Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: Hot Toys Iron Man Mark VII 1/6th Scale Collectible Figure!

My Hot Toys Avengers are nearly assembled, thanks to the recent addition of fan favourite, big gun, genius, playboy billionaire philanthropist Iron Man, sporting the gadget packed Mark VII armor that he unleashes to kick off the third act of the film.

And I hope you pre-ordered him, because prices for this guy have absolutely skyrocketed to prices that only playboy billionaires will be able to afford. I was fortunate enough to pre-order and nab the Sideshow exclusive edition (my first exclusive, I think) and I’m going to show you all the pretty pictures, and give the full scoop on Stark... after the jump!

Hot Toys have released plenty of incarnations of Iron Man over the course of his feature film appearances, but I've been holding out for The Avengers version to fit in with the rest of the team. And after Black Widow (who I am uncomfortably obsessed with), this is the release I've been most looking forward to. So imagine my unbridled excitement at encountering Tony's big red and gold box.

See the little gold "Sideshow exclusive" emblem on this one? That means there's going to be extra stuff! Extra special stuff? Well, we'll pass judgement on that later.

As always, the character image is on an outer cardboard sleeve that you slide off to reveal the inner box...

And that's when things get incredibly complicated...

The Hot Toys of old would have made you figure this all our for yourself, but thankfully there's a large instruction sheet (which folds out like a road map) containing plenty of pictures of all the various functions and modes. It also gives you safety instructions and I cannot stress enough - always read the instructions before faffing around with one of these figures. They're incredibly detailed, super articulated and have plenty of tiny little pieces - which makes them extremely delicate in some instances. So don't be a dope and manhandle this expensive little person with your lumbering, ill-read, animal paws.

So this is what he looks like straight out of the box...

Now, (unlike some of the upcoming Iron Man 3 figures) this armor isn't made out of metal. He's plastic and a little light and rickety (you can feel all the armour pieces clanging together a bit when you handle him) but goddamn does he have a beautiful reflective finish. He looks like a sports car and is stunning to display, especially if you can get a bit of light on him.

With zero human elements (or visible articulation) showing he really looks like a CGI model or a still from the film in certain shots. You'll be hard pressed to find a better Hot Toys figure to photograph. 

One word of caution though... The faceplate is attached via a tiny magnet that is glued on the inside. The magnet in mine fell out straight away and I haven't been brave enough to re-glue it yet. So most of the following shots will use the alternate battle damaged faceplate which really just has a couple of extra scratches. As I said - you want to be super careful while handling these, although it's not an issue that should occur with a figure that costs this much. 

But there's a far cooler reason why the face detaches, and that's to reveal a tiny switch. There are similar switches hidden in his upper arms and on his back. What do they do? Turn them all on and this thing of wonder happens...

ZOMG! HE LIGHTS UP! Both palms, the arc reactor in his chest, and his eyes emit a bright white glow. It's kind of impractical for display - I can't imagine you turning it all and then leaving it on your shelf for any extended period of time, but it looks amazing in photos or to show him off. And thankfully the batteries are included too so you don't have to fiddle around or unscrew anything with your oafish ham-like fists. 

And all of this detail carries around to the back too. The switches are hidden underneath the large shoulder flaps that cover his upper back.

But, just like in the film, these are articulated and can be deployed for flight mode. It's just a shame that he doesn't come with a stand that is designed to hold him in a hovering/flying position. He just has the regular basic Hot Toys stand that buries into his red, shiny crotch...

Did I mention he lights up? Seriously... I could photograph him like this forever...

But how about we take off that sweaty helmet and replace it with the goateed mug of one Robert Downey Jr. instead?

There's a separate neck piece that has to be put in place first before attaching the Tony Stark headsculpt. And this is the only option available - there isn't a version of his face that is visible under the faceplate. It's either full helmet, or full head of hair. Or the highway! 

Hot Toys produce uncannily realistic actor likenesses but I'm a little bit unsure about this one...

There's something just a touch off with it and I can't quite pick what it is. Not enough eyeliner? Hair not dark enough? Nose is too turned up at the end? He kind of looks a bit like George Lucas here...

