Iron Man Mk VII
Review by Prometheum5
Marvel’s The Avengers brought us yet another iteration of Tony Stark’s Iron Man battlesuit. The Iron Man Mk. VII is designed for combat, featuring multiple weapon pods and increased armor for improved survivability. The Mk. VII is a heftier and more aggressive suit than the previous Mk. IV/VI series, and is the latest release in NECA’s ¼ scale Avengers line. The first release in NECA’s large-scale Avengers line was Captain America, which reviews indicated was a rock solid and beautiful looking large format figure that could still be posed and handled. I have also had some wonderful experiences with NECA’s quarter scale Predator line, which I have reviewed previously. Everything sounded peachy, so I had nothing but the highest expectations for my favorite Golden Avenger. Let’s see how that worked out.
Iron Man comes in a huge box featuring sharp graphics meant to replicate the look of the suit. The figure was secured by some twisty ties that were not terribly snug. It’s nice enough, but it is a gigantic box, so in the trash it went.
Out of the box and all set up, Iron Man stands about nineteen inches tall, shown here with a standard 1/12 scale figure and Wraith Pheyden. In ¼ scale an average six foot person stands 18 inches tall, so Iron Man scales well as being a bit larger and taller, since he’s a guy in a suit.
The first thing I noticed out of the box was the terrific paint job and finish. Actually, that’s not quite true. The very first thing I noticed was a giant paint flaw right across the chest. It appears the paint was applied a bit too thick and pooled up, where the excess bubble was crudely wiped off, leaving a hideous and prominent scar. Wonderful.
After that initial disappointment, I found that the rest of the figure is quite nice looking. The sculpt is very detailed and well-proportioned, and appears accurate. The calves are a bit oddly shaped and seem to have too much ‘heroic’ curvature to them, but that’s not a deal breaker.
What IS a deal breaker is that NECA’s Iron Man does not stand up. I know what you’re thinking, “But Prometheum5, he’s standing in your photos!” A temporary condition, I assure you, dear reader. This figure fell over after every single shot. The ankles feature ball joints that are flimsy and loose, so the figure leans right over and topples thanks to its massive weight. Stick with me, it gets better.
Aside from the ankles, the build and articulation are all pretty nice. The neck features a terrific range of motion. Most of the joints have some clicky action to them. There are lights in the eyes, chest arc reactor, and wrists.
I spent far too much time talking about shoulders and elbows in my recent SH Figuarts Iron Man MK VI review, but NECA did such a nice job on these two areas that I’m going to revisit the subject.
The shoulder pads float on a double-hinged bar attached to the shoulder, allowing them to move out of the way and move with the shoulder for a natural look without hindering motion.
The elbows are double jointed, with the elbow armor accurately moving with the joint. So far, so good.
Taking a look at the back, we can see some lovely detail and the battery compartments and switches for the head and chest lights. The switches are quite small and recessed, so all but the sharpest fingernails will not be able to switch them. I had to use tweezers. Also visible here are a number of spots of paint wear down to the bare plastic. These are from Iron Man taking a dive off of every surface I have set him on. At this point, Iron Man lives in a corner on the floor because he is a danger to himself and others.
The back also features some pretty terrific air break flaps. Short of having the fine metal details of Hot Toys’ figures, these are some of the best flaps to be found on an Iron Man figure. The hinges are all nice and tight and the detail is quite good, especially with the strange shape of the Mk. VII’s flaps.
One issue here is the inconsistent masking on the silver paint of the smallest flaps. I think they are meant to be silver all over but were painted in place, so the rims were covered by where they sit against the larger flaps.
More flaws and dings in the paint can be seen on the thigh armor. Those brown marks are from where Iron Man toppled over and put a ding in the finish of my brand new dresser. The hips feature solid detents for forward and backward and lateral motion. There are only a few positions, but they are solid. The thighs rotate and have a nice layered armor look.
The knees are not cut accurately and look weird. The red section at the top of the knee should move separately from the gold thigh armor as a guard that sticks out. Instead NECA has cut into the thigh armor as a big, dumb action figure joint. I would let this slide if the elbows worked the same way, but NECA did such a nice job up top that to just give up on the knees seems lazy. There is also something weird going on with the shape of the calves. The Mk. VII has some strange lines and curvature to the front of the shins, but NECA’s sculpt seems to be extra exaggerated and looks unnatural from some angles.
From the back of the leg, everything is alright again. The silver knee details are nicely painted. The knee is ugly and inaccurate, but it does have a nice solid feel to it.
Crouching down, Iron Man is showing off the extent of his limb articulation. The range of motion is actually pretty good, but rendered mostly useless by the flawed ankles.
No Iron Man Poster Pose here due to the hips. It’s a shame, too, since the torso is bendy enough that NECA’s figure could almost pull it off.
For the few seconds NECA’s Iron Man will stand for, it really does look nice. Swappable splayed hands with light piping are included, and the wrists feature red lights, accurate to The Avengers. The wrists are on big ball joints that are easier to swap than those on the quarter scale Predators, but do not feature quite enough motion to get a natural palm out repulsor pose.
Then Iron Man tips over again and all that glitz and pretty paint does not mean a thing.
Seriously, this toy is almost terrific. If it came with a stand it would be a lame admission of defeat, but at least it could be safely displayed. The toy is heavy enough that if it fell from high enough it could seriously damage your floor or cause injury.
Things got so bad that I actually set a pillow in front of my shooting space. I am not exaggerating when I say Iron Man fell over after every shot, and sometimes during.
I really just do not understand how NECA shipped their Iron Man this way. Besides the QC flaws I have experienced and others have reported, the ankles are just an obvious defect and fatal flaw. NECA’s large scale Predators are rock solid. You could build houses out of them. The Predators feature ball jointed ankles with a large range of motion and perfect fit, so they will hold dynamic stances with ease. What happened?
“Go home Iron Man, you’re drunk”
Using Ram as a stand for Iron Man, these two icons of science fiction do look good pitted against each other.
Hell, Hasbro managed to release a large format figure for almost half the price of NECA’s Iron Man that can stand on ONE foot. Iron Man cannot stand on two.
All the Sentinel has to do is blow at Iron Man to win this fight.
In the process of shooting the review, NECA’s Iron Man managed to fall over badly, jamming the thigh armor into the shirt detail, putting an awesome gouge in the paint. That really sums up my thoughts here. NECA’s quarter scale releases all retail for under a hundred dollars, which is a fantastic price point for how much figure you get. For $90 NECA’s Iron Man Mk VII is a gorgeous figure loaded with detail, lights, and a lovely paint job, barring some isolated examples of lax quality control. You should take that $90 and go buy Captain America or a Predator, or a half a dozen Marvel Legends figures. You could even buy some smaller NECA Predators, or pick up their recent excellent Aliens releases, because NECA can do a good job and should be rewarded for it, but this just isn’t it. I do not understand why NECA’s output and quality control are so inconsistent, because they have repeatedly proven that they can make some of the nicest action figures on the market. Just not all the time. Really, you should just save that $90 and start saving pennies to pick up Hot Toys’ imminently shipping Iron Man Mk VII.
|Posted 5 July, 2013 - 08:09 by Prometheum5|