Review by Prometheum5
Iron Man 2 smashed into theaters in May of 2010, accompanied by an absolute wealth of merchandise, books, and most importantly, toys!Taking place 6 months after the end of the first film, Iron Man 2 sees Tony Stark upping the stakes and dealing with his new role in the world.The film features many more and varied mechanical designs, including three suits of Iron Man armor throughout the film, and the fearsome War Machine.
In the last few years, Hong Kong toy maker Hot Toys has stormed onto the licensed movie character toy field with its Movie Masterpiece Series (MMS).Each release in this line pushes the envelope of what is possible in plastic further and further, with life-like head sculpts and detailed outfits accurate down to the rivet and seam.The Iron Man 2 movie line has not disappointed.
Whiplash is the super-villain from Iron Man 2 (although not really the main ‘villain’), and he is awesome.The movie Whiplash character combines the mythos of two of Iron Man’s quintessential villains into one fearsome and deadly threat that fits the movie universe perfectly.The figure reviewed here depicts Whiplash when he debuts what we have seen him working on, as he attacks Tony Stark during a Formula 1 race.This is only halfway through the film, and Whiplash gets trounced, but it is awesome.
The box is the now-standard gorgeous, shiny Hot Toys fare.Iridescent holograph-ey printed graphics of both the character and toy adorn the outer sleeve, which slides off to reveal a matte black inner box with production credits for the toy and impossibly fine graphic printing. A window shows the toy safely secured in a vacuum-tray affair.
Removing the figure from the box, it almost feels like a ‘simple’ figure, but as I’ll show, it is anything but.There are not many accessories, just one extra set of fists, the whips, the whip energy effects, and the standard Hot Toys stand.A small instruction packet includes a battery that must be installed using a super-small screwdriver, and some notices on points to watch for on the figure.
Whiplash is only a standard Hot Toys figure from the waist down.The upper body features a larger construction and a silicone-like outer layer for musculature.Unlike previous skin suits, the Whiplash upper body is segmented, so that there are no points where the ‘skin’ would tear around articulation.The entire upper half of the figure is also fully painted, with skin tone and blemishes, as well as razor sharp printed tattoos.The effect is really stunning… every little bit of detail from the movie is there, down to the ruddy skin tone and tattoos printed on both sets of hands.No expense was spared, and it shows.
The head sculpt is one of Hot Toys’ best yet.Big, scary Mickey Rourke is reproduced in all his miniature plastic glory (horror?).The head is fully painted and matches the body perfectly.There is some incredible detail and character to the eyes and lips, as well as the convincing looking scar on his left cheek.The hair is a separate piece of softer plastic that almost seamlessly blends with the forehead and scalp area, and has a bewildering amount of little tiny hair tips.The only weak point is the painting on the grayed bits of hair.The photos make it look more harsh than it is, but it does stand out as not being quite as nicely painted as the rest of the figure.Vanko looks mad, and ready to fight.Around the neck is even a super fine string necklace with Vanko’s cross pendant.
Impressive as plastic Ivan Vanko’s upper body is, the real thrill of this figure is the Whiplash ‘suit’.Vanko’s tech is crude, and the battle rig is really just a harness for his upper body that allows him to power and wield the whips.I mentioned how impressed I was with the level of mechanical detail on the boots of the Mech Test Tony Stark in that review, but honestly, this is a whole’nother level of impressive.The harness is made of hard plastic with imitation leather working straps, and must have about a hundred individual parts, if not more.The level of detail is unreal, with very fine and precise moldings and just as fine a paint job.The imitation arc reactor lights up, and is a separate part from the figure body, unlike the Mech Test Tony, which featured a special light-fitted torso, which makes sense, since Tony’s reactor is in his chest, while Vanko just wears his as part of the suit.There are even individual straps on the arms to secure the harness and keep it from pinching his elbows (Vanko is a thinker!).The only things actually missing from the rig are the bits that attached the whips to the arm frames.Here, Whiplash just holds the whip handles, when in the film the handles were supported by the harness, and Vanko was really just ‘driving’ the frame.
The spine of the harness is fixed, but does not hinder torso articulation, and the shoulders cheat a bit by not actually being connected, but everything looks the part.Whiplash can only bend his elbows to 90 degrees, but I do not think that is inaccurate from the film.
The burnt up pit-crew suit looks convincing, and is nicely weathered and scorched round where the harness burnt it off.The untied boots are made from a soft material and look great.The ankles feature the standard Hot Toys double-ball, so they move very well and keep Whiplash upright with level feet, which is important since he is a bit top-heavy.
The crackling energy effects on the whips are pretty easy to install.There are a couple ‘holes’ to slide the whips through, and then some longer sections that you can weave in and out of the two cables of the whips to really complete the look.The whips and lightning are molded in very soft plastic, but the whips have just enough stiffness to them to hold some poses.The whip handles slide over the cables that extend from the back of the harness down the arms, and have a deep hole so that there is some slack to the cables, so when you extend the arms the cables do not disconnect or hinder articulation.The effect of the energy parts is awesome, and the figure really comes to life thanks to these parts.
All I’ve really done is gush over the impeccable and incredible detail of the figure, but what it really boils down to is that Whiplash is well enough made to accurately and convincingly recreate the scene from the film, as well as stage your own fights.This is one of the most complex toys Hot Toys has ever produced, and it does not disappoint.
I know Whiplash did not fight Iron Man in his Mk III suit, but I couldn’t help myself from pitting him against at least one Iron Man.Getting two figures together really emphasizes how incredible these toys are, and a sort of synergy develops when you realize you really can do just about anything with them and have it look good.
The quality on this figure was flawless, but it is worth mentioning that this is actually the second Whiplash I received.The first had an arm fall off out of the box from an assembly defect that could not be repaired without ruining the shoulder skin suit, but I have not seen anyone else with this problem, and the part did not fall off until I handled the figure for a minute, so it must have just been a fluke that made it through QC.That said, I cannot thank them enough for providing a replacement.
The Hot Toys Iron Man movie figures have been some of my favorite toys ever, and Whiplash is right up towards the top of the list.Incredible articulation, detail, design, and finish combine to make this a must-have collectible, as well as still a functioning collectors’ toy.The head sculpt, tattoo details, and working battle harness make this a piece with some serious shelf presence.
|Posted 30 November, 2010 - 22:27 by Prometheum5|
Comments26 comments posted
Here's my question: for all his advanced range-attack weps (see: the first movie), what made Iron Man think he NEEDED to close to melee range and constantly get in range of Whiplash's whips!? Stark wasn't that drunk at the time, as I recall...
Two words: "BOOM! headshot".
You know, a lot of people brought this up when they saw the designs... or when they see 40k Space Marines without the helmets, or myriad other examples. Truth is, I don't have a perfect answer to the old 'sniper' issue. Having super villains duke it out with the heroes mano a mano just makes it more fun. The way the fight unfolds in the film, though, Stark doesn't really get a chance to put any distance between himself and Whiplash before Vanko disables his repulsors. People always ask why the police didn't just shoot him either... I suppose if you wanted a 'real' answer, maybe Vanko was anticipating the fact that the police would be hesitant to blow a guy's head off on live national television?
Ooh- I'm playing "Dawn of War (I)" right now. Old news, but awesome RTS, I tell ya!
Hey, he brought up W40k first, not me. Besides, it was relating to how superior-armored characters would turn around and intentionally expose parts of themselves just to look cool[er].
This was exactly my question when I saw that iron man was fighting a whip guy. How could he be any threat to a man in a suit with flight and ranged weaponry? Unfortunately the movie has no better answer than, "Because Iron Man fights like an idiot." He fails to use any of the suit's capabilities. It's one small symptom of the fact that Iron Man 2 is all about fancy special effects but bereft of any intelligent or creative screen writing.
I have to disagree with every aspect of this statement... the car fight scene was specifically designed to make Whiplash a threat by forcing Iron Man to fight at close range (one would assume this was Whiplash's plan, as developed by the screen writers). Stark's first goal is to get the suit on and get Happy and Pepper out of danger. He has no time to strategize or gain some distance from Whiplash, he's running on straight adrenaline to save his friends, and Whiplash makes sure to take out the suitcase armor's limited ranged weaponry right away, forcing Stark to fight on Vanko's terms. It's almost like the writers knew exactly how to make this fight make sense ;)
Thanks for sparing me the trouble of explaining this scene's well thought out fight, very well put.
So you're telling me all that he had available to him was two repulsors in his hands and that's it? Surely the Mk.IV had more in it than that (although, obviously, space is limited in a suit that collapses down into a friggin' suitcase)? I thought he had flight capability; and even if he didn't, he has legs!
Umm... how did Whiplash even survive to fight Iron Man at all when he got crushed by an SUV is what I wanna know.
Speaking of which, has anyone here ever heard of a series of videos on YouTube called "How It Should Have Ended"? They have some real zingers in there, I tell ya.
The harness took the brunt of the SUV impact, and it's not like they were going that fast ;)
it was a rolls royce phantom
Nitpick: The suitcase is the mark V
Ugh, KNEW I'd get that wrong... >.<;
Good thing HOT TOYS got the rights to the Iron Man films... I'd hate to see what Medicom would've produced.
I like that shot you made on the 24th picture you've posted. Whiplash looks so real in the fight scene just like in the movies. I wouldn't mind adding him to my collection. Mickey Rourke was very enjoyable as Whiplash in the sequel. I only wish that he added on his Crimson Dynamo suit to his harness. Did the filmmakers omit the Crimson Dynamo armor idea for Rourke to wear because of budget constraints I wonder or was it something else?
By the end of the movie he's wearing one of the Hammer battle bots. Its not Crimson , but its still an armor. Call him the Silver Dynamo instead.
Awesome review. The face is Mickey Rourke all the way. I can't wait to see what they do with Thor and Captain America. Those I'm sure I'll be picking up. Oh and Red Skull is must for this line.
Each time I see a review for a new Hot Toys figure, I'm blown away. Then I ask myself if I should let this release roll on by. Well I usually decide I want it, but alas the wallet says nay since its used for other vices of mine. I guess for now now I'm stuck with a naked black man figure as my only Hot Toys in possession. This review was great and the pictures of the face detail really show how realistic the sculpt is. That metal frame on the back blew me away. Simply awesome.
Thanks, chachi, I had a great time reviewing this guy, and was thrilled to be able to add him to my shelf. I hear you on the idea of actually buying them, though... I have payed for most of my Hot Toys figures, and they are always worth it, but it's still a big commitment to actually buy. If I hadn't gotten Whiplash for review, I would have still purchased it myself, because after seeing the early photos and already owning the similar Iron Man MkI, was sold.
PS- You should head over to a place like Toy Anxiety that sells 1/6 parts and assemble a custom costume for your HT body! Do something creative with it... I've pieced together a couple of in-progress customs from them, and they are awesome. It IS basically playing dress up with a doll, though. ;)
Sad to hear that despite all the price increases and promises Hot Toys has been pulling over the last 2-3 years, there's *still* issues with stuff out of the box... Kind of insulting to me that they still get away with that, and no one really mentions it anymore. For me that type of thing is ridiculous, and completely avoidable. This is why a lot of 1/6 people are buying these things in open boxes instead of MISB as you don't know if anything is broken until it's been opened...
However their Customer Service is still *hands down* THE best out there, even better with US/EU customers than Bandai is, which says a lot. Problem? Broken joint? Sloppy paint? One email to Hot Toys and within 7 days, anywhere in the world, your new part is in your hands.
They go way above and beyond what's needed every time. My Aliens Warrior had a broken leg right out of the box... within 4 days, I had a new leg in my hands. An Iron Man MKIII suit I was given as a gift had a pretty bad scratch, and after sending a few pictures and answering a few questions, I was given a Fed Ex account number for return shipping so I wouldn't have to pay for it to be sent back, and a tracking number for *a complete, new figure* which was at my house in 6 days. No receipts or hoops to jump through. They even replaced a broken Aliens headset (it was broken in the box, mind you) for a Colonial Marine figure 5 years after it came out, free of charge! A lot of toy companies need to pay attention to this and follow suit.
Nice to here Angolz will help too, always had great experience buying from them.
I dunno... I feel like the incredible customer service makes up for any QC problems that slip through. Sure it's disappointing to get a figure with a problem, but if you know it was definitely be corrected, than it's not quite as bad. I think the quality of the end result is what really matters, and that is always impeccable.
Prometheum5, is Hot Toys making the Iron Man Mark V(SC) in the near future? If so, will you be reviewing it exclusively for CDX?
I have not seen anything about a Suitcase suit yet, but Hot Toys is releasing a Mk IV and Mk VI, as well as War Machine, and I will cover all of them. WM is already shipping to me from BBTS, so that will get reviewed over Christmas break.
I don't know about that...
Maybe because you got this for free your opinion is a little different than it would be if you paid for this and had the same issues.
after 5+ years of buying these from Hot Toys, it's not a "slip-through" type of thing. if these were $5 Star Wars figures from Target then it would not be a big deal; however, these are pretty darn expensive and in some cases very difficult to even obtain.
It's kind of like a great five-star restaurant that keeps messing up your take-out orders. The food is great, but there's always something wrong. After a while, you get a little sick of that.
While they are quick to fix issues like these, I will say, while they fixed scratches and broken limbs out of the box no problem, they won't do anything for you if the clothing/outfit comes apart- especially if you're the type that throws away boxes (hinthint) - so watch out. and save those boxes...
I've posted about this many, many times: I am kind of sick of having to fix stuff on toys out of the box. It's not expecting too much to expect to get what you paid for the 1st time.
Exactly. I have seen the very rare breakage issue on 1/6 forums, but those are usually from mishandling. Everything else I have gotten from them has been flawless.
I currently own 5 Hot Toys figures, haven't had a single 'QC' problem with any of them.