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Review : Marvel Select War Machine Mark 1 - Iron Man 2 (Diamond Select, Borders Exclusive)

It is 2010 and Iron Man 2 is out at the cinema. Despite doing numerous comic characters over the last 8 years, Diamond had only one Marvel Movie figure to their name, an Origins Wolverine. Iron Man 2 would see the start of figures from what would become the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The main choices of what to release from the film were obvious - to get the movie Iron Man out into circulation. To go with him Diamond avoided Whiplash or any of the Hammer Drones and went instead with the Mark 1 War Machine. At the time of writing this review (June, 2010) the War Machine Mk1 is one of the scarcest Marvel Movie Select figures and comes up very rarely for sale. There are two variants of War Machine. The standard release had a red arc reactor, whilst a Borders Exclusive (as we are reviewing here) had the blue arc reactor. The WM1 is a chunky figure once it comes out the box, standing a touch taller than the Mk4/6 Iron Man from the same film. The sculpt, considering it is 5 years old at the time of writing this, is very crisp overall and there is plenty of detail built into the armour - a lot of which is obviously the same as the IM Mk4/6, but you can forgive that as Tony himself recycled parts all the time. If you look closely at some parts such as the silver panels on the biceps or the two silver chest panels either side of the arc reactor, and WM1 starts to show his age as these are much clunkier and less defined than you will see on more recent models. Like the IM figures the head has a sculpted face under the mask, in this case it is a decent enough likeness of Don Cheadle. The mask is tackled using two prongs so you can pop the mask off and have it up or down. This works great up to the point you realise when the mask is down there are two holes in the head and these are a bit unsightly and I am glad later models have gone down the alternative head route. Paint is basic, essentially grey with silver panels as highlights. There is no wash (not sure its needed) to bring out any detail and the only other colours are on the mask and the arc reactor. The painting under the mask of Don Cheadle's features is crisp, but a little flat and more comic book than realistic. The painting is very neat with no paint bleed or wandering pupils in the eyes. Articulation back in 2010 was pretty basic on most Diamond Select figures. Although IM2 expanded articulation, WM1 remains a little restricted. The head rotates a full 360 degrees despite the chunky shoulders and can also look up and down to a certain degree. The arms are where there is a lot of missing articulation as the shoulders can only rotate one way to the body, there is no ball joint to move them outwards to 90 degrees to the body - in fact the arms popped off when I tried to move them that way, The elbow is a simple joint allowing for 90 degree bend only (one way) until the armour stops the movement. The best movement is on the wrists which rotate and pivot, but again are restricted by the wrist armour. There is no chest pivot and no waist articulation. The next point of movement is therefore the hips, which thank fully are on a ball joint. But again even with this the armour blocks most movement. The knees, like the elbows, are a simple bend (backwards) and there is a tiny bit of movement on the ankles. All of this means that you wont get WM1 into anything other than a neutral pose - but due to his weight and bulk you wont have an issue getting him to stand.

Accessory wise WM1 is packed with a shoulder cannon which slots into his right shoulder. The cannon has a bit of movement, but can only really be posed in a firing position - there is no folded back option. WM1 is also packed with a diorama piece which arrives in 3 pieces and assembles to represent a Hammer Industries door, this is an identical sculpt to the diorama packed with Iron Man Mk4/6 but in this case coloured in a bronze finish. War Machine is a brutish piece and looks great on display. Ignoring his rarity, but taking into consideration he was developed and sculpted in 2010, I will give WM1 a 3 out of 5. Articulation does let him down slightly and is wasted in places when you consider the armour blocks movement. There are some less defined areas of sculpting and a couple more shades of grey/silver will have brought out more detail. A lot of issues were rectified on the later Mark 2 War Machine, but I think this one still has loads of merit, bags of character and I would encourage collectors to grab him if you get the opportunity

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