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Iron Man Mark VI

Iron Man: Armored Avenger
by yo go re

Last year, Hasbro released a series of 6" Iron Man 2 toys excluively at Walmart. Distribution was uniformly hideous, but there's good news - the figures are back! And we're going to tell you not to buy them.

The ultimate upgrade to the Iron Man armor, the Mark VI is unstoppable and nearly indestructable. It is powered by the most advanced ARC Reactor yet, and packed with weapons undreamed of by even the most brilliant military scientist. Wearing this armor, Tony Stark becomes one of the most powerful forces on the planet.

This figure is actually part of the Iron Man: The Armored Avenger line, which is basically just Hasbro's rebranding of the movie line that allows them to keep shipping toys even though the movie was a long time ago. It's the same thing they always do with Transformers, so toy fans shoud be used to it. To help differentiate the pricepoints (and to make shopping easier online, since the packaging is the same), the 6" figures are identified as part of the "Legends" Series. Because Hasbro knows what side its bread is buttered on.

Despite the name change, this figure is identical to the exclusive version: same sculpt, same paint, same accessories. If you got that, you don't need to get this. Heck, if you got the Mark IV armor, you probably don't need to get this - 90% of the sculpt is shared between the two figures. The only difference between Mark IV and Mark VI is the chest: yes, the unibeam is triangular, rather than circular now, but the rest of the chestplate has changed shape, too; it's smoother and sleeker, sitting closer to the body for an aerodynamic fit. Still, the change from O tois the most notable difference.

Articulation hols no surprises for those such as us. He has balljointed ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged neck and balljointed head. The head should maybe tip back a bit farther, but it's not like he's actually seeing out those eye-holes.

Iron Man's accessories include the same arm-mounted missile launcher we've been getting since the Iron Man 1 toys, as well as an assortment of extra hands. The missile this time is a mid-tone blue, neither very dark nor very light, and the hands are the ones Mark IV had (though not War Machine, whose gloves were more blocky): fists, gripping and repulsor blast poses. The pegs on the wrists are nice and long, so they stay in the arms securely.

The red used for this figure is more vibrant than what was on the Mark IV suit: more of a "cherry" red this time, which makes the figure look a bit more "toyish" than before. Of course, that's really only in comparison to the older figures: by itself, it's not too bad. It's certainly not a case like Red Tornado, where he obviously looks like a toy. He gets a lot more gold than previous suits, coming closer to the comicbook look, but he also gets silver apps on his biceps and knees. Why silver? Beats us, but it adds some flair to the design. The new tri-beam is blue at the edges and white in the center, with a silver frame.

So Iron Man Mk VI is, overall, a very good figure. It's a chance to pick up an exclusive you may have missed last year, it's an accurate re-creation of the newest movie costume (which will probably be unchanged for Avengers) and it's a 6" figure, so it will look right with your existing armory. Why on God green Earth would we possibly tell you not buy this?

Because so far, the Armored Avenger line has only shown up at Toys Я Us, and Toys Я Us is charging $17.99 apiece for the figures. That's not a typo: eighteen dollars for a 6" figure. It's a shameful pricegrab, done to take advantage of buyers. Toys Я Us is flat-out cheating you, and they'll never stop if you let them. If you buy these from TRU just because they're new, the message you're sending is that you'll pay nearly double a product's value just because it's in front of you, and that kind of pricing will become the norm. It's up to you to show some damn self-restraint and not buy these for nearly $20. Oh, and lest you think Hasbro has pumped up the back-end price, and TRU is just passing it along? They didn't. The Legends Series figures sell for $10.99 on Hasbro Toy Shop, and that place always lists at retail. In short, stop stealing from your customers, TRU! We're the ones who let you continue to compete against Walmart, rather than taking the hit like KB Toys and Kmart, and if you don't get this stupid "skimming" crap the hell under control, we're taking our money elsewhere.

-- 05/23/11


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