Monday, October 1, 2012

[Acquisitions] Various Iron Man Goodies

The past few weeks at work have been a grind and I'm really finding it hard to find some free time to write new blog entries, thus the Chain Base Comics overload a couple of weeks back. The kind of workload avalanche we've been experiencing at work has slowly become the norm and even though I don't like it one bit, my only option is to swim along. Anyway, I'm quite free today so I decided to write about some acquisitions which are long overdue. Come on, let's check them out!

Okay, let's kick things off with this Iron Man Mission Mask from the Avengers toy line. Yes, this is just a mask, not a helmet, but it still packs a lot of fun! There were two kinds of Iron Man masks released during the movie's run and this bad boy's the battery-operated (and more expensive) one. The cheaper version didn't come with lenses to cover the slots for the eyes and it also didn't have light and sound effects to boot. This version's got the said upgrades and that's the main reason why this was the version I chose to scoop up. To be frank, I'm not really into role-playing but I just couldn't pass up on the opportunity to have an Iron Man mask in my toy collection. Basically, this mask suits a kid more than it does a toy collector but I really couldn't care less. There's a silver (gggrrrrrr) button on the right side of the mask and by simply pressing it, the light and sound features of the mask activate. The light effects are limited to the eyes while the sound effects offer a decent range of phrases and battle sounds in random order. The mask is held on to the face by a combination of adjustable vertical and horizontal straps at the back. I'm thrilled to have this mask in my collection and my only gripe about this item is that the aforementioned button is colored silver, not wine. It's just a minor complaint but a complaint nonetheless.

Next, we have a Funko Pop! bobblehead of Iron Man in his classic red and gold armor. This is my 7th Funko Pop! figure to date and despite the limited playability of these cuties, I'm still very much drawn into them. We have already covered the movie-inspired Iron Man bobblehead last month and sculpt-wise, that particular figure has set the bar ridiculously high for every Funko Pop! figure that's about to succeed it. This new figure doesn't quite measure up to the movie version's sophistication but you can't really expect this baby to be that detailed knowing the source material. In fact, despite being based on a very simple design, this figure still manages to impress. The grooves on the gloves and boots are sculpted nicely and even though they don't get painted with black outlines, I appreciate the effort to make the figure look as detailed as possible. This one's another solid offering from Funko and I hope to see the other Iron Man armors get the Pop! treatment too.

Third on today's list of featured haulage is my fourth 3.75" Extremis Iron Man fig and this one's from the Marvel Universe Avengers sub-line. I already have the original single-carded version, the Greatest Battles Comic Pack version, and the single-carded Tony Stark version of this mold and to be quite honest, another rehash was the last thing I thought I'd need. But then Hasbro decided to make this one a lot different from the previous releases and I just had to get it. The entire figure's molded from translucent red plastic and to prevent it from looking dull, the fig gets gold and metallic blue highlights. The overall look is unique, though I'm not sure where it's based upon. The box classifies the fig as part of the sub-line's comic-based series but since I'm no longer into monthlies, I can't really say for certain whether this particular look appeared in the comics or not. The fig gets no accessories but it comes with a gray base which has a light-up feature. By getting all eight figures from the sub-line, a circular base can then be formed by simply connecting the accompanying bases end to end. Yes, I'm a huge Avengers fan but I won't be duped into buying an entire line of repainted figures just to get a display base. Each figure costs a staggering 1200 Php (around 28.5 USD) and buying a single fig actually feels like being robbed in broad daylight. This Iron Man fig is sweet, it's just ridiculously overpriced.

The fourth pick-up for today's entry is this 1:18 Iron Man fig in Exosphere Mission Armor from the Iron Man 2: Armor Tech sub-line of deluxe figs. Deluxe, huh?! Okay, fine! So, this one's been out for years but I refrained from snagging it at SRP (yes, I'm capable of doing that) for two reasons: 1.) the set's absurdly overpriced, and 2.) the fig's articulation sucks. I can still remember vividly how disappointed I was after getting the Juggernaut and Negative Zone Upgrades when the Armor Tech sub-line first came out and it wasn't a fun experience at all. The cutbacks in articulation made me feel like I had been cheated and as a result, the figs didn't really get a ton of love from me despite their decent looks. But since the Armor Tech sets are now on markdown, I decided to give the ones I could find a shot, and I'm glad I did. The Exosphere Mission Armor is a thing of beauty, I really love its color scheme and even though the articulation still sucks, it's no longer too big of a deal to me because I've somehow learned to accept this particular set of joints as the norm, thanks to Hasbro's horrendous 1:18 Avengers figs. I'm not really high on the projectiles and I'm probably going to throw them away in a box, never to be seen again but the fig and the armor upgrades definitely deserve a spot in my 1:18 Hall of Armor.

Also part of today's Iron Man grab-a-palooza is another Armor Tech offering, the Heat Blast Mission Armor. This set's color scheme is a bit exotic but if you look past the weird appearance brought about by the translucent orange plastic, it's actually a great addition to anybody's Iron Man collection. I'm not sure though why this particular set came with a translucent orange display stand considering the fact that the rest of the Armor Tech sets came with gray stands. It's a deviation worth mentioning, especially if you're planning to get all six sets of the sub-line. It definitely throws off the uniform look of the figures. Still, this one's a fun set, a constant reminder that I'm missing out on a lot by not having the Armor Tech War Machine and Shockwave Mission Armor sets yet.

The Marvel Legends figs are back! That's bad news for the wallet and good news for 1:12 collectors. For me, that means a chance to expand my 1:12 Avengers line-up and my 1:12 Hall of Armor, but at a premium I'm not sure I can afford. The price range of action figures has more than doubled since my foray into toy collecting and it's quickly taking a toll on my budget. Luckily, I was able to find this ROML Extremis Iron Man variant while I still had a chunk of my mid-year bonus left. The figure is fantastic, though it's a bit on the short side. I really love how neat the figure looks and it's a testament to the saying that sometimes, less is more. Hasbro successfully made this figure look elegant yet functional by giving it just the right amount of paint apps and also the proper number of joints. If this figure is an indication of how good the new Marvel Legends figures are, maybe it's time I reconsider my priorities. While I'm contemplating on that, looking for the regular version of this fig seems like a worthwhile endeavor.

Finally, we've come to the last piece of today's featured blessings. For an encore, it's not just another Iron Man figure but a War Machine figure instead. But as you can see, this one's not the typical release, it's the cancelled unmasked version.  Yup, the one with the Don Cheadle head sculpt that was supposed to come in a boxed set along with two other figures (Black Widow and an unmasked Iron Man). Only a few samples of that boxed set saw the light of day, depriving collectors of three must-have figures. We may never see the other two figures get produced but amazingly, loose samples of War Machine somehow made it through. The fig doesn't come with any accessories but who cares, it's the Don Cheadle head sculpt that matters! If you happen to have an extra single-carded War Mac fig from the Iron Man 2 line, just swap the heads to have your very own complete Rhodey action figure! Yeah, that's what I did! Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of it. Ooops, my bad! I bought this fig from Kramer: Toy Warden for a cool 250 bucks (around 6 USD) and although I didn't bother to ask where they got it from, Kramer's quite known to have carried a few unreleased figures before, like the G.I. Joe: Pursuit of Cobra Arctic Threat Duke, Desert Battle Ripcord, and Jungle Strike Storm Shadow. Sweet, right? As an advice, if you're on eBay, make sure to check your fave sellers' stuff every now and then, it can sometimes be rewarding.

I'm afraid that's all we have for today. I had such a blast sharing with you these Iron Man goodies, I hope you enjoyed the experience too! As always, thank you for visiting the site and for inspiring me to continue making new entries! Happy toy hunting, peeps! :D

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