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 Pepper and the MKIII Iron Man Minimates on the front. For some reason Pepper 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.
Pepper Potts (Iron Man)
The first figure in the set is Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s long suffering personal assistant. She’s also in turn a surrogate mother, wife, and best friend. Obadiah Stane kidnaps Pepper forcing Stark to confront him as Iron Man.
Pepper was played by Gwyneth Paltrow, who like most of the main cast put in an extremely creditable performance. This ‘mate has maybe a hint of Paltrow. A good effort has been made to capture her likeness but as I’ve said so many times before, real people are just so difficult to get right as a ‘mate. Facially this is still a nice looking ‘mate. The features are clear and unfussy. Nice big eyes, a hint of cheekbone, and Paltrow’s fairly thin lips.
The hairpiece is good and also well engineered allowing a lot of movement to the head but I can’t help thinking that it would have looked a lot more like the character if the hair had been tied up much as Pepper’s was through most of the movie.
The rest of the ‘mate is a bit on the dull side. Pepper’s wearing a very conservatively styled business suit that just doesn’t cut it visually. That’s not to say it’s not well done, the pinstriping is perfect, not a line out of place, except where it contours to the female form. But the colour palette is so dull that this ‘mate just doesn’t stand out.
Pepper Potts has no accessories.
In conclusion: Nice face. Er… That’s it.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10
Mark III Iron Man
So this is it, the finished product in the film. Stark’s rebuilt and refined his suit of armour and has even given it a very natty red and gold livery.
The helmet is perfect, you couldn’t ask for better. Obviously it’s not an exact copy of the movie version but it’s close enough and the inclusion of the removable face plate is a master stroke. It has to be said, that the face plate wasn’t that well fitted when in the pack but a little bit of flexing soon sorted that out. It’s not perfect, it stands away from the helmet at the top of the face-plate, but at this scale? Come on! With the plate removed you can see just the right amount of Stark’s face but really it’s the completed product we want to be talking about.
The helmet is finished in the same metallic paints as the rest of the figure. I cannot adequately express just how impressed I am with the paint on this ‘mate. DST have ramped up the paint apps by a whole other level. It looks better than a lot of the standard action figures out there. The shine has to be seen to be believed, and you mint in pack collectors are missing out on a true thing of beauty.
Sculpting is also top notch. A hell of a lot of work has gone into the chest piece and it extends right around the back of the figure. My one criticism would be that the ‘engine’ that powers Stark’s heart and the armour itself just doesn’t stand out enough from the chest, but I think that’s more to do with scale than anything else. The shoulder guards do somewhat lessen articulation on the upper arms though really that’s forgiveable. Iron-Man’s gauntlets are very similar to those of the BSG Razor Retro Cylons and have the same odd angle to the hands but as Iron-Man doesn’t need to hold any accessories it doesn’t affect the ‘mate. I’m very impressed with the line work that’s moulded into the hands. That’s the type of area you’d expect corners to be cut so it’s nice to see that’s not the case.
The legs are unique in Minimate terms. Instead of placing the legs into some kind of boot arrangement, both the upper and lower legs are a brand new sculpt. I can only imagine that the designers preferred this arrangement over the usual method of representing armour for aesthetic reasons and I think they’ve made the right choice. As with the chest piece there’s some excellent line detailing to the legs and feet. I particularly like the fact that even though they’re one off pieces suited only to the movie versions of Iron Man they still have the C3 foot pegs on the underside, and I’m happy to report that they slot very well onto a panel of C3 or indeed any other popular form of block building material.
Under the armour is a fully detailed Tony Stark. MKIII Iron Man is packed out with alternate hands and indeed legs. Strip off the armour pieces, remove the legs at the T piece (gently) and replace with the alternate pieces and you have a perfect Tony Stark in Tech Pajamas. The actual Minimate chestblock is painted silver though only on the front and back, the rest of the block is the same metallic red as the armour pieces. There’s some sweet detailing on the chest denoting wiring and rivets and a nice red chainmail section over the abdomen. The back of the block is slightly less detailed but features the same chainmail type section on the lower back. I’m bowled over by the level of detail on this ‘alternate’ figure. DST seem to have thrown time, money, and love at this little dude and it shows.
In conclusion: 2 inches of perfection. And where else will you ever read that?
MMC Score – You have to ask? 10 out of 10 in twenty foot high red & gold characters!
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan