By Ethan Kaye
With the "Iron Man" movie blasting its way into theaters on May 2, 2008, it's a banner year for the Armored Avengers. And with the hit movie comes a slew of action figures: new Iron Man toys sporting the visage of Robert Downey, Jr, hitting shelves to coincide with the film's release! Not to steal any thunder, but Shellhead's had his fair share of figures over the years! We've compiled a list of 10 stand-outs (in no particular order), so you can bolt to eBay and go collectin'!
First Appearance Iron Man (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends)
The Iron Man Mark I armor came to life like never before in this mega-articulate Marvel Legend. Like many Marvel readers, you probably wondered how a big clunky suit could bend at the elbows. Well, now ya know, padre!
Mego Iron Man (Mego, World's Greatest Super-Heroes)
This cloth-suited Iron Man with the smiling face blasted into toy stores in the early '70s. What set apart this Mego from others at the time? You could take Iron Man's gloves off. Huge
deal back then.
Hulkbuster Iron Man (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends)
Fans of the recent WORLD WAR HULK series saw the return of Tony's Hulkbuster armor, although it ended up pounded on like a Keith Moon drum kit. Still, the toy looked pretty boss with his accompanying rocket wing glider.
Silver Centurion Iron Man (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends)
If you grew up reading the IRON MAN comic in the '90s, the silver and red suit felt like home. High fives to the Marvel Legends sculptors who couldn't leave this variation of a classic out!
Minimates Zombie Iron Man (Diamond Select Toys, Minimates)
The adorable Minimates Iron Men in cute 2-inch size have captured the hearts of fans with removable helmets and tiny hands. And then the zombiefied version came along, even cuter with its adorable rotting teeth and bloody visage. If you'd want one toy to gnaw your face off, it'd be this one.
Modern Iron Man (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends)
Tony Stark, all dolled-up and ready for the 21st century! As with Tony's more recent comic book look, muted colors ruled the day. It also sported an intricate sculpt that any technophile ate right up. Plus, the figure came with burned out, beaten Ultron torsos for effect!
Iron Man vs. The Mandarin (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends Face Offs)
While the bright colors might remind some fans of the "Marvel vs Capcom" video game, the fact that the Mandarin shared the package brought this toy to a new level of awesome. Hella awesome.
Heroes Reborn Iron Man (Toy Biz, Avengers)
This hard-to find figure looked sharp. Gold metallic paint that still holds its own with newer figures, detailed wire sculpts on the arms, legs and shoulders, and the metallic piping up the back…seriously, one hell of a nice figure.
Thor Buster Iron Man (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends)
Face it, Marvel readers: sometimes Thor, like Hulk before him, just needs busting. He gets out of hand and Iron Man steps in to bust him. Risky move, we know, but sometimes it has to get done. And seriously, who else'll do it? Rick Jones? Please…
Arctic Armor Iron Man (Toy Biz, Marvel Action Hour)
In the '90s, custom dictated for super heroes to own numerous changes of clothing for various situations. Hence Arctic Armor Iron Man, Space Armor Iron Man, Stealth Armor Iron Man, Hologram Armor Iron Man, Hydro-Armor Iron Man, Samurai Armor Iron Man, Inferno Armor Iron Man and Subterranean Armor Iron Man. A 5th series got a limited release and included Radiation Armor Iron Man, Lava Armor Iron Man, and Magnetic Armor Iron Man. For reals.
Iron Man (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends)
The old standard appeared in the first wave of Marvel Legends figures, along with Captain America and Toad (of all people!). A gold variant circulated as well, now only to be found on the second-hand market. Ah, the good old days of 2002!
Iron Man (Mattel, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars)
Many Marvel fans got their first taste of plastic heroes when Mattel's Secret Wars line hit shelves. As with the rest of the line, Iron Man shipped with a righteous hologram of his own face!
War Machine (Toy Biz, Marvel Legends)
OK, this suit housed no Tony Stark, just Jim Rhodes, but that didn't make it any less of an Iron Man figure! As an added bonus, this toy came with its own explosions! For playing with!
Special thanks to the good folks at Raving Toy Maniac for providing several of the images shown here. Check out their site for a ton more!
We're not done with Iron Man toys! Keep your eyes glued to Marvel.com for a full listing of Iron Man action figures and plenty of coverage on Hasbro's upcoming lines of Iron Man swag!
Need to catch up on your Iron Man reading? Looking for the perfect stories starring Ol' Shellhead? Check out our list of the 10 Collections marked as required reading by any Iron Man fan!
For more Iron Man, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. And remember: "Iron Man" comes to a theater near you on May 2!