Friday, March 18, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Iron Man (Extremis Armor)

Iron Man (Extremis Armor) | Produced by Hasbro | Released March 2009

It's Friday and that means it's the last day of our week-long look at the Armoured Avenger, Iron Man in today's Review of the Extremis Armor Iron Man from the Marvel Universe line.

Marvel Universe 001
Yes, this is the figure that started it all off: Iron Man (Extremis Armor) was the first figure released in the Marvel Universe line. This incarnation may seem an unusual decision, but given that Marvel was riding high on the success of the Iron Man movie, it makes sense for him to be their Number One choice to kick-off the line.

Extremis Armor
History lesson over, let's look at the figure.

I have to say off the bat that I'm not a fan of the Extremis design. In an attempt to make the armour more futuristic, more angularity was added to the design, with a bulkier, more robotic look superseding the sleeker designs seen earlier. The figure, however, captures the look well and as we're discussing the figure rather than its subject, I certainly won't be taking points away for that.

The sculpt is not without its faults though. Like the Horned Mask/Classic Red and Gold Armors, it's very skinny at the waist. Maybe it's some artistic license being used to accentuate the shoulders/torso and make him look heroic (comicbook artists rarely use real-world proportions for figures, as they claim normal-scaled people often look dumpy on the page) so I can just about live with it and you can hide it with some clever posing.

Everything else is nicely done, though. The head sculpt is well finished (even if the head chevron looks more like male pattern baldness) and suit's surfaces feature detailed grooves and plates across the figure, giving it a very eye-catching look. There are also nice touches like the repulsor projector in his right hand, which is sculpted in an open-handed gesture, as if he's firing the beam. His other clenched-fist hand is also quite detailed and the two hand poses work well together, allowing for a lot of expression.

Articulation is pretty good for a suit so bulky, although I did find the feet can be a little awkward to pose and my Extremis Armor Iron Man suffers from a slightly loose torso joint, meaning he can be a little floppy when you try to get him to hold a stance. It's not bad though and could simply be a one-off error I was unlucky enough to encounter. As you can see, he's pretty well-balanced and is quite easy to get to stand unaided, thanks to joints that are fairly strong.

Colour is used well. The red and gold really look metallic (which is odd, given that later figures in the series lost this sheen) and all is cleanly applied. The chest beam and repulsor projector are picked-out nicely with white paint that's also a very neat app.

The Extremis Armor Iron Man comes with a SHIELD file and a clip-on repulsor blast. Unfortunately it clips onto his wrist, so looks more akin to Spider-Man's web-shooter than the palm-mounted projector it's intended to emulate.

Like all early Marvel Universe figures, he does not come with a stand.

Final Thoughts
Of all the Iron Man figures I've looked at this week, this is certainly one of the best. Putting aside my dislike of the design, it's a very well-produced, nicely put-together figure that captures the look of the character well. Yes, there are a few little flaws (the snap-on repulsor blast, the skinny waist, the awkward ankles) but when you compare this to Daredevil, - a figure released in the same Wave - then you start to see what a good job Hasbro did here.

If you're an Iron Man fan, then this is a definite keeper. If you want an Iron Man for your collection, I'd go with the Modular/Bleeding Edge Iron Man, which is the pinnacle of Iron Man figures in this line. But the Extremis Armor Iron Man isn't that far behind him, which is an amazing achievement, given that this is one of the oldest figures in the Marvel Universe line.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreB+

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