More March of the Robots madness here as we take a look at another great new figure from the Iron Man 2 movie line. As I said before, these guys don’t exactly fall into what I consider a classic robot, but they are in line enough with the theme to fit in. Plus they are really great figures and deserve some spotlight.

Iron Man 2
War Machine (Comic Series)
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro

One of the interesting things that Hasbro is doing with it’s new movie toy lines is that it’s having separate sections for the toys. Wolverine Origins had figures that were from the movie, but they also had a section of the line that was “comic” figures. This way they can include more characters in the toy line without quickly running out of ideas since, chances are, any one movie will only have so many marketable characters. It’s a genius idea and with Iron Man 2, we have three sects, movie, comic and concept armor.

Built by Iron Man for his best friend James Rhodes, the War Machine armor was meant to fill in whenever Iron Man wasn’t available. Every bit as powerful as Tony Stark’s original armor, and bristling with weapons, War Machine is built not just to stop evil, but destroy it completely.

That’s a pretty awesome bio, as per the back of the package. War Machine has always been my preferred armored hero. Dynamo was my favorite armored villain, War Machine my favorite armors hero. Hasbro is treating me well with this line. I think it was the fact that Rhodes was the guy in the Iron Man suit during Secret Wars or just the fact that he ended up with a really cool armor of his own. Either way, I’ve always been a War Machine fan. This is the comic version of War Machine, not to be confused with the movie version of War Machine. Yep, Hasbro has both on the shelf at the same time. Kudos to them for that.

I still really like the front of the package and I even love that it identifies if this is a comic, movie or concept armor. It’s a nice sleek package and it really works with the design of the motion picture. I have no complaints about that.

However, I find the back of the package hopelessly confusing. You’ve got the good bio and then it all goes to crap. It identifies three other figures and gives them numbers, but the numbers are already so high that I am baffled as to who all is available. It was like Hasbro wanted to give us a check list and then didn’t bother to finish it.

It’s so pretty! This is far and away the best War Machine figure I’ve ever seen. I never cared for many of the Toy Biz versions and even the classic Toy Biz line didn’t quite give War Machine the life that he needed. Hasbro has really hit a home run here in terms of sculpt.

There is a nice blue tint to the whole thing which gives it that comic book feel where you often see some blue mixed in with the silver and gray colors. He has a nice gun metal look as well, with just tons of wash and paint aps here. They could have simply made this guy flat, but they really kicked it up a notch.

Every angle of this guy looks good. He doesn’t look like “just another armor” anywhere. You can see the details all over him. I have to wonder if War Machine won’t steal some of the thunder away from Iron Man in the upcoming movie, because he’s just so cool looking.

He has guns on his wrists, the big shoulder mounted canons, everything it here. It’s all surprisingly functional too with lots of poses that can be achieved with the guns. There’s an impressive amount of detail packed into such a small frame as well. Still, despite all the guns and weaponry, I am most impressed with the face sculpt which looks quite good in this small scale.

Everywhere has fine sculpting, from the inside of his hands featuring the little blasters to the bottom of his boots having the thrusters on them. This is a marvelous figure and a great rendition of War Machine. In fact, this might be the nicest Marvel figure that Hasbro has ever sculpted. If he’s not the best, he’s definitely in the top ten.

It certainly seems to me that there was a concerned effort on Hasbro’s part to make War Machine retain all of his articulation. This has been something that designers have struggled with since the very first War Machine. How do you do all the added armor and gun weaponry without impeding the articulation? Well Hasbro has come up with a few solutions.

The shoulder pads are on a hinge, so they actually lift up. It doesn’t look perfect, mind you, but it does allow War Machine to get some added posablilty in the arms and still look like the badass robot dude he is. The shoulder canons themselves are also quite articulated as they can go forwards and back as well as swivel at the connection point. It works quite well.

With all that work on the top half, it’s almost a shame the bottom half is barely poseable. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Ball joint hips don’t work on 3 3/4 figures. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s just a fact. War Machine has big thick sculpted thighs. What happens is that those thigh pieces hit the ball joint. So he can move his leg forward a few centimeters and that’s it. The perfect lower leg articulation would be GI Joe style t-bar hips with a thigh swivel, IMO.

It doesn’t ruin this figure by any means, but it does take away from him quite a bit. It’s just a reflection of the design choices in this line. I know a lot of the old Marvel Legends fans think that the ball joint hips are the way to go, but I don’t. War Machine is a prime example of this because the ball joints are wasted because of how little movement you can get.

