Marvel Studios is one of the most successful business ventures in moviemaking history, but not everything is sunshine, happiness, and rainbows behind the scenes. It seems like every time another Marvel movie is announced, a director leaves a previous project citing those two heebie-jeebies-inducing words: “creative differences.” The making of Iron Man 3 was no picnic, as both its director Shane Black and one of its stars Rebecca Hall can attest.
Who has more Iron Man armors, Tony Stark or Hot Toys?
With this latest entry in the Hot Toys' quarter-scale line, the Hong Kong company is certainly trying to go toe-to-toe with Tony Stark's very own Hall of Armor. We're well beyond the half-century mark with regards to the number of Iron Man pieces in Hot Toys' catalog, and that's only counting the actual sixth- and quarter-scale figures. We might be approaching nearly 100 different figures if we start throwing in the Cosbaby and Artist Mix lines as well.
But I've since come to embrace Hot Toys' Iron Man favoritism. Iron Man sells, and if putting out another half-dozen Tony Stark figures over the course of the next year means we'll get more interesting characters from other licenses, so be it. It's not like they're bad figures either. This Iron Man 3 MK XLII is pretty damn impressive, even if it's a suit that's been done a few hundred times by Hot Toys and a number of other toy companies.
Often times the movie business is not at all about movies, but the merchandise that springs off of big studio productions. Because why make a superhero movie if you don’t plan to sell a ton of action figures along with it?
If we haven't reached the peak of the Iron Man collectible era, we are fast approaching the event horizon. Back in 2008, I don't think anyone quite imagined the impact Marvel's Iron Man movie would end up having on the action figure community. It's a strange thing that in addition to being the foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man is the bedrock which supports the toy lines that have thrived since his arrival on the scene. From Hasbro and Hot Toys to Lego and Figma, Iron Man is always there, and he continues to be a driving force of sales for any line that includes him.
Even though Iron Man 3 and the dozens of armors from that film have gotten a fair share of love over the past few years, Figma never put its spin on Iron Man beyond the first Avengers film. With Figma's latest releases, it doesn't even matter that the Mark XLII and XLIII armors are already outdated. Iron Man is bulletproof when it comes to the changing trends. Sure everyone wants the latest armor from the most recent movie, more importantly, collectors just want more Iron Man figures with better details and more articulation than the last.
Do you like Iron Man\? I like Iron Man. He's a cool guy and doesn't seem afraid of anything. Especially in the movies. That must be why Hot Toys has committed so much of its bandwidth to continually pumping out new Iron Man figures with such regularity. That and the fact that all of the Iron Man Hot Toys figures sell like pancakes at an all you can eat pancake festival.
While some have merely been repaints of identical builds, the upcoming MK XV armor from Iron Man 3 looks unlike anything we've seen from the company before.
You mean to tell me there was still an Iron Man armor Hot Toys hadn't released? I'm shocked. Shocked, I say. At this point, the only thing surprising about this release is how late in the game it was announced. There were a bajillion armors in Iron Man 3, and Hot Toys had been putting them out with some regularity up until all the Star Wars reveals. That's when the Stormtroopers became the new Iron Men, with all the slight variations on almost identical sculpts. For all the completionists out there though, the arrival of one of the few remaining armors from Shane Black's masterpiece (yeah, I said it) should be good news.
I know I like to give Hot Toys a lot of guff over the number of Iron Man armors, but reusing molds like they have with the Iron Man MK XXVI (a repaint of the MK XXV) is smart business. Molds are expensive, and anytime companies can reuse them for similar figures just makes it that much easier on them to give us long-running lines and more variation in other departments. It's a tactic every toy company uses, though when it's for $15-20 figures it's not that big a deal. When a figure costs nearly $300 and it's just a reskin of one that came out before (with a much nicer paint job, in my opinion) it's a little harder to swallow. Especially in the wallet.
If you're looking for a holiday gift for the Marvel-loving nerd in your life (or a gift for yourself; nothing wrong with that), the studio is preparing to release their huge Phase Two Blu-ray box set on December 8 covering everything from Iron Man 3 to Ant-Man with one seriously impressive collector's item. In addition to the outer packaging and the collection of films within, Marvel has also created custom artwork for each disc sleeve and we've got your first peek at the designs.
Pepper Potts is finally getting hers, and it only took seven years and four dozen other Iron Man figures for Hot Toys to finally make its way to one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most powerful women.
I was never a huge fan of Pepper Potts until a few years ago. Prior to Matt Fraction's and Salvador Larocca's run on Invincible Iron Man, I didn't much have a feeling about her one way or another, save for her appearances in the Iron Man films. I didn't even read Iron Man regularly enough before Invincible to have a firm grasp of her history. None of that mattered though once she became Rescue. Though Rescue's time in the comics was relatively short, the impact on fandom was long-lasting.
We never got the Rescue figure from Hasbro the company teased as part of its Iron Man 3 line a few years ago, and I've been steadily complaining and questioning why, after so many Tony Starks, Hot Toys hadn't delivered so much as an alternate head sculpt for Pepper Potts and the MK XLII. Today, I couldn't be happier. We're finally getting the Pepper figure we've so desperately needed.
If you’re a huge MCU fan or you have one in your life, and you’re looking for holiday gift ideas, then Marvel’s got you covered. The studio is releasing a huge, special edition Blu-ray set containing every film from Phase Two, from Iron Man 3 to Ant-Man. Even better: the set comes with a special mystery Blu-ray disc. Hmm. What could it be?