Here we are with the latest incarnation of the Iron Man armor, the mark VI. I know for some people the never-ending releases of Hot Toys Iron Man merchandise are starting to be an overkill, while for others each new suit brings them one step closer for a ultimate complete line up of iron man armor. The Mark V will be upon us before the end of this year, so the complete set from movies 1 + 2 will be achievable.
Back to the Mark VI. The question many non-completists, like myself, will be asking them selves is; “if I already have the Mark III, Mark III battle damaged and/or the Mark IV, do I really need the MK VI?”
I think yes!
While others scratch their heads wondering what’s the difference, you might be the kind of person who sees all the cool and subtle changes in design and development on the different suits to be unique.
Having only the Mark III from movie 1, the Mark VI is lightyears ahead in it’s design and development and it’s just a plain beauty.
If you have the Mark IV, I recon you feel many features are the same, except some subtle designs differences. So why should you spent some high money on the Mark VI? You can view the Mark VI to the Mark IV as the Mark III Battle Damage to the Mark III.
Do you want that extra depth of level and detail on a figure?
Plus this the first power suit with a rectangular on the chest.
I must admit, though, I cancelled my order of the Mark IV in favor of the Mark VI. I felt having missed the Mark III battle damage, Mark IV would have made up for this, with more levels and detail. Then the Mark VI was announced. Virtually the same as the Mark IV, but with extra battle damage. And I felt the Mark IV was too close to the Mark III to be really that a difference. So I went with the Mark VI, to get the best of both worlds.
So let’s go with the verdicts. The score can go from 1 to 4 stars. with * being the lowest score and **** the highest.
Packaging – ***1/2
We are already spoiled by Hot Toys with the most impressive packaging that lavished the various Iron Man figures, and the best boxes were on the first three releases from the first movie. Although the boxes for Iron Man 2 are well designed and constructed, they just didn’t astonish me as they did the earlier designs.
This difference only takes off a half a star; they are still very visually striking. Although nice in style with the rest of IM2 releases, it doesn’t has the continuation of the reveal of the next figure in the line on the side panel as the previous releases did. Here we just have the front picture wrapping around onto the left side panel.
As with all the IM2 figures, we get the old school metallic slip over sleeve with an illustration on the front and photos of the figure on the back. Inside there is a dark red box with a large die-cut window on the front and a full list of production credits on the back. The figure is held in a double layered vacuum formed tray with the main figure with a LED Iron man head on top. The Tony Stark sculpt in his Iron Man helmet is next to it and various battle damaged parts are packed with it. The various hands and the more fiddly extras are on the next layer. The display stand in a tray beneath.
So, another very nice box, but just not one of my all time favorites.
Sculpting – The Suit ****; Tony ***1/2
The Iron Man figures have truly set a new level of detail and engineering with this series, however, to the untrained eye the red and gold suits might all look virtually the same.
Taking a closer look, the detailing is all different, not only that the proportions are more realistic of the human form, like a slimmer chest area compared to the Mark III, Hot Toys invested lot of time making these suit as supremely accurate as possible. Whilst giving the suits as much articulation as is realistically possible, accomplished in a way that matches the designs of the actual source material. This is the first IM figure I’ve got since Mark III, and the engineering has gone a few notches up.
If you look at the MK VI next to the MK III you will see that it really is a totally different figure with a completely new sculpt. The only re-use I noticed are the ‘flare gun’drums at the hips from the Mark III Battle Damaged version and the feet for the earlier Mark III.
This figure can be displayed as relatively spotless new, or as a really roughed up power suit.
There are certain parts you can replace with damaged ones.
The damaged parts on this figure are absolutely amazing. Especially the left arm. The upper arm is ripped open and reveals the inner workings with pipes, hydraulics etc. You’ll get a sense how thick the armor is an how vulnerable this exposed arm is. The damage on the chest panel is again very nicely done. Next to some very realistic bullet holes, there’s a gaping hole through which you can see the layer beneath with steel bars and it’s inner structure. On other parts there are dents, scratches, and burn marks. The mask piece has some really cool scratch marks. Most of the damage is sculpted, so you really get to feel the violence done to the suit.
The Tony Stark head sculpt is by KoJun. I have to say I feel it’s not an accurate likeness of Robert Downey Jr. Not as much as the Mark III sculpt. But I have to admit it’s hard to judge as the head is nested in the helmet so it’s difficult pin-pointing just what is off with it. But the sculpt is very realistic. It’s almost the same sculpt as the Mark III battle damaged version, except with his mouth closed.
For the sake of diversity to your display, I think it’s fine to have a helmed sculpt and a full head. One of the reason’s I choose for this figure, is I already have a full head sculpt of the Mark III.
The expression is the stern side of neutral, eyes straight forward, not conveying emotions. KoJuns detailing of the texturing of the skin and wrinkles, both on his forehead and around his eyes, are as always most impressive. And, even though it’s not perfect, it is still a pretty good Downey as Tony Stark.
Paint – ****
The paintwork is amazing, as we’ve come to expect. The accuracy of the division lines are top While the sculpt is not that perfect, the paint makes more that up for it. I really like the skin tone. It’s better than that of the Mark III. The naturalistic flesh tones and subtle variations in tint that we know expect from Hot Toys, I love the bruises on his right cheek. It adds to the realism. The eyes are windows to the soul, and are as important on these 1/6th figures as in real life. The eyes are finished with gloss and accurate with delicate microscopic eyelashes.
The paint job quality covers pretty much every surface of this figure, as the armor is finished in a glossy cherry red with gold details and a few dark accents to add definition along some of the division lines on the armor. Compared with the Mark III the red is far more vibrant en metal like. The gold parts, while shiny, are more diffuse. It complements the red well. The mark III has the red more like crimson and the gold more glossy. I like the mark VI style far better.
All over the armor are subtle weathering and scratches which I really love and feel it adds to the realism and layers on this figure. There are also subtle burn marks, sometime these brushed marks looks like it’s brushed, but most of the time it’s feel like is actually slightly burned.
The chest panel can also be taken off and the rear air-breaks on his shoulders opened to reveal some silver and steel details painted onto a matte black background.
The battle damaged parts are painted superb as though it took a real beating.
It really feels like the paint has been scratched off first and burn and powder marks really damaged the suit. The paint really adds to the sculpt.
So to sum up, the juxtaposition of the warm earthy flesh tones of the head coupled with the sleek technology of the hi-tech suit, in combination with the damaged, make this another visually striking figure, and great addition to the line up so far.
Outfit – N/A
This figure doesn’t really have an outfit …unless you do count it an outfit, then the armor rocks non stop!
Articulation – ****
These versions of the armors do not pose as well as a standard True Type bodies from Hot Toys, but they can make the coolest of poses. And off-course no one would think a man in an armor like that can produce all the positions he would without.
When you open up the box to get the figure out, do it gently. This figure has some delicate parts to watch out for. I went on an exploration of the figure, which is cool, but maybe not the smartest thing. What you want to do is to look for the instruction sheet, en reed it thoroughly.
It will give you a few pointers on the do’s and don’ts for the Mark VI.
If you already have the mark IV, you’ll be familiar with the features. Otherwise it will has some surprise in store. Like you can replace the panels on his lower arm with ones that have tiny ballistics sticking out ready to fire. A small spatula tool is supplied to help pries them off. But the coolest feature is the waist articulation. As I am not familiar with the Mark IV, I freed mine by surprise and it got me laughing out loud! I jelled a big WOW!
You lift and separate the sections of his torso giving a natural curve to the spine for some awesome poses. The rest of the articulation is basically we had seen before. Expect double knees and elbows that go to about 90 degrees Like War Machine en Mark IV, this figure too has fully articulated hands. A new feature for me . The air breaks and panels on his back has some of the most impressive details with a myriad of tiny openings. One drawback I found where the airbrake panels didn’t perfectly fit on the back. They stand somewhat loose from it. But is such an tiny thing to make a fuzz about. However for the price of this figure , you have the right to nitpick. Hot Toys have altered the neck articulation slightly so he can tuck hischin in more, the drawback is the head can’t look up acutely, Even more so that the rest of the suits. As I mentioned before, the chest panel can also be lifted off, to reveal the underlying mechanics and the ARC reactor. In this version the ARC reactor is a rectangle. The details of the mechanics are astonishing.
The best way to familiarise yourself with this figure is to just sit and explore it, like I did. Manipulate the joints gently till you get a feel for just how far you feel you can go. Considering the development involved, there’s a very extensive range of movement.
I just love those fully possible fingers on the new hands. It makes the spare hands obsolete.
This figure deserves a full score because it’s excellent engineering to get the articulation just that range to make is fully possible to be realistic.
Accessories – ****
Considering I already have a fully exposed Tony Stark head, I like the mask reveal head. I don’t know how much this head differs from the Mark III BD version.
Most of the other accessories are alternate hands or small weapons panels that can clip into place to alter the look of the figure and off-course the battle damage replacement parts.
One of the most cool accessory is the ‘battle ground’ stand. The sculpt with the damaged drone is utterly astonishing! By sticking a transparent rod in it, you can attach the figure to us so it seems Iron Man is hovering above the ground. Or let the battle damaged hero stand triumphant over his fallen enemies.
Light Up Feature – ****
In a continuation set by the earlier releases, this figure too has light up repulsor palms, chest and eye. All the batteries come in place for the actual figure; you just need to pull out a small clear plastic dividers that protrude from the relevant sections. Then flick on the switches which are concealed in the upper inside arm for the hands, under the rear right side air break for the chest and the back of the neck for the eyes.
Once activated they all light up. The chest LED really is very bright, it’s actually blinding a you look straight in it. It’s three times a bright as the Mark III. I found the light up eyes a bit disappointing. At least compared to the Mark III.
Value – ***1/2
When you buy one of these Iron Man figures you are not only paying for a licence, but also for some sublime research and development. I don’t know of any other company that invests as much time into not only the look and feel of the figures they make, but also on the detail of articulation, hidden elements and light up features. There are some really minor flaws with the air brakes and during my exploration with the figure two tiny magnets came loose. But this figure is such a blast, I’d forgot about these tribal issues within a moment. When you see a price of €180 it’s no surprise some people lose interest. Of course just because the retail price is €180 doesn’t mean you have to pay for that. If you pre-order you may save €10 to €15 on that price.
I can understand many sane people would think that someone spending the best part of €200 on an action figure is a little out of his mind… However if you’re part of a hi-end collecting community then these kinds of prices are increasingly common place. On a figure like this you can see where that money has been spent. I couldn’t justify a full score, Mainly becauae this dollar price is just replaced with a Euro, while it far less value. On the other side, but it’s just too good a figure to take away any more than ½ a star!
Fun Factor – ***1/2
Here we have another near perfect sixth scale representation of an Iron Man suit, it poses well, its painted perfectly and the sculpting is very strong.
Although the construction is robust enough for a careful collector, certainly I wouldn’t want a kid to get its hands on it. If you are that ‘careful collector’ and this figure is a toy to put on your shelf, you’ll have a lot of fun finding that most awesome pose!
Around €180, this is a costly figure, but is actually the same price as the Mark IV. It seems to be the case with most of the ongoing series like Terminator, Batman etc, Hot Toys improve a little with each new release. This figure is even more loaded with features than the Mark III battle damaged and all its own new modifications and engineering make it have its own individual feel too it. This figure is now my favorite within the line up… dispite the price.
Where to buy
Sideshow has him available for pre-order at the RRP of $209,99.
I pre-orderd at HammersCollectibles for €187,50
Collectiblezity – in stock for €189
Acmetrendz – not yet in stock for €289.90
Moviestore – still on pre-order €229
Kadoshop Ton Swart – expected in stock may 31th, for €225.
Or you can try eBay where prices seem to be between €185 to €300, most of them internationally, so add €30 or so shipping costs and €20 import duties. So be prepared to dig deep in your wallet for this figure.