Art Spirits Active Gear Collection 1/9 Iron Man MKVI
Just like explorers discovers a new land, or when scientists make a break through in their research, whenever I find new and well made toys, especially from small relatively less known companies, I imagine having the same excitement and buzz, if only on a slightly lesser scale.
Most of us (including me) wouldn’t have heard of this “little” Japanese toy company until recently when they released their Active Gear Collection toy line starting with the popular Iron Man MKVI suit. This is no surprise as they were only established in June of 2010, and as of writing have only brought us a couple of girl figurines and some Gamera trading figures. That’s not to say we shouldn’t expect big things from them in the future, from the looks of this new Iron Man toy line, I’d say they have a very bright one ahead of them. Check out their website here.
Name: Iron Man MK6
Manufacturer: Art Spirits
Line: Active Gear Collection
Material: PVC, ABS, PPC
Release: May 2012
Original Price: ¥8,880 (approx. $110AUD / $112USD)
Height: 205mm / 8.07inches
The packaging design has a bit of an old school feel, the colour scheme is certainly very patriotic (for my US readers) which suits the character I guess. A nice large window in the front allows a good view of the contents but it also shows just how much wasted space is behind the figure. It’s very collector friendly in terms of being able to put the toy back into the box for storage however in terms of shelf space, it could do with a bit of a diet.
For most of the gimmicks to work on this figure, it requires a bit of parts swapping so it’s no wonder there is a fair bit of accessories included. For the air brake gimmick there is two open back shoulder parts with a lower back part. On each side of the hips you can fit a flare launcher, and each forearm can be swapped to missile launcher mode. Also included are a pair of open palm hands, and a pair of laser cutter fists. The air brakes, flare launchers and optional hands are relatively easy to pop on and off but I did have some trouble pulling off the missile launcher forearms, do be careful as it is only held in by a small plastic peg on each side.
In terms of movie accuracy, the armour design and sculptural detail is all there but the proportions are not quite right. This toy is much slimmer in build than what most people would be used to, basically the head is too small, the waist too slim and the feet too large. However, if you look at this toy as a sort of re-imagined version of the movie design then you can really start to appreciate the overall build quality and style of this line.
This toy has quite a good range of articulation. It features a swivelling neck joint with the head on a ball, ratcheted shoulder joints with complete 360 degree rotation at the shoulders and biceps, doubled ratchet jointed elbows then ending with swivelling wrists. Moving down the suit the torso is made up of three moveable segments which allows the body to twist nicely. The hips are on large ball joints with a swivel at the thighs, double ratchet jointed knees and ball joint feet with additional toe joints. All up this makes for a very nimble Iron Man with the exception of the hip joints as the armour design hinders some movements here.
Everywhere I look on this toy all I see is a splendid coat of even and glossy paint, it is absolutely glorious. The red looks like metallic candy apple skin and the gold, looks gold! You can also see that all the panel lines have been filled in black which further accentuates the armour design detail. There was a small flow line from the moulding of the part on the chest but it’s hardly visible and it’s not something that would put me off this toy.
A few shots showing the process of swapping parts over for the gimmicks. Firstly the air brakes, as you can see everything simply plugs in and out of the four holes at the back, nice and simple.
This next one is a little bit tricky as there may be a chance for breakage. The swappable forearms parts plug in and click into place which is great as it means they won’t constantly fall off, but pulling the forearms off was a difficult and scary experience.
Swapping over the flare launcher means having to take off the original cover which does need a bit of persuasion as it fits very snugly. Just make sure you don’t chip the paint if use something to pry the cover off.
One of the areas that does not require parts swapping is the air brakes and armour covers on the leg and feet. These parts are hinged and works like a charm.
Finally let’s take a look at how big a 1/9 scale Iron Man figure is compared to other popular toy lines of the same character. Compared against the Revoltech version, the Art Spirits toy is much bigger and looks heaps better. Up against the Hasbro 6″ version, the Art Spirits version is again quite a lot bigger, some may prefer the Hasbro sculpt but in terms of the overall build quality Art Spirits takes the cake. Just for kicks I put my SIC Batman up against the Art Spirits Iron Man, at a glance they looks like they could almost be in scale considering the Iron Man suit will add to the height and bulk of a man more so than Batman’s suit.
Time to sum up the review and come to a verdict. Simply put, I like this toy. I like it for a few various reasons such as the great build quality, the size, the playability and also the design of the toy once you get over the proportion issues. However this is not a cheap toy and it won’t be to everyone’s taste but for anyone proclaiming to be an Iron Man fan, this is a must have!
Thanks again for visiting, I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay!