Marvel Minimates wave 35 focused on one of the biggest films of 2010, the summer blockbuster Iron Man 2. The amount of merchandise tied in to this film was incredible and Minimates were no exception. Iron Man 2 had one specialty store wave and a host of exclusives, including two Toys R Us waves.
The standard Marvel package, this time designed to fit in with the Iron Man 2 movie merchandise aesthetic. Unfortunately, this makes for a slightly plain-looking box, as we are used to the comic panels for the background now. Please note that this set is from the TRU wave and not the specialty wave, as you can tell from the Minimate gallery on the back of the package.
Mark IV Iron Man (Iron Man 2)
In the movies it seems Tony’s building new suits all of the time. Here’s the Mark IV, which is pretty similar to the Mark III, however that one was trashed in the fight against Iron Monger in the first film, hence the Mark IV for the second one.
The Iron Man armours from the first movie were well received Minimates, but let’s see what else DST can do a couple of years later. Well, at first look, the helmet isn’t much different. It’s all one piece now rather than having a removable facemask. A second “flipped up mask” helmet fills in for that requirement, which is great. The facial detailing for Tony Stark is well done but nothing outstanding, there’s a reasonable Robert Downey Junior in there. We get a hairpiece for when either helmet is off.
The real meat of the sculpting is on the rest of the armour. On the chest piece, the detailing is really good, and the paint job brings it all out exceptionally well. There are a lot more gold accents on this version, and the armoured shoulder pads are slightly wider than the Mark III, changing the profile of the Minimate slightly. They still limit upwards arm movement though, and also partially hide one of the cool new aspects of the figure – the Mark IV has sculpted upper arms. These are curved slightly, like biceps, although clearly armoured. This look is finished off with sculpted gauntlet pieces, originally seen on the Mark III.
The rather gorgeous fully sculpted leg pieces first seen on the Mark III return here, but the tolerances in the plastics used (or their positioning held in place in the plastic tray) have given this figure a somewhat ridiculous bow-legged stance, which is rather unfortunate, and detracts from some of the good work that this Minimate displays. There is not an extra, “normal” set of legs included, unlike the Mark III, and no extra hands either, which makes the detailing on the front and back of the chest block (when you remove the chest piece) a little redundant. This is a shame as the detailing on that is just as spectacular as the rest of the figure, and it would have been nice to get these extras to be able to show it off better..
In conclusion: This is an absolutely amazing Minimate and an improvement on the already-stellar Mark III. Issues with the bandy sculpted legs and lack of extra pieces drop the score down from “perfection”.
MMC Score – 9 out of 10
Whiplash (Iron Man 2)
Ivan Vanko continues his fathers rivalry with the Stark family, by becoming Whiplash to take on Iron Man now that the world knows that Tony Stark is the armoured avenger.
Mickey Rourke plays Whiplash, and much of his grizzled look have managed to be captured in the face, possibly because there is so much character there to begin with. The hairpiece is sculpted and then flecked with grey – I don’t remember his hair being quite like that in the film, but it adds a great deal to the look of the figure as we so rarely get two-tone hairpieces. So overall an outstanding job on the face.
Unlike on some Minimates, the good work doesn’t stop there. Whiplash’s chestpiece is fully sculpted with the arc reactor rigging, there’s lots of intricate detail work here, amplified by the superb paint job once again, with some very tiny areas on the harness getting coverage with no slop. Along his arms, there are tattoos, and if you remove the chest piece you can see that his torso is likewise covered, front and back. Such attention to detail and such lovely prints for this scale. Even the skirt piece formed by the race coveralls have sculpted and painted details on. The only issue is the colour. It’s all brown here, but in the film it was orange. All action figure representations of Whiplash have him in brown coveralls, so it’s not a mistake, but possibly a licensing issue.
Whiplash gets uniquely sculpted hands, in order to hold his energy whips, which are separate and plug in to the handles. These translucent yellow whip pieces add so much to the playability of this figure. They are perfect for Whiplash and I don’t think they could have been executed any better. If for some reason you didn’t want Whiplash to have his whips, then there are extra “normal” hands included. Perhaps they’d be better off going to Iron Man, but they are definitely on Whiplash’s side of the tray.
In conclusion: A classic Minimate, excelling in all key areas, with great sculpting, detailing, paint and accessories.
MMC Score – 10 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills