We continue on with March of the Robots and I’m quite lucky I picked this theme out for the month of March, because there are a ton of cool new robot figures coming out in the new Iron Man 2 figure line from Hasbro. In the interest of full disclosure, these aren’t pure robots as it’s mostly men in robotic suits, but it still falls under the same general premise.

Iron Man 2
Crimson Dynamo
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro

Crimson Dynamo has only had a scant few figures in the long history of Marvel toys, despite being one of the core armor wars villains of Iron Man. I’m not sure why he hasn’t gotten more toys, but he finally has one to be really proud of. According to the back of the box:

Created by Russian scientist Anton Vanko to perform miracles of electrical control, the CRIMSON DYNAMO was every bit as powerful as IRON MAN. Manipulated by his Soviet masters, Vanko very nearly defeated the American hero before he realized his mistake and committed himself to the cause of freedom.

That’s better than the bio I was going to give him, “Russian Iron Man”, but whatever. Interestingly this is Yuri Petrovich Dmitri Bukharin, the fourth fifth Crimson Dynamo’s armor but I won’t let a petty detail like that get in the way. For all intents and purposes this iteration of the armor is arguably the most iconic version of the Soviet killing machine. He was always one of my favorite characters as a kid too, him and Titanium Man. When we used to play Iron Man as a kid, I was always Dynamo. So how does he live up to childhood glory and dreams?

The Iron Man 2 figure packaging looks a lot like the Iron Man 1 movie packaging, but it has been redesigned. Obviously it’s considerably smaller thanks to the change in scale, but it’s generally been cleaned up and polished to perfection as well too.

It’s a good card and it has a lot on the front that’s both attractive and informative. However I did have some issues digging through these guys at my local TRU trying to figure out who was who. I’ll give you a couple of helpful hints though.

Each figure is numbered, so if you’re shuffling through a bunch of these and know the numbers of the figures you’re looking for it’s a lot easier. Dynamo here is number 25. I’m not sure if there’s actually the 20-some odd figures that are supposed to be out officially yet, but it sure seems that way.

The back eats up a lot of space with a picture of the Dynamo figure and then shows off only 3 other figures in the series. That’s my major beef with the card back. There are nearly 30 figures released in the first batch of toys hitting shelves now, but this package barely tells you any of them. It’s frustrating because I didn’t even know who all I was looking for and turning to the back to see who else was available was NO HELP! Boo.

Curiously, I notice that there’s a Avenger’s Assemble logo on the side.

Since I generally feel this is the definitive Crimson Dynamo armor, I’m pleased that Hasbro did such a fine job with this. As I understand it, this line is sculpted and made by a section of the company different than the Marvel Universe figures and it’s pretty wild because the figures are almost universally better.

Hasbro has wonderfully brought the essence of Dynamo’s comic likeness to the forefront. The large ribbed (for Mother Russia’s pleasure) gauntlets, the shin armor, the shoulder pads, it all looks great. The face is really well done too, giving you that dark, grim Soviet slaughtering machine feel.

There’s lots of great little details sprinkled throughout the sculpt, even if the armor itself isn’t loaded down with detail. There’s vents on the chest and lots of bold square line ridges on the chest and back. Crimson Dynamo wasn’t a smooth robot armor like Iron Man, he’s always seemed a bit more lunch box-like.

The paint work is impressive, as well. It’s mostly two colors, but it’s the way that they have managed to make him a dark crimson red that’s very muted but still has some metallic element to it. It’s subtle, but they avoided making this guy glossy and that takes a real skill in terms of paint applications.

The sculpt itself is perfect more or less… Except that someone in the Hasbro factory has them assembling the legs backwards. The calf, below the knee is believed to be on backwards. That gives him a slightly bow-legged appearance. Some folks over at The Fwoosh have managed to swap the legs around and it definitely looks better. I tried to swap mine, but I couldn’t push the knee pins out so I must be doing something wrong.

The good news is that the figure doesn’t look terrible, even if his calves aren’t on right. Had those been fixed, this would have been a perfect figure. Knowing Hasbro, they’ll fix this and future releases won’t have that problem, but we’ll see. It might be best to wait a month or two before picking up your Dynamo just in case.

These armored figures aren’t supposed to have as much articulation as other figures just by the nature of their design. The bigger and bulkier something is, the less articulation you can work into it. Well, unless your name is Revoltech, but I digress.

Surprisingly these guys are rather well articulated, though the articulation is definitely different than Marvel Universe figures and it can be affected by the designs. The first real loss is that these guys all appear to have cut necks. At least Dynamo does, as does the others that I own from this series thus far.

I’m also not a huge fan of the ball jointed hips. I just don’t think they work well on 3 3/4 scale figures and in some cases like War Machine, you get a very limited range of motion. Beyond that the articulation is good with a top torso pivot, double hinge knees, hinge elbows, swivel wrist, thigh swivel and elbrows. All in all it’s pretty efficient articulation, but a ball jointed neck or side-to-side ankle tilts could have upped it a bit.

The accessories aren’t bad overall. You get a stand that has a spot for his armor card on it (more on that in a minute), the armor card and a snap on eye laser blast. The blast actually works pretty well, but it doesn’t fit in as seamless as some of the previous Marvel Universe ones do.

The blast is rubbery as opposed to hard plastic like the Marvel Universe blasts tend to be.

The armor card actually breaks down into three parts. You have the base torso piece and then the head and arms and legs are two other cards. All three fit together and tell you the details of the armor, but the gimmick is that you can mix and match parts with other armor cards. I’ll go into a bit more in my upcoming War Machine review, but suffice to say as far as card gimmicks go this is a cut above the rest.

All this for $6.99?! I have no idea why or how it is that the new Iron Man 2 figures are $6.99 when most Marvel Universe stuff is much more expensive. By no means am I complaining though, it’s nice to finally get a price break on these scale figures. Not only that, but these are REALLY well done and that makes the price even more worth it. I think these will be the figures that make the last few Marvel Legends stalwarts cave in and submit to Hasbro’s 3 3/4 whims. They’re that good.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Stand, Blast, Card
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10

Crimson Dynamo was always one of my favorite characters as a kid and I think he really gets a good showing here from Hasbro. This would have easily been a 9, but the wonky legs are enough to cut it back a full point. I’m also a little disappointed in the packaging as the back of the package while informative on the character just served to confuse me more about who was available than educate me. Minor quibbles aside, Iron Man 2 looks like it’s going to be the definitive toy line of the summer as I am already planning on buying another dozen or so of the guys out right now.

11 Responses to Iron Man 2: Crimson Dynamo Review

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    As a longtime fan of the Crimson Dynamo, I just have to point out that this armor was first used by Dmitri Bukharin, the fifth man to wear the Dynamo armor. It debuted during Bob Layton's run on the series and replaced the previous version that Dmitri had worn after he took over from Yuri Petrovich. I checked out the Wikipedia entry and this armor is incorrectly described as being Yuri's instead of Dmitri's.

    Regarding the card backs, I wish we could go back to the days of Star Wars and Super Powers. You could picture EVERY single figure available in the line and STILL feature some vehicles and playsets or even include a mail-in promotion.

    Okay, rant over. Awesome figure and review as always, Newt.

  • Thanks for the corrections. See what I get for using Wiki to back up my sources?

  • Philip Reed says:

    Nice! I haven't opened my Dynamo yet, but I'm really looking forward to playing with him.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Glad I could help out. Wiki is usually on the money, but there have been so many freakin' Dynamos over the decades that it would confuse even the staunchest Marvelite. A couple of them weren't around for more than an issue or two before being replaced by yet another guy. Check out the link I posted over at AFI. It truly boggles the mind!

  • Boom says:

    In Soviet Russia, Robot wears you!

  • wesitron says:

    What I do when swapping lower legs on a joe or marvel u figure ia to heat up the legs with a hair dryer and instead of pushing the pin out i get my finger nail underneath the outer flap of the hinge and just pull out. if you can "unlock" one side of the hinge, the other should pop off rather easily and it sort of leaves you freedom to decide if you want to pull the in out or not.
    I gotta give it to hasbro, they make it a lot easier than DCUC figures. Half the time i either tear of the joint trying to put it back together or tear up my thumb in the process.

    Thanks for the review!

  • Volfog says:

    wesitron, thank you very much for the "how to", i just swap successfully the Cdynamo's legs !

  • Frogdor says:

    I have the same problem as well. Anything to be particularly careful about? I tried doing this once before (must not have heated it enough) but the hinge just got bent a bit, and that's about it. And is there a way to fix that? Thanks.

  • Kenwind says:

    Hi there, I think your Crimson Dynamo's legs have not been assembled backward, if you look at the front of the calf carefully (the place where right under the knee), you'll see it's slightly "flatter" than the rear of the calf. I believe it is supposed to be assembled that way, I think it means your's Crimson Dynamo is alright~

  • Zack says:

    Very cool figure, though i wish they could do this same sculpt in the slightly larger Marvel Legends scale because that's what i mostly collect. Still, the sculpt on this figure is top-notch, and i'm gonna pick it up even if i don't really collect 4 inch figures.

  • Hi there, I think your Crimson Dynamo's legs have not been assembled backward, if you look at the front of the calf carefully (the place where right under the knee), you'll see it's slightly "flatter" than the rear of the calf. I believe it is supposed to be assembled that way, I think it means your's Crimson Dynamo is alright~

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