I think they've done a far better job of capturing the license with their upcoming Iron Man 3 Tony Stark figure to be honest. And although my Iron Man will be displayed helmeted, I did have a plan for this head. You may recall this article in which I purchased a Hot Toys TrueType regular body and some custom casual clothes (Black Sabbath T-shirt) that Stark wears prominently in the Avengers. The Truetype body supports two types of neck and I was hoping to plug the spare head that comes with the Mark VII into the spare body. Like so...

But as you can probably see, there's a catch. It doesn't fit! It's a totally different type of neck! In these picture it's just loosely balancing on the neck hole, and even then it's too short...

So my bizarre quest to Frankenstein a Tony Stark dolly remains unfulfilled. It looks like I will have to pick up a custom head from eBay  some of which appear to have even better likenesses than this one. I will keep you posted. I'm sure you find that very reassuring.


So far we've been looking at the clean, polished, basic Iron Man armour, but if you want to recreate his appearance at the end of the film, you're going to have to snap off a ton of armour plates and replace them with the battle damaged versions. The chest plate snaps off as so, giving you a pretty cool view of the exposed reactor...

And here he is with the replacement parts... Note that the chest is new, plus he now sports the alternative shoulder pieces....

And you might not pick it from the photos but these are entirely different arms! You completely remove his clean ones and plug in a whole new set which have busted shoulders, more scratches, and wrist mounted cannons (although the light up palms don't work on these)...

You can also swap out the thigh pieces. I've replaced them here with the tiny pop out missiles that he blasts at the alien blimp creature/bastard...

Oh! And I did mention that this was the Exclusive Edition. So what was the extra exclusive accessory? A tiny hologram version of the Mark VII...

Uh.... OK! Pretty cool! I guess? I have no idea what to do with it or how to display it. Kind of looks like Loki turned Tony into a gummi bear. But I do feel all elite and exclusive. And if you have a problem with that you can tell it to my personal secretary.

So some minor issues with this one, but I'm thrilled to own him and have zero regrets. In fact, the only regrets you should have is if you failed to pre-order one because I can't even link you to anywhere that has one. All I can do is urge you to check out the Hot Toys on Sideshow's site and pre-order any you'd hate to miss out on. I almost missed out on Hulk too, so I know I'm going to be far more cautious in the future.

And for those keeping track, here are the assembled Avengers so far...

And that's still not all! Stay tuned because I'll soon have a review of a certain mischief making horned villain, as well as an anarchic clown from a completely different franchise. More soon!


  1. Nice photos, Luke.

    I can see the George Lucas likeness now though, cannot unsee!
    I think his face is a bit too cartoony, that's why it's not right.
    But goddamn is that armour shiny.

  2. I don't understand why your Tony Stark head doesn't fit on that body. I just put that exact head on that exact body... You must be doing something really awkward.

    1. It "fits". It clips in but it makes the neck too short. His ears nearly brush his shoulders.

  3. well, the main problem is that you should not use Tony Stark's head to regular body, but slim body which was released quite recently.

    You see, regular body is meant to be used for tall and well-built like Christian Bale, but not Robert Downey Jr since he is shorter and slimmer.

    So, I bought the slim body and put the head on that body, but it perfectly works!

    Also, I was indeed dissapointed with the head as well, but still, comparing the head with the older version from Mark 4, I think it is one of the most detailed head out there. Our standard just became way too higher nowadays.

    I have an experience of buying Tony's head from ebay, but they are usually based on Mark 4's head sculpt which is not quite as good as modern Hot toy's head quality.

    So don't waste your money on that, but pre-order the new mech test version or mandarin mansion attack version!

    1. Thanks for the heads up on the slim body. Will look into this. And agreed, both the Mech Test and Mandarin assault head sculpts look excellent!

  4. Wow its amazing . I think it is pretty cool! I have no idea what to do with it or how to display it. . But I do feel all elite and exclusive so my expectation is more than enough iron man ,iron man fans, iron man collectables