With each Iron Man movie, Hasbro and Marvel have done everything to give the kids and fans at home that tiny piece of Tony Stark. Whether it be action figures or role playing toys, they have solidified Iron Man has a household name.
This time around, for Iron Man 3, Hasbro has upped the ante by creating the Iron Man Assemblers, a collection of action figures with interchangeable armor that allows kids and collectors to create their own armor. This gives them the chance to be Tony Stark and create hundreds of different combinations.
THE WHO: Stealth Tech Iron Man and The Iron Patriot
Hasbro sent Mania two of these figures and, thankfully, it was one of each of the main characters. The Stealth Tech Iron Man is none other than Iron Man himself, Tony Stark, and the Iron Patriot is James Rhodes. If other versions of these figures are actually other characters (Happy or Pepper Potts), that remains to be seen.
The packages come marked with the Avengers Initiative logo and promise that you will be able to “BUILD! 25+ Armor Combinations. Each of these packages is numbered so you know how many more you need to collect. The Iron Patriot is #3 and Stealth Tech Iron Man is #4. They are not on your typical blister pack and actually open very easily on the top. Inside each package is a picture of the hall of armor. Worth keeping for any die hard fan.
These figures are cool for kids. Higher end collectors will have to appreciate their sculpts. If only more action figures of this size had this much attention to simple details. The open jet exhausts on Stealth Tech Iron Man’s legs are a defining detail and help with the illusion of flight - a feature that the Iron Patriot is severely lacking. Overall, to let this figure sit on your desk would be cool if that is all it ever did. The 3 to 7 year olds are going to love it.
Since these two figures are part of the Iron Man Assemblers, they each come with two sets of arms. The Iron Patriot, despite government funding, actually has the weakest assortment of accessories. His Missile-Blasting Shield resembles a tire. The missiles, sadly, fire about 9 inches. Stealth Tech Iron Man, on the other hand, should have been called Surface to Air MIssile Iron Man. He has a “Grapple-Launcher” that shoots over 3 feet, boot missiles, extra shoulder, armor, and some crazy neon-blue arm. Despite his plum colored armor, he is the best of the two.
The figures, outside of the head, have all the articulation of an original 1977 Star Wars figure. This is probably to preserve the play time of the interchangeable limbs. This will probably deter older fans who are used to their articulated toys. For those fans, I say turn to the Marvel Legends line which has tons of new Iron Man figures. Make no mistake, the lure here is the interchangeable parts. For some toy fans it is a cornucopia of parts, heads, legs and arms. Everything you would ever need to make your own Iron Man.
THE FINAL WORD:
The Iron Man Assemblers is a great concept and will entice kids with creating their own action figures. Older fans will hunt through the Assemblers and probably just pick out their favorite armor. Hasbro missed the boat on one aspect of the Iron Man Assemblers: blue-prints. They should have either included a tiny blue-print collectible sheet or had it placed on the packaging. It would have brought kids one step close to becoming Tony Stark. GRADE: B+
Check out the Toy Maniac review of Electro featured here on Mania.com.
Iron Man 3 Arc FX Mission Mask
Hasbro has released yet another round of Iron Man role playing toys. The Arc FX Mission Mask is the one that every fan should pick up. If only toys were this cool when I was kid. I always wanted a Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, or Darth Vader Helmet. Not having that tiny accessory hurt the fantasy of becoming a member of the Empire. Today, kids have a wide assortment of masks, helmets, and gauntlets that enable them to be any one of The Avengers. The really cool part about the Arc FX Mission Mask is that it is adjustable to fit adults. It may sound childish, but how many of us have taken a picture with the cheaper (not FX) one and made it our Facebook picture? If you love summer movies as much as I do, then by all means treat yourself. GRADE: A+