War Machine doesn’t come with many accessories. He has a stand, two pretty cool translucent “firing” things that attach to his rockets to give the illusion of a firing weapon. I’m not going to go too much into those, you can look at the pictures and see them in action. They’re cool.

His other real accessory is the card that splits into three pieces so you can build your own armor. The picture above is of Crimson Dynamo’s chest piece. That’s the basic piece and War Machine includes one that is of his chest.

Now then you can put War Machine’s arms and legs on that piece and create a new armor. What’s cool is that it actually gives you a serial number for your custom armor.

Here’s another example of a mix and match. It’s pretty cool. It’s not like, reason to buy this guy or anything but if you get a few of these figures it is a fun way to kill a few minutes. Normally I don’t fool with cards or gimmicks, but this one is actually kind of neat and creative.

At $6.99 and below at most retailers this is a value that almost can’t be beat. I’d say that only GI Joe is the better value right now and with all these great Iron Man 2 figures coming out, you simply must pick up a few of these. They are so much awesome packed into a small scale and it’s easy to quickly build up a cool hall of armors for Iron Man, but it’s also cool that we’re not just getting Iron Man himself, but friends and foes as well.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 10
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Cards, Stand, Blasters
Value – 9
Overall – 8 out of 10

War Machine is probably the nicest sculpted figure he’s every received and one of Hasbro’s best pieces of their entire Marvel body of work. Unfortunately I can’t help but be a bit disappointed that his legs aren’t as moveable as his torso. Such time and effort was put into articulating his top half, that it’s a disappointment that he can’t sit down or even bend his legs up high enough for a kick.

The bottom line is, that I still recommend this figure. He’s just not perfect. His sculpt is, but overall he’s lacking just a tad. Still a great pick up, regardless. Join me on Twitter for awesome robot party time.

5 Responses to Iron Man 2: War Machine Figure Review

  • Wes says:

    Cool review, Newt. I picked this guy up last night — and while I'm not sure I want to keep it (I haven't opened it yet), this review has me seriously thinking about breaking War Machine out. I haven't seen the movie version yet in person, but judging from online pics I think I prefer this one.

    I have a bone to pick with you regarding the ball-shape hips, though! I don't at all think it's a given that they can't be done effectively in a 3.75" scale… it's just that Hasbro's latest efforts have (apparently) been lacking in that respect. If the thigh pieces had been sculpted such that they didn't come up as high on the hip balls, they wouldn't impede the range of the joint at all.

    Check out the WWE Build 'n' Brawl figures for an example. Although those are true ball-jointed hips, the flaw you're talking about refers to the shape of the joint rather than the style — and those have ball-shaped hips with thigh swivels below the ball and manage to have an excellent range of motion.

  • clark says:

    I saw this version and the movie version on the pegs together, and really this one popped more to me. So I picked him up today, and now I want the movie version too. I knew that I liked the way these figures looked, but until I opened this guy up and started playing with him I didn't realize what great toys these are. I'm not a fan of the Marvel Universe line because all of them feel cheap to me, but I have now picked up three different Iron Man 2 toys and they're all fantastic (now if I could only find that movie War Machine again…..)

  • wesitron says:

    yeah the ball hips can be done right, theyre just not doing it at hasbro. They sculpt way too high toward the ball, and it destroys what would otherwise be awesome articulation. They did the same with their wolverine figures. Some werent bad though.

    I gotta say, I picked up both War Machines thinking this would be the clear winner as it's the version I grew up with, but I just love the other one. Both have great detail and paint, the other one's design and sculpt is just more interesting to me personally.

  • Thomas says:

    Not a very good review IMO, not nearly harsh enough, the shoulder armor doesnt work at all unless you want him to do mini jumping jacks, the legs dont bend, the chest joint doesnt move, the head doesnt look up and down… He is just a pretty brick, When I see a review that gives something 8/10 that means I should go get it, I wish I didnt own this figure. He might as well be a sculpture. Also the canons not being ball jointed is idiotic, there is no reason to make them in a way that they are basically swivel guns. The movie figures shoulder armors are then plastic that is designed to bend upward when his arms go forward, not this figures.Buy the Movie version instead folks.

  • I haven't had any issues with the shoulder armor. That said, I feel I was pretty harsh on the leg articulation. Harshest of any review out there actually. I'm pretty much the only one who has taken to task the articulation problems, so it seems I was right on that front. I still stand by the original score though, it's a great version of this armor. Most of the reviews that have followed on other sites, after mine, have similar high scores, so I don't feel too bad about what I chose to score him. The general consensus is that he's pretty damn good and greatly sculpted.

    However, your mileage may vary.

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