-steam ahead only 2 short years later.
It’s quite predictable, then, that a sequel to Iron Man would follow suit, and now, thanks to Marvel Studios, fans have both the original 2008 film as well as this year's Iron Man 2 to enjoy. While the sequel had some might big shoes to fill, it no doubt succeeded in at least two areas - introducing two new and very exciting characters: the nimble and very fine Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) and the heavily armed and armored War Machine (played by Don Cheadle).
War Machine (a.k.a. Colonel James Rhodes) had been a reoccurring characters in the Iron Man comics for quite some time. As Stark’s chief pilot and aviation engineer, Rhodey quickly became Stark’s best friend as well and grew into prominence when he replaced Stark as Iron Man for a time (when Tony's alcoholism worsened). After a while, Tony Stark needed to create a new armor to combat enemies that were impervious to repuslor rays and unibeams (the main weapons of the Ironman armor) and thus he created the "Variable Threat Response Battle Suit, Model XVI, Mark I"...better know to the masses as "War Machine".
As opposed to the Iron Man armor, which was sleek and smooth, this new armored suit was massive, bulky and loaded for bear. Essentially, this armor was ready for a full-scale war.
To make a long story short, the War Machine armor - after being given to James Rhodes - became the Air Force Colonel's signature armor. The War Machine armor has always been a black and silver/gray color scheme with a plethora of weapons sticking out of it's sides (giving it the look of a deadly, angry porcupine...if porcupine quills were barrels!).
Of course in the world of 1:6th, this has undoubtedly become one of the most anticipated figures of 2010 thanks in no small part to an amazing showing in Iron Man 2. While the War Machine was originally schedule to be released in mid-2010, updates delayed the official release to this last month...and what an arrival it has been. While many fans are only now just getting their figures after months and months of waiting, let me preemptively jump to the the conclusion: The months of waiting have been well worth it...
We first saw Hot Toys' Iron Man 2 packaging with Black Widow MMS and Whiplash MMS and, while fairly basic compared to the other Iron Man MMS armored figures which have been previously released, this packaging is back to basics for Hot Toys, with an outer slipcase sleeve with gloss finish and a picture of the character on the front. While somewhat disappointing, in a way, it makes sense as, combined with the previously released Black Widow and Whiplash figures, it makes a wraparound photo of sorts.
This means one can actually use the outer sleeves of these figures' packaging as sort of a collage backdrop, which is nice for those who like to display the packaging.
The inner box is as Spartan as they come as well, nothing special worth mentioning with each piece fitting into the vacu-formed space provided. This ensures the figure won't be damaged in transit and will arrive safe and sound to each and every collector.
In all, the packaging is quite disappointing when compared to previous Iron Man armored figures, but if it helps keep costs down, I believe most fans will appreciate it.
SCULPT & ARMOR:
The War Machine figure is nothing short of stunning. Truly a marvel of modern 1/6th engineering, the figure includes an incredibly detailed design 100% (as far as we can tell) accurate to the onscreen counterpart.
As you probably have guessed by now (and if you haven’t then you’d probably need a few servings of iodized salt), there is some minor assembly required when War Machine first arrives. Simply connect the overt weapons systems onto the armor via pegs and PRESTO! You've got yourself a ready and willing armored warrior, ready for action!
Once complete, it's hard to stop staring at this wonder of a collectible! Truly, a work of three-dimensional action figure art, the Hot Toys Iron Man 2 War Machine MMS figure is a brilliantly conceived, executed, and constructed and produced collectible on line with anything that's ever been released.
Let's see what makes this figure so amazing...
Like the other armors, this figure is jam-packed with weapons, though War Machines are much more obvious than the previous Iron Man suits.
In the movie, the additional weapons integrated into the War Machine armor are mostly based on real-world weapons. The two integrated underarm rifles are modified FN F2000 and the shoulder sports a modified M-134 minigun. The most impressive of the guns is no doubt this, as it’s intimidating look helps define the character.
The right shoulder armor hides a missile mount reminiscent of the shoulder missile system of the comic's War Machine armor while the left shoulder armor houses the uber-powerful (and highly overrated) superfunkycoulifragisexy X-Wife missile system (as seen in the film).
The X-Wife even includes a removable, cigar-sized rocket which fits into the rocket's barrel, a nice addition. As for the missile mount, while it wasn't used in the movie, most fans will welcome the addition. This is one of the few times where most collectors will feel glad for the screen inaccuracy. However, for fans who wish to keep it hidden, that is always an option.
LED LIGHT-UP FEATURE:
Both arms/hands as well as the chest ARC reactor and eyes light up to provide fans with a bold, bright shine. The eyes are dim due to the red light and angled projection range of the light, however the chest light is by far the brightest of any Iron Man MMS figure so far.
The switches are even more inconspicuous here than in the other armored figures, perhaps because the switches, being black in color, blend well with War Machine’s color scheme. The arm switches especially are invisible when the PN P2000 guns are in place as they’re completely covered by the guns.
ACCESSORIES & DETAIL:
The Hot Toys Iron Man 2 War Machine MMS figure features four total pairs of hands (above), including a palm spread, palm relaxed, fist, and articulated fingers pair of hands which provide plenty of posing options as well as the repulsor beam light-up option. A helmet with removable faceplate featuring a fine sculpt of actor Don Cheadle (below) is also included and makes for a fine addition for fans who wish to display their figure with an open facemask.
Of course, the regularly included MMS base with title plate is also included, but with one problem. It’s much too small for the figure. In fact, the figure doesn’t even fit on the base. Thankfully, because of the solid construction, the stand is uncessary, though it would have been nice to have had a diorama-type base included with this figure considering the forthcoming MK VI and the previously released Battle-Damaged MK III include dioramas.
Some of the most impressive parts of the figure are the minute details which grace the figure’s design, including the air-brake flaps on the back of the legs (above). Though they’re not as prominent nor as sophisticated as the Iron Man MK III armor’s, they’re still quite impressive. Likewise, the rocket boosters on the figure’s back are present and can be displayed both open and closed (above). Again, another very impressive display option.
Articulation is good, especially considering the figure’s armored nature, though there’s certainly some room for improvement. Articulation in the arms is lacking a bit as the forearms do not swivel. However, this is no doubt due to the circuitry for the LED lights within the arms, so it’s a fair trade. However, and as previously mentioned, Hot Toys does provide fans with an unexpected articulation addition in the pair of hands which features 14 points of articulation per hand!
COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION:
The Hot Toys Iron Man 2 War Machine MMS figure has a suggested retail price of approximately $180; however, because of its popularity, the cost of this figure on the secondary market will no doubt increase in price over the next few months.
As previously mentioned in the intro, it’s a foregone conclusion: this is an excellent figure and worth the wait and investment. While it’s not perfect, the caveats are actually minor and don’t detract from the overall impressiveness of this amazing collectible.
Be sure to check out the images below for more photos of this fine figure.
Be sure to order your own Hot Toys Iron Man 2 War Machine MMS 12" Figure now, before it's sold out!
- review by Poch Pimentel and Jess Horsley
- photos by Luka Figure Photo, Poch Pimentel, & Jess Horsley
"Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"
Jess C. Horsley