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REVIEW: 4529 Iron Man


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Poll: On a scale from 1 to 5 (29 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. It's so bad, not even Iron Man could save it. (5 votes [17.24%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.24%

  2. More like an inaction figure. (4 votes [13.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.79%

  3. Average Avenger (8 votes [27.59%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 27.59%

  4. As good as being a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. (8 votes [27.59%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 27.59%

  5. As solid as iron! (4 votes [13.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.79%

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#1 Oky

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:03 AM

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Hello everyone! Since it is the RA's 4th anniversary, I thought I'd try something different. I don't usually buy action figures (I only bought a couple of Bionicle sets I liked back in the day) and I have never reviewed one before (Construct-a-Zurg doesn't really count). However, I decided to buy Iron Man recently because I have been wanting an Iron Man action figure ever since the first movie was released (I was even tempted to buy one of the MegaBloks ones at one point :sick: ), plus I needed to get my order up to $50 in order to get the Hulk promo minifig. :tongue: He looked like the best out of the current assortment of Super Heroes action figures, so I was hopeful that it would turn out to be a good set. Were my expectations met? Read on to find out!

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Set Number: 4529
Name: Iron Man
Theme: Super Heroes
Subtheme: Marvel Universe
Year of Release: 2012
Pieces: 44
Minifigs: 0
Price: $14.99 USD
S@H description:

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Fight villains with Iron Man's powered up armour and weapons!
Iron Man has everything a superhero could need! Powered up armour – check! Repulsor rays – check! Jet boots – check! Shoulder-mounted blaster – check! With this much power, the super villains of the world stand no chance against  Iron Man and his band of mighty Avengers!
S@H Brickset Bricklink Flickr Set

The Box

The box has the same size as all the Super Heroes action figures. And just like the other two figures in this wave, it has the dark red Marvel color scheme and the Avengers logo at the bottom. Not sure why the logo is gold instead of silver, like on all the movie posters. Maybe they wanted to make it look extra special. :hmpf: I really like the romantic sunset background. It's quite refreshing to see such a peaceful backdrop on a boy-oriented set like this as opposed to the abundance of lasers and explosions that you usually see on such box arts. The firing Gatling gun kinda ruins it though.

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The back of the box shows some alternate models and highlights of the ball joints. The first model looks a little silly with Iron Man's left arm switched with the Gatling gun. The other is a combo model using the pieces from this set and 4597 Captain America to build an Iron Patriot which is actually pretty neat because the Iron Patriot is a canon character from the comics. Whether it actually looks good is debatable, but I think it's pretty good for a combo model. The instructions for these models are not included in the set, so it looks like you'll have to visit the Lego website to get them.
No mention of the Hulk figure. I hope he doesn't find out that there is no ad for him here - he might get angry. :look:

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The top of the box uses Shellhead's shell-head to give you an idea of the actual size of the model. Looking at this picture, I must wonder: What's with the protruding forehead? *huh*  I know there's usually a crevice around the eyes of Iron Man's helmet, but never has it been portrayed to be this big! I'm also not a fan of the solid blue eyes. The only time I've ever seen Iron Man's eyes to be this blue is in the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon, and even though I'm a fan of that show, I think I would have preferred them to be white like on the minifig. I guess it's all part of the stylized look that TLG uses for these buildable figures, but I feel this is a bit excessive. It's not as bad as some of the other superheroes' heads though, so I'll move on.

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The Contents

Inside the box, you will find an instructions booklet, a large bag, a smaller bag, and Iron Man's loose "spine" and ammo belt. There is big choking hazard warning on the cover of the booklet, just like on the front and side of the box.

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There is no separate comic book in this set like in the regular Lego Super Heroes sets. Instead, the comic is on the first page of the instructions and, like most of the Super Heroes action figure comics, is about the titular hero saving the earth from an asteroid shower. How original.
The second page of the instructions only features the first step, along with another choking hazard warning in two different languages, just in case you didn't read the one on the cover, the one on the front of the box, and the one on the side of the box. Safety goes first, I guess.

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The part call-outs are pretty clear and the building steps are fairly easy. Some of the pages feature the heads of all three assemble-able avengers in the background. Thor is notably missing from the line-up. Maybe he will be in the next wave?

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Here are all the parts from this set. The helmet is packaged in its own little bag. As expected, there is a nice assortment of red and pearl gold armor pieces, most of which are very rare in these colors. Some of the most notable pieces are the trans-light-blue Gatling gun barrel, the joint extenders with enhanced friction for larger builds (as advertised on the box), and of course the chest armor with the Iron Man's signature arc reactor and other details printed on it.

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The Build

The build is very quick and easy. The only challenge is putting on the armor pieces the right way. There are only 13 building steps, so there aren't really any interesting in-build shots to show, but since I know that you action figure fans care about the skeleton of these sets, here are some pictures of Iron Man without his armor on. He looks quite funny this way. Look out, evil doers, here comes Stick-Figure Man! :devil:

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No, that's not a shower head hanging from his shoulder, that's what will later become the Gatling gun. I merely aimed it down so that you can see that it is also connected by a ball-joint.

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The Completed Set

And here he is, Iron Man the Armored Avenger! He looks pretty good at first sight. The robotic look of the Hero Factory style definitely works better for him than any of the other Super Heroes. However, there are a few things I have to criticize here. First of all, what's with the tiny, unprotected forearms? I know that all Hero Factory figures have these kind of arms, but they look so oddly proportioned here compared to the big upper arms. :sceptic:
Also, why are the legs armored from the side? This leaves the knees awkwardly exposed. I think it would make more sense to attach the shin armor from the front like on the alternate model on the back of the box so that the knees are protected.

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Here's a reference image of Iron Man from the movies. The figure looks pretty accurate for the most part, but with one big exception: Iron Man doesn't have a big shoulder-mounted Gatling gun! It's usually War Machine who has that, but it looks like TLG needed another play feature to include in this set, so they drew inspiration from him. That's okay though, since removing the gun is an easy mod, and Tony Stark has various add-ons for his armor like this in the comics, so it seems plausible for him to have a gun like War Machine's too.

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If the gun bothers you, but you don't want to take it off, you can simply hide it by folding it back. It's not the best solution, but it gets the gun out of sight relatively well.

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Here's a side view. The arms look even more ridiculous from this angle. I don't understand why they chose this style with the huge shoulder armor and short arms. I think it would have been much better if the arms were designed like the legs. :sadnew:
Aside from that, there's not much to complain about here, although it's kinda funny how the gun seems to be constantly firing, even when Iron Man is just standing around doing nothing like this. :tongue:

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Looking at the back, there is one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb: the silver back armor. The question is, why is it silver? This piece already appeared in red in 2232 Raw-Jaw, so I don't see why they couldn't include it in that color here. My only explanation is that they wanted to mis up the color scheme and drew inspiration from the Mark 7 armor from the Avengers movie which had a few silver accents, but those were only small plates and didn't take up most of the back like this. :sceptic: Oh well, it's better than having no back armor at all.
Also, it seems odd that the ammo for the gun seems to be coming out of Iron Man's neck. :wacko: Maybe he has a compartment for the ammo inside his back armor.

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And here's a top view. He actually looks pretty good from this angle. I like all the greeble on the gun. It's this level of detail that originally drew me to the Bionicle sets. It's a shame that the Hero Factory figures don't have more of that.

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Action Shots

Now that we have talked about the looks, it's time to focus on one of the most important parts about an action figure, its playability. Unfortunately, Iron Man isn't as posable as you would think. Thanks to the use of large torso armor on the arms, you can hardly move his arms without the armor pieces getting stuck, especially on the side with the gun. They keep snapping off while posing the figure! :angry: I found myself moving the limbs very carefully in order to avoid that, something I never had to do with my Bionicle figures, so I can't even imagine how often this figure would fall apart in the hands of a child. Very disappointing.

Also, the Gatling gun is useless. It doesn't do anything. Sure, you can rotate it, but since it is connected by a ball joint, it's really hard to turn. They could have at least put it on a loose Technic pin in order to allow it to spin freely. It doesn't even shoot anything. I can't believe I'm saying this, but putting the lightsaber bars on flick-fire missiles rather than regular Technic pins would have been an improvement. Or they could have just used the Cordak Blaster from the Bionicle sets instead, which was an actually working Gatling gun, but it seems that they have decided to completely abandon all molds from Bionicle for the new Hero Factory system. :sceptic:

But enough of this rant. There are a few poses that an Iron Man figure needs to be able to do, so let's see if it passes the test. One of them, of course, is the famous Iron Man pose. It took me a while to get it right, but final result looks pretty good. Pass! :thumbup:

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Another famous Iron Man pose is the one where he holds the palm of his hand towards the camera. The figure can easily be posed this way, but it just doesn't look right because all the Hero Factory hands are unposable fists. It looks more like he is stretching after a rough night rather than aiming his weapon. Maybe that's why they included the Gatling gun; because Iron Man can't use his repulsor blasts. :hmpf_bad: FAIL! :thumbdown:

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The fact that his hands are fists isn't all bad though. They're perfect for doing a pose where he is firing his unibeam. Pass! :thumbup:

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And just for fun, here's a recreation of a popular running gag from the HISHE videos.

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I don't have any other Super Heroes or Hero Factory figs to compare him to, but here's a shot of him fighting against another buildable hero in power armor, Buzz Lightyear! :grin:

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Ratings

Design: 3/5 - Well, it certainly looks like Iron Man, and he looks the best out of all the Super Heroes action figures, but the arms are terrible, and even though it's an easy fix, the legs aren't the best either.
Build: 2/5 - Like with all action figures, the build of this one is very quick and easy, and the only challenge is it to put on the armor correctly. In fact, it was a bit mundane since the figure is symmetrical aside from the gun. It was even a bit frustrating because the armor pieces kept coming off during the build.
Playability: 3/5 - The poseability of this figure is limited by the bulky shoulder pieces, and the Gatling gun is pointless. The fact that Iron Man can't use the iconic repulsor blasts on his hands because he has fists makes it even worse. However, the figure is able to pull off two out of three of Iron Man's signature poses successfully, which is good enough I guess. And since Iron Man is one of the few superheroes from the action figure line up who can fly, he is swooshable too.
Parts: 4/5 - The large amount of parts in rare colors is the most redeeming feature of this set. If you're looking for red and gold armor pieces to use in your own action figure creations, this is the set for you. However, I had to deduct a point here for the silver back armor which just looks out of place.
Price: 2/5 - $15 for a 44-piece set seems way too much, even for an action figure. But considering that most of the other licensed action figures have even less pieces than this, this is not such a bad deal. Still, if anything needs avenging after buying this set, it's my wallet.
Overall: 3/5 - I'm quite disappointed with this set. It's a good parts pack and good for display, but not very good for play and pretty expensive, so I wouldn't recommend it, especially not for kids, unless you are a huge fan of Iron Man and Lego action figures. I hate to say it, but if you're just looking for an Iron Man action figure to play with, you might be better off with the Hasbro ones. :sceptic: The only reason why I'm giving it such a high score is because it looks good compared to the other Super Heroes action figures.

I hope you enjoyed this 4th anniversary RA review, and I leave it up to Deadpool to deliver the punchline. :classic:

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#2 Rufus

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:31 PM

I'm a total stranger in this forum.  :look:  The closest I've ever come to a LEGO action figure is a Bionicle piece I found on the floor of the local supermarket.  :blush:

Having said that, I kinda like this figure.  He's recognisable as Iron Man, and the poses you've put him in look great, especially the signature pose in the title pic (which is lovely, by the way :wub: ).  I can see the appeal.

Thanks also for taking the trouble to do a great review of a set that isn't your usual field.  :thumbup:

#3 KielDaMan

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 05:49 AM

If there's any Super Hero that would really fit well in the Bionicle/Hero Factory 'medium', it would be Iron Man, and this set clearly proves that! (unlike the others whose organic humanoid forms didn't translate well in HF's building system). Even if the figure still looks too skeletal, it is quite the normal look in HF characters so it's passable for me. I never had any Bionicle or HF set before, so if ever I will get one I'd probably pick this. Thanks for another great review Oky! :thumbup:

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#4 Ferrik

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:30 AM

Iron Man is able to be recognised straight away as he looks similar to the Iron Man in the movie. It's a great action figure I think.  :wink:
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#5 LewiMOC

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:07 AM

Well, as a model he looks OK. The gun does look lovely though, but the big shoulders are a no-no. But I suppose them being there means us MOCists are treated to THREE of those Muscle-plates, which is fantastic! Also, all the extra god here and there is also a treat. So for parts, he is pretty sweet. And I guess the big silver plate is there to show that the Gun apparatus is a separate unit, so therefore doesn't share IM's colouring? I dunno. But personally, if I buy this guy, I'll be happy to get the bonus silver piece.

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#6 vexorian

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:29 PM

If TLG keep making ultra build figures, I hope they focus to inorganic guys. This set looks great to be honest. It beats the hasbro stupid things because it is buildable. And it beats the megabloks buildable figures because it actually does not rely at all on bricks designed specifically for it, except for the helmet.

#7 Aanchir

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:59 PM

Personally, I think this Iron Man set is decent as a stylized depiction of Iron Man, and it's certainly not as inaccurate as some superhero action figures I've seen on store shelves. Of course, you're right that some aspects of it are confusing, like the silver back armor or the arrangement of the leg armor. The blue eyes would be understandable in a lot of sets (having the sections you want to look "glowy" be close to the same color is often a good idea, such as eyes and weapon effects), but since his arc reactor glows almost white with just a blue margin it's surprising they didn't use the same colors for his eyes.

One thing I really like is this set's proportions. Wrists dangle just below the hips, upper legs and lower legs are the same length, and the torso and head make up about half of his overall height. It's something a lot of the medium-sized LEGO Hero Factory sets struggle with, making the legs and arms a bit longer than they need to be (though not to the same extreme extent practiced by many BIONICLE sets).

I think the Ultrabuild-style heroes can be handled well in two ways, and I think Iron Man and Batman demonstrate those ways effectively. In Batman's case, an organic, muscular look can be achieved with smooth, plain-looking pieces like the standard Hero Factory shells and the new Super Heroes chest piece. It makes for a somewhat angular design, somewhat like many of the character designs in the TV show "The Batman", but thankfully the heads are designed to be compatible with this look.

In Iron Man's case, a more mechanical look can be achieved with more heavily-textured parts like the Breakout-style torso shells, the "fuel cap" shell detail pieces, the 3.0 "paw" piece, and the Fire Villain engine block piece.

This isn't to say I don't like the sets like Green Lantern that mix this up and justify it by calling it "power armor", but overall I think Batman and Iron Man do the best job of demonstrating that this building system can work for any type of hero.

So overall, a very stylized depiction of the character and not a totally faithful one, as you've demonstrated in various ways. But I still think it makes for a nice-looking figure that Iron Man fans should be able to appreciate. Even if it doesn't meet their expectations, it should get them well on their way to acquiring the pieces they need to customize their own, more faithful design.

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#8 WhiteFang

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:44 PM

Great review Oky! Even though I am not a big fan of HF but the Iron Man appeal is simply enticing and he is one of my favourite character in Marvel. So seeing him in another form of design and scale actually interest me but still I will keep myself away from getting this set as I will need to be collection-focus.

Thank you for another fine review.  :thumbup:

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