The funny thing about this armor’s back story is that it makes perfect sense. Despite being named Hypervelocity, the story is that this is actually a stealth armor. Given the flat surfaces and comparatively subdued colors, this is pretty believable. I would imagine that the flat surfaces prevents detection by radar and that not having the Hotrod colors of the standard Ironman armor means he wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb with a gold fingernail.
What makes this funny is that prior to this, all “stealth” versions of Ironman have been thinly veiled Warmachine redecos. So it’s amusing to get an honest to goodness stealth armor for once.
The big issue with the Ironman II toys though, is almost the opposite of the MU line’s soft, stupid plastic. A large number of these Ironman II toys have incredibly stiff joints; to the point that you are advised NOT to force the joints, for fear of breakage. My Hypervelocity Armor Ironman didn’t have this issue, but my other Ironman II toys did. You’ll want to run some hot water over whichever joint is stiff for a couple seconds in order to fix the joint. It’s a fairly easy fix, but let’s face it, you shouldn’t have to do a fix like this on a consistent basis in the first place.
Lastly, since I’m already talking about issues affecting the entire line, I might as well mention that you’ll want to be selective when you choose which Ironman you take home with you. The paint job for the majority of the Ironman toys are noticeably sloppy. If you have a choice, it’s highly recommended you compare each available figure. For HVA Ironman, the main place to look out for is his forehead. You’ll want to make sure there’s no sloppy paint applications there. Paint imperfections on the rest of HVA Ironman probably won’t be a huge issue, but this armor’s face is very eye catching, so errors there are just going to bug the hell out of you if you got ‘em.
So onto the armor itself, well, what can I say? It’s fantabulous. Unless it’s important for you that Ironman has his iconic shade of red and gold, I’d go so far as to call this guy the definitive version of Ironman (so far). Of course, that’s just me. I understand that some people might not dig the sharp angles and flat surfaces on this guy, but I think it looks cool.
And speaking of looking cool, believe you me, once you’ve got this guy out of package, his colors are off the charts awesome. Pictures simply don’t do it justice, especially my pictures. But even pro pictures don’t quite capture the essence of this guy. The primary color is a dull, dark magenta that’s also powdery and metallic, which has the nifty effect of looking vaguely different under different lighting. Add in that his flat surfaces reflect off light very well, it gives off a really cool effect. I suppose I’m not being very specific here, but suffice it to say, HVA Ironman’s colors are notable enough to be worth mentioning.
If there’s one thing I don’t like about the looks of this guy, it’s simply that he’s got elf shoes for feet; in that his toes are slightly curled up. But that’s just a nitpick, this is an otherwise fantastic looking figure. I’ve always said that Motion Revive Series figures are the best 3.75” figures, but in terms of looks, Hypervelocity Armor Ironman positively makes them look dumpy. Two thumbs up in the looks department.
But the other reason I super dig these Ironman II toys, is that Hasbro has finally pulled the trigger on the articulation. Up till now, Hasbro’s always held back on the articulation for its 3.75” line. Naturally, Star Wars have inconsistent articulation, but even at their best, they barely inch out Mattel’s DC Universe line (which belong in the late 80s). Then there’s G.I. Joe’s 25th Anniversary line, which is almost perfect except they lack thigh swivel. Marvel Universe is crap, so they don’t matter. The new Spider-Man toys have also been inconsistent, but at best, they still tended to not have torso joints. And finally we have the Wolverine toys, which to be fair, have the same articulation model as Ironman II toys, but I found the oversized biceps of Wolverine and the “not as crappy as MU, but not quite the quality of G.I. Joe”-plastic to limit the figures somewhat.
But now we have Ironman II, which finally takes all the best qualities of previous lines to give us the articulation model that Hasbro has so stubbornly denied us up until now. Essentially, Hypervelocity Ironman has standard 25th Anniversary Joe articulation, but instead of regular ball jointed hips, he has that weird balled hinge-swivel combo that’s normally used by larger figures. The downside is that while it has the full range of motion, it’s a bit of a hassle to pose, as you can only move in one direction at a time. Like, if you want to pose his leg at an angle, you have to lift his leg up, then turn it to face the direction you want, then lower the leg to the angle you want. Rather than straight up moving it to that position, as you would with regular ball joints. However, in return, we finally get thigh swivel. Finally, we have a 3.75” figure from Hasbro with the full range of motion. The “perfect” articulation model.
I say “perfect”, but I should note that Microman and Motion Revive Series still exceed Hypervelocity Ironman in terms of pure articulation and posability. But still, this is the articulation model that Hasbro has stubbornly refused to do until now. I figure the reason is that if they change the model for their older lines, they won’t be able to recycle the parts as much. But I hope future lines from Hasbro will follow suit with these Ironman II toys.
Another cool thing about the Hyper Velocity Armor Ironman, and this is one thing that made me love it right away, is that his shoulder pads are rubbery. Ah wait, haven’t I been lambasting rubbery plastic all this while? Well, not when it’s used effectively! The rubbery shoulder pads on this guy means that when you lift his arms up to the side, they don’t pop off. But not only that, they’ll bend and blend into the armor. It’s a really neat effect that works because of how angular this design is.
I’m hard pressed to find a fault with this guy that’s not nitpicky. Just make sure to choose one with good paint applications when you buy this guy; and you should buy this guy. He’s great. He might not be the iconic version of Ironman, but he’s easily the definitive version.
Pros: Looks amazing. Fully articulated. Has nice, hard plastic.
Cons: Somewhat elf-like shoes.