This was not at all the figure I had planned to review today but since I’m parting with my Marvel Legends Iron Man, I figured I had better get this figure review in while I still had time to contrast the two. So without much scuttlebutt I bring you the Marvel Universe Iron Man. This is actually the third Iron Man in the series. The first was a more modern armor and the second was a “stealth” variant.

Today’s review is of what is basically “classic” Iron Man. This is the first time he’s been in this costume in 3 3/4 scale to my knowledge and it’s certainly the best he’s looked since the old Mattel Secret Wars line. At least in my humble opinion.

I am Iron Man!

See that’s one of the reasons I purchased this figure. For years the Secret Wars Iron Man was one of my favorites and then one day I lost him. I’m not sure if he got packed away in a box, stolen or what but he just disappeared. I’d been contemplating buying a new one for some time now but when the Marvel Universe line was announced I just knew they’d make a new one and sure enough, THEY DID!

I’ve pretty much said all that needs to be said about the Marvel Universe packaging, so at the risk of sounding somewhat redundant I’ll just hit the highlights. It’s an attractive package, the Frank Cho artwork is stellar. The one thing that does stick out is that although this is a classic Iron Man, Cho makes the picture look very modern.

Once you get inside he has a nice shell that protects him and one single rubber bang holding him in. Remember to just clip that band because it’s nearly impossible to break and you could damage your figure in trying to do so. Iron Man’s feet are stuck through the plastic which I thought was going to be a pain to get out, but he slipped out incredible easily. That’s an improvement over some GI Joes I’ve tried to free. What’s the deal with sticking their legs through the plastic anyway Hasbro?

The articulation continues to be good on these figures and I think it really suits Iron Man well. His head can really offer up a lot of emotion with just a few simple turns on it’s ball joint. The swivel wrists are perfectly worked into the sculpt so that you can’t see them and they help add some expression to the posing. Single hinge elbows and double hinge knees are always nice as well.

I can’t really think of any articulation points he needs. Obviously a swivel thigh could come to mind, but I’m not sure what it would add to the figure other than to take away from the sculpt. Other folks might disagree. I’m just not a huge fan of the thigh swivel, especially at this scale. On larger figures it can be more useful.

The full run down: a ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, ball jointed torso, the standard Joe T-bar ball joint hips that they’ve been using since 1982, double hinge knees, and rocker ankles.

Being that this is “classic” Iron Man, he’s basically my favorite version of Iron Man. This is how I remember Iron Man growing up and this is how Iron Man looked in the majority of the comics I read growing up. Of course I also read a lot of comics from the 1970’s as a kid and Tony Stark tended to wear this outfit then too, with minor differences throughout the years.

A History of Iron Mans!

Everything about this sculpt is spot on in my view. Some have complained that the torso looks too long or that he’s too lanky, but I think he’s fine. Maybe you could shave a couple centimeters off the torso but since that’s one of the longest parts of your body I’m cool with it. Especially when compared to the Marvel Legends Iron Man from Series 1 that everyone seems to think is so great.

Looking at the two, I feel this Iron Man is just leagues better. He doesn’t suffer from the gorilla arms or the squatty body style of the other. If he’s a little long in the torso, so be it, because in the end it all works out. In fact the only area of the sculpt that I think is weak is the neck if only because it makes his neck look a tad long.

The paint work is really nice with a candy apple paint job that just blows your mind when you see it. This isn’t even the same red as the first Iron Man. It’s something really fancy and looks like one of those customs that’s been painted with expensive paint. It shines and sheens something incredible.

With the Marvel Legends version…

There is one minor flaw in the paint, being that where the boots and hands connect the arms and legs are cast in a slightly golder color than the rest of the body. If you look at the pictures closely you can see what I’m talking about. It is noticeable in person, but the camera’s flash brings it out more. So don’t be too bent out of shape about it.

I’m certain we’ll see this mold used again, so obviously a logical variant would be to release these in a more traditional yellow and red as opposed to gold and red. I definitely like and prefer the gold and red though and I appreciate the fancy paint job. It’s really nice.

Iron Man is one of those characters that doesn’t leave a lot to accessorize with. I suppose he could come with a bottle of booze, but that wouldn’t go over well with the kiddies. So he comes with the same “blast” that the previous Iron Man did. It works well enough, hooking around the wrist to simulate the blasting effect. Some folks have crapped on these, but I think they’re worthwhile accessories.

This version is slightly darker than the other one. I had a lot of fun posing this guy with his blast and using him to do funny stuff with the blasts. If you make photo dios I could see these plastic blasts helping in a lot of different ways.

He also comes with the typical Fury Files card and info sheet. Nothing we haven’t seen before and nothing too spectacular or fun this time around. But it’s Iron Man, what else is he going to come with? Even the Marvel Legends version didn’t know what to give him, so he got that Stark Enterprises advertisement thing.

Additional Notes:
Iron Man is probably the most popular superhero in the United States right now riding off the back of his incredible movie last summer. Sure, Dark Knight made more money but it was Iron Man that everyone talked about. This figure is bound to be re-released in different decos and forms but this one is a must have for fans. I can’t wait until the Secret Wars Thor comes out so I can complete my Avengers.

Crossover Noogies!

These guys continue to cost $7.99 with no break in sight. Hasbro got some flak from fans for saying they couldn’t control the price that retailers set and I tend to agree. Hasbro has a MSRP but that’s it. If GI Joes cost $6.99, I think it’s fair that the Marvel guys cost $7.99… Is it as good of a value? OH HELL NO! But these are good figures and if you want a good Iron Man at this scale, pay it.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Laser Blast, Paper Accessories
Value – 7
Overall – 7.5 out of 10

Hey he finished with my patented 7.5! I’ve given a lot of those to figures in these scale. That’s more of less like 3 stars in my system. He’s a good figure and he’s a lot of fun. He looks great in a variety of poses and he’s become my definitive Iron Man. I’m sure another better Iron Man will come along soon enough as we saw some great Iron Man 2 sculpts at SDCC, but until then this is my go-to Tony Stark.

I suspect we’re going to get a lot of Iron Man characters in the next couple of years and that’s alright with me. I’m just glad we got this one nice classic Iron Man to tide me over for a while.

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2 Responses to Marvel Universe: Iron Man Figure Review

  • TAO says:

    While I respectfully disagree about the torso proportions (it’s too long, although still better than the ML Iron Man referenced), I absolutely ADORE the comic at the end. That is a thing of legends, and I’m sad I didn’t come up with it myself.

    It’s only suiting that Rulk’s urine is just a little more Code-Red Mountain Dew influenced.

  • Random Brit says:

    Very good review chap!

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