Arno Stark isn't quite the hero his cousin Tony Stark was, but he does his best - as long as the best is what pays. The world of 2020 is less about right and wrong, and more about the bottom line which is why IRON MAN always works for the highest bidder. Of course, he's also got to answer to his Board, so he tries to keep his eye on the big picture. If a mission won't enhance Stark Industries' stock price, then he almost always regretfully declines.
Today I'm taking a look at - in case you haven't already guessed - Iron Man 2020.
Iron Man 2020 is from the final wave of Series 2, so uses the HAMMER-style packaging, complete with Norman Osborn and his awesome hair (I love Norman Osborn's hair. Along with the Sandman, he has the best hair in the Marvel Universe if you ask me.) The only minor point of note is that the figure shown on the back of the pack has a more yellow-ish look to his golden armour pieces, whereas the figure itself is more bronzed-look. That may be down to lighting or the use of a pre-production figure. However, as the figure can be seen clearly within the packaging, it's not that important an issue.
Iron Man 2020
Look! It's Captain Obvious with an important message:
''It's the same basic figure as the previously released ''Golden Avenger'' Iron Man, just with some new pieces!''
Erm, thanks. I'd never have noticed that. Anyway, let's start by examining these extra pieces in more detail.
Firstly, there's a new head-sculpt. Although it shares some common traits with the classic Iron Man armours, the eye-slots are slightly larger and have an ''angry'' angle to them. Similarly, the mouth, rather than being a simple slot, is a crenellated shape, almost giving the impression of teeth. Sadly on my figure it's difficult to see this due to the combination of a weak cast and poorly-applied paint.
One other major difference between Iron Man 2020's armour and that of the original is that the ''widow's peak'' on the helmet is more akin to the modern suits, where it forms a squarer-peak rather than an actual point.
Next there's the chest piece. Instead of having the chest-beam/arc-reactor by itself in the centre of the torso, Iron Man 2020 has a new torso unit that covers his chest and also provides shoulder-plates. The chest-beam is supported by two small connectors that link it to the shoulder-pieces, although it's all cast as a single accessory from a rubbery, semi-flexible plastic. The shoulder-pieces themselves, as you can see, have a cog-like appearance. It looks like the steampunk look is ''in'' in 2020...
The final custom-piece is his belt. Another soft-plastic, gold-coloured piece not present on the original Iron Man, this piece features what appear to be a couple of Iron Man 2020's weapons - namely a chakram-esque cog/circular-saw blade and a triple-pointed shuriken in place of the regular Iron Man hip-pods. The buckle also features some form of printed-circuit detail but it's so poorly defined (either in the original sculpt or in the molding process) that it's difficult to make-out just what it's supposed to be.
You see, all the new parts lack definition. The weapons are molded onto his belt (and appear so), the buckle is like melted-wax and the mask's ''teeth'' are only visible under close scrutiny.
Joint-wise there are no real problems. There are no overly-stiff joints to ''crack'' as you first pose the toy but they're tight enough to hold a pose. However, the cast is not without problems. These may be simple production-errors limited to my figure or they may be across the entire run, but the right bicep and shoulder, thigh-backs (both legs) and both boots appear to have small chunks missing from them and - worst of all - the left upper-torso pieces don't join-up properly, leaving a small (but noticeable) gap in the armour. There are also some very nasty molding lines down the mid-torso sides and thighs and injection-points at various points about the figure. Curiously my other ''Golden Avenger'' Iron Men do not have these problems.
The paint-job is a nice concept, but the execution isn't up to standard. The bronzed-look is nice, as it makes him appear more metallic than the other Iron Men in my collection. However, his face is very poorly painted (and again, this could be my figure alone), with his mouth being a dark splodge and his right-hand side lacking the crisp application present on the left.
Iron Man 2020 includes a yellow Repulsor-blast that clips onto his wrist (without any real problems, it just doesn't look very convincing), his own custom stand (which he fits perfectly, unlike the Series 3 toys) and a HAMMER file.
Final ThoughtsIron Man 2020 is its own worst enemy. The problem is that when you first look at it, it's actually pretty eye-catching. You can see it's not a ''regular'' Iron Man and, as such, it warrants more attention. But as soon as you begin looking at the toy, you notice the problems: the injection-mold marks, the poor paint-job, the mis-aligned joints and gouges and the custom-pieces - which should have been the highlight of the figure - simply don't hold-up to close scrutiny.
I know Hasbro released this figure because it was a cheap way to produce another toy, given that at its core it's simply the Iron Man Golden Avenger, dolled-up. But that doesn't explain why the finish and overall quality of the toy - and I'm not just limiting this to the new pieces - is so poor.
Unless you're a die-hard Iron Man 2020 fan (and I'm sure there must be some, somewhere) or a completist, give this toy a miss.