The early MCU figures from Hasbro were made outside the Marvel Legends banner and each film release up to Iron-Man 3 were released on their own branded cards with their own design - only the Incredible Hulk from 2008 carried the Legends logo. In 2010, Iron-Man 2 was the 3rd MCU film to be covered by Hasbro and featured just a handful of Iron-Man figures and one of War Machine.
Due to the scarcity and after-market price of this figure, I am reviewing a loose version I picked up and not a complete packaged product.
The Iron-Man 2 Movie Series was released on blister card packaging with US exclusivity to Walmart stores. Like many blister cards of the time from Hasbro, the cardback is shaped around the artwork - with the artwork being a generic image of Iron-Man and the movie logo and no real reference to War Machine aside from the character name plate
The blister is filled with the figure and various parts and the key features of the figure are confirmed via little insert slashes on the blister. These include the exclusivity element as well as the snap-on weapons.
The card back (no promo image we can use) includes a picture of the figure and the same small bio and background text we see on Legends figures. There is also a checklist of other releases.
"Taken directly from Tony Stark's lab, this armor suit was reverse-engineered and rebuilt by the Air Force's top scientists. They boosted its engine output, enhanced its hydraulic muscles and added several of the military's most powerful weapons. IRON-MAN may be a one-man army, but this machine is built for war."
Paint & Sculpt 5/5
Despite its age, this is a figure that is as good a sculpt - if not better - as we have in the more recent Legends figures. Its proportions are fantastic and the suit feels big and bulky with plenty of panels and overlaid armour. The helmet is mean looking with a slight red painted around the visors to give them a fake glow effect.
Colouring and paint is crisp throughout, and there is good use of decals to capture the 001 numbering of the War Machine suit and a number of Air Force designations around each shoulder area.
The one disadvantage of the figure is not of its own making, but rather the subsequent figures badged as Marvel Legends have all got a touch bigger. War Machine Mk1 measures in at just over 6 inches - most modern Legend male figures are coming in at this and more and they are not wearing enhanced armoured suits. Stand this War Machine side by side with an MCU Legends figure and he will look undersized. It is not a complete lost cause though as the figure can be posed flying or using some forced perspective to make him fit in.
As stated on the packaging, War Machine is equipped with a couple of snap on weapons. The main being the shoulder cannon mini-gun. This comes in two parts, the gun and the ammunition strip. The ammo slots first into the gun and then the gun into a rail on the rear of the figure. The gun can be mounted anywhere on this rail, but far left shoulder is the best position to then allow the curl of the ammo strap to feed into a further slot further down the figures back.
The mini-gun and ammo are cast in a grey plastic and have no paint added. A metallic dry brush would have dragged out some more detail.
The figure also has some mini-rocket launches that slot into a piece on the shoulder at the side of the head. You open up the closed panel and pop it off via the slot on the back. Into this slot goes the raised launcher to give War Machine even more posed weaponry. This piece was missing from the figure I bought so I can't show you images I am afraid.
We also get two alternative pairs of hands, giving the figure three in total. We have clenched fists, gripping hands and open palms revealing the repulsors. The gripping hands do not make too much sense as War Machine has nothing to hold, but the other two are certainly great for display and posing options. The hands clip in and out with no concerns.
Fully equipped with the mini-gun and launcher and War-Machine comes in with 23 points of articulation.
Head : ball joint neck
Arms : pivot shoulder armour, ball joint shoulder, bicep swivel, double elbow joint, wrist pivot
Weapons : ball joint shoulder launcher, mini-gun pivot and rotating mount
Body : ball joint torso
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rockers
Despite his bulk and armoured parts, War Machine is particularly mobile - particularly the upper body.. The head is partially fixed by the surrounding neck armour, but can look up and down. The shoulder panel joint is clever and both arms can be raised to a horizontal position for firing those repulsors. The elbow is also really mobile thanks to the swivel and double joint and can fold in on itself. The wrists, like the head, are held in a bit by the surrounding bulk.
The torso joint is quite loose and can't always hold its position. This may be an age issue or a flaw on all the figure. The legs start with a ball joint hip with a full range of motion and with the thigh cut swivel and double jointed knees you can get some wider stances and battle ready positions. Sadly, the ankle rockers do not move enough to help these stances and War Machine can be left a little off balance with the feet not quite flat to the floor. They also do not point or pivot for flying poses on an appropriate stand.
Out of all the War Machine variants to date, the Mk1 is my favourite and owning the Mk1 in m Legends collection has been a objective of mine for some time. Putting this aside for a moment and being objective, what we have here is a well sculpted figure with good decor and details, appropriate accessories and a good range of articulation. The height issues can't really be held against him as it is the figures following him that have got larger - not the fact War Machine was made too small to begin with.
Even nearly 10 years after his release, this War Machine figure holds up with the more contemporary Legends and he is perhaps a lick of paint and a couple of extra joint movements away from being a perfect release. To that end I score War Machine Mk1 a score of 4 out of 5.