ADVANCE REVIEW: NECA's The Avengers 1/4 Scale Iron Man
The Newest 1/4 Scale Avenger Hitting Retail Soon...
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As one of the highest grossing films of all time, generating over $1.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts, Marvel's The Avengers has of course inspired numerous collectibles companies to create a variety of action figures, one of the most impressive being the forthcoming 1/4 Scale The Avengers Iron Man by NECA. Standing 18" tall, with over 25 points of articulation and numerous light-up features, this 1/4 scale monstrosity makes for an impressive piece sure to be on every Avengers fan's must-have list.
Similarly packaged to the previously released and reviewed 1/4 Scale The Avengers Captain America figure, Iron Man comes tied down inside of a durable window box which keeps the figure safe and secure on its way to your collection. The figure's gold and red armor design wrap the box's exterior and, even more so than the Captain America costume design-wrapped box, this one stands out from other figures and collectibles due to the bright colors.
Buyers take note: you will need a pair of reliable wire cutters as there are plenty of thick twisty ties holding this figure securely in place. While I prefer this to the figure losely rattling around inside the box; without a pair of snips, getting Iron Man loose from his cardboard jail would be laborious at best.
Based on the approved digital model of the Iron Man Mark VII designed specifically for The Avengers by Legacy FX, this 1/4 scale figure stands as a testament to NECA's quality craftsmanship. The amazing design features an impressive bulkier build when compared to the Iron Man Mark IV, previously seen in Iron Man 2. The Iron Man Mark VII also features heavier armor and a plethora of heavier weapons. This obviously adds to the design as form follows function.
While some have criticized the figure's proportions, specifically the thinness of the legs and body, it's worth noting throughout The Avengers film there are two Iron Mans: the CGI version, which doesn't look like a full-sized human would fit inside, and the prop suit which Robert Downey Jr wears. This figure's proportions reflect the CGI Iron Man Mark VII, looking less like an armored suit and more like a second skin. I think most fans will agree the CGI model is better suited to display purposes.
The brilliant red, gold and silver of the Mark VII armor bring the amazing sculpt to life. NECA's high quality paint applications ensure there is no noticeable slop and all lines are properly applied. Bringing a shine to even the most impressive of displays, the Iron Man Mark VII figure features a natural color balance thanks to the armor's use of silver on the shoulders, thighs and back and gold on the arms, legs, abdominals and face mask.
Like the previously released Captain America, Iron Man too features an impressive variety of articulation points, including a ball-in-socket head, a twist neck, ball-joint shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinge elbows, ball-in-socket wrists, a twist waist, a twist and pivot chest, ball-joint hips, twist thighs, double-hinge knees, ball-in-socket ankles and hinge toes.
Thanks to articulated back flaps, these armored air breaks extend and provide for a number of different posing options. Likewise, thanks to poseable shoulder armor, the shoulder articulation isn't limited and a full range of motion remains constant. Likewise, the double-hinge knees provide plenty of poseability as well.
The only disappointment is the lack of range in the ball-in-socket ankle joints, which are hidden by an articulated armored plate. Due to the design, the ankle is unable to move in a full range of motion. That said, the Iron Man Mark VII figure features over 25 points of articulation which provide plenty of poseability for most fans and collectors.
ACCESSORIES & SPECIAL FEATURES
The Iron Man Mark VII includes both a pair of closed fists as well as a pair of open palm accessories. The open palms include a repulsor ray light-up feature which glows a steady orange through the wrist joints. Some fans have criticized the orange color, though it's accurate to numerous scenes in the film (specifically when Iron Man flies or powers up his repulsor blasts). Likewise, the figure features two additional light-up features: one in the head which lights up the eyes a soft white glow and one in the chest which lights up the chest arc reactor a bright, brilliant white. The on/off switches for all of the light-up features are easily accessible as are the battery compartments to each light. The only criticize I have is the figure, standing 18" tall and weighing almost 5 pounds, needs a stand to remain steady. While easily able to stay upright of its own accord, a base specifically designed to help it stay upright would have been greatly appreciated.
COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION
Retailing for approximately $85 - $95 (depending on retailer), the NECA 1/4 Scale The Avengers Iron Man Mark VII figure provides fans and collectors with an impressive figure in a large size with plenty of articulation, multiple light-up features, and an accurate sculpt and paint application for less than $100. Considering some 1/6th scale Iron Man figures retail for three times as much money at less than than 1/2 the size, this figure should have a mass appeal that attracts both fans and non-fans alike. Heck, if you're a die-hard Iron Man fan, you probably already have this figure on order...or at least I hope you do since it's limited to 7,500 pieces worldwide and many online retailers are currently sold out of their preordered stock.
Expect secondary market prices for the NECA 1/4 Scale Iron Man to blow up, especially considering the popularity of Iron Man following the recently released Iron Man 3 film's success and the new, forthcoming Disney XD Avengers cartoon. My advice? Buy this figure now - if you can. Considering its size, craftsmanship and price, it's sure to be one of the most popular figures this year.
- photos and review by Jess Horsley