Friday, August 24, 2012

The Avengers - Shatter Blaster Iron Man #18 (Super Articulated Mark VII)


What the heck is a shatter blaster?!? It sounds like the most disgusting, gut-busting burrito on the menu at a dirty run-down diner. Couldn’t Hasbro give this new, allegedly “super articulated”, Iron Man a more Shawarma-based name?

So, back to Hasbro’s mostly terrible new Avengers Wave 4 figures. This new version of the Iron Man Mark VII armor is supposedly “super articulated”. Haha. Not quite.


The packaging looks like Avengers packaging. Which it is. So Hasbro didn’t mess that up. High five, Hasbro.


The figure, as I mentioned when we looked at the early samples, is identical from the waist up to the first Mark VII figure. Only his legs are new. And since these new, “super articulated” legs are his key selling point, I was extremely disappointed to find that on my sample, his knees were completely stuck and unmovable upon removing him from the package. After repeated attempts to heat and then freeze the plastic in the knees, I was still not able to get them to loosen up.  A couple days later, the left knee finally loosened and now moves, but the right knee remains completely stuck. I take back my high five, Hasbro. So I’ve got a figure that I only spent money on because it’s supposedly an improvement over the prior version, and that improvement is basically negated thanks to horrible quality control. Fantastic.

Dear Hasbro: Your customers shouldn’t have to constantly fix your repeated f@#$ ups.


Because of this horrible quality control, I've actually swapped the head from the retail sample onto the body of the Chinese factory sample for some of these photos (the retail head had a better paint job than the factory sample).  You can tell which photos are of the factory sample by the paint job.  More on that in a minute.


So, now that that’s out of the way. Back to the figure. The new legs feature double-hinged knees and ball-hinged ankles with rockers. Nice step up from the under-articulated junk that was the original figure. Unfortunately, he still lacks wrist, waist or torso articulation, so sadly, he does not match the design aesthetic of the Iron Man 2 figures (which for the record, I thought were awesome).

L: Factory sample, R: Retail sample.  Note the paint differences.

The paint job is actually missing a few of the details from the early sample, though it is worth noting that this version DOES have his palm repulsors painted (that detail was missing on the early sample). Out of the two carded ones I got, one had sloppy silver paint on the shoulders, and the other, this one, had a sloppy blue ARC reactor and messed up gold paint on the back of the thighs, so paint QC continues to be an issue. Inspect closely before buying this guy.  The early sample has gold detail painted on the shins just below the knee, and on the forearms below the elbow, and well as additional silver details on the upper chest between the ARC reactor and shoulders.  These details were missing from both the retail samples I got.  So it looks like Hasbro cheaped out on the paint job early in production.  Like we needed one more thing in this line cheaped out on.



Instead of an energy buzz saw, this figure returns to the more traditional, completely non-canon missile launcher accessory. I believe this is a repaint of one from the Captain America line, which in turn was a repaint of one from the Iron Man 2 line. No other accessories are included, which is disappointing. This would’ve been a great opportunity (and a great way to lessen the sting of buying another under-articulated Mark VII) to include a swappable Tony Stark head. We know Hasbro already has one tooled up, and considering that we’ve gotten an unmasked Steve Rogers, it’s more than perplexing at this point that we don’t have Tony.


If you don’t already have the Fusion Armor Mark VII, go ahead and pick this version up instead. Its slightly better articulation makes it the clear choice. Just beware of sloppy paint and severely stuck joints. If you do already have the first version of the Mark VII, this one is going to be a tough pill to swallow. You’d probably be happier just saving your money. Hasbro’s lackluster efforts with this most recent wave aren’t deserving of the prices they’re asking. That could really be said about every figure (except Black Widow!) in this line, but this wave stands out in my mind as the worst of the line for quality.  Buy at your own risk.

17 comments:

  1. Seems like maybe the paint differences on your factory sample are because they're from the Target 8 pack, no?

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    1. That's entirely likely. I haven't seen a good photo of the Iron Man from that set yet, but it wouldn't surprise me at all. We already know the Cap in that set will updated.

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  2. Ugh, when I first saw the news saying this was a "super-articulated" IM I was excited...but then....

    With how awful the articulation is on this whole Avengers line and the recent Spidey one as well it makes me really worried for Hasbro's 3 3/4" movie lines going forward...

    ..With next years IM3 and Thor 2 lines are the figures gonna be down to just the "big 5" (head, shoulders, hips) or at least the pegged hips like the Spidey line?... I just shudder to think... :(

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    1. I hope not. I'll stop buying them altogether if they get that bad.

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  3. i got an early sample too e mine have no problens on the joints

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  4. Great honest insight on what's left of this line. Is it worth tracking down the factory sample Iron Man over this released one?

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    1. I would say yes, but I've seen report of some of the figures from China not always being the best quality, so buy at your own risk. There are unfortunately never any guarantees in this hobby. Here's the listing for the seller I bought mine from: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marvel-The-Avengers-3-75-Inch-Wave-4-Iron-Man-Mark-VII-Super-Articulated-Loose-/360473132764?pt=US_Action_Figures&hash=item53eddf7edc

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  5. Lets hope they don't get to the same quality as the Green Lantern and TDKR movies line.

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  6. Yeah, if it comes to that, I definitely quit.

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  7. Hey dude X, here just wanted to stop by and say great review dude keep up the good work, any new figures you planning to pickup and review?

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    1. Hey X, thanks, glad you're enjoying them. This pretty much wraps up the Avengers line. Brett and I both got wave 19 of Marvel Universe the other day, so between the two of us, we'll probably have that whole wave reviewed this week. I've also still got one more MU comic pack to do (Mandarin and Iron Man), and the Miles Morales Ultimate Spidey (still looking for the regular version, too). That'll probably be it for 3.75" Marvel for a little while. Then I want to catch up on a few non-Marvel things (Halo, Batman Play Arts Kai). New Predator and Prometheus figures should be hitting soon, too.

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  8. I see this Iron Man as another excuse for Hasbro to release yet another version of Iron Man. Remember the IM2 line? 50 versions of Iron Man, concept or not, is not what fans want. We want secondary characters! I was so glad that they released the rest of the thor line.

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    1. The IM2 line was an aweful lot of Iron Man crammed into a short period of time, and it was severely lacking in secondary characters, but I actually enjoyed most of the figures in that line. Iron Man is one of my favorite characters, so I don't mine having 50 different versions of him. But yeah, it REALLY needed more secondary characters.

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    2. A good number were different characters however - whiplash, warmachine, guardsman, crimson dynamo, iron monger, titanium man, the hammer drones .. and I liked seeing the different versions of all these as well.

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  9. I bought this figure because I am completing all the movie ironman armors, and now I am regretting buying him. He's too expensive , the added articulation, double jointed knees is good, but, on the foot? ironman doesnt need that articulation, Hasbro has gone el cheapo, shouldve just gave the wrist rotation or atleast a ball hinged neck. But, saying this won't do a thing.
    Just hope that Ironman 3 toyline does not suck like avengers and spiderman line, or else, I might quit collectiong Ironman movie armors.
    Thanks for the review.

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  10. Fine u guys don't like this it's pretty great! U just don't like it

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  11. Switched the forearms with the Iron Man 2 Repulsor Shift Iron Man, now it's pretty good

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