Review by The Enthusiast
I am a casual Iron Man fan, but I am, first and foremost, a fan of magnets. Magnets are easily my favorite toy gimmick. And magnets and robots? Chocolate and peanut butter. I was hooked from my first handling of Baron Karza as a child. It’s not like magnets add a tremendous amount of playability to a robot. Removing limbs is not in itself an engrossing feature. It’s just that their use harmonizes so well with the machine aesthetic of the robot while retaining their inherent coolness. Megabloks has been fooling around with its own quasi-magnemo formula for awhile now. The Mag-Warriors and their ilk were enough to pique my interest, but ultimately they looked too weak to actually buy. So has Megablox finally come into its own with a proper American magnemo? The War Machine comes in a nice foil box. The contents are slim: a couple of bags of parts and instructions.
The figure consists of an articulated skeleton and a set of armor. The skeleton is a fun toy in its own right.
The construction feels like a more substantial Bionicle kit, with solid connections and decent detail.
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the T-2000, the ABS figure is highly poseable.
The torso contains all of the magnets. The head is attached via a round socket, as are the arms. The waist is held onto the magnetic torso with a metal pin. The arm connection is a noticeable innovation over previous magnetic figures. The shoulder sockets are actually rubber, which enables the arms to retain poses with friction. I’d love to see this concept expanded.
All of the magnetic connections are strong enough, but I’d like them to be a little tighter. I’m guessing that safety issues prevent a more robust magnetic strength. A metal ball rests in the chest cavity. It almost appears to be suspended between the magnets, but small plastic tabs keep it in place. The ball has no function per se, but it looks awesome and evokes the chest-mounted power supply. It’s fun to pop it out and let it spring back into place.
The sturdy armor attaches easily. The bulkiness of the armor and the moderately goofy proportions give the toy a juvenile feel, which I find a little distracting. It’s almost as if this were made for a child.
The helmet flips up to reveal a remarkable likeness of Don Cheadle’s face.
A missile launcher and gun attach to the figure’s shoulders. Everything attaches to the front of the base figure, but it still looks fine from the back.
Articulation is more limited with the addition of the armor, but not excessively.
The War Machine is a major step forward for Megabloks. I initially found it only moderately successful, but the more I think about it, the toy’s a slam dunk. I’m just prejudiced against American mass-market figures. If this piece were a Japanese-only release and said Microman on it, I’d have thought better of it from the beginning. As it is, it holds its own with its finicky Japanese cousins, albeit with a workmanlike Americanness.
|Posted 4 June, 2010 - 18:57 by The Enthusiast