Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: NECA 1/4 Scale Iron Man

For the past couple of years toy company NECA has been releasing a series of highly detailed 1/4 scale action figures. I'd seen their new Iron Man figure online and coveted one for a while, but pesky real world things like paying bills and buying food kept me from buying one. I finally found a deal on them at ThinkGeek and decided to take the plunge.

A few days later Iron Man arrived on my doorstep on a muggy August evening (I must be the last house on the UPS guy's route) in a box that was easily two feet high!

Once I freed Iron Man from his box I was shocked to see how big he really was. Sure, he's advertised as being 1/4 scale, but you don't realize how big that is until you see it in person. I definitely didn't expect him to be the size of a newborn baby.

Iron Man stands a whopping 18.25" tall. If you multiply that by four you get 73" (or 6' 1"), so that really does work out to 1/4 scale. Here he is standing (actually he's leaning against the wall) next to me for scale. He comes to just below my knee!

He's also pretty darned heavy. I don't have a scale lying around the house, but if I had to guess I'd say he easily weighs three or four pounds.

For those who keep track of such things, this is the Mark VII Iron Man armor, as seen in The Avengers film.

Sculpting-wise he looks pretty darn good to me (with one exception that I'll cover in a minute). The details are sharp (as you'd hope it would be on a figure this size) and the nature of the subject matter (an armored suit) works to hide the mold lines and joints pretty well.

The paint job is very well done and the red and gold parts actually look like real metal. The silver parts, ehh, not so much. They look more like gray plastic, despite their metallic paint job. Fortunately there aren't very many of them.

The biggest complaint I have: I'm gonna have to try and find a stand big enough to support him. Once again we have a ferkakta action figure that can't stand up under its own power! 

This has been a pet peeve of mine ever since I started collecting action figures as an adult back in the 1990s. I honestly don't understand it. Action figures are shaped like people, right? People stand up by themselves. Ergo, action figures oughta be able to stand as well. I don't get why so many of my figures constantly topple over. Does my house slope at an angle? Was it built on one of those Mystery Spots?

One other complaint about the figure: the shoulder pads. They look like they're sitting wayyyy too far from the shoulders to me. 

To illustrate my point I took the liberty of Photoshopping the shoulder pads and moving them farther in. See? They look much better in this shot. He looks much more compact and his shoulder pads are actually protecting, you know, his shoulders. There you go, NECA. I fixed your toy for you.

I'm not sure why the pads sit so far out; I assume it must have been some kind of engineering problem with the figure; the only way they could get them to work or something like that. Or they came from the factory botched like this and NECA shipped 'em, hoping no one would notice. Well I noticed, NECA. I noticed.

Here are a couple of extra closeups of Iron Man's head and shoulders for your viewing pleasure.

One of the best things about 1/4 Scale Iron Man-- the cool light up feature! His eyes, palm repulsors and chest arc reactor all light up.

I'm not sure why his palm lights are a dim orange though. They weren't that color in any of the movies were they? I though they were bluish white like the arc reactor. 

There isn't one main switch to control the lights, so it takes a bit of doing to get him lit up. There's a series of tiny, and I do mean TINY switches all over him. There's a switch on the back of his head for his eyes, one on his back for the chest light, and one on each forearm for the hand lights. They're hard to find and even harder to switch on and off, especially if your fingers are larger than the width of a pencil lead.

Hey look, I used the J.J. Abrams filter on Iron Man!

You can have hours of fun recreating Iron Man's "I ate too much shawarma" deleted scene from The Avengers!

Iron Man also comes with flip up air brakes on his back, to recreate flying poses. At least I think that's what they're supposed to be. Maybe they're part of his courting display, like when a peacock spreads its tail feathers.

It feels like there are other parts of his armor that are supposed to swivel or open as well, but if so I can't figure out how to get 'em to work, and I don't want to pry too hard lest I have to break out the glue.

Iron Man comes with 2, count 'em two accessories: closed fist hands. You can pop off his repulsor blast hands and replace them with fists for punching poses. That's it! Two extra hands. Would it have killed them to have included an unmasked Tony Stark head? 

I suppose I shouldn't complain. It's an 18" tall figure that lights up, so I suppose that's sufficient.

By the way, the fist hands don't light up, which is as it should be. It wouldn't do for him to fire his repulsors with his fists closed now, would it?

From what I've read online Iron Man here is more articulated than most of these large scale figures. That's great and all, but he's still not articulated enough. He also has mid-foot joints, which are a plus. He has double-jointed knees, which is always a good thing, as they allow his legs to bend until the back of his feet almost touch his butt. However his hip articulation is extremely limited, making the knee joints pretty much moot. You're never going to be able to put him in a sitting pose; the best you can hope for is a kneeling or walking up the steps pose.

Sadly, he most definitely can NOT recreate this iconic pose from the movies. It just ain't possible.

His arms fare a bit better-- he's got double-jointed elbows, ball jointed wrists and ball jointed shoulders, which is a big plus. He has a ball jointed head which allows for interesting poses and some fairly useless neck articulation which barely moves.

It looks for all the world like his waist and chest are supposed to turn, but whenever I try to do so it feels like I'm about to snap him in half, so I stop. If anyone knows if he's really supposed to turn at the waist, let me know.

Here's the obligatory shot of Iron Man next to a can of Pepsi Throwback for scale. As you can see, he's pretty darn tall.

And here he is positively dwarfing his six inch tall doppelganger. I told you he was big!

So what's the verdict? Is 1/4 Scale Iron Man worth it? Ehh, why not? You get a well sculpted, well painted and fairly well articulated figure that'll dwarf anything else on your shelf. Supposedly production of these was limited, at 7,500 pieces. So if you want one, you'd better act now.

1 comment:

  1. The hip joints will move forward/back/in/out with a bit of force. I was a tad freaked out about breaking the legs but with some patience I was able to get him into a wider stance for better stability and a less vanilla pose (you still wont get him in the kneeling pose though). IF my memory serves me correctly, they are almost a ratchet style joint, and a stiff one at that. He still requires a figure stand IMO. Good review, was very influential in my actual purchase of this figure. Hot toys he 'aint, but very cool never the less.

    PS the orange hands are accurate to the MK VII in the Avengers movie.



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