As a child of the 90’s, I have a bit of an attachment to some of the Marvel superhero outfits from that time period, which is a bit odd because as I’ve mentioned before, I was never into comics as a kid. There were a few times where I’d switch on the X-Men cartoon, or Iron Man, or Spiderman, but none of them really appealed to me that much. However, when I did watch them, I did see the suits that I’d know them for in years to come, and as a result, I love it when we get nice new figures of the outfits from that time period.
Hasbro released figures of both Iron Man and War Machine in their 90’s armor. However, they made kind of a mistake, in my eyes, when it came to distributing them: War Machine came out in the first wave of comic series figures and Iron Man came out in the second. This would have been fine if the line was just comic figures, but the movie figures seemed to be getting better distribution earlier on, and as a result, Iron Man was harder to find. Also, it’s kind of weird to release War Machine before Iron Man, but that’s just me…
Since he came out first, I’m going to tackle War Machine first. I really love War Machine’s design in almost any incarnation (save for Ultimate, that is). I mean, what’s not to love? He’s a black and silver Iron Man armor plus GUNS. That screams out awesome to me.
War Machine has a very tall stature, coming close in size to the Night Adder and Roadblock figures from the G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra Line. As a result, he’s taller than almost every figure of Tony in the line and even bigger than some of the villains. I think it’s mostly due to how big his lower legs are, but it really helps in giving him a much more imposing presence.
His best feature has to be the guns on his shoulders. Like the other figures, they can swing down to a “non-firing” position. On top of that, he comes with some of the best effect parts in the entire line-missiles and… I guess energy bursts. They’re a huge improvement over the yellow energy bursts that look like something Tony would be throwing up instead of shooting…
However, the cool guns come at a bit of a price-because of the swing-down gimmick, his torso movement is severely hindered, and it can’t move side to side. His arm movement is also hurt by the weird shoulderpads-there’s no way to move his arms up or down without it just looking silly. On top of that, the whole figure just feels stiff. A shame, considering how cool he looks…
While he doesn’t look as cool as War Machine does, I think Iron Man improves on some of War Machines faults. Instead of being really tall, he’s very bulky and muscular, housing a lot of detail on the yellow parts while keeping the red parts nice and smooth. The detail on the yellow parts is nicely complimented by a red drybrush, making the color more vibrant.
His joints move much smoother than War Machine’s, and the shoulders are much more functional. The hinge is contained in the torso instead of raised on it, and allows for more smooth and realistic posing. He also seems overall more proportionate than War Machine does.
Oh, and of course, he still comes with the yellow energy blast thing… no comment.
Between the two figures, I like Iron Man more, but really, they’re a team. One could say the 90’s were the golden age of comic book cartoons, and it’s always good to have a nice piece of fit. Drop in and grab yourself a Tony and a Rhodes to party with your other Marvel guys, or massive multitude of armor-clad heroes!