My second Hot Toys experience, the Mark VII Iron Man suit, as featured in Marvel’s the Avengers. I swore high and low after the disaster that was the Mark IV that I’d be selling that one off in favor of this one – a promise I did end up following through on. I can’t quite fathom how anyone would be able to own more than one Hot Toys figure at a time; I was only able to trade an old one off for a new one, and still ended up broke.
Regardless, this is the Iron Man figure for me now – pretty much all I need to represent Marvel in my collection. I’ll be making quite a few callbacks to my Mark IV in this writing, so it’s probably a good idea to jump over and read up on that crapshoot first before getting to the good stuff here.
I had originally chosen the Mark IV over the Mark VII because of the former’s more uniform red/gold color scheme. The silver bits on the Mk. VII put me off a bit at first, but I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more. The Mk. VII in general also has a much bulkier frame compared to its predecessors (barring the Mk. I of course).
7 also happens to be my favorite number – obviously this suit and I were meant to be.
A closer look at some of the suit details. Naturally, Hot Toys doesn’t skimp. Everything looks on-point and as screen-accurate as can be. The detail on the back of the faceplate is most impressive. It looks like the under-armor detail for the chest and calves are a given now for every Iron Man armor.
Air flaps on the back are also a given, though if I recall correctly the Mark VII is the first suit to actually have propulsion back here, so it has bulkier flaps than other suits.
Metal bits are even included underneath, with even more mechanical detail abound.
Articulation for this suit is honestly pretty good; as with most armors, it isn’t good enough to pull of the much-fabled three-point-landing, but there are no shortages of badass poses it’s able to pull off.
One thing that’s a massive improvement over the Mark IV is the diaper/crotch section – they got it right so it doesn’t look out of place compared to the rest of the armor despite being made of a softer, bendable material. It was a faded pink that stuck out like a sore thumb on the IV, but thankfully here it blends in with the rest, while still allowing for some extra leg range.
The arm and elbow articulation is also interesting – there’s actually a soft rubber-like casing over the joint that allows for some seamless bending. The only drawback is that the material has that telltale pink shade that the Mark IV’s diaper was, but it isn’t as big of a deal.
Iron Man’s manipulator options this time around. It looks like Hot Toys did away with the relaxed palms from the Mark IV, instead only including the open repulsor palms, closed fists, and the articulated hands.
Showing off the latter first, because those articulated fingers are just that awesome.
Each finger is articulated at every joint to reflect a real human hand’s range of movement, as shown. Tony can rock on with those things or put up the finger, whatever the situation calls for.
I’ll also point out now that like all the armors, there are little silver nicks and whatnot throughout the armor that were deliberate to show that the suit isn’t quite hot off the press. The weathering is subtle, but gives the figure a more grounded and real feel.
But of course, it wouldn’t be Iron Man without those iconic palms.
Hot Toys finally fixed the error of their ways with the repulsor palms – the Mark IV had the open palms with normal sockets, meaning they couldn’t quite bend up all the way in a realistic firing position. The Mark VII fixes this issue by having the ball joint slot on the hands twisted upwards a bit, meaning the hand pretty much plugs vertically into the wrist, allowing for the palm to be pointed farther up.
We also get a separate set of wrist armor to accommodate the turned-up repulsor palms – the standard armor is flat, whereas the specialized set is bent upwards.
The Mark VII does certainly come armed to the teeth with a whole mess of extra parts – even extra arms.
Those arms are actually included for one reason and one reason only – to show the wrist-mounted high-power lasers in action. Unlike the Mark VI’s lasers that were one-offs, leave it to Tony to figure out a way to generate enough energy to keep the things running for multiple uses. I hadn’t even noticed it on-screen, but a little section of the wrist armor pops up and spins to generate kinetic energy that powers the laser itself. Naturally, this would’ve been tough to actually make as a gimmick on the figure, so I’m guessing Hot Toys just said screw it and included two whole extra arms to do the job.
They couldn’t have included just a forearm since the original arms had LED functions and wires that got in the way, so this was just about the only way to go about it. These arms don’t include LED functions though.
HISHE fans where you at.
Nice little add-on for the forearms – these little missiles are pegged in as a separate piece, as opposed to the actual opening gimmick some suits like the Mk. III featured.
With all this stuff, I’ve kind of categorized this figure into being capable of four separate forms, the first of which is just the normal Mk. VII as featured above.
The second I’ve decided to coin the “Battle Ready” version of the armor, with all of its little bells and whistles deployed, ready to kick some Chitauri arse.
Tiny missiles stored in the shoulders and thighs – as cool as these seem, they’re only really suitable for the suit when it’s flying in action. Unfortunately, I don’t actually have a way to show that off…but Hot Toys has considered this and offered a remedy that I haven’t (yet) purchased.
Next is the battle-damaged version of the Mark VII – it’s seen better days.
Hot Toys includes a scratched up faceplate and what looks to be some burnt and charred chest and shoulder armors. Beyond that, the rest of the suit is in pretty good shape – the Chitauri have very precise aim after all, and only managed to hit those sections.
In all seriousness though, as battle damage goes, this is pretty skimpy. Not that I blame Hot Toys – it’s not like they could include a whole new set of legs that were charred up and beaten around. I honestly don’t care for the battle damaged stuff and would’ve preferred the cost to be lower if they omitted this set entirely, but what can you do. They did go ahead and do the whole nine yards in an exclusive release later though, complete with a dead Chitauri base.
And last but not least, when all is said and done, Iron Man purges all his armor and becomes…the Mark IV?
I’m actually really fond of this form – remember that uniform red and gold I admired so much on the Mark IV? It’s making a comeback on the Mark VII somehow.
The silver missile containers on the shoulders and thighs come off and are replaced by simple red and gold plates, tuning down the bulk of the original Mk. VII considerably and owing to a generally cleaner and more simplified look.
I might’ve forgotten to mention this earlier, but this is actually the Sideshow Exclusive version of the figure, which means we get a whole extra gummy Mark VII! Exciting!
No seriously, why. They could’ve found a million more things to include as a little bonus extra to make this thing the “exclusive” version, but it had to be a “holographic Mk. VII” (that’s seriously what they’re calling it and passing it off as). It reminds me of the green time-traveling goo that people would turn into in Steins;Gate.
Size comparison with the actual Mk. VII.
I mean, I guess I feel special for owning the Sideshow Exclusive? When the bonus extra is something this lame I’m really not sure if I’m supposed to be excited or not.
THIS. This. This is what my Mk. IV should’ve looked like. There’s some proper ball-joint attachment shindigs goin’ on here; this was not.
Switching/detaching the head without the need to fumble around for a pair of pliers to remove a stuck joint is actually a thing now!
The faceplate for the Mk. VII is removable and attachable via a small magnet at the top inside – a very creative piece-swapping mechanism on Hot Toy’s part. Why they don’t use magnets for more of their stuff I’ll never know.
Helmet off, with that asshole of a genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist underneath.
Tony’s official portrait.
Not gonna lie, the face sculpt is very…interesting. I don’t think it has enough life in it to really be super spot-on, but it’s darn close. It looks a bit off at first glance, but a closer examination will reveal that it really is Robert Downey Jr.
The expression is more jovial than the severe one featured on the Mk. IV (no sunglasses this time) and of course Hot Toy’s trademark windows into the soul are nothing to be scoffed at. Too bad the eyes can’t move though; Hulk got articulated eyeballs and you can barely see his slits.
And of course, the last and arguably most amazing feature on this beaut. – the obligatory LED light up feature.
As always, the Arc Reactor/Unibeam light is absurdly blinding. Y’think they’d be able to tone it down a bit.
Something that bothers me a bit with this system is the eyes. I’m not sure why, but mine start out fairly bright but lose their glow extremely quickly. They also have the tendency to flicker sometimes. I haven’t pegged the source of the issue as low battery or poor wiring, but I’m really hoping it’s the former. I haven’t actually gotten around to changing them out, but I don’t really see a need to since all the other batteries are doing fine and it’s not like I just left the eyes on sometime.
Their design is a significant improvement though – instead of having the light source be in the neck post and have it pipe through the clear eyes, the actual LED is in the head now, with the switch hidden beneath the removable facemask. This makes the eyes brighter and more solid in general, rather than that clear glassy look that the Mk. IV had.
I see the liigghhttttt…!!!
The palm repulsor lights still have their switches on the insides of the biceps; the light really only shines brightly when the wrists are angled in a way that lets the light pass straight through.
Overall the light-up feature is awesome as always, but I think I would’ve preferred either warm yellow lights or more…I dunno, solid lights. Compare this screenshot of the Mk. VII to the Hot Toys figure and you’ll see what I mean by the light difference. I think the chest beam being overbearingly bright is a serious put-off, though the lights in general just look too artificial to be believable.
And of course, obligatory Hot Toys stand with movie logo and figure name/armor designation. No Hall of Armor base this time around.
When the base is actually too small for the Mk. VII to use as more than a third leg…well, they tried.
So all things considered, I’m pretty dang satisfied. This is probably going to be my final Hot Toys piece I own (at least at once), since I doubt I’ll ever have the amount of cash to buy multitudes of their collectables regularly. It was a much-needed breath of fresh air after the disaster and train wreck that was my first Hot Toys experience, the Mk. IV, but I suppose suit evolution is actually a real thing.
The VII has now skyrocketed in price itself, making it a difficult find, especially when it isn’t even officially listed on the Sideshow website. I’d certainly consider it a key centerpiece in the massive Iron Legion that Hot Toys is now releasing though.
Just for laughs. Best crossover ever? Best crossover ever.