Marvel wave 21 is focussed on characters from the very successful 2008 Iron Man movie. The film rocked, can the same be said for the ‘mates?
The standard Marvel Minimate carton, depicting Rhodey and the MKI Iron Man minimates on the front. For some reason and much like the Pepper Potts/MKIII Iron Man, Rhodey takes star billing rather than the guy the movie was about. The Iron Man logo from the movie sits on the sloped back section of the carton. Background art is very dark, all black and subdued reds, but the ‘mates stand out well against it. The side flaps also feature photographs of the ‘mates, one to each side.
The back of the carton features a shot of all the Minimates in the wave. One difference is that the biography boxes are missing from this wave.
Jim Rhodes (Iron Man)
The first figure in the set is Jim Rhodes. A close friend of Tony Stark, Rhodey is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and also Military Liason to Stark Industries. Rhodey also has a major part to play in the Iron-Man mythos. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the next film.
Rhodey was played by Terrance Howard who, like the rest of the main cast put in a fine performance. He seemed genuinely enthused by the project so it’s a bit of a shame that he won’t be reprising his role in the sequel. I can’t say that I think the ‘mate look that much like Howard but there’s something about the eyes and mouth that looks right.
Unfortunately, and much like Pepper Potts, this ‘mate is not at all eye catching – A casual black jacket, a dark blue shirt, it’s a bit rubbish really. It would have been far, far better to have had Rhodey in his United States Air Force uniform. Really it’s a no-brainer, you’d get a very visually distinguished character that’s also ideal fodder for customisers. Instead we get Mr Dull from Dullsville, Dullizona.
Jim Rhodes has no accessories.
In conclusion: Okay, just.
MMC Score – 5 out of 10
Mark I Iron Man
This is the suit that Stark cobbles out of spare parts and the resources he’s been given to create super weapons. As such it has a very slung together appearance but the beginnings of what will become the Iron Man armour are more than apparent.
The MK 1 armour is exceptionally close to its source material. The helmet looks just like the movie version, as with other recent figures that have a full face mask the helmet doesn’t peg into the hole on the top of the head thus avoiding that ‘vacuum’ effect we all know and love. The chest piece is a work of art all by itself, there’s so much detailing going on from weld lines to rivets all the way down to odd pieces of lettering here and there to show that the armour is a hodge-podge of different pieces of material. Turn the ‘mate around and you’ll be staggered at the amount of detail put on the back of the figure. It’s remarkable really that so much attention to detail has been given to part of the figure that’ll rarely be seen. There’s a cooling fan, what looks to be a fuel bottle, all sorts of tubing and in a masterstroke of attention to detail there’s a little stamp at the left hand shoulder that says ‘Stark WD’. Another nice touch with the chest piece is that the shoulder sections don’t interfere too much with arm movement. Obviously there’s no 360 degree movement available but there is plenty of lateral movement to be had.
The rest of MK I Iron Man’s armour is achieved via pieces that slip over the Minimate legs and arms giving the ‘mate a nice chunky and clunky overall look. The pieces on the upper arm are a tad loose and tend to slide about a bit, but they can be positioned in such a way that the arms beneath are completely hidden. The lower arms have large gauntlets, the right arm bears the flame thrower nozzle that Stark used so effectively when busting out of his internment in the mountains of Afghanistan. I was surprised to see that the hands on this ‘mate are standard as generally gauntlet type gloves are all in one pieces. It’s yet another hint at the love that’s gone into this particular figure. Further armour pieces slip over the thighs and the ‘mate is finished off with some nice chunky boots. The boots are a bit like the boots on the Cylons from the BSG Razor sets. They try and show something that works. Pistons, shock absorbers, they’re all here. They’re also completely unique sculpts that share similar shape and dimensions but the detailing on each is very different. The boots also give a nice amount of extra height and coupled with the chest and other armour pieces contribute to a bit more mass than the average Minimate.
All the armour pieces are removable and the MK I Iron Man Minimate also comes with alternate hands and feet and a Tony Stark hair piece. A very dishevelled looking hair piece, but then it’s sitting on top of a very dishevelled Tony Stark, so that’s alright then! I think the hairpiece is an excellent bit of kit, I really like the way it sits almost right over Stark’s eyes, giving him a very withdrawn appearance. The bags under Stark’s eyes only add to this impression of weary defeat as well as the bruising to his face. I can’t say this Stark really gives off a Downey Jr vibe but then this is what’s beneath the armour and not the ‘mate itself. The rest of Stark is fairly plain. His vest and trousers being quite non-descript, but as with the armour there’s more detailing around the back of the figure that shows some wear and tear to the vest. Some nice detailing to the arms suggest oily hands being wiped off in an absent minded manner. Not too sure about the bands around the wrists though. It’s been a while since I saw the film but maybe they’re supposed to be homemade sweatbands?
In conclusion: 2 inches of awesome!
MMC Score – 10 out of 10
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan