Been a while since we had a Toy Stories feature here, and now that the toys for this summer’s Iron Man 2 are trickling out, it seemed time to give you a new photoblog. Like last year’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Marvel’s deal with Hasbro includes a line of 3.75-inch toys for this film (my preferred scale). Also like that movie, the toy line features a few subcategories, the “Movie Series” (based on the designs from the film) and the “comic series” (based on — wait for it — designs from the comic books) carry over from the Wolverine line. I like this idea a lot, it’ll put the classic comic book designs (and you’ll see just how classic I mean in a few paragraphs) in front of a lot of people who’ve never been exposed to Iron Man outside of the movie. There’s also, however, a third line… more on that in a minute.
First up is the Iron Man Mark VI armor, which I imagine will be the main movie design. The armor will no doubt go through a few different looks in the film. I’m pretty sure the last movie only made it to Mark III, so there are at least three more awaiting us. The toy line, in fact, also includes Mark II (the pre-painted, silver armor from the first film) and Mark IV (which, honestly, doesn’t look any different from the first movie armor to me). There are various versions of this armor already available. This is the version that lights up if you push down on his head, but I just couldn’t get a decent photo of that, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Also, all of the Iron Man 2 toys come with a base and three “armor cards.” The armor cards include a cardboard backing and two transparent cards. Each of the three displays a different part of the armor, so when you overlay them, you get the full picture, and they look really cool when placed in their designated slots in the base.
From the “Comic Series,” comes this bad boy, Tony Stark’s original armor from his first appearance waaaaay back in Tales of Suspense #39. By his second appearance, in the next issue, he’d painted the armor gold, where he stayed for eight issues before his first major redesign and adopting the classic red-and-gold color scheme. I love the design of this armor in general, it’s very tough-looking. Sure, the current armors are very sleek and high-tech, but this is something you wear to kick ass. And I especially like the paint job, making it look a bit rusted, like it was cobbled together from scrap metal (as it, in fact, was).
Like I said, the Iron Man 2 toys include not one, not two, but three separate lines. This third series is the “concept” line, featuring armors that have never actually been used in the comic or the movie, but were basically just designed by someone who thought they’d look cool. Usually, I don’t like this sort of variant. If you look back at the Batman: The Animated Series toys of the 90s, you had about 175 different versions of Batman wearing snowsuits, camo, paisley, neon, a tutu… it got ridiculous. My usual stance is that I want my figures to be “official,” defined as “based on a design used in the comics, movies, or TV shows.” But labeling this as a “concept” line somehow makes me far more accepting of the idea. It doesn’t hurt that this “Hypervelocity Armor” just looks cool. While the red-and-golds belong to Iron Man as much as green and purple belong to the Hulk, I like the muted colors on display here.
I’m very much enjoying this line so far, and I intend to hunt down some of the other figures (War Machine in particular). I just hope the movie is as good as these toys.