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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA


    Tony Stark unleashes some radical armor designs...

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    I don't have to tell you that Iron Man 2 is huge right now. With the film burning up the screens right now, Hasbro has dumped a massive amount of tie-in product onto store shelves everywhere. Unlike the first time around, the toy giant has fully embraced the 3 inch scale with dozens of armored figures. Best of all, they're not just "movie" figures; the line includes selections from the comic books as well as newly imagined armors. The Iron Man 2 series is also fairly unique in that it has almost no "bad guys." Almost every figure in the line is a version of Iron Man himself. Today we'll take a look at three of the good guys War Machine from the Movie Series and Deep Dive Armor and Power Assault Armor from the Concept Series.

    All of the Iron Man 2 figures share the exact same packaging. They're easy to spot on the pegs, with a huge Iron Man graphic at the top of the card. Check below the movie logo to see what Series the figure belongs to: Movie, Concept, or Comic. The figures are crammed into their plastic bubbles surrounded by accessories, "Armor Cards," and display bases. Most include a shooting accessory of some kind that's advertised on the front of the bubble (like Deep Dive Armor's "Launching Torpedo!"). The back of each card has a hero shot of the included figure using its weapons alongside a strip displaying other available figures. At the top of the card is a brief description of the character/figure, often useful for explaining the more exotic armors.

    The Concept Series has all sorts of wacky armor designs created for extremely specific narrow mission profiles. Clearly Stark has both way too much money and way too much time on his hands to imagine worst case scenarios. Need a suit of armor for venturing into the ocean's deeps? He's got it. Have to go into crazy "combat zones?" Yep, he's got that too.

    The Deep Dive Armor is big and bulky, slightly reminiscent of the old time diving suits. It's much more substantial than some of the basic Movie Iron Man figures especially, with a good heft to it. Designed to resist the crushing pressure, the Deep Dive suit has a huge, reinforced torso complete with back-mounted underwater mission module. Both the arms and legs are covered in thick armor plating, and the forearms each have dual emitters of some kind (Underwater repulsors? Weapons?).

    Like all of the figures in the Iron Man 2 line, Deep Dive has a very good sculpt that's chock full of mechanical details. The chest and legs especially have cool rivets and layered plating, while even the fingers are individually sculpted.

    In a sea of bright red Iron Man figures, the Deep Dive armor stands out at first glance just because of its paint job. Mainly a metallic underwater blue, the suit is also decorated with lots of metallic silver on the arms, legs, back, fingers, and smaller details. The eyes and chest-mounted power source are white surrounded by a spread of greenish yellow as though filtering through dark water. The effect is really nice, and goes a long way toward helping place this guy in the shadowy depths.

    The Deep Dive armor has excellent articulation with joints at the neck (restricted due to the bulk), ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed elbows, ball-jointed torso, ball-jointed hips, double articulated knees, and ball-jointed ankles. The figure comes with the standard display base and three piece set of armor cards along with a massive kid-friendly torpedo launcher that attaches to the figure's forearm and shoots an oversized projectile.

    The end of the first Iron Man film made it pretty clear that while cool, the Mark III armor couldn't handle every combat situation. In the Concept Series, Stark makes significant upgrades to that basic design to create the Power Assault suit. It has the familiar round chest-mounted arc reactor and colors of the Mark III, but additional parts are immediately apparent. While the original had a fairly streamlined shape, Power Assault is beefed up with a much heavier torso that includes protrusions in the front and over the shoulders. The armor extends over the shoulders, while the undersides of the forearms have what appear to be heavy weapons.

    Finally, the Power Assault suit has reinforced calves and permanently deployed flaps behind the lower legs. Most of these parts are sculpted with the typical crisp attention to detail, and in particular the head and limbs look really good. There's some sloppy work on the chest, though, which looks almost soft in its lack of sharp detail. The hands and their repulsors are quite good.

    Unlike the Deep Dive armor, some of the Iron Man figures suffer from poor paint jobs, and Power Assault is one of those. The suit is sure to please the kids, resplendent in metallic gold, red, and silver with bright blue and white details on the eyes, chest, and hand-mounted repulsors. But, look close and you'll see a lot of sloppy seams and paint all over the place. There is a huge variation between individual figures, so make sure to peruse the pegs before you pick the one you want.

    Articulation on the Power Assault armor is good, 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. The style of armor (as well as sloppy paint) restricts some of the movement, but the figure is still pretty poseable. It too comes with the display stand, cards, and an oversized projectile launcher.

    While Iron Man flew and fought alone in the first movie, in the second he gets some help from his friend James Rhodes, better known as War Machine! Commemorating that suit's appearance in the film is the Movie Series figure (there's another War Machine in the Comic Series). While Iron Man suits can appear flamboyant and graceful, War Machine is all business.

    Its construction is very rigid, with angular armor and pronounced layers of plates. A bulky suit, War Machine has a heavy torso with large shoulder pads, reinforced forearms with built-in submachine guns, and sturdy legs. The War Machine figure has a very good sculpt, with deeply cut lines and lots of tech details. The layering on the arms and the chest are very well done.

    Designed for military use, War Machine eschews the bright colors of the Iron Man suits for a somber black and silver paint scheme, with blue accents on the eyes, chest, and repulsors. Because of the relatively simple colors, the War Machine figure looks very good. There's even a light layer of "wear and tear" over the black so it doesn't look too new. The stark white lettering on the figure's shoulders stands out from the darker background, and the aforementioned blues really pop.

    War Machine's articulation is good, with the same basic joints as the Power Assault figure. Rhodes has hinged shoulder pads which are slightly articulated on their own, but get in the way of shoulder movement. My War Machine had hips joints so tight that I couldn't move them at all for fear of breaking the toy.

    Like the other figures, War Machine comes with a display stand and three armor cards. But, he's a bit different when it comes to accessories. The aggressive suit has two weapon mounts that can be "posed" over the shoulders or further down on his back. Two guns are included with the figure, a normal sized gatling gun and an oversized cannon that can shoot either of two included projectiles. Each weapon can attach to either shoulder post, and the figure looks great thus armed. There's also a silver ammo belt that can connect the figure's back to one of the weapons.

    The Iron Man toys are a huge hit right now, and you shouldn't have much trouble finding any of these figures. The Concept Series will be hit or miss with collectors; either you like the weird armor designs or you don't. I really enjoy the Deep Dive armor, especially since it can double as a heavy space suit. The Power Assault was a bit of a letdown, but a better painted one may have done more for me. On the other hand, the Movie Series War Machine is a great (and great looking) figure that I'd highly recommend for all Iron Man fans.

    For more photos of these Iron Man figures and others in the series, CLICK HERE!

    Review and Photos by Scott Rubin